The Reading Football Club is just that kind of team that no one cares about. They passed their supporters through an emotional gladiator gauntlet as the world passed, unaware of the fact that the team managed to score against the Yeovil Town team with three red cards.
Looking back on my time as a season ticket holder, there were some incredible highs. I was one of the kids who subsequently invaded the pitch when Mikele Leigertwood bundled the ball against Nottingham Forest to promote the Royals. While other fans are jealous, you are part of something bigger than yourself and feel like you are surrounded by delighted fans and family.
It is also because those moments are fleeting. For each victory that invades the pitch, Wembley also has about four defeats, falling to the final hurdle before promotion or cup finals. To support a team like Reading, you need to be ready to deal with a mountain of disappointment and sadness. At that time, Pavel Pogrebnyak chipped West Bromwich Alb deeper into the stoptime and won an unpleasant victory.
What about football managers is that these rare moments are compressed. Want to feel like the years spent at the East Stand at Majesky Stadium? Want to deal with the disappointment of standing in a chilly, cold-drinking burned coffee and seeing the manager’s revolving doors not inspiring the team like Brian McDermott? Football Manager 2012 was the first game to actually scratch the itch of a sports ball. FIFA allows you to reach the top in easy difficulty mode, but Football Manager forces you to take a rough with a little less rough, and the team’s Adam Le Fondre repeats very well. It makes me feel that I have truly won the victory.
I won Reading to win the Champions League at FM2012, which is still one of my greatest achievements in the game. And to be honest in life. I still remember the player generated from my youth academy, Chang Wan, who worked season by season to build the perfect team, then entered a record-breaking season and won a decent winner. You are obsessed with non-existent football players, mercilessly sell your favorite IRL players, and achieve an overly bloated ego about your ability to actually become a soccer team manager. Or literally a manager of anything. It’s really delicious.