Tracksuit Manager 2 logo

Reviewed by Andy Maddock

A new football game? What's happening? Shouldn't there be a Doom clone here instead? Well, the answer is no. At last we can review what all you gamers have missed during the last four months; a brand new football game.

And as you can see, on first looks Tracksuit Manager 2 could possibly pass for the sequel to the once reigning football management sim, Championship Manager 2. The first Tracksuit Manager was reputed to be either the first or one of the first football management games ever, and to be honest it showed. It might have been quite a game when it came out but try playing it now and you'll be on the edge of throwing your computer out of the window.

So Tracksuit Manager 2 is here and I know what you want to hear. Is it going to be as good as Championship Manager 2? Well, let met tell you what it's all about.

Basically, if you have ever played Championship Manager you will know exactly what to expect. You can manage an English club from the Premier League to the 3rd division and there is no real objective or goal (Ho ho) to be achieved - all you need is success.

When you begin he game it will seem as if you are sitting down at your desk within the stadium - incidentally, no other football game has used this idea to great effect apart from On The Ball.


If you think you can put up with the awful match screens there's enough detail here to satisfy you to make up for it

You have access to a telephone for transfers, a filing cabinet to keep the club records in, the newspaper to check the headlines, a calendar so you know what day it is, and what's this? A pack of Fizzy Chewits? Yes, Fizzy Chewits I said. Tracksuit Manager 2 is sponsored by those tangy flavoured delights... right where's my £50?

So everything a manager could need apart from a £15 million striker is close at hand. Now all you've got to do is pick the team, negotiate bids, and do all management-like things to take your team to the top.

The actual interface is quite cheap looking. The colours are a mix of green and red and as you switch between screens you will get a pretty badly digitised picture of Steve McManaman and Rod Wallace. The interface is so friendly and perfect it's a shame it's presented in this way. The fonts are big and bold and you can always seen what you're doing which helps a great deal.

I suppose I would go as far as saying the actual menu system is better than Championship Manager. The team selection screen is easier because it informs you of the players that have either been injured or suspended by highlighting the missing number from your squad. Also, the finance is included in a lot more detail as well as club records and histories.


Match Crisis

Now here comes the crunch. When you have managed to cycle through each day to get to the match day (which, incidentally, is a Sunday!), the tactics screen comes up allowing you to alter your individual team tactics, name your captain, push players up or drop them back. Everything is set-up, so you anxiously click on the 'exit' button and are lead to the match sequence screen. This is where Tracksuit Manager falls flat on its face. There are two badly digitised commentators gibbering to each other about the action which pauses for a number of seconds each time the ball goes out of play. There are two buttons on the right-hand side of the screen to speed up the action, but it still pauses, and if you score a goal an annoying flashing display will come up and you have to press the button to kick off again. This, in my mind, defeats the object of speeding the game up.

The whole presentation of the match looks like a PD program written in Amos. When you return to your desk to view league tables it looks so much better - it's like a different game. Although the game lasts for seasons and seasons, I couldn't get through the first month without becoming annoyed and frustrated. Even the blandness of the original Championship Manager's match sequence was more enjoyable and exciting.

Final word

The only thing stopping Tracksuit Manager from being a Premiership contender is the truly awful match screens. If you think you can put up with them there's enough enough detail here to satisfy you to make up for it, although with Championship Manager 2 minutes away, maybe you should think twice.



Tracksuit Manager 2 logo

It's the sequel to one of the finest football management games of all time. But does Tracksuit Manager 2 live up to the reputation of its predecessor?

First of all there was eight bit Football Manager by Kevin Toms. It spawned a million imitators which, although improving on the original formula, never quite seemed to deliver the same encapsulating experience. Until, that was, Tracksuit Manager made an appearance. With the arrival of this game the whole concept of the football management game was turned on its head.

Tracksuit Manager offered in depth tactics and allowed room for analysis of each players progress. IT also broke ground by offering a running commentary which let the manager see who was playing well and who wasn't.

