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I admit it: FM just made me cry. Twice.


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I've played FM a long, long time. The game has made me ecstatic, it has made me angry, and it has made me sad. And tonight, for the first time, I'm not too proud to admit that it made me cry. And it did that twice, in one match. So I thought I'd share the story with you.

To set the scene requires a little bit of explanation, so bear with me.

The database I'm playing is one of my own creation, made up of entirely fictitious teams based on English villages. It's still in the testing stage, although I may release it sometime soon. The basic league structure is six divisions of 16 teams each, with three up and three down from each division. Nothing fancy or complicated in terms of regionalisation or playoffs or that- a straight six divisions.

Anyway, I'm playtesting with a team in the Sixth Division, named Turville Rangers. Predicted mid-table, we've had a good run and are challenging for the title. The way I've set up the team rep in the division and the 30-game season means the league tables are all generally quite close. With two games to go, we had our promotion confirmed. So now, going into the final game, the top of the table looked like this:

===========================================
                         PTS   F   A   GD
===========================================
TURVILLE RANGERS          56   59   35  +24
THRIMBY ALBION            53   50   29  +21
HORSEHEATH ALBION         52   48   32  +16
-------------------------------------------
MOUNT HAWKE               50   47   31  +16
===========================================

Only second-placed Thrimby Albion can catch us, and their final game of the season is against fourth-placed Mount Hawke, who can still get promoted with a win. Our final game is against Atrim, who I happen know to start the game as the worst team in the entire league, but who are sitting 10th out of 16 with nothing to play for. Everything is looking like we're going to win the title- a point will make it certain, in a game we should win.

We set up the same way we've been successful this season, with a wide diamond midfield shape:

    TM(S)     AF(A)
         AP(S)
W (S)               W (S)
         BWM(D)
LFB(D) LD(D) LD(D) LFB(D)
          GK(D)

Subs: DC/DMC, DRC, M/AMC, MR, M/AMLC, AMLC/SC, SC

Our captain is suspended after two bookings in the previous game, but otherwise, there are no injuries or suspensions to report. He's not a great loss, we've got others capable of stepping up.

And now, that final matchday in text:

7 mins: Atrim score, against the run of play. Not panicking yet- the other game is still 0-0, and we've still got a GD cushion.

13 mins: Mount Hawke score in the other game, so now, both we and Thrimby are losing. That keeps the status quo and makes us champions.

21 mins: Our GK gets injured and needs to be replaced.

I admit it, I cried. I haven't kept a sub goalkeeper on the bench all season. It hasn't been an issue all season- the guy we've got has been ever present, and I've been fending off calls that the guy we loaned in as a backup hasn't been playing. Now, in the game that will decide the title, we have to play 70-odd minutes with no goalkeeper. A game which we're already losing 1-0. What would you do? How on Earth do you approach that problem?

On the bench, that DC/DMC has a GK rating of 4, so he comes on as the replacement GK, as does the other defender on the bench, replacing one of our front men. We're down to a desperate 4-5-1, our AF switched to a F9, the whole team just trying to prevent any more goals going in- at least that way, it puts the work on Thrimby, to try and not only win, but to overcome the goal difference advantage we have. Our tactic is basically now lump the ball as far away from our own goal as possible.

26 mins: Atrim score with their first shot against our stand-in keeper. We're now 2-0 down, but Thrimby are also still losing.

45 mins: At half-time, the scores are still the same. If they hold out for the next 45 minutes, we'll be champions on points. It's also not yet enough for Mount Hawke to get into a promotion spot, as the other team in the mix, Horseheath, are also winning- Mount Hawke need to make Thrimby's GD worse than their own, winning that match by 3 clear goals. Hopefully, they must be continuing to attack against Thrimby, for their own good.

65 mins: Atrim score again. We're now 3-0 down, and defending desperately. If Atrim were a half-decent team, this would be a rout- we're only not conceding more as they keep missing the target.

75 mins: Thrimby equalise against Mount Hawke. I won't repeat the four letter words that came out of my mouth, but there were a lot of them. With our own GD now at +21, if they score again and take the lead, they're champions on Goal Difference.

87 mins: Atrim hit the post, because they're terrible. Terrible but beating us 3-0 and still keeping the pressure up.

90+ mins: The final whistle goes in our game, and I'm whisked to the post-match screen. As far as I know, the other game ended a draw- but if there was an injury time goal, the title was gone. My Assistant Manager is keeping stony-faced, telling me to chastise the players for losing 3-0, without looking at the bigger picture. I can't bring myself to do it. I don't really care what I say. I just want to look at the next screen- the final league table.

And the table reveals that they didn't score in injury time. We're champions, and I'm crying all over again, like a goddamned baby.

Damn this game to hell. Damn this goddamn, glorious, wonderful game to hell.

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The big question is will you now select a sub keeper if you have another must not lose end of season game?

You know, I think I'd have to. It had just been such a non-issue all season, I hadn't considered that it could happen. When it did, and so early in the game, I could not believe it.

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I never go into a match without a sub keeper. You don't need them often, you might go season after season without needing them, but when you do, you don't want to be caught without it.

I did tear up once - I had a young striker win the Golden Boot for my Weston-super-Mare side in Skrill South. Before the start of the next season in the Conference Premier, he broke his leg in a friendly, out for around 9 months and was never the same player.

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This is so emotional.

Though. Seriously. Not fully believable.. is like you didn't have a Load button? If your GK gets injured and you lose a last game like this, you could reload and it's very unlikely that the GK gets injured again.

If they have scored an injury time goal and you lost a title, in all seriousness, would you have continued without reloading?

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Sorry, but if a computer game is making you involuntarily cry then you really should seek professional help.

