A great feature is the way that you can see a match being played out in front of you, you can see who's playing well and who isn't rather than just taking the PS2's word for it. Nice little touches are a green and red ball tracer and the player's names floating over their heads so you can identify them.
The game is marred only slightly by one or two in match flaws. For example, there are too many ever-so-slightly-out-of-shot off sides that have you roaring expletives at your TV and questioning the linesman's honesty and parentage. Too many late challenges (nearly every foul is a result of this), every time a goalkeeper comes out for a cross, he catches it (even
David James!). Too many penalties are missed (Shearer missed three in a row for me!) whilst too many free kicks go directly in. Minor things I know, and hey, this is a management sim, not ISS Pro Evolution 2! Still these are things I'd like to see ironed out of next season's incarnation.
The controls are really easy to master after a little initial fumbling it becomes second nature, after an hour or so you even stop thinking "this game should come with a mouse
I'll just go and put CM on my PC
". All injury, transfer and fixture news is sent straight to you via an "email" desktop which opens up at the start of each new day and all the menus are uncomplicated and easy to access.
There is even a "The Premiership" style highlights program, which is fun for a while, but has a limited appeal after you've seen the intro for the fourth time over a weekend! This is a new inclusion for this season and with a little tweaking could be a big plus for the game.
Ah who knows, maybe one day we'll see a really cracking football management
sim on a console, this ain't it, but for now, it'll do!7 out of 10