The concept and the features reinforcing the concept helped make Tracksuit Manager one of the most football management games of the time. I was working in retail when it was released and couldn't order enough of them into the shops to satisfy demand.

But time stops for no game. Since then, Tracksuit Manager has been surpassed in terms of tactics, tricks and features. When asked to comment on the commentary device in Tracksuit Manager, Steve Faragher - Editor of top Role Playing magazine Arcane and all round connoisseur of computer football management games - said that he would "nick it for my perfect game." Heady praise indeed.

But, how does the sequel shape up, taking into account the considerable length of time separating the two? Have Alternative done enough to deliver the goods to an expectant Amiga public? Or are we all going to be disappointed?

THE SECOND COMING
Before tackling the questions, let's take a look at what's on offer.
There are two versions. One for the A500/600 and another for AGA machines. There are three disks for AGA and two for ordinary machines. The only real difference between the two lies in the quality of the picture back drops; AGA graphics take up more space.

Alternative recommend that you make copies of the disks and use the backups. The game uses a protection system based on coloured symbols. Conveniently, all of these symbols are printed on the label of disk two, dispensing at a stroke with the need for the manual to be around at all times. Nice one.

Unfortunately this thoughtfulness is let down by the lack of a hard drive installation program. After selecting the team you want to play - it can be any team in the English football league - you have to choose from one of give character types for the manager. There's no mention of the difference between the characters in the manual, so although the categories are fairly self explanatory, the difference they make to the game is hard to fathom.

It's also at this stage that the option exists to play against someone else. As with most things, this adds spice to the prospect of winning leagues, cups and the like. Knowing that someone is trying their best to beat your amplifies the experience and it may be on this feature that Alternative will pick up a tidy amount of sales.

The layout and the design of the game at first seems like a hybrid of On The Ball and Super League Manager. The control for access to the various features of the game is in the style of an office. There are several functional icons cunningly disguised as office furniture.

Super League Manager adherents will probably be disappointed to find that you can't drink from the coffee cup. In all, there are 11 access points out of the office. From these you can pick a team, buy and sell players, find another job, converse with staff such as physios and coaches analyse data, scout out the opposition, and generally take control of all aspects of the game.

ON THE BALL
Once you become completely familiar with the navigations skills required, you can start to hone your team and get in tune with the beauty of the tactics and strategy. For it's here that Tracksuit Manager 2 excels. Everything you could possibly want to know about your players is there to be analysed; past form, present form, strengths, weaknesses, fitness, value, psychology, ratings, and discipline.

Where they play on the field and how they play isn't just down to the formation, style and tactics chosen by the manager. Individual players can have specific instructions such as hanging back in defence or supporting the attack issued to them. As such, it makes the whole process feel organic and evolutionary; you just know you'll tune your tactics to perfection in the next match.

In all, it hangs together well. If the manager stays in tune with the individual performances of his players, results will come. One criticism concerns the team selection though. It would have been nice if you could swap players when all of the stats on each player are displayed in the attributes screen. Instead you have to go back to the previous screen and carry out the placement from there. Direct ability comparisons while on the job are therefore hard to carry out.

The running commentary, while groundbreaking in its day, seems quaintly static now. However, it still represents one of the better ways to hone your eye on individual players and assess their performance. You can tell exactly whose got the ball, what they're doing with it, and whether or not they're being outfoxed by a classier opponent.

But, with the likes of Player Manager 2, On the Ball, Premier Manager 3, and Ultimate Soccer Manager offering match views that let you build up a bigger picture in your mind's eye, it seems too limited by today's standards. Perhaps a hybrid of commentary and visual matchplay would have been better.

So, despite being a self contained and entertaining game , Tracksuit Manager 2 hasn't moved with the times as much as it should have. It doesn't offer anything groundbreaking, innovative, different enough or unique enough to make it an outstanding purchase.

It's solid, dependable, and fun. Wait until Championship Manager 2 is finally released before making a final decision to buy.



