Do you really Football Manager if you don’t make the most out of a special occasion?
One way in which avid players treat Final’s day is to get dressed up in their best suit, whilst others will look to ensure that they perform and follow all of the superstitions that they may have. You know, putting on a pair of lucky pants, or putting your socks on, taking them off and then putting them on again like Paul Merson said he did…
There have also been stories of Football Manager players who have been able to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to actually go and watch the team that they have managed in a save that they have had in the past.
However, one player decided that he would go to Wembley Stadium and play out the FA Cup final that he was competing in. Dedication, at its finest.
Alex is an Arsenal fan that lives in California who decided to take charge of a club based close in proximity to the Gunners, in terms of location and not the football pyramid, with recently relegated National League side Barnet.
After playing a ten-year save, he managed to get The Bees (not to be confused with one of the Premier League’s newest sides, Brentford), to an FA Cup final where he would go up against Manchester United.
As he was playing the game whilst at university, he was fortunate enough to go on a trip to Wembley and decided he would take his laptop and play his Barnet Football Manager save whilst sat in the dugout.
“If you had the chance, why wouldn’t you?” he told SPORTbible. “I was visiting Wembley and even ended up snagging a job as a tour guide at England’s home stadium. As a result, I had access to a majority of the stadium.”
Unfortunately for Alex, the whole experience ended up being rather anti-climatic and finished in a rather disappointing way as his Barnet players lost the final. In fact, after the game went the full 90 minutes without a split in the scoreline, extra time did not prove to be fruitful, either.
The penalty shoot-out, though, was incredibly disappointing for him, as his players failed to score a single attempt from 12-yards out. Hopefully, he did not use bigfreebet.com to back himself as a winner on that day…
“My boys didn’t convert a single spot-kick,” says Alex.
“The final score was a 3-0 defeat. It was a showing you would expect from a small non-league club. It was gutting.”
However, when one door closes, another opens, right?
Barnet went on to become three-time UEFA Champions League champions in the five years that followed that disappointing end to the FA Cup final.
“Fast forward five years from that FA Cup final defeat and my Barnet side have three Champions League titles to their name,” he says.
I’d probably have quit the save and started again… at least that way I could stay in the Wembley dugout a little longer…