Managing a football team is a full-time job, and then some.

This is why classic, spreadsheet-heavy Football Manager - the nerdiest way of enjoying sport to ever exist - still feels most at home on PC.

A streamlined but essentially feature-complete version exists on mobile in Football Manager Touch 2017, but it'll take a good chunk of your phone's storage and even more of your time.

Football Manager Mobile 2017, then, is the cheaper, lighter, simpler alternative for on-the-go play that dares to take a less-is-more approach in a modern world of sports science and gagen pressing.

Gone is the intensive 3D match engine, subbed out for the familiar blobs of years gone by.

But as any long-term fan of the series will know, the appeal of Football Manager has never been in its 3D matches.

The theatre of football

We play for the stories: the relegation dogfights, the giant killings, the improbable trophy wins.

And all of these are just as potent whether they're fought by realistic players or teams of coloured circles.

All the best Football Manager stories take time - Huddersfield can't be expected to win the Champions League overnight, after all.

But smartly embracing its 'Mobile' subtitle, this outing makes it as quick as possible to get into them.

Mostly, this is purely visual.

The UI is made for smaller screens, opting for big chunky buttons and doing away with the dizzyingly complex, made-for-PC display you'll see when you boot up Football Manager Touch 2017.

The saviour cometh

And if you don't fancy a Benitez-esque, multi-season 'project', there's a Challenge Mode that drops you into a club of your choice at a critical point in their season.

Maybe they're 25 games in and rooted to the bottom of the table, or soaring at the other end and keen to complete an historic season of unbeaten invincibility.

There's even one where nearly all your main men spontaneously snap their legs, leaving you to somehow steady the ship with your B-team.

Each is a fun little chunk of management, and a great way to kill a train journey.

Not just the big leagues

Also keeping Football Manager Mobile 2017 light and pacy is a less robust database, which allows for super quick performance across a wide range of devices.

Here, there are more than 30 leagues across 15 countries.

And while that's still got many of the competing mobile management sims beaten, the heftier FM Touch 17 features more than 140 leagues and 50+ nations.

As the current manager of Aldershot Town FC, however, I can say with authority that there remains a good choice of leagues to choose from, right down the English sixth tier.

It doesn't scrimp on tactical options either, most of which should be pretty familiar to any series fan.

Less is more?

So what are you losing out on by choosing Football Manager Mobile 2017 over Football Manager Touch 2017? A few things.

Interaction with individual players is less nuanced than the main game, for one, and team talks don't make the cut. The influence of media, both traditional and social, doesn't feature here either.

What you've got is, by Football Manager's own incredibly high standards, a relatively meat-and-potatoes, old-school, transfers-and-tactics take on the genre.

However, it says much about the series that the nuances of Football Manager Mobile 2017 still run far deeper than other football management sims such as Champ Man or Top Eleven.