Tracksuit Manager 2 logo

Nachdem wir in der letzten Ausgabe AGA-Manager eindringlich davor gewarnt haben, einen Vertrag bei Alternative Software zu unterzeichnen, werden die Chefsessel englischer Fußballklubs nun Normal-Amigos angeboten.

Was auf A1200/4000 schon nicht recht war, ist jetzt erst so billig; beispielsweise sind die Soundeinstellungen in der Kabine geblieben - wo der hiesige Musik- und Effekt-Krach ebenfalls hingehört. So kommt man aber wenigstens nur noch zu Beginn in den zweifelhaften Genuß des Titeltracks, und im Fall der Fälle bewahrt der Lautstärke-regler vor Gehörschäden: Es warten Klickgeräusche sowie Begegnungen nur mehr sporadischer Torjubel; und auch das bloß, falls mehr als 512 KB Chip-RAM im Compi schlummern.

Viel schlimmer ist, daß die netten Hintergrundbildchen (anno AGA der einzige optische Silberstreif an diesem trüben Horizont) während der Konvertierung deutlich Farben eingebüßt haben und sich nun vollends in dieses grafische Trauerspiel einfügen.

Aber egal, schließlich werden sie die meiste Zeit ja eh von bonbonbunten Tabellen und Statistiken verdeckt. Der Weg per Nager durch das knallige Chaos ist immer noch ein Fall für wahre Orientierungskünstler, in Sachen Bedienungskomfort rutschte man sogar noch ein Stückchen weiter in Richtung Abstiegszone ab.

Denn wie gehabt gibt's wieder die nervige Codeabfrage über die Hieroglyphen auf dem Etikett der zweiten Diskette, und Manager ohne Zweitläufer dürfen fleißig mit den drei Datenträgern jonglieren - wobei der zum Speichern eines Spielstandes sogar noch selbst beigesteuert werden muß. Dazu kommt, daß die Aufbereitung der diversen Daten vor dem ersten Arbeitstag und die sonstigen Ladezeiten nun nochmals länger dauern.

Wer jetzt immer noch motiviert ist, den wird es freuen zu erfahren, daß rein inhaltlich bei den Features keinerlei umsetzungsbedingte Ausfälle zu vermelden sind. So dürfen ein oder zwei Spieler ihnen Wunschverein aus den vier höchsten Spielklassen der Insel wählen. Mit allen finanziellen und sportlichen Mitteln gilt es dann, den Club in Liga sowie nationelen und internationalen Pokalwettbewerben von Sieg zu Sieg zu führen, um sich mit Erfolgen auch für interessantere Brötchengeber zu empfehlen.

All die Optionen vom Transfermark über unterschiedlich qualifizierte Mitarbeiter bis hin zu den vielen taktischen Möglichkeiten kratzen allerdings nicht im entferntesten an der Komplexität von Konkurrenten wie dem "Bundesliga Manager Hattrick". Und die ebenso dünne Anleitung ist genau wie sämtliche Screentexte und letztlich eben auch das Gameplay "very british".

Dieser konsequent durchgezogene Anglizismus ist denn aber auch die einzige Chance für den Hersteller, von diesem Spiel hierzulande wenigstens ein paar Exemplare absetzen zu können: Wer würde schon allen Ernstes ein Game mit de, schönen Namen "Trainingsanzug Manager" kaufen? Noch dazu, wenn er sich damit nur ein leeres Hemd einhandelt... (st)



Tracksuit Manager 2 logo

Big Ron wears a suit on matchday and look where Conventry City are.

This is probably the best football management game ever. This will delight football fans everywhere. Plays like a dream - fast and smooth, yet fully detailed. Football IS Tracksuit Manager 2. Tracksuit Manager 2 is currently on my desk and I'm copying lots of quotes (unattributed, mind) off its box. And aren't they all a mite familiar? Sigh.

