Today’s blog, like yesterday’s, is one full of things that don’t really fit anywhere else.
Let’s start with friendlies, for which there are significant additions with Football Manager 2012.
One thing that’s become more prevalent in football over the last season is clubs scrapping their reserve team squads due to the standard in reserve leagues not being good enough, and preferring to send players out on loan to get lower league first team football instead, and playing behind closed door friendlies instead to help get those players returning from injury fit, and giving some of the youngsters and squad players a chance to prove their worth.
Youth teams also now arrange pre-season friendlies too. And not just against other youth teams – you could find a big club youth team being quite happy to play a friendly against a lower league side’s first team.
In FM12, should the country you are playing in have reserve teams, and should you decide not to enter them into the reserve competitions, and should you have your assistant manager set in the team preferences to arrange friendlies, throughout the season you’ll find reserve team friendlies being added to the calendar.
Something else that’s become noticeable over the last few years has been pre-season tours where high profile clubs will go to far flung countries to have friendlies against international sides, or “best of the league” sides. And you can now arrange these in Football Manager 2012 too (should those nations have “best of the league” sides, of course).
We’ve also made it easier to arrange friendlies, with a better user interface to help arrange them, should you want to do this yourself.
Right – that’s enough about friendlies. How about a new option to help you configure your game to have the players in it you want to? There are lots of little configurable options when you first start a game of Football Manager 2012 to help get the database to a size that you’re happy with, such as being able to load up all players from a particularly nation, but this year we’ve added the option to load all players from a particular league too.
There aren’t too many changes to the network game this year, but you are now notified when you get chat messages from other managers and you aren’t in the chat room. And we’ve made it more obvious on how to start a network game, by adding a “start new network game” option on the main menu screen.
There are big changes with match analysis though.
Match analysis is something that has been in the game for a few versions now, and gives you lots of information about how you and your opposition have done in a particular match using stats to show you where passes and shots have happened from and the like. But comparing matches has always been a complicated process of going backwards and forwards between the different matches. This year, you can now analyse two matches side by side by picking the matches you want to compare, putting them into the match analysis comparison screen, and it’ll show you the difference between how your team performed in the two matches.
Whilst we’re talking about analysing matches, we’ve also added in some new post match stats. So after a match is finished, you can now see stats for shots, shots on target, shots off target, blocked shots, hit the woodwork, clear cut chances, half chances, other chances, long shots, possession, corners, free kicks, throw ins, fouls, offsides, passes completed, passes completed – defence, passes completed – midfield, passes completed – attack, crosses completed, tackles won, headers won, yellow cards, red cards, distance run and average rating.
And whilst we’re talking about stats, there's also a new subscription-based competition news item which tells you who the top performers are in various stats on a regular basis. And some new goalkeeper stats, which you can see for yourself when the demo of FM12 are released.
And finally for today, have you ever wanted to compare your star striker in 2040 with your star striker in 2015, only to find the player has long retired and you can’t see his stats anymore? Well, you can now set any player in the game to have their history “retained” by the game, meaning that their player history won’t ever vanish. All you need to do is click on a little tick box, and he is immortalised in the game forever – the game also chooses some key players to keep stored too.