Right, this is going to be my last thread that is merely pointing out what is wrong and how i'd fix it. Mainly because i've stopped playing the game (22 shots on target to my team, 2 shots on target to the opposition, both from outside the area...final score...2-0 and you don't have to ask who to, until the one-on-one comedy is fixed i'm leaving this game alone).

Anyway...where was i...ah, board confidence.

Now let me start off by sayiing, when i started the demo of FM08 and saw it for the first time, i thought it was one of the bext features i'd ever seen. I'm all for it, however, it needs to be fixed, so that it has some reflection on real life.

Ok then, what's wrong with it...here goes:

1) Long term performance and loyalty. The only game i've taken past 5 seasons on FM08 got stopped last month. The reason for this is that after winning 5 consecutive leagues and 3 consecutive champions leagues i failed to win the league for 2 successive seasons, the board considered this a complete lack of respect to their long term goals and sacked me. Now, i know SI will no doubt trawl up an example of when this has happened IRL, nut i merely state the examples of ferguson and wenger - if a manager wins trophies consistently, they aren't just sacked for finishing runner up twice rather than winning.

On FM07, if i didn't win for 3-4 seasons, then i would be worried, on FM08 if i fail to win the league once i'm waiting for my P45. FM07 had the PERFECT balance of expectation and loyalty, FM08 has ruined this.

2) Cups. Cup competitions, by their very nature, require a degree of luck. If i get arsenal away in the first round, the odds of me reaching the final would plummet. In FM08, the board don't give a toss.
The expectation of reaching a final is laughable - again look at ANY club in the top teir of europe and see how many fans despair after their team doesn't reach a final, if they were knocked out away to a better opponent, or even if they were just unlucky. The fact that not long ago arsenal reached their FIRST EVER champions league semi final pretty much proves my point.

So what should SI do? Firstly, make goals flexible. If i get man utd away in the first round my goal should reflect this. If i have 30 shots on target, the opponent has one, and i lose, the board confidence for that competition should reflect this.

Cups require luck. Confidence should be a reflection of this.

3) Youth Players. My main gripe with the confidence mechanism. IRL i couldn't name EVERY youth player my team sign. And yet, in FM, the fans not only know all, but expect them all to perform at a first team level. What a joke.

Take chelseas new man, franco di santo (or something like that) if he hasn't made anything of himself in 5 years, maybe then i'll give a toss, but if in the next 12 months, he makes a few sub appearances, does ok, i'm not going to be asking for grants resignation!

I have gotten to the point where i dare not give a new youth player first team experience for the first 9months as the fans will hate me unless he scores regularly!

Many players like to sign youth, all the board confidence feature has done has made signing youth similar to walking through a mine field. It could work out ok, but it's more likely to go horribly wrong.

So, how to fix this? Firstly, when fans consider a new signing, they should factor in A) - how many games he's played and B) - squad status. If the player is a "Hot prospect" then they should not judge him on his current form. I thought this was pretty damn obvious, but SI clearly didn't think of it.

4) Charity Shield. Had an amusing network game with one of my mates. After winning the treble with chelsea, the board decided to say they were pleased, but that the fans were very dissappointed with losing the charity shield and that it shouldn't happen again.

I had to think for a good few minutes before i could remember if chelsea had won or lost the CS IRL this season. Do SI seriously think that ANYBODY would care about the charity shield if the team won EVERYTHING ELSE????

A fairly simple one to solve this, drastically decrease the weighting given to the charity shield.

5) League Cup. I want an option to be able to use the league cup to exercise my youth players. The board telling me i must make the final is laughable. Again, i give the example of man utd and arsenal, particularly the latter, as neither are going to win the league cup this season, but nobody except the youth players gives a damn. The fans may be upset at losing 5-1 to spurs, but the fact that they won't win the league cup is irrelevant.

A fairly obvious point this, but again one which SI either didn't consider or deemed too much work.

6) Finances. A couple of problems here. Firstly, previous debts aren't considered. Start a game as man utd, if you spend up to your budget, and buy players, you can often end up in debt due to interest repayments. The board should consider previous loans before having a moan about the clubs financial state. (if the glazers are going to stick all their debt on me why are they surprised lol)

Secondly, this is mostly related to lower league clubs, with my vauxhall motors gam, i have NEVER bought a player, i have NEVER gone anywhere near over my wage budget, yet i am £500k in debt and soon to get the sack.

If a player keeps within his bidgets he should not be penalised because of the bank balance. It is not the users fault that the idiotic chairman AI can't figure out that a particular wage budget is going to bankrupt him. At this rate i'm going to have to get my accountant to check my fm save to see if i can afford to sign a bloody striker!

7) New Signings. They just aren't given enough time. Take the example of thierry henry. If memory serves he was not an immeddiate hit at arsenal. Ditto Didier drogba, wright-phillips, fabregas etc etc etc. Basically in FM, the player needs to be a wonder, in his first 5 games or you're in trouble.

I know people would say that fans IRL make similar judgements about players (jimbo pointed one such instance out to me) but MANY player are given time to get used to a new country (sheva was given bloody ages and still turned out useless!) in FM it just doesn't happen. Either they're an instant success, or the board moan at you about them - it's just not right.

Similarly, i've had a youth player that was slagged off become a genius 3 seasons later, and this isn't considered anything by the board. IRL if someone signed a premier league top scorer for £50k the fans would be more than a little impressed.

8) Selling Players. I thought i hadn't noticed this so i experimented. I sold lampard for £2m. And nobody noticed. It used to be the case that fans would moan (and rightly so, sometimes...) about sales, similarly they would applaud some sales, in FM08 they just don't give a damn. IRL fans care A LOT MORE about selling some big name players than signing a poor youth player.

It's just not right SI, please sort it.

9) And this is a bit silly.

Right that pretty much sums it up. There are various other issues i may have forgotten (and some that have been fixed - e.g. getting sacked for overachieving) but i think most of it is in there.

Now i don't for one minute expect this to be fixed for 8.0.2 (all i want is the one-on-one farce to be fixed for that please), this thread is aimed at a more long term point of view, i woud expect this to be remedied for FM09.

This feature has tons of potential, it just isn't finished, which would pretty much sum up my review of the entire FM08 package. Whoever decided this game was a fair reflection of SI's ability and desire, and that it was acceptable to ship in such a state should be hanging their head in shame.

Anyway, i'm done moaning. As ever useful comments (or merely thumbs up - they make me feel warm and fuzzy inside) would be appreciated.