Interview by Gianluca of FootballManager2011.it
Original post in Italian here.
Thanks mate! (my greetings to Argon as well)
- so we start with age, name, city of origin
Alright. My real name is Stamatis, I'm roughly 26 years old and I know it may seem weird but I'm coming from Symi... a small island in south east Aegean, Greece.
- you are admin of an important forum about FM, how do you entry in this forum?
Ermm, I'm the one who founded the site back in late 2004. The idea behind it was to provide a mirror download for what used to be FM Scout, the scout utility created by Nygreen back in the day. For about 2 years it was an idle site with just a download link to that utility. In October 2007 I decided to pay attention to the site and tried to turn it into a full blown football manager portal. Organized the forums and gathered a mini team of moderators/contributors to help make the site more lively. In a couple of months I had to switch to dedicated server hosting because traffic was surpassing 3k unique daily.
So, yeah I'm the one doing everything on the site actually, and there are some awesome people helping me with the forums and approving guest submissions for the regular site sections.
- I saw that you really like the genie scout, what attracts you most and above all have contributed to it?
When Nygreen ceased his utility (because he was hired by SI), Eugene Tarabanovsky stepped up and created this Genie Scout. He used to have his own site for that, but due to lack of time and some ungrateful comments he decided to quit. He contacted me if I'd be interested to host his utility on my site and deal with any comments about it; I agreed. Genie Scout is the most popular FM utility there is, because a lot of people can't play FM without it one way or another; some of them because they got used to it, some others because they like managing lower league teams and it's an essential tool to discover players for your team.
To be honest I think that in-game player search has been limited, and this is the main reason why this utility exists and it's so popular in my opinion.
Eugene is the one who originally created the program and the only one who maintains development. And since he didn't release his code as open source,I don't see how anyone else could contribute to it,except translating.Maybe with FM 2011 that would probably feature an improved in-game player search, things will change.
- will release a further version for 2011?
I'm quite certain that Eugene loves FM and he would definitely release a 2011 version if there's a need for it. Rest assured we'll have it on our site first, if it's going to happen.
- talk a little bit of the game! What aspect, in addition to players, treat you like most?
Personally, I'm the type of player who enjoys managing lower league teams (for example starting in English Blue Square Premier). I love the challenge of taking a semi-professional team and leading it to glory.
My favorite and most exciting aspect of the game is surely transfers. I also like match day, all the team talk and constant changes in tactics during a match... when you see your players actually doing what you asked them to haha.
It's a game that the time and effort you put into tweaking your team, actually pays off most of the time.
- a goalkeeper, a defender, a midfielder and a striker you can not do without the game? And what do you think are the strongest?
Some would say none of those is the strongest, but I think otherwise. A goalkeeper can save your butt at times, but you really don't need a world-class keeper if the rest of the team is mediocre.
Strikers traditionally get all the fame and flash lights, because they're usually the ones to score. I'd say that a great defense is better than a couple of great strikers.
While the whole team needs to play good to be strong, I put my vote on defense as the most important, and thus strongest part of it.
- play now for 2010? Which team will prefer to train? Your first career (and if possible a link to it)
The average FM player likes to manage the team he supports from his countries. I used to do that in the early days as well. I'm an Olympiakos supporter, so at least once a year I like to manage this team.
However, it's more likely to manage a lower league team from England. For example, I have managed Histon and Weymouth last year.
- is there any career on the web?
I usually start a blog about it, but never seem to manage keeping it up to date with my progress in-game. So, you can find a single season maybe two online. I hope to change this bad habbit with the new FM version hehe. The site will be undergoing a major change of site engine, so a lot of things are going to be different next season.
If you insist for a career on the web, you check this season with Weymouth last year: http://www.fmscout.com/p-weblogs/m-page/id-585.html
- are you in contact with "the boss" of football manager?have a nice background to tell about your experience in forums and with your staff about fm.
Have you ever participated in the search football manager?
I suppose you mean Miles Jacobsen? No, it didn't happen; maybe in the future. The only guy from SI I've been chatting with is Joe Turner, who's in charge for SI's affiliate scheme.
I could probably have a role on the official FM forums, but I'm not interested at the moment.
For the new FMScout version, we'll be contacting lots of FM enthusiasts though, I want to get everybody who has been contributing to the game on the site.
And no, I haven't participated in the research, there are already plenty of people there and they're doing an exceptional work already
- why not would you be interested in joining the staff?
