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'It's so realistic'

Ronald Koeman played a match on Football Manager 2017 against the game’s creator… and lost

Everton's manager also picked Ross Barkley in his line-up, despite his real-life reservations for the England midfielder

With the Premier League season done and dusted, a lot of us will be turning to Football Manager to fill the football-shaped hole in our lives this summer. 

I know I will.

And it looks like Everton manager Ronald Koeman maybe doing the same, after dabbling in the football management game at an event recently.

However, he’ll need to improve his management skills if he wants to take the game seriously, after losing his first match against the game’s creator.

“How do I pronounce ‘trequartista?'”

“How do I pronounce ‘trequartista?'”

The 54-year-old took on gaming genius and Toffees fan Paul Collyer in an Everton vs. Everton clash.

Both managers picked almost identical line-ups, although Koeman opted for Dominic Calvert-Lewin in his back-line, while Collyer went for Mason Holgate.

Tactically, Koeman decided on an attacking 4-1-2-3 formation, with Collyer setting his team up in a 5-4-1.

Interestingly, Koeman picked midfielder Ross Barkley in his first-team, despite his real-life reservations for the midfielder.

Ross Barkley had a place in Koeman’s Football Manager side

Ross Barkley had a place in Koeman’s Football Manager side

But things went pretty badly for the Dutchman, with his simulated Everton side 3-0 down by half-time, thanks to goals from Tom Davies, Idrissa Gana Gueye and Romelu Lukaku.

For newbies, the game can be relentless.

But the second-half was an improvement for Koeman, whose side pulled two back thanks to a brace from Lukaku.

Despite a late flurry of action, the game’s creator held on against the Premier League manager to win 3-2.

Edgy stuff

Edgy stuff

Speaking after the game, Koeman said: “It was very interesting for me to sit down with Paul and Football Manager to understand the technicalities of this computer game and get some insight into the history behind it.

“The game is incredibly realistic and detailed; Paul knew his way around the game very well but I began to get the hang of it in the second half.”

Classic beginners excuse.

Collyer added: “It was a special experience for me to test out my virtual managerial acumen against Mr. Koeman, who apart from managing the club I love, is also a legend in world football.”

We couldn’t agree more.