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(02/07/2002) Following the recent Sinclair Lair article - LAIR SELECTS FINAL SQUAD OF FOOTY FAVES - revealing Webmaster Alex Waddington's five favourite Speccy soccer games, other rubber key fanatics have been having their say. In response to Alex's article, Thomas Eberle of Sintech in Germany emailed us to reveal his top five:

1. Emlyn Hughes International Soccer (BUY FROM THE SINCLAIR LAIR!!!)
2. Match Day II
3. Adidas Chamionship Football
4. Football Director
5. World Cup 94

"As you see, I am more a player than a manager, although I enjoyed Football Manager nearly 20 years ago," Thomas recalls. "Five boys were sitting in front of an old black and white TV and hoping the keeper would save the ball or the striker would score. We really believed that we could help our players by screaming loud enough. Later I discovered how useless all the graphics are, as they don't change the result.

"I found Football Director much harder and better. There is a two-player option, which was even something I thought was only available on the PC. But I always really enjoy a game of my all time favourite, Emlyn Hughes's International Soccer. This game really is a classic, because it's got everything a footy game needs. But without all the help given by modern console games. If I don't make the right pass or shot, it won't reach its target - not like on the PlayStation, where every pass will reach another player. That's boring."

After we posted our top five to the disucssion forums at the World Of Spectrum Web site, we received lots of feedback.

Javier Alcaņiz from Valencia, Spain, agreed with Thomas's number one choice. "My favourite footy game on the Speccy was Emlyn Hughes because it was fast and I also liked the sound."

Alessandro Tommasi from Pisa, Italy, also gave Emlyn Hughes the thumbs up. "I think it has to be Emlyn Hughes hands down. But Match Day is up there for its playability, and Match Day II was cool in terms of simulation. Football manager sort of games were a different kind, so it's hard to compare them. I think Football Manager was the best, but Football Manager 2, I also liked.

Alessandro added: "What we should rank is the WORST soccer games. Oh gosh, there were such horrible ones. Like Peter Beardsley."

Andy Gurr from Sheffield told us: "I only ever played World Cup Football and Matchday. I didn't like overhead footy games and out of of the two I prefered World Cup Football."

Hawmaws24 said: "This is such a hard top five, and the one I list now will probably have changed by this time tomorrow. Some of these might not be that familiar." His top five is as follows...

1. Striker - Cult Software
Get it from the WOS archive and play it, you'll either love it or hate it but there was about six of us at school that used to compare saved games and see who had the best 'career'. Give us a break, we were 11!

2. Matchday / Matchday II - Ocean
Similar but different, both were very impressive when they were released and have stood the test of time. I have FIFA on the PS2 but still play both these games regularly.

3. On The Bench - The Cult
In depth football management game

4. Italy 1990 - US Gold

5. The Double - Scanatron
Another in depth football management game.

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