It was six months ago that I first set eyes on the box, when a bloke from Alternative visited our office and showed off Tracksuit Manager 2. Although I was forced to watch from a distance, while gazing longingly at the sandwiches, crisps, and orange juice which had appeared from nowhere (someone's idea of entertaining in style), what I did manage to catch a glimpse of looked mightily impressive. I was also impressed when told all the team stats would be updated before release.

Since then, Alternative have stopped talking to us, we've moved office and the game which did look mightily impressive, still does. As for the team stats, six months is a long time in football (and magazines, natch) and unfortunately "The latest season stats" claim made on the box doesn't ring true.

To criticise Tracksuit Manager 2 just because the stats haven't been updated would, however annoying it is, be a tad unfair.

Yet what I couldn't quite fathom was that two of Notts Country's more recent transfer dealings have been implemented in the game (Paul Devlin's transfer to Birmingham City and Chris Wilder's move from Rotherham United to Notts), yet David Robinson, a centre-half Notts bought from Peterborough (even though he had a history of extremely dodgy knees) three seasons ago, and who has sicne retired, appears in the Notts squad along the likes of Peter Reid (manager of Sunderland) and Steve Slawson (moved to Mansfield Town last year).

And while none of this makes interesting reading, when it's clear someone has only bothered to half-bake a stats update, why would you be expected to bother playing the wretched thing? Eh? EH? Especially when it's something an edit facility would have remedied.

Having spoken to Alternative (um, actually via Amiga Format) I learnt that data disk will be made available later in the season. When it's over, perhaps? Yes, that'd be good. And how about charging a tenner for the privilege? Heck. Why didn't I think of that? No, hang on.


Copying lots of quotes

HARVEY HADDEN
Tracksuit Manager 2 is sponsored by Fizzy Chewits. Or, at least, the Fizzy Chewits logo appears regularly throughout the game. Granted that it is a largely irrelevant point but it did amuse me considerably. None moreso than when I clicked on the intriguing object on my TM2 desk and was treated to an advert for the sweets. Fantastic.

As for the game: in terms of a footy management sim, it isn't bad at all. I was slighly perturbed by the choice of five managerial characters which appeared, none of which provide any further indication to the qualities they can bring to the job - other than "conceited", for instance.

I sneakily opted for the "easy going" character wearing a tracksuit, in the belief that with it being Tracksuit Manager 2 I might be looked upon favourably. Small things, eh?

Once you've chosen your team and persona, you find yourself sitting behind a desk in a rather plush office. Should you forget your name, there is a name plaque on the desk, littered with other objects which, when clicked on, will transport you into a new area of the game. Apart from the mug of tea. Or coffee. Which is there merely for decorative purposes. Nice touch, Alternative.

Selecting eleven players for Notts Country was perhaps a little ambitious, considering the number of rejects, crocks and hopeless individuals I was permitted to choose from (Quite realistic then? Ed). What was more frustrating though, was the process by which you have to select your team. The screen which lists your first team squad, lists nothing else. You know, like the usual sort of stats.

For individual players' attributes you have to exit the first screen, view their merry figures, and then return to the original screen in order to select your eleven players. The tried and tested attributes are all in evidence - from an individual player's current seasonal stats to their ability to pass and fitness level. Which, incidentally, never seems to rise above seventy per cent. So much for the cliché about not risking Captain Marvel, or whomever, unless he's one hundred per cent fit.

Also, when selecting your substitutes, you have to choose two outfield players and one goalie. A clear case of someone not doing their homework properly. Or not doing it at all. Grr.


A SWOS plastic football

GEORGIO ARMANI
It was when I cam to strengthening my squad that I had most fun. With the option of purchasing players or taking them on loan, I thought "Hurrah! I'll entice Premiership players to the football Mecca of the Midlands (Meadow Lane) to play for Notts County ON LOAN!" Easy. Unfortunately, Collymore Sheringham and some other stuck-up ponce told me where to stick my loan deal. So, instead, I resorted to sending my scouts to watch them, in the hope that having a scout from a big club would make them nervous and they'd bottle it in one of their big Premiership ties. Heh-heh.

