The best Football Management simulation is back for another season!
One of the many fan-inspired features to make it into Football Manager 2006 will be that, for the first time, managers will be able to negotiate with their board of directors - not only for a better contract for themselves, but also for improved player wage budgets and increased transfer budgets or even stadium expansion. Be aware though, if you push too hard and don't reach the heights that the board specify, you'll soon be looking for a new job.
Half-time team talks add the ability to tell your players individually or collectively exactly what you thought of their first half performance, via the tactics screen. Will you be able to keep your players motivated, or will you cause a collapse in the second half?
Another welcome feature is the ability to manage players on a personal level. Unhappy players can cause huge morale problems for the whole squad and result in bad performances, so the new Player Interaction feature will help you to manage your team more closely.
A completely revamped training module simplifies training schedules and players' training progress, with your coaches becoming far more important members of backroom staff. New media items and expansion of the media module have been implemented, including but not limited to, cup draw news and man of the match news.
Want to know how many yellow cards the ref looking after your Saturday match has given in the last few matches? Now you can, with referee profiles and league tables, which add an extra element to tactics of the game. Maybe hard tackling is not a good idea for this Saturday's match!
Also adding an extra tactical element to Football Manager 2006, the player positions feature has been taken one step further. A player position indicator will not only show you the best positions for your player and where to play on the pitch, it will also show player preferred moves for those players in your team. As well as this, the Player Positions display format has been upgraded, making it easier for the manger to pick the team.
Team-talks: Use new half-time team talks to motivate individual players. You must decide whether to issue a rollicking or use the softly-softly approach to coax your side into putting in a better performance. At full-time you can address your players too, choosing your words carefully to avoid a backlash from huffy stars.
In-game tutorial: An essential guide for the Football Manager newcomer, running to 30,000 easily navigable words and linking to all the screens you'll need to ensure you can enjoy every aspect of the world's best management game.
New injury module: Injuries have been overhauled so your physios report to you, rather than you having to request information from them. You'll now get in-depth injury analysis and options for treating your stars.
Go one-on-one... Unhappy player interactions: Interact with unhappy players to meet problems head on and try to reverse the low morale of key members of your squad. Dropped a player for a big game? Now you've got the man himself to answer to.
Manager contracts: In response to demand from FM fans contracts have been included so you can negotiate your terms of employment with the board and even haggle over transfer funds, giving you more power as a boss.
Take a snapshot: The new snapshot page gives you an indispensable overview of the key stats and info that really matter to you as a manager. Here you can glance at you budget, fixtures and tons of other stats without visiting multiple screens.
Touchline commands: Shout instructions from the dugout with a new 'quick tactics' option, so you needn't wait for a break in play to direct your players.
Go graphical: Baffled by stats? In Football Manager 2006 you can opt to view player info in easy-to-read bar charts instead of numerically. Your finances are far easier to manage with a new graphical option too.
Height and weight: For the first time ever height and weight are included in player stats to make for even more realistic contests on the field of play - now you can really press home your side's physical advantage.
New tactics panel: Edit your team's individual tactics on a straightforward, single screen. Now you'll really feel as if you've got the players in a huddle while you dish out your instructions.
Oi, ref!... Referee profiles: Now the boys in black have profiles so you can see exactly how harsh they'll be. A league table of refs' performance will help you prepare your side to avoid strife with the man in the middle.
Expand the FM universe: Get some bodies in your squad or snap up promising youngsters by offering contracts to your 'greyed out' players. If they accept, they'll be added to the game's bursting database.
Instant replay: Key highlights are now replayed immediately so you can pick apart every crucial moment of a game. Where did it all go wrong? What did you boys get right? You'll have a better idea in FM2006 than ever before.
Formation panel: See your team's and your opponent's line-up updated live on the match screen - there's no need to halt the excitement by pausing play.
More, helpful new screens: New Player Form a nd Player Stats screens cut through the pages of stats to give managers an at-a-glance guide to their players' performances.
Ticker tape: Configure a news ticker to feed you information and breaking stories from around the footballing globe.
Quick flicks: Jump to key screens more easily with new 'quick flick' buttons.
Fair play: Extra places in European competition are on offer for teams with the best disciplinary records - just like real football.
RAISING THE BAR... THE IMPROVEMENTS
FM 2006 developers Sports Interactive have revisited existing features to add more depth, more accessibility and more fun. Here's how...
Your options on the chalkboard are more wide-ranging than ever. Now you can fine-tune more tactics in more depth, ask players to interchange positions, give more precise target man instructions and even indulge in a bit of time-wasting.
Football Manager's legendary database of players, managers and staff increases again from the 250,000+ in FM2005 to over 270,000 in Football Manager 2006 - a move that breathes more life into an already teeming football universe.
Select from well over 5,000 teams in 50 countries to ensure you never face the same managerial challenge twice.
Now coaching your players is far easier and quicker with a brand new training module that ensures you get the most from your staff and you can easily monitor the effects of your routines.
An advanced positions feature now complements the basic version so you can judge exactly how well players will perform in unfamiliar roles and uncover their preferred moves, enabling you to build tactics to suit your stars.
Now you get reports on the man of the match in your reserve and youth team games, not just your top side's matches. If someone deserves his chance in the first team, you'll know about it.
Ex-Liverpool and Republic Of Ireland legend Ray Houghton has once again provided his expert insight as part of SI's wholesale improvement of every aspect of the match engine. Now matches are more realistic than ever.
Reflecting the increasing importance of media in the modern game, FM 2006 uses a new 'player bio' system to generate thousands of news stories to flesh out the personalities in the game. There'll also be far more media hype and feedback from experts and fans through the Press in stories that go into more detail than ever before.
Football Manager 2006 is so easy to navigate as SI have focused on reducing the number of mouse clicks needed to access the information you want. The changes will help newcomers and veterans alike.
New match graphics...
The look of the match engine has been improved to feature dugouts, technical areas and a handy icon that appears when your player has picked up a minor knock so you'll no longer play on with a player in pain... unless you have to.
With a raft of new licences, there are more official kits in Football Manager 2006 than ever before. Plus, kits have been visually enhanced in the game, thanks to community support.
The number of match comments has been upped again to improve realism and ensure games are more exciting than ever.
Better online play...
Packet size has been optimised on screens with a large bandwidth requirement to make for quicker, more enjoyable network play.
A new look Compare Players screen makes weighing up two potential signings easier than ever.
Creating games and loading times have been slashed without any loss of gameplay depth.
Save game files have been compressed so they take up less room on your hard drive.
Customise your game...
Change the look of FM2006 screens by selecting new 'skins' created by Kev Radestock ('Chameleon') and Gavin Thomson ('Cappucino') from Football Manager's bustling community of fans.