Somehow, I guided my Coventry City team through to the quarter-final of the League Cup. Somehow, my opponents were Carlisle United. That’s not very realistic. In the modern age, the League Cup is English football’s most seriously devalued cup competition. But it’d still be pretty weird to see Coventry City and Carlisle Utd duking it out for a place in the semi-final.
But FIFA09 is only a game, and I’ve been struggling of late, so I’ll take anything I can get right now. A nice little cup run could offset my poor league form. I’ve lost several league games in a row, all by the odd goal. It’s seen my job security plummet down to 52% or so. That’s getting dangerously near the point where board meetings take place and warnings are issued. If I get the sack whilst playing FIFA09 with all-Assisted settings, what hope is there for me?
It won’t come to that. I know that I can turn it around in the league. A good cup run or two will also help a lot.
The two-legged quarter final against Carlisle started off at my ground. I fought out a frustrating 0-0 draw. Carlisle actually had the bulk of the chances. They hit the same post twice during the same attack. Up the other end, I carved out precisely one clear-cut chance. I put McKenzie clean through on goal early in the second half. It was a one-two, with the two part being an aerial through-ball. I think this is a major fault in my FIFA09 game: addiction to aerial through-balls. They’ve been such a major part of the game in PES over the years. And they were pretty damn effective on FIFA08 last year. Over half of my FIFA08 goals came from crosses, but well over half of the remaining half came as a result of aerial through-balls.
But in FIFA09 they’re a lot less effective. They’re not ineffective. The last defender just always seems to head the ball away more often that not. You have to put a bit more on the through-ball, or look for some other way.
Anyway. McKenzie put the ball badly wide. Or better to say, I put the ball badly wide with McKenzie. I should have scored, but Assisted shooting isn’t as simplistic as some would have you believe on the FIFA forums.
Overall, I’m suffering something of a goal drought on the game at the moment. It’s not so much me, or FIFA09 itself that’s at fault. It’s the (frankly) piss-poor Coventry City players. I played a few matches of my Atletico Madrid save with the all-Assisted settings. Just to see. I won both games, 4-0 and 3-1. I was creating chances for fun in both matches. So my struggles are all to do with the unfortunate players of Coventry City. It’s the only thing it can be.
Which is fine. I like a challenge, and all that. Just not too time-consuming a challenge… I’m sure it’ll come good.
The second leg at Carlisle’s place also ended 0-0. That’s how it was at the end of extra time as well. It was a pretty dour match, all told. The penalty shoot-out came. Carlisle went first, and scored. Then I missed my first kick. Then I saved Carlisle’s next two kicks. I slotted home all my remaining penalties, and that was that. Through to the semi-final, to face Everton. The board were delighted.