One match. Sometimes just that one match is enough. Which is fortunate, considering it’s all I had time for on Sunday morning.
And I won 1-0, as per the screenshot above. It was another match where I was down to 9 men by the end of it. I have a custom referee strictness setting that means almost any yellow-card-worthy tackle is now a straight red.
I’ve spent 15+ years in recklessly sliding and arrogantly throwing my players around to get the ball back whenever I want. So much so that it’s seeped into the DNA of what I expect in a football game. It’s a shock not to be able to do that any more. It’s a shock to have to show restraint and circumspection, to allow that CPU players to go on the dangerous run without slamming in the ‘reducer’ tackle to break up play.
Well, I do still slam in those ‘reducers’, but they’re a red card, each and every time. Must stop. It’s the hardest habit of all to break.
One general cloud on the horizon: I’ve moved up to Superstar. I moved up a few games ago, actually. And the game feels very easy, even with 10 men or 9 men.
It shouldn’t really do, as I’m using Anderlecht with the Matrix stats. As seen here, they’ve got some very good team attributes, and overall are above average. But I shouldn’t be coasting through matches the way I am.
I could have a twiddle with the custom settings, but will wait to see how the game plays in the top division. I’m playing here in Division 2—a custom Serie B—with very average teams who play like average teams.
As I’ve said before, I don’t want or need this ML career to be a 20-season blockbuster. I’m not looking for that. I reached the point of exhaustion with that some time ago. All I’m looking for is a good game of football from one session to the next.
So I tested it all out in a custom Exhibition game, Anderlecht vs Real Madrid, Superstar, 10 minutes. I know this isn’t a true test—I know that Exhibition games play differently in numerous big and little ways from ML games.
But as a general yardstick, it was a useful exercise. I lost 1-3, in a titanic, see-sawing encounter. The kind of match I’ll probably face a lot of up in Division 1.