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Online Football Manager is Addicting

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This is not a shameless plug for one of the sponsors. I started playing this game well before I started writing for Soccerlens.com. Online Football Manager (OFM) is one of the greatest interactive online football games on the web today. It’s simple, easy to learn, and best of all its free!

For anyone looking to learn more about players and tactical elements of the world’s game, continue to read up on Soccerlens and then click on over to www.onlinefootballmanager.co.uk, for a great way to interact with other wanna-be Jose Mourinho’s.

Ever dreamed of managing your home club or maybe one of Europe’s Giants? Well, on OFM, you can become the gaffer of Scunthorpe United or Manchester United, AC Milan or AC Cesena. The teams and leagues are many and hail from far and wide. Take the helm of your favorite team from England to Spain, Peru to Argentina, Russia or Japan. Unlike some manager simulation games online, the squad lists are always being updated with the team’s actual players. So, instead of managing an Arsenal squad with first-teamers with names like Tony Smith and John Wright, you can choose to play Robin Van Persie up front with Adebayor.

With OFM you are in the driver’s seat of your club. You make all the calls that determine whether the fans will be cheering you on as the next “Special One” or booing you off the pitch like Sam Allardyce at St. James Park. Once a team has offered you a contract with a weekly budget, you are responsible for signing on sponsors, training your players, selecting your formation, your first team and substitutes. Pick a captain who is a veteran and performs well even when the rest of the team is not. Select who’s taking corners, free kicks and the ever important kicks from the spot.

Ever wish that the transfer window was open all the time? On OFM it is. At any time during the season each manager in the league can put his own players up for sale on the Transfer List. The game even randomly offers players of varying ability from other nation’s leagues just to give each league a little foreign spicing up (No ridiculous Sepp Blatter quotas either)! You can even make bids to the other managers in the league for their players. Just don’t expect to buy Cristiano Ronaldo for anywhere near his estimated value. Part of the game involves a manager being a shrewd business man, trying to sell his disfavored players for far more than they are worth and buying players for as little as the other manager will take. You’ll find yourself anxiously waiting, hoping that you can raise enough money before the next guy does and beat him to the signature of an Aguero or a Yakubu.

A manager gets to pick his staff, which can include trainers, physios, doctors, lawyers and even a spy, who will let you know what your opponents are up to. Trainers are definitely important as they help your selected players gain ability points each gameday. Train the young bucks as they gain ability much faster. There’s nothing like having a Theo Walcott or a Bojan Krkic showing up the big dogs after a bit of training. Doctors help them recover from the hard knocks received during a game, cutting down the number of days they would be out of contention. Lawyers can help you battle the FA and get those red card suspension days reduced.

When it comes time to start the season, nothing matters more than picking the right formation for the players on your squad and the right tactics to suit that formation. If your squad has got a lot of talent in the midfield, choose a 4-5-1 or a 3-5-2, and opt for tactics which will favor your midfielders’ abilities. If you are heavy on talent up front, go with a 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 and Get Wide! If you are so blessed with the problem of having to decide where to play Ronaldinho, Messi, Henry and Eto’o, you can even play a 4-2-4 and play it forward with the Long Ball.

This, in conjunction with the tactical selections of your opponent, will determine the outcome of your matches (thus, the importance of hiring a spy!). Every day a game will be played and you can see the results including goalscorers, bookings and injuries and watch as your team rises to the top of the table. If success doesn’t come quickly, don’t be afraid to experiment with your formations and tactics and discover which best suit your squad.

If you want to give yourself an extra advantage, sign up for OFM Season Tickets, which give you access to special functions like developing your stadium, hiring a commercial manager who can help you get more funds for transfers, and most importantly you can hire a Scout. This is one of the most fun aspects of the game because with the right financial management you can build an amazing team, drafting your favorite stars. Send your scout to a country in Europe looking for a player of a certain age, position, ability and see who pops up!

The other great thing about purchasing Season Tickets is the access to special leagues. Take the reigns of the English National Team and show the FA why they should have picked you over ‘Cabbage Man’ Capello, or participate in a league table comprised of the Champions League teams. My personal favorite is the Fantasy League. I love starting from scratch and putting together a dream team. The team I’m currently fielding is amazing and is as follows:

1 Reina
2 Puyol
3 Milito
4 Evra
5 Cristiano Ronaldo
6 Gattuso (c)
7 Fabregas
8 Sneijder
9 Ibrahimovic
10 Tevez
11 Toni

Subs: Utaka, Quaresma, Daniel Alves, Drenthe, Kameni
Playing a 3-4-3 Wide

Get your friends signed up and battle it out to see who’s got what it takes to be champions! Whenever I come up against one of my friends it’s like a derby day and the trash talk flies. I challenge you to season of the most authentic and fun football management around. My manager name is Thierry Henry the King and I’ll see you out on the web-based pitch.

Click here to go to Online Football Manager.

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Joe Groff was a starting member of the roaming pack for the AYSO Golden Eagles when he was only 5 years old. He played for just one more year until he took time to focus on other sports such as basketball and volleyball. His Peter Crouch size helped him excel in those sports, but after high school he was burnt out. During his time working for the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia, he fell in love with football and the Arsenal who he has followed ever since. In between watching and playing footie Joe manages to study Law at Pepperdine University, where he hopes to publish other articles on fun stuff like the "overly broad interpretation of the Necessary and Proper Clause". He captains the Law School's intramural soccer team.