Football Manager 22 officially hit shelves today. For the uninitiated, Football Manager is a simulation game that has developed a cult-like following over the years.
There is simply no sports game ever created that goes more in depth than Football Manager. Tales of real-life scouting directors and managers using the game’s database to inform actual decisions are far and wide. In 2008, Everton FC inked a deal with the game developer, Sports Interactive, to obtain access the vast array of scouting data generated by Sports Interactive’s massive team of researchers.
While I will dabble in the more popular FIFA video game series, Football Manager remains my true love. The game even sparked my following of Coventry City. Having adopted the club following relegation to EFL League Two, I have been able to enjoy the Sky Blues’ meteoric rise to the verge of promotion back to the Premier League. I was even set to make a pilgrimage to the West Midlands before the pandemic wrecked my overseas travel plans in 2020.
Just like last year, I will be devoting countless hours to both a Coventry City and Nashville SC save. As I did in September with the FIFA 22 release, I’m breaking down the five things Football Manager got wrong with Nashville SC.
1. Alex Muyl’s workrate
Ratings in Football Manager work on a zero-to-twenty-point scale. A zero rating is how you would rate my Stamina after a few weeks of neglecting to ride the Peloton. A twenty rating goes to iron-lunged workhorses like N’Golo Kanté and ESPN NFL announcer / Peloton Legend Booger McFarland.
That brings me to Nashville’s own iron-lunged workhorse. Since coming to Nashville via trade from the New York Red Bulls, Muyl has been a constant source of energy. That work rate is a trait that managers love and tends to be overlooked by supporters.
Muyl’s work rate and stamina are not just the best on Nashville’s squad, by some measures they are tops for the entirety of MLS.
Muyl received good marks with a seventeen Work Rate and sixteen Stamina rating. But both ratings should be higher for someone who is a league leader in such a physical category, especially when compared to the average distances covered by Premier League players. This data is from the 2016/17 campaign.
2. Walker Zimmerman’s jumping reach
Serious question, have we ever seen anyone ever out jump Walker Zimmerman? I will sit here and wait for video evidence (that does not exist) to prove otherwise.
In Football Manager, Jumping Reach represents a combination of a player’s vertical leap and natural height. A seventeen rating is a very good rating. But until I see someone out jump Zimmerman, I refuse to accept anything less than the full twenty points.
Until then, I will just leave you with a couple glorious moments of Zimmerman absolutely posterizing defenders like he is 90’s era Michael Jordan.
3. Elliot Panicco’s passing skill rivaling Cristiano Ronaldo
Elliot Panicco’s seventeen Passing rating must be a typo, right? According to Football Manager, Nashville has the next Ederson out on loan.
The popular site FMScout provides some context for the Passing rating.
“Passing”: How accurately a player can pass the ball to his/her intended target.
Explanation: This is one of the most common attributes which is targeted to be adjusted in future editions – but that is because it is mis-interpreted. Passing attribute is based on accuracy not pace, lethality, distance or reading the play to make a pass. Other attributes indicate the type of pass there is and the ability of the player to make unique passes – the passing attribute indicates the ability to get the ball from A to B.
With that cleared up, I am sure Panicco can manage to accurately get the ball from point A to point B. Obviously we have not seen his passing ability in a Nashville jersey, and I am admittedly not a frequent watcher of Austin Bold games on ESPN+. I put my saint of a wife through enough soccer viewing as is.
But when Panicco has a higher Passing rating than Cristiano Ronaldo, it might be time for an adjustment.
4. Randall Leal’s long shooting
Randal Leal is an absolute assassin from outside the box. A thirteen rating does no justice to Leal’s ability to hit an absolute banger from deep.
At this point, I am convinced that our offensive gameplan should be to just let Leal sit at the top of the box and just fire away. Get him launching rockets early and the keeper’s hands will stinging worse than a jellyfish encounter.
Of course, if you are a FC Cincinnati keeper, you would take the correct approach of just letting the ball whiz by you into the net.
5. Aké Loba’s First Touch
All due respect to the rest of Nashville’s team outside of Hany Mukhtar, but no one has as silky smooth of a first touch as Aké Loba. In his short time in the Blue and Gold, Loba has already delivered some memorable highlights that display his First Touch ability.
Need I say more?
To all the current Football Manager players, good luck on your new saves. And to those who have yet to give the most addictive game on the planet a try, stay away. I can only assume that meth is an easier habit to break.