I wouldn't have the required free time to moderate forums, that's for sure. However, if there was a chance for me to work on FM's user interface, I'd love to contribute.
My hobby that turned out to be my regular job is to design/develop websites and create art for various other occasions, and thus UI design is one of my favorite acts.
- news that you might reveal about the 2011? What matters to you most? What changes would you do?
The news have already been leaked, I guess you are aware of them by now.
The first change I would do is refine player search, it's probably the weakest link on FM.
Other than that, I'd be nice to see more control over club's finances/sponsor deals/merchandise, improved training (not the schedule itself, but the interaction around it) and maybe improved 3D engine as well (even though I'm still a 2D fan).
- in my opinion, more control over club's finances etc will be a good idea...do you think that it will be possible already in the next FM?
I doubt it will, but with 4 months left to go until the official release... maybe there's some slight chance I suppose, hope dies last, right?
There were some problems with player contracts and sign-on fees, I'd expect them to get solved too.
- sure...and about the 3D engine? Do you think that will be some improvement as each year?
Yes, I believe 3D will be getting better each year. The effort was initiated when they were working on FM Live and it took some solid 3 years to get that in a decent level. It should evolve further, I'm sure of it.
May I add, I can't understand why they have introduced so many different FM version lately... DVD, STEAM, Digital Download and then WSM counterparts. That's quite complicated, isn't it?
- well...I'm a 2D fan like you...do you think that the 2d will be negligible compared to 3d?
Not at all. 2D might witness a decrease in popularity, but won't become negligible. There are so many die-hard fans of the game that have been following the series since 2003 or earlier... they all love to see the little dots going around hehe.
- I insist: you're an expert about talents, your favorite? One for role thanks
If I must choose only one... I'd say Alexis Sanchez because I love wingers. If I had to choose an Italian one, I'd say Marco Verratti (central midfield). But I could say at least one from each position... Tomas Necid for the striker role for example.
- who are the players in your ideal top 11?
Ideal top 11 change by season really. I like to use young players on all my teams, so whoever is getting close to 29 years, I put him on transfer list because once he reaches 30, it's hard to sell him for a decent amount of money.
I haven't been playing FM for the past 4 months, and my save game with Las Palmas is on my other computer in Athens (currently on vacation elsewhere). I could tell you my ideal team in 2014 in a few days though haha.
As far as the tactic, I always like to play offensive football, so I'm using 4-2-2-2 (2 MC, 1 of them with DM ability, the other with AMC... 2 attacking wingers, and 2 strikers) that changes during the game depending on the opponent and the result.
- the ideal top 11 in the first season, for an example?
Again it depends on which team you're managing and the tactic, but let's say you can have any player you like on a common 4-4-2 tactic (I usually avoid really popular players)...
GK - Akinfeev
DC - Breno
DC - Cristian Zapata
DR - Mathias Jorgensen
DL - Juan Manuel Vargas
MC - Marek Hamsik
MC - Toni Kroos
ML - Andres Guardado
MR - Alexis Sanchez
ST - Tomas Necid
ST - Yannis Tafer
- I read that you have managed teams like Weymouth and Histon...are you a fan of England lower-division?
To be honest, I go there because they have the most divisions down there (like 6-7 divisions down from Premier)... so that's a tougher challenge for me, and I love tough I guess haha.
- and in Italy? What is your favourite team? And what team have you managed
Maybe Atalanta because I loved to have Pazzini and Montolivo on the same team back in the day.
I have also managed Modena in the past (even brought Aguero there).
This year I'd be supporting Milan in real life though, because of Papastathopoulos hehe.
Yes, I hope he proves a solid solution for Milan and play him on the first team. I believe he's going to evolve further and Milan is a great chance for him to do exactly that. Italian teams are traditionally great at defense, and Nesta is still playing for Milan, Sokratis should be looking to learn from him.
- as you know it will be adjusted values of the players?
On the new FM? Well, it happens every year, should happen again. Based on what kind of season each player had, values change and that's only natural.
Shouldn't change too much though, otherwise the research team didn't do a good job last year hehe
- I think the questions about football manager is finished, we want to give other information about you? your job? Your hobbies? qualification?
I've already said that my job (used to be my hobby) is to create websites and art for web/print in general. My other hobbies include fishing, basketball and of course gaming. I'm a PES fan, and would be looking to make a fansite for that as well hehe.
I also love music, it's playing on my speakers all day and night long... heavy metal \m/