What a plonker. What an absolute gimp. Graham Taylor, we salute you. Even Jeremy Beadle has more friends than you. People point at you in the street. Dogs gravitate to your garden to do their business. Have you ever offended a witch doctor? Because Graham, matey boy, you are cursed. Everywhere you go, death, famine and plague follow. Kindly leave the solar system before you do some real damage, you sad, sad lonely man.
Well, that was a bit spiteful, wasn't it? Just because he managed to drop England out of the European Cup without winning a single match. It could happen to anybody. But it didn't. It happened to Sadman Taylor. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. The man looks like a deputy headmaster. I don't even like football and I think he's a plonker. And now poor old Krisalis have got to try and convince you to buy a soccer management game endorsed by ol' Jonah himself. Luckily, you shouldn't take much persuading 'cos it's a pretty damn good game.
Bear in mind that I'm not the world's biggest football fan, and that's praise indeed. I almost found myself buying a sheepskinlined footy manager's coat. Well, almost. Y'see, the biggest advantage of this game is that it actually makes you feel like a manager. Other footy games let you pick your fave Division 1 team, and then dump you and them at the bottom of Division 4. Not very realistic, eh?
So, with this little chestnut, you begin by choosing one of a few rather crap Division 3 teams. The chances of you getting Grimsby Utd into the big time are rather slim, but by proving yourself on the lower teams you can move to other, better teams, and thus work your way up to manage your fave Division 1 team.
And if you're really rubbish and lose all your matches then you become England manager and lose the European Cup. Sorry. But you can become England manager, and of the two disks, the second is devoted entirely to that challenge.
It's a lot more detailed than other management games. Every single player from every single team is featured in a little file all of their own, including all their genuine stats. And as the game goes on, players you know and love will get older and retire and fresh new players will move up from your junior squad. Like I said, it really gives you the impression of being part of a real sport. Brilliant.
OK, the actual game. As with most of these games, it's controlled from icons and a little filofax diary thing. You can set scouts to spy on other teams or to give you a report on another player to see if he's worth poaching. You can, of course, transfer players and even borrow them from other lower league clubs. You can train your whole team, or give each individual player more specific training. You can basically do everything except smack Jimmy Hill on his aggravating chin.
The graphics are nice and clear for the icons and so on, and in the matches it's a viewed from the top run-around like Kick Off, but with bigger graphics. You don't get to control the action, but you make substitutions whenever you want and after it's all over you can comment on your team's performance and make them feel really insecure.
Another nice feature is the ability to watch any match from any division. So if you really can't be bothered to see how your boys do against Scunthorpe, you can go and watch the Liverpool and Man Utd match instead. Not exactly very good management, but it lets you keep track of your fave clubs while you sink without trace.
And that's another good point (by Jingo there's a lot of 'em). If your team starts to drop like a stone, you can abandon ship and move to another team. And then trash your old team into the ground. Ho ho ho.
It's a good game basically. If it could get a response from such a sportophobic like me, then it's got to be good. Maybe people who know football inside out will find some inconsistencies, but I doubt it. I enjoyed it immensely, and I reckon you will too. Yes, you. Well worth a gander.