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Football Manager 2020 review – PC Gamer

Need to know

What Is It? The latest in the long-running management sim series.
Expect To Pay $50/£40
Developer Sports Interactive
Publisher Sports Interactive
Reviewed on RX580, AMD Ryzen 5 2600X, 16GB RAM
Multiplayer? Yes
Link Official Site

This year’s Football Manager has forced me to rethink how I approach running a successful football club. In the past, I’ve focused my efforts on identifying the perfect tactic, riding the wave of success, and then adopting that exact same approach at every team thereafter. For the first time in the series’ history, I feel like I can’t do that with Football Manager 2020. Instead, I’m being required to think more strategically about how to achieve lasting managerial glory.

The result of this is a new feature called Club Vision, which vastly expands your interaction with the board from season-to-season. From the minute you join a new team, you’re hurled into a meeting to discuss the specific objectives you need to focus on, from achieving a certain league position, to playing a particular style of football. It can get very specific, too, such as only signing players under 23, and then being required to sell them for profit later on. 

These ‘Club Culture’ objectives are tailored to the team you’re managing, and align pretty closely with real-world expectations. It’s entirely plausible that I could be fired by Premier League side Wolves for failing to sign enough high-profile or Portuguese players, for example, even when delivering reasonable results on the pitch. I’m now being forced to consider how I approach the job on a case-by-case basis, as well as analyse whether certain teams actually mesh with my style.

(Image credit: Sega)

It’s a highly effective system for replicating the turbulent career of a manager, where even successful bosses can find themselves heading to the job centre after making a wrong move. You can, however, attempt to avoid any potentially untenable situations by negotiating your five-year plan—a year-by-year layout of how the board expects you to perform—which can be adjusted every season, helping to generate a very clear view of your long-term expectations.

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