First of all, let me provide a bit of backstory to this saga; my name is Dom Loe and I’m a football fanatic, as such I’ve been playing the Football Manager titles since 2011. For those not aware, in the games there is a very small chance (roughly 1 in 10,000) that you can have a son in your youth intake. He will share your surname and have you as a father in his favoured personnel. Since I started playing I had dreamt of having a world class son in my save. Years in real life and in game would pass with no luck, but I didn’t give up. Fast forward to the present. Football Manager 2016, and in my third season as the manager at Manchester United and Paul Loe, the 16 year old Full Back has joined my team. Only slight problem was that he was the worst player I’ve ever seen on football manager.
I instantly was distraught; “5 years of effort, waiting and hope and I get this?” But I thought wait, I’m the manager, he will be playing every week and every game. He’s at Manchester United, one of the best clubs for developing youth players in recent years and he’ll have the best training regime of any player in the world.
To make things even better, I decided to create a personality for this player. Paul Loe is arrogant despite his lack of talent, greedy despite his lack of money and careless about public relations because no matter what he did, he would always be in the team. He is my son after all. So I signed him a contract with the club…
But I didn’t just stop there, Paul was appearing on social media after the signing was announced. Everybody just loved the fact that a terrible player was getting all the attention at a top club. The player wouldn’t even get into a league 1 squad but he was in the first team at the biggest club in the world. Not the captain yet though, he was only 16 at the time.
This created two interesting scenarios within the game that I could test:
1) If a terrible player plays every week at top level football, how much could he improve by?
2) Could a story about a fake player create new interest around the game? Many people are at the point with Football Manager 2016 where they are waiting for the new version in November and are getting bored. Would this keep the community going?
So I continued my season at Manchester United with Paul, and we did really well. I’d already won the Capital One Cup, but we went on to win the league, FA Cup and Champions League as well. It meant that after just 14 games at the club, Paul had won three trophies. In his first season at the club, Paul was also awarded Player’s Player of the Year for the league for his fantastic contribution of no goals or assists in his run in the first team.
Whilst over the summer, Paul had a quality time with his mates. He wasn’t worried about the transfer window as he was going nowhere, not with the manager being his dad.
The question is, how will his first full season at the club go? Will he actually improve as a player? And how far can Paul Loe go?