In the midst of the wealth of very impressive statistical and tactical data, the matches themselves are rather disappointing. Two blokes sit at a desk staring into a corner of the room. While the match continues behind them. (And if they are watching a monitor, Alternative, what was the point in paying for a Director's box for them to sit in, eh?)

Every second, bubbles come out their mouths and they say something Slightly more irritating is the fact that there is no indication as to the players positional whereabouts in relation to the opposition as displayed in Premier Manager 3, for example. There's just a small pitch which indicates the part of the field the ball is in. At least, I think it does.

At the end of the day, when push comes to shove, and when the fat lady bells out whatever is she sings, Tracksuit Manager 2 is nothing new. At least, nothing we haven't seen before. In fact I'd much prefer to kick a SWOS plastic football around the office, and it's only because that annoys Sue intensely that I sit down and dutifully play these footy manny games.

Yet none of this detracts from the fact that Tracksuit Manager 2 is okay and if you can pick it up, cheaply do so. As for Fizzy Chewits, I haven't seen them anywhere. Tch.



Tracksuit Manager 2 logo

Price: £25.99 Publisher: Alternative Software 0977 797777

The long awaited sequel to Tracksuit Manager is here. An own goal or a hat trick? Let's see...

OK ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to approach this in a logical way by taking you with me on a real-time experience. Pack your bags, we're off to review Tracksuit Manager 2.

The original Tracksuit Manager game appeared way back in 1989, boasting a revolutionary 'match experience' where authentic commentary was used to represent the action rather than traditional text readouts, and though systems such as this have been revolutionised in recent years by games such as the Premier Manager series and On The Ball, Alternative Software are back, confidently touting the same system with a few new juicy tweaks and twiddies. Anyway, back to our chronological journey... first on the agenda is picking up the box itself.

Don't quote me
As you may be aware, it's traditional that game boxes are covered with quotes and claims generally attributed to one of the various magazines that will have reviewed the game prior to its release (i.e. "Best thing we've ever seen!" CU Amiga Magazine).

However, considering this is the first time I've seen the game and it's already packaged, that little idea would seem to have flown out the window. But wait, what's this? The box is still covered in gushing comments. Let's have a little read shall we... "The most comprehensive club management simulation yet devised" states on. "This will delight football fans everywhere" and "Tracksuit Manager will put you into the heart of the action" are further acclaims, while the bold legend "Football IS Tracksuit Manager 2" even goes as far as to feature red text for the "IS". Of course this would all be very impressive if it wasn't for the fact that these comments don't appear to have an owner.

This leaves one wondering if the programmers themselves or perhaps Alternative Software's managing director's mum were paid to say whatever the producers thought might sell the game. According to the box, the game "Plays like a dream fast and smooth yet fully detailed" which is fine, but according to who exactly?

And finally (before I stop ranting and get on to actually loading the damn thing) let us enjoy probably the most entertaining of all the quotes, and that's "This is probably the best football management game ever!" Yes, well they would say that wouldn't they.

You see the thing is. I'm writing this in retrospect and happen to know that it isn't the best football management game ever. In fact, it's about as average as things get, without earning a complete slagging. Certainly it's more up to date than most footy management games around at the moment, but then again, that's because it's the most recent game available.

Yeah yeah yeah. So Asprilla, Juninho and Bergkamp are all in their correct teams, but let's be honest. I'd rather play a decent game that's out of date than the opposite.

It's all there
Still, let's not be negative alone, as the game does have redeeming features - it's just that things don't start too well. Apart from taking a fair while to load, you're then faced with a lengthy set-up period that, while reckoned at about eight minutes in the instructions, is actually more like twelve.

Once into the swing of things, all of the options you've come to know and love are there, so get stuck in on the transfer market, check the medical condition of your team as the season progresses, and see how far you can get in the various club challenges and cup tournaments.