That's a bit harsh. It's not unreasonable to be able to immerse yourself in a fictional world to the extent that you feel real emotions from the events that transpire there (you've never cried, felt angry, afraid, or any other emotion from watching a movie or reading a book?). Now if the OP has trouble putting those emotions away when turning off the computer and getting back to the real world, that's potentially concerning. The same as anyone who does the same with any other fictional world.

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This is so emotional.

Though. Seriously. Not fully believable.. is like you didn't have a Load button? If your GK gets injured and you lose a last game like this, you could reload and it's very unlikely that the GK gets injured again.

If they have scored an injury time goal and you lost a title, in all seriousness, would you have continued without reloading?

I probably wouldn't have. You'll get as many opinions on this as you ask players, but that's mine. If I lose a match due to interface errors or real glitches (e.g. Keeper makes the save then walks into goal) I'll reload, but if I get beat due to tactical mistakes on my part, or unlikely but perfectly feasible random events, it's a loss. Even when it really, really, hurts. Full disclosure: I'd probably have to walk away from the PC and breathe before I came to the conclusion not to reload - impulse in the moment would be "yeah, run it again."

Also, Victor Valdes seriously injured himself performing what was to the naked eye, a routine save. Freak things happen in real life.

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This is so emotional.

Though. Seriously. Not fully believable.. is like you didn't have a Load button? If your GK gets injured and you lose a last game like this, you could reload and it's very unlikely that the GK gets injured again.

If they have scored an injury time goal and you lost a title, in all seriousness, would you have continued without reloading?

Yes, without question. Reloading didn't cross my mind- I've only ever reloaded when the game has crashed, never due to results. I'm not saying that to try and claim any kind of superiority- how people play their own games is up to them, and mine's not a place to judge. For me personally, I don't think I'd be able to carry on a save with the same level of involvement, with that knowledge in the back of my head that I had reloaded to change a result. The save just wouldn't mean as much to me, and I'd probably not last much longer playing it- I like to get lost in the game (clearly), and doing that would stop me from doing so. And yeah, I've lost plenty of cup finals and playoffs, and I've been relegated and sacked. That's all part of football. To be honest, had we lost, I'd probably save after the match and then turn it off and do something else. That's much more my style of dealing with frustrating things in game- as some of the other posters here can attest (hi, Tim!), I do quite a bit on the editing and graphics side of things, so I'd probably have turned my attention to that.

What happened in that match was a footballing incident, it was my mistake not to put a GK out there. This time, it worked out, and produced a situation, a moment that I thought would be nice to share. If a few people have enjoyed reading it, great.

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Mate I feel your pain. I've never ever gone without a keeper on the bench for this very reason. Even in the days of having on 5 on the bench.

I remember I took England to the finals of the European Championship. We faced Italy. At full time it was 0-0. A minute into extra time, one of my players went off injured. I had already used up all my subs. My players were exhausted (conditions in the 50s and 60s). Italy then went and scored 4 goals on me in extra time. I think that was the worst I've ever felt playing this game. Even made a thread about it :D

On the other end of the spectrum the happiest....I have 2 moments. First was when I beat Liverpool in the Community Shield 4-3. The winning goal was scored by a 17 yr old wonder kid I had just brought on. He just showed up at the back post and volleyed it into the top corner. Was his first touch too :D

The other one was taking a league 2 striker to the world cup and watching him score 3 goals (including in the semi final against, oddly enough, Italy).

We play this game for these moments and at the end of the day, without the bad we can't truly appreciate the good.

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Ouch, ALWAYS put a GK on the bench for important games, lesson learnt here.

I feel your pain, during my Ipswich save I finally got them as a title contender in the prem, and I lost the title 2 seasons running at the last game of the season, one 7mins from time and one with the LAST kick!

However in my current save with Ipswich I took them over as lowly champ side in 2026, I took over at the end of Jan and they were 21st, after just being promoted from League 1, I did a few loan deals, quick couple of transfers before the window shut and managed to go on a truly unreliable run and just got them into the play off's, we won 3-1 at home in the first leg but then got battered inexplicably 4-0 away!

A huge rebuild on a tight budget over the summer and I put a v good team of free's together, who went on to win the league and not only that but get to the FA cup final after beating man utd away, I literally was jumping up and down when we scraped past UTD at old trafford! We have a shot at winning it now as we have 17th place prem side WBA in the final.

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I never put a GK on the bench. Should I ever lose an important match because of this then I'll just consider this bad luck, like a wrongly given penalty or a sending off, and move on. If GK's could get sent off then I'd maybe reconsider but as it is it's just not worth it even with the tiny chance of the OP's scenario happening.

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I always have a GK on the bench. I got burned by this once in the past.

Also in leagues with 7 sub players I find thats more than enough players, it just seems like a pointless risk (especially since you can only use 3 of them anyway)

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I cried when my save on a previos FM became corrupted :(

Me too my friend. Had been in charge of Austria Vienna for 9 seasons and had won 8 straight titles, 5 cups and the Europa League. Was in the champs league semis, had drawn 0-0 away to Man U was wa on form so could make it to a champs league final My file corrupted. The last save was 3 months previous...

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  • 3 months later...
I've just lost my 3rd FA Cup final in a row with AFC Telford. The game isn't seeming quite to wonderful so me at this very moment!

Ouch, I feel your pain, on FM10 I lost 4 CL finals in a row, that was tough to take, we are now 50/50 in terms of winners/runners-up.

Sorry, but if a computer game is making you involuntarily cry then you really should seek professional help.

Who voluntarily cries?

Seriously this is the second post like this in a thread suggesting that, there is nothing wrong with a bit of emotion over a "video game", especially a football game.

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