The F.A. Premier League Football Manager 2000
Whistling in the dark, or pissing into the wind. The choice is theirs. Other football management game developers is what I'm talking about, as trying to take on Championship Manager is the equivalent of going at a brick wall armed with a spoon -ie they might as well not bother. EA Sports have bothered though, and have clearly had a long hard look at 'The Daddy of management games', and its influence is clear to see. What FA Premier League Football Manager 2000 has over Champ Man (apart from a ludicrously long title) is match graphics, the games being played out using a version of the FA Premier League STARS engine, which is actually more suited to watching than playing. Highlights or a full game are offered, and while the latter might be a little lengthy for some tastes it's still perfectly watchable, with tacbcs brought into play on the fly.
Individual players can be given specific orders such as dribbling and long shots, and these can actually be seen being executed in the game. However, the pop-up menus are fairly grating, particularly as they emit a high-pitched bleep when being utilised. Anyone who's ever owned a television or video that bleeps will sympathise with the mental torture that this can cause, and there is absolutely no need for it. There is also a smattering of provincial sloppiness throughout the game, including some appalling spelling mistakes.
As the name might suggest, FA Premier League Football Manager 2000 is geared towards Premiership fans, with the lower divisions blighted by generic stadiums and sparse commentary.
If you simply want to take over Manchester United for a couple of hours, it's a perfectly playable game. If you want to ruin your life, buy Champ Manager.