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Timur Muravyov
Timur Muravyov

Player Manager 98 99


The Player Manager series has seen some changes since its inception back in 1990 on the old 16-bit systems and managed to keep going for ten years, which isn't a bad run. However, this installment proves to be the absolute nadir of the franchise and is a truly terrible soccer game which is not worth touching with a ten foot barge pole. You're better off with Championship Manager and avoiding this like the plague. This one is very much a management game, which sees the player in control of the team of their choice while also controlling a player who is close to retirement. You don't actually control your avatar on the pitch though, and instead all control is very much from the bench. The game offers the usual variety of teams, modes and options, and makes use of the Kick Off 97 engine to represent the matches themselves. There's a small range of tactics open to managers, while there's also some flexibility in terms of training, picking sides and other such things. While all this sounds decent enough on paper, in practice, it all goes a bit wrong. Actual matches are decent enough to watch, thanks to the use of the Kick Off engine, and provide a fair amount of thrills and spills. However, in terms of the management aspect, it's all a big let down. There just isn't enough depth or variety to provide anything but the most superficial experience and it soon becomes apparent that there's little of any worth to get stuck into. Decent visuals aside, this is a pretty ropy entry in a once solid series.




player manager 98 99



Nottingham Forest's campaign back in the Premiership got off to a fairly good start in the first three games in the season, losing narrowly 2-1 at Arsenal and winning the other two against Coventry City and at Southampton; however, it would be 19 games until their next victory and they went on a very poor run of only one win in 25 league games - in addition to two wins in 32 games - and winning their final three games did not matter as they were already relegated. Pierre Van Hooijdonk, top scorer in Forest's promotion-winning 1997-98 campaign, went AWOL before the start of the season following the sale of strike partner Kevin Campbell and it appeared that he would never play for the club again. He returned in October, but Forest were already deep in relegation trouble and it was too late to save manager Dave Bassett's job. Ron Atkinson made what appeared to be his final return to management, but was unable to save Forest from relegation in bottom place - the third time in seven years that they had endured this fate. With just 7 wins and 30 points all season, they had never really looked like beating the drop, due to embarrassing results like the 1-8 defeat at home to Manchester United. A win at Goodison Park was the highlight of Atkinson's ill-fated tenure, along with a three-match running win at the end of the season (albeit after they had already been relegated) that at least saw them avoid going down with the lowest points total since the formation of the Premier League. This marked the first instance since the 1927-28 season that the winner of England's second tier finished bottom in their subsequent season in the top-flight.


When Atkinson's contract was not renewed, Brian Little, Glenn Hoddle and Roy Evans were just some of the many high profile names linked with the manager's job, but in the end it was 33-year-old former England captain David Platt who took on the role as player-manager.


On 17 February 1999, Kevin Keegan was appointed England coach on a part-time basis following the departure of Glenn Hoddle. Keegan then left Craven Cottage at the end of the season to concentrate on his duties as England manager. Fulham replaced Keegan with Paul Bracewell as player-manager.[1]


A Football Manager sim on the Super Nintendo, released in 1993. Kevin Keegan is a former England striker, and in more recent years the manager of league teams Fulham, Newcastle United and Manchester City.


In the closing scenes of "The Last Dance," Chicago Bulls players tell the story of how coach Phil Jackson, nicknamed the "Zen Master," held a ritual in which players wrote what the team meant to them and then tossed that note into a coffee can to be burned at the conclusion of the 1997-98 season. Michael Jordan even wrote a poem.


Considered one of the best basketball teams of all-time after a second three-peat during Chicago's dynasty, the 1997-98 Bulls largely broke up after the title. Where did they all go after general manager Jerry Krause started his "rebuild" in Chicago?


The skinny: Gretzky is synonymous with No. 99 -- with the jersey tucked in at the right hip, of course. The Hockey Hall of Fame center held or shared 61 NHL records when he retired in 1999, and he remains the League leader in regular-season goals, assists and points, and Stanley Cup Playoff goals (122), assists (260) and points (382). Gretzky won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player a record nine times, and the Art Ross Trophy as the League leader in regular-season points a record 10 times.


