No matter how good you are at football management games, no one is ever going to let you take the reins at Manchester United or Chelsea. It's simply not in the cards for us mere mortals.
The next best thing, other than screaming at your television and participating in all the #WengerMustGo hashtags, is to take a stab at being a skipper in the virtual realm. On mobile, the latest option is Championship Manager 17 from Square Enix.
While it's not quite as packed with features as similar sims on the PC, it's as close to a full management experience as possible in the sense that you must juggle a roster on a budget, keep an eye out for transfers that will strengthen your team, take control of strategic decisions during matches, and handle player morale and negotiations, all while trying to win glory and avoid being sacked.
If this sounds like your cup of tea, we've got some good news. We can help you take your first steps toward becoming the next Sir Alex (as if) with our Championship Manager 17 guide for beginners. Read on for the equivalent of that scene in The Matrix, except instead of Keanu Reeves saying, "I know kung fu," it'll be you saying, "I know football."
Flash that (Coaching) Badge
When starting a new game of Championship Manager 17, you'll be permitted to take over at a club in one of more than a dozen different countries, giving you plenty of options for where you'd like to begin your career. You'll also notice that the top clubs in the world are off-limits for you, as you need a Coaching Badge to run one of them.
It's possible to work your way into a Coaching Badge, but that takes time. To skip the grunt work, you can buy a Coaching Badge to acquire one immediately. Simply tap the shield icon in your Manager profile.
At launch, you can buy the Badge alone for 99 cents or the 'Coaching Badge Plus' package, which gives you the Coaching Badge plus 500 CM$ a day. Speaking of which ...
Two kinds of currency
In one of the few areas where the game is more complicated than real life, success in Championship Manager 17 requires the careful spending of two kinds of currency. The more basic one is Coaching Funds (they look like coins), which you can spend to improve players in individual training, hire assistant coaches to boost certain areas of your team, and more.
Coaching Funds are earned slowly during the course of gameplay, which is where CM$ come in. Not only can this cash-like currency be spent to buy things that Coaching Funds can't, like upgrades to your team's stadium, training facilities, or youth academy, but they also convert into Coaching Funds to cover any shortage you might face while spending them.
Technically, CM$ are the game's premium currency, as you can buy them for real money. But you'll also find them easier to come by than Coaching Funds, so the currency relationship isn't as cut and dried as it is in some mobile games. In any case, you'll want to be sure not to be wasteful with either of them as you begin your management life.
Check out the challenges
You'll have plenty to do while guiding your players on the pitch, but the game also throws extra tasks that can pay off big in the form of challenges. You'll see these on occasion when logging in, and you'll want to pay careful attention to them because they can pay off big.
For example, we were presented one that offered 2,000 CM$ for scoring 90 goals in three days. That's an easily achievable target simply by playing the game often, and that much currency is nothing to sneeze at.
There's plenty more to uncover as you play Championship Manager 17, but these tips should get you off to a good start. Nail those transfers, keep your tactics tight, and you just might achieve your dream after all, even if it's only in video game form.