The launch of a new Football Manager game is always a tricky time. The drip-fed revelations about the forthcoming release will always be bittersweet to true FM addicts.
Yes, it means that you will soon get your hands on a shiny new version of the game with players at the correct clubs, clubs in the right divisions and mouthwatering new features. In the case of FM2011, that means real-time contract negotiations for more realistic dealings with agents, a new set-piece creator, and a completely overhauled training system.
That's all fantastic news, and the prospect of telling Sky Andrew in no uncertain terms that Jermaine Pennant will be getting paid that amount every week over your dead body is a great one.
But information about the new game always fills a true FM addict with a slight sense of regret. They know the death knell is ringing for the motley crew of fictional, regenerated players currently taking the 2034 Champions League by storm. They know that any investment in time over the coming weeks will provide only short-term returns, and that they will never see the best of their recent signing.
Fortunately, there is no going cold turkey this time around. You can get your hands on Football Manager in advance with Mirror Football. The game is not on general release until November 5, but you can get a copy before anyone else by claiming your free download code from Mirror Football website this Thursday.
And if that is still not enough football management action for you, you should also check out Mirror Football goals. It is a free to play Facebook fantasy five-a-side game in association with Renault. You get to pick your team, set up your own mini-league and compete against your mates. You can find out more at www.mirror.co.uk/goals.