The skinny: Appropriately, McDavid has 97 points (34 goals, 63 assists) in 64 games this season, second in the NHL behind teammate Leon Draisaitl's 110. He also has the most points since entering the League in 2015-16 (Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks is second with 465 points). The center has won the Art Ross Trophy as the League leader in regular-season points twice (2016-17, 2017-18), the Ted Lindsay Award, given annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by members of the NHL Players' Association, twice (2016-17, 2017-18), and the Hart Trophy the NHL's most valuable player once (2016-17).


Analysis: "This was one of the easier choices of a difficult exercise because Connor McDavid is the fastest elite player ever to play the game. Yes, ever. I'd say he wears that well." -- Tim Campbell, NHL.com staff writer


The skinny: Smyth was a unanimous selection at No. 94 and joined Gretzky and McDavid as the third Oilers player among the 90s. Smyth had an NHL career-high 39 goals, including 20 on the power play, which tied Brendan Shanahan (who also received votes) for the NHL lead, in in 1996-97 when he was 21 years old. That was his first of four seasons with at least 30 goals in the League.


The skinny: Landeskog prevailed from a small but talented field at No. 92 (21 players have worn it). The winner of the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie in 2011-12, Landeskog has scored at least 20 goals in seven of his nine NHL seasons, including a career-high 34 in 2018-19.


The skinny: Fedorov helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 seasons in 1997, and again in 1998 and 2002. Although he played predominantly center, Fedorov was also occasionally used as a defenseman. In 1993-94, the Hockey Hall of Famer won the Hart Trophy as the NHL most valuable player, the Ted Lindsay Award (called the Lester B. Pearson Award at the time), given annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by members of the NHL Players' Association, and the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward. Fedorov, who won the Selke again in 1995-96, ranks second in points in NHL history among Russian-born players behind Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, who has 1,278.


The skinny: O'Reilly cemented his place among the League's best two-way centers by helping St. Louis win the Stanley Cup for the first time in its 51-season history last season. Voted the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 26 games, O'Reilly also won the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward last season. He has scored at least 60 points in five of the past seven seasons, including 61 (12 goals, 49 assists) in 71 games before this season was paused on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.


The skinny: Mogilny scored at least 30 goals eight times in his 16 NHL seasons, including two with at least 55. The right wing's 76 goals in 1992-93 remain the Sabres' single-season record, and the most in NHL history by a Russian-born player.


The skinny: A three-time Stanley Cup champion with Chicago (2010, 2013, 2015), Kane became the first United States-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy (awarded to the NHL leader in regular-season points) and Hart Trophy (NHL most valuable player) in 2015-16, when he led the League with 106 points (46 goals, 60 assists) in 82 games. He leads all active United States-born players in goals, assists and points, and the right wing's nine NHL All-Star Game appearances are the most among active players.


The skinny: Crosby has worn No. 87 since making his NHL debut in 2005-06. A three-time Stanley Cup champion with Pittsburgh (2009, 2016, 2017), the center has won the Art Ross Trophy as the League leader in regular-season points twice (2006-07, 2013-14), the Maurice Richard Trophy as the League's leading goal-scorer twice (2009-10, 2016-17), and the Hart Trophy as NHL most valuable player twice (2006-07, 2013-14). When Crosby won the Conn Smythe Trophy voted as most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive season in 2017, he joined Mario Lemieux (1991, 1992) and Bernie Parent (1974, 1975) as the only repeat winners in NHL history.


Analysis: "Sidney Crosby wasn't the first NHL player to wear 87 -- that was Donald Brashear in 2002 -- but he was the first one whose play and accomplishments turned it into a signature number, one that kids and fans put on their jerseys to honor their favorite player." -- William Douglas, NHL.com staff writer


The skinny: Kucherov was on pace for his third straight 100-point season, with 85 points (33 goals, 52 assists) in 68 games, when the NHL season was paused on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. The right wing led the League with 128 points (41 goals, 87 assists) in 2018-19 -- the most in the NHL since Mario Lemieux had 161 points and Jaromir Jagr had 149 in with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995-96 -- helping him win the Hart Trophy as NHL most valuable player and the Ted Lindsay Award, given annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by members of the NHL Players' Association.


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