Still with FIFA09. Things have cooled off slightly since the love-fest of a few days ago. I keep trying to replicate those volleys, particularly the Pavlyuchenko one. But the game won’t cooperate with me. It stubbornly makes my players tamely head the ball, or weakly kick it into the keeper’s gloves.
It’s my timing that’s off. Now that I know the power volleys from distance are possible, I’m trying more of them—which gives me more opportunities to mess up the timing. Which has to be absolutely dead-on. Otherwise, no volley. I’m still working on it.
I did score a good ‘normal’ goal from distance. I scored it with my talented midfielder, name of Locke. I found him in a search and snapped him up. Despite the name, he’s Brazilian. It’s very common, of course, for people to have surnames from outside of their culture groups. But whenever I do a Player Search in my Manager Mode’s game world, there are a disproportionate amount of South American players called Alfonso Jones and Diego Robinson and the like. I’ve never come across anything like it in a football game before. Have I triggered a glitch somewhere in FIFA09, or is this an intended feature?
The goal was a comparatively rare distance shot. This was scored using semi-assisted shooting and no modifiers (no finesse, etc.)—it’s a full-on laces shot:
This goal came against one of my former Manager Mode clubs, Atletico Madrid. It was odd lining up against them. The match was the first leg of the semi-final of the EFA Cup. The goal above gave me the lead, but I went on to ship two late goals. The second leg ended 0-0, and I was out.
The season is over now. It ended with a surprising flourish of career-mode realism. Pavyluchenko, the best striker I’ve played with in FIFA09, picked up an injury in the last few weeks of the season that peculiarly kept him out of action for all four matches of my run-in. I say peculiarly because it’s one of Manager Mode’s ‘highlights’ that your players almost never get injured. And when they do, the most that happens is they miss one match. Not four matches, as in this case. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad.
I was happy, then sad. Without Pavlyuchenko up front I lost all four of my last four matches, which included the second leg of the EFA semi-finals. Blackburn thumped me in the League 6-0.
Six-nil. I really took my eye off the ball in that match. That’s what can happen to me on World Class difficulty when I lose focus. Despite the losses, I finished 4th in the Premier League table and qualified for the ECC (i.e. the Champions League).
This time last week my plan was to finish the current season and then abandon Manager Mode—and possibly FIFA09—for the rest of the football game year. But now I’ve decided to carry on. While I’m enjoying FIFA09 again, and not seeing Manager Mode’s many faults so clearly, I might as well carry on. There’s a long summer to go before we even get a sniff of FIFA10.
And I’m keeping a beady eye on PES2010. But I’m not expecting much. It’s for the best. If I accept now that PES is gone, life (and blogging) will be a lot simpler. As ever, though, there’s just too much wonderful history between me and PES. I refuse to abandon all hope. At this crucial stage of the franchise’s history, a great PES2010 would be akin to the Second Coming of Christ.