The presentation throughout is OK if a bit bland, and though there are a fair few photographic backgrounds, it's nowhere near as attractive as, say, Premier Manager 3.

Setting the formations and playing styles is easy enough, and all of the tables, graphics and player statistics are easily accessed and a doddle to manipulate. The games themselves, however, are a bit pap.

Two static digitised commentators sit while speech bubbles come out of their mouths as the machine desperately tries to put together some sort of coherent coverage of the game. The only problem with this is that, after about fifteen minutes of a match you've already encountered all of the computer's vocabulary, so not only is the commentary repetitive, but it hardly gets the pulse racing.

Now I realise that I've had very little positive to say about Tracksuit Manager 2, but I'm also experienced enough to know that quite often, fans of this genre aren't so worried about aesthetics and presentation as they are the finer details. The game DOES have all of the features expected, and DOES do the job. All I can say in closing is that, apart from having a beautifully up to date team database, I've seen many other management games do a much better job.

With Premier Manager Deluxe and the Euro version of Sensi threatening, I'd be hard pushed to recommend this to you. Sorry.



Zäh wie (das) Leder

Tracksuit Manager 2 AGA logo AGA

Warum die meisten mäßigen Managersimulationen ausgerechnet aus dem Mutterland des Fußballs kommen, kann wohl auch Alternative Software nicht beantworten. Aber was kann man von einem Volk schon erwarten, das auch Cricket für Sport und Plumpudding für genißbar hält?

Nein, für durchschnittliche Festlandbewohner wie uns ist es wahrlich nicht immer ganz leicht, auf den typischen britischen Geschmack zu kommen - obwohl es da ja gerade am Amiga auch durchaus gelungene Ausnahmen von der Genreregel gibt; etwa den "Premier Manager". Hier haben die Köche von der Insel aber ein Fußballmenü aus ausgerechnet den schlechtesten Zutaten des erwähnten Konkurrenten zusammengestellt.

Daß auch noch Features anderer Spiele verwurstet wurden, vermag diesseits des Kanals wohl ebenfalls kaum jemand zu trösten, denn zu fade schmeckt das Ergebnis.

Das betrifft bereits die Vorspeise in Form einer unsäglichen Handhabung. Zunächst sollte man sich nämlich Sicherheitskopien der drei Disketten erstellen, da diese unter anderem auch mit dem einzigen speicherbaren Spielstand beschrieben werden und eine Installation auf Festplatte nicht vorgesehen ist.

Gerade letzteres erwweist sich wegen der teils nervigen Ladezeiten schnell als echte Geduldsprobe für den Diskjockey. Der darf dann gleich noch die dämliche Codeabfrage anhand seltsamer Hieroglyphen auf dem Etikett von Disk Numero zwo über sich ergehen lassen.

Nachdem die ein oder zwei Manager noch das gewünschte Porträt der fünf verfügbaren Alter Egos getauft und sich für ihren Lieblingsverein entschieden haben, verstreichen nochmals an die zehn Minuten, bis der Rechner mit den nötigen Berechnungen vor dem Start eines neues Spiel fertig ist.

Irgendwann findet sich der Hobby-Hoeneß dann aber doch in seinem Büro wieder, für dessen optisch höchst schlichte Gestaltung offenbar der Ikea-Katalog von 1979 Pate stand. Damit erhält man gleich einen prima Vorgeschmack auf die übrige Grafik, denn abgesehen von ganz ordentlichen Hintergrundbildchen gibt's hauptsächlich hübsch häßliche Statistiken und Menüs zu sehen, deren Farbwahl jeden Designer das Gruseln lehrt.

Und was die musikalische Untermalung betrifft, so muß der Soundprogrammierer wohl ebenso taub sein, wie es der gute alte Beethoven war, nur daß der wenigstens komponieren konnte - für die Möglichkeit , das grausige Gedudel abschalten zu können, muß man dem Hersteller ewig dankbar sein.

An der Auseinandersetzung mit dem umständlichen Handling kommt man aber leider nicht vorbei: Ein Mausklick auf die büroeigenen Einrichtungsgegenstande zaubert eine wahre Menülawine auf den Screen, durch die man sich aufgrund der spartanisch knappen englischen Anleitung mühsam wühlen darf. Bis man mal ohne Irrungen bei den gewünschten Features landet, dauert es also ein Weilchen, doch gibt es davon zumindest reichlich. Also ein erster Lichtblick für den präsentationsgeschädigten Zocker.

Neben dem normalen Spielbetrieb in der "Premier League" sowie erster, zweiter und dritter Division geht'bei nationalen und europäischen Pokalwettbewerben zur Sache. Zusätzlich lassen sich die Schützlinge in Freundschaftsmatches gegen renommierte Clubs aus dem In- und Ausland auf die Saison vorbereiten,.

Und natürlich darf auch auf dem Transfermarkt länderübergreifend nach Verstärkung für die Truppe gefahndet werden. Bis zu vier Scouts, die auch im Nachwuchsbereich nach hoffnungsvollen Kickertalenten spähen, stehen dem Manager dabei hilfreich zu Seite.

Zum Mitarbeiterstamm zählen darüber hinaus Trainer und Mannschaftsarzt, die sich wie die Talentsucher in Können und Charakter unterscheiden.

Wesentlich komplexer sieht's da bei den Attributen der Ledertreter selbst aus. So spielen neben Schußkraft, Schnelligkeit, Zweikampfstärke etc. hier vor allem die aktuelle Fitneß und Position eine weichtige Rolle bei der Aufstellung des Dreamteams - die sich quälend mühsam gestaltet, weil der Compi nicht im Traum an Unterstützung denkt:

Man klickt schier endlos zwischen Info-screens und dem fürs Herauspicken der Kandidaten zuständlichen Menü hin und hier, wobei ohne fotografisches Gedächtnis nur noch Notizen dabei helfen, die stärksten elf Ballkünster aufs Feld zu schicken.

Wer nach Vergabe der Kapitänsbinde noch nicht genug hat, weist jedem einzelnen Sonderaufgaben zu, um z.B. durch Aufrücken der Abwehr den Druck nach vorne zu verstärken.

Dagegen ist es fast schon ein Kinderspiel, den Jungs die taktische Marschroute zu verklicken. Da gilt es, sechs Systemen, Mann- oder Raumdeckung, mehr oder minder heftige Tacklings und erfolgreiches Konterspiel in die Praxis umzusetzen.

Apropos Praxis: Die Begegnungen sehen so aus, daß zwei Sportreporter mit dem Rücken zur Arena (sie werden wissen, warum...) das Geschehen per Sprechblasen kommentieren, während auf dem Mini-Rasen in der rechten oberen Bildschirmecke der Balken angezeigt wird, in welchem Bereich des Feldes gerade um den Ball gekämpft wird - ein Partie Halma könnte kaum spannender sein.

Lediglich die annehmbaren Sound-FX sorgen zumindest für einen Hauch von stadionatmosphäre. Sobald man tatsächlich einige Matches absolviert hat, ohne einzuschlafen, lohnt sich auf der eine oder andere Blick in die ungezählten Statistiken.

Neben den üblichen Tabellen halten sich die sichersten Schützen, rüdesten Rüpel, zahlreichsten Zuschauer und viele mehr parat. Doch selbst die Möglichkeits, bei entsprechenden Angeboten den Chefsessel zu wechseln, dürfte hier niemanden mehr von selbigem reißen.

Damit bietet sich als Fazit ein Vergleich mit der englischen Fleischproduktion an. Warum zu "wahnwitzigen" Inselrindern wie dem "Tracksuit Manager 2" greifen, wenn denm Fußballverliebten Feinschmecker hierzulande doch so saftige Schweinehaxen wie "Bundesliga Manager Hattrick" oder "Anstoß" serviert werden?

Zumal es die einheimische Kost ja auch schon häufig im Sonderangebot gibt. (st)