ROUGHLY every six months, I throw myself into the arms of an old friend for a few weeks. A friend that’s been in my life since I was around 13 years old. It’s comforting and familiar. It’s the warm embrace of the game Football Manager.

It is widely derided for the fact that when you’re playing this game, it looks like you’re just working on a load of spreadsheets. Which, I suppose, is true; I lose hours, days and weeks as I attempt to restructure the wage budget of my chosen team (Celtic, of course). I sit, hunched over my laptop in the early hours of the morning, my face dimly lit by the faint glow from the screen, locked in tense negotiations with agents, demanding they drop their demand for the player to be given £10k for every goal scored lest his prowess bankrupt me. I make notes on potential new tactics and new signings in the same notebook I’m supposed to be using to help me finish writing this novel of mine. It starts as a game. You play it for an hour or so here and there. Then it really gets a hold of you. The fun dissipates and yet you cannot simply walk away from the screen. It becomes a job.

There soon comes a point when you become consumed by it. You wake up in the dead of night, covered in a cool layer of sweat as you realise you have no available cover for your star left back. What if he gets injured? Suspended? How will you cope? You debate whether you should get the laptop back out, just for a quick five minutes, to see who you could sign to provide some cover for him. At this point you realise you’re in too deep. It’s time to go cold turkey. I normally get bored of the game after a fortnight or so but sometimes I don’t. When it gets like this I have to uninstall the whole game from my computer. It’s for my own good.

But I’ve been thinking of a game that might be as addictive and infuriating as Football Manager, if not even more so. Imagine this, right: Football Manager but it’s all about organising a game of five-a-side.

There are few things in life more stressful than trying to gather 10 people, all with different working hours, family responsibilities and social lives to play a game of football for an hour. It’s like trying to herd cats.

I imagine the game starts off on a Monday morning and you have a pool of people to choose from. To make things difficult, let’s say this is a pool of eleven people. Your options pop up here and are as follows:

Option 1 – Text everyone individually and see when they’re available for a game this week.

Option 2 – Create a group chat.

You opt for the create a group chat option. Another two options pop up for you to choose from:

Option 1 – Ask what day and time works best for everyone .

Option 2 – Take the bull by the horns and say the pitch is booked for Thursday at 7pm.

Again, you select Option 2 as you’re feeling bold. Eight people have seen the message and have agreed to play. You must now hope that two of the remaining three potential players agree to play.

Tuesday: Disaster strikes. A spanner has been flung into the works. Two players have said they now cannot make it despite previously agreeing. There is no reply from the others. You decide to wait. No point panicking just yet, a lot can and most definitely will change in the coming days.

Wednesday: The group chat has gone quiet. You click on the option to fling a meme into the mix to try to lighten the mood. It works. Everyone is in good spirits. Everything is going to be alright, you think.

Thursday: You have 10 players confirmed. Everyone is buzzing about the game tomorrow. Before you go to work tomorrow morning, you dig out your boots and your jersey of choice for the big game. You ask the group chat to decide who will source a ball and a pair of goalie gloves.

Friday: You awake to someone cancelling on you. They say they’re having to “work late”.

Do you select:

Option 1: Accept their excuse.

Option 2: Call them a liar and tell them to get a grip and play.

You select Option 2. Tam has now uninvited you from his stag do. Everyone is raging at you for not being understanding. Do you want to choose:

Option 1: Apologise

Option 2: Go nuclear.

You choose the nuclear option. You have become ostracised from your pals now forever. Shunned and alone, your pals have a great time without you while you spend Friday night by yourself playing a daft computer game about organising a game of fives.

I think we could be on to a winner with this game, troops. I’m away to pitch it to Microsoft

right now.