No Man’s Fallout Manager

The blog will be taking a break for new posts until the PES2019 demo appears.

The next new post will be the day after Demo Day – on Thursday, August 9th (or possibly on the day itself, Wednesday the 8th, depending what time it arrives). Either way, it’s less than 2 weeks away.

I will be active in comments here until then, and reserve the right to pop out a surprise new post if something unexpected occurs. I’m always likely to randomly start up PES3 or the like, and have something to say about it.

The only real reason I would play either PES or FIFA right now would be to have something to blog about, and ‘playing for the sake of blogging’ has never been what the blog is about. The blog is driven by my footy gaming activities, not the other way around.

I’m barely playing any football games other than Football Manager 2012. I’ve also got Fallout 4 on the go, the rejuvenated No Man’s Sky, and as ever I’m reading a couple of books.

Football Manager is going well. I play a session of one or two matches a couple of times a week – for me, this is the only way to play Football Manager and keep it going as a live proposition. I started the Blue Square North season with Hinckley. I got a first-day away win and then a home draw against better opposition, so a great start.

No Man’s Sky’s long-awaited major update is a wonderful transformation of what was already an intriguing, peculiar game. The NEXT update added a few mainstream gaming loops, but also a lot else that deepens and widens the core experience of being a lone traveller in a mysterious, fantasy sci-fi galaxy. Actual in-game screenshot here. No one has ever remarked that NMS screenshots can look like 1970s prog-rock album covers. No one. Ever.

Fallout 4 has settled into a grinding groove. I’m bogged down in updating settlements and doing the quests.

All in all, the typical midsummer period of a football gamer.

What of the latest PES2019 news? When it comes to nuPES, I’ve transitioned from saying every year: ‘oh dear God where are the fouls?’ to the much more interesting question: ‘why do I think, every year, that they’ll bring back fouls?’

It is the much more interesting question now. It must be abundantly clear to everyone that fouls (and penalties, and injuries, and deep single-player modes) are gone from Pro Evolution Soccer for good.

I’ll never stop being amazed that this diabolical transformation was done right under our noses over the past 4 years or so. We watched and saw it happen, but somehow always remained convinced it was some kind of mistake that was going to rectified.

The ‘hardcore’ PES community effectively fiddled while Rome burned – always a case of ‘next year… next year… next year…’ Then, every summer, it was ‘this year… this year… this year!’. Then inevitably back to ‘next year… next year… next year…’

And Konami just kept on quietly pumping out the game that the marketplace demands: a fast-flowing, interruption-free, online video game based on the sport of football, that bears the PES name.

I’m getting PES2019 and doubtless will have an epically awesome week 1 dabbling with everything and getting over-excited – and I am looking forward to it, after genuinely believing I wouldn’t bother again – but a week of mania is really all I’m expecting. After that comes the disillusionment, the acceptance of a pseudo-PES product, and getting the best from it I can. I’m looking forward to trying out my Irregulars idea in myClub 2019, and curious to see if Master League will still fly.

Updated: 27th July 2018 — 12:37


  1. The no mans sky update is amazing, it feels like a sequel. Reading anything good not-Greg?

  2. leroygetz – I’ve sadly picked up the werdlike habit of trying to read too many books at once, which of course means that nothing at all gets read, but am currently sticking to just two, 1 non-fiction and 1 fiction. Jonathan Wilson’s football tactics book (which is 50% historical. and 50% about the tactics themselves). Fiction is Matt Haig’s How To Stop Time, which is giving me strong First 15 Lives of Harry August vibes currently.

  3. Love all of Jonathan Wilson’s stuff. Currently rereading Dune after seeing the Blade Runner director is at the helm of the new film. Gaming is a bit of dark souls and no mans sky. Avoiding football games for a bit, just in a bit of a funk. The non stop transfer nonsense at this time of year actually puts me off the game. Silly season.

  4. n-G – Good idea to have a break from blogging ahead of the new footy gaming season. PES 2018 was pretty good in the end – for a nuPES at least. Saying that I only played four ML seasons and won nothing by way of silverware. I’ll be going back to it if PES 2019 is a dud, which I doubt. I’m confident it will be at least as good or no worse than PES 2018.

    Careful with this upgraded No Man’s Sky. One of the bugs – inevitable in such a massive update – is that certain crashes lead to the corruption of save files. A patch is on it’s way any time now. I’ve not had any problems yet. And what a game it is. NMS and PES is going to keep me busy for a good while I think.

    As for books, I find myself not reading anything right now. My reading time has been with Neflix on the iPad time. Just finished the two seasons of Daredevil which I thought was excellent. I’ll be back in the reading habit in time for the publication of the Beastie Boys memoir in October.

  5. NG – It’s a remarkable PES turnaround for you, I’m glad that normal(ish) service will be resumed when its released.

    My final point on no fouls is this: Am I the only one who has experienced FIFA 18 being relatively full of fouls (even against the AI). Or am I imagining it as there are basically none in PES 2018. I’ve really enjoyed both games for different reasons this year, so much so that I’m going to be in the strange position of having the urge to instantly buy both.

    Not sure how that’s going to work really.

  6. On the subject of fouls, there’s loads on PES 5. Iv had 4 penalties in my last 6 games. Next fixture up is the 1st round of the Wefa Masters Cup.

  7. Lloyd – wouldn’t it be interesting to see a YouTube video called ‘Teenage football gamers of the year 2018 play PES5’ and see the reaction to the likely 20 fouls each. Per half.

    Keith – FIFA is a no-fouls game for me, and has been since FIFA11, which is when I first remember the FIFA series getting absolutely roasted on the PES forums for no-fouls. How times have changed.

    Shed – I’m really not bothered with playing any PES or FIFA right now and it’s best to let the batteries recharge in the next few weeks. Doubtless I’ll have a session of something between now and the PES2019 demo, but I’m not bothered if not. I’m much more interested in using the time I have on other games. I’ve heard all about the NMS bugs and glitches, and the one you detail isn’t even the worst. Apparently if you’s standing in the wrong place on a freighter when you accept missions, it’ll disappear around you.

  8. Keith, I wouldn’t say FIFA 18 is full of fouls.
    I played 4 seasons on FIFA 18’s Career Mode, and i’d say the average was about 3 fouls per match.

    much better than PES 18’s 0.5 fouls per match, but still relatively low compared to say PES 5.

    The difference between the two though is that when you are blatantly fouled, in FIFA it is given, whether its on the edge of your own box, 2 yards outside the opponents box, or inside the box, the FK or penalty is given.

    In PES, it just isn’t, professional fouls aren’t given, cards aren’t given, fk’s and pens are just not given.

    I could cope with the low fouls count if the tackles that the com does actually make that are fouls are given.

  9. Paul – if 3 per match was your mathematical average, then you must have been having regular