Afternoon all, I’m back with another top interview in my “Legends Interview” series – it still needs a catchier title! I am delighted to have finally got hold of this guy, who was another one of my inspirations when I started blogging. No more waffle from me, over to Mr Ed!
Mr Ed, thanks for giving up some time to speak to me today. Straight up mate, tell my followers who you are….
No worries at all. I’m Ed and I run a Football Manager blog, FM Coffeehouse, as well as a football blog, 13steps. I spend lots of time playing FM and the rest of the time complaining about it on Twitter: @MrEdsFM
With your blog FM Coffeehouse being one of the most read out there you very much qualify as an FM Legend and I also really enjoy your tactical analysis website www.13steps.co, but tell us when you started playing the game?
The first edition of the game I can remember playing is FM05. Having played LMA Manager for a couple of years, I wanted something a bit different and found FM, and haven’t looked back since.
What made you want to start writing about it?
Well at the time of starting the blog I’d been on FM forums for a couple of years, but wanted something where all my content was stored. A blog was ideal as the only requirements for content are self-enforced, meaning there might be long gaps without any articles if I’m not enjoying the game. And I wouldn’t feel guilty about it. It started as a place where I could just ramble about whatever interested me, but people actually read it, which is nice.
Where did you develop all your knowledge?
The basis of my knowledge comes from playing lots of the game. Most years the total gametime will end up at about 1000 hours, and so you learn a thing or two. But the FM community has been fantastic for a while now, and there’s loads of excellent content providers out there. Even these days I learn lots of new things.
What has your greatest save been to date?
This is a really difficult one. I tend to have one particularly good save each year, but this one would be between Ujpest FM14 or Wolves FM13. Ujpest was entirely different to anything I’d done on any FM before and reaching the quarter finals of the Champions League took an incredible amount of work. But for sheer dominance, the Wolves save has to be up there. I’m currently playing with Dortmund on FM15 and that has the potential to make it into the top three too, though.
What has been your biggest FM failure so far?
I tend to forget the failures pretty quick! If I’m not particularly enjoying a save then I’ll often ditch it for something else, meaning I don’t really have many long-term failures. I guess having so many dominant teams over the years and never succeeding with the aim of reaching an unbeaten league season grates me a bit.
Who are you managing in FM15, and why?
Dortmund. The save started at Southampton as a mess-around after I holidayed and found them bottom of the Premier League in December. Needless to say, we quickly recovered and had finished in the top four 18 months later. Dortmund came calling and having fallen off the pace in the Bundesliga, it presented an interesting challenge.
For you, what has been the best addition to FM15 and why?
The Match Engine’s had a number of improvements; possibly my favourite is it’s now possible to actually counter-attack. On previous editions, you could have a team full of Cristiano Ronaldo’s but they’d still piss about with it when they had space to run into. This year, there’s still improvements that can be made, but it’s possible to create some excellent counter-attacks.
Equally, what has been the worst?
Well it has to be the Inverted Wing Back doesn’t it really? I’ve been hoping they’d add the role since about FM12, so to finally see it in the game got me very excited. To then find out it doesn’t work (and still doesn’t!) takes the piss a bit. Hopefully it can be fixed soonish.
If you were in charge of SI for a day, what would you change and why?
I’d probably cancel FM16. It’d be nice to see two years of improvement go into a game, because it seems to be half-finished every year. There’s always lots and lots of glaring faults with it, and yet they spend lots of time making other improvements rather than solving the buys. I think a fair amount of FM players would buy the game if the only changes came within the Match Engine, assuming there were obviously large improvements. There seems to be too much of a focus on how they can advertise and market the game rather than improving it.
Mr Ed, again, thanks for your time today. As I said at the start, I think FMCoffeehouse is one of the must reads out there and I would urge anyone that isn’t already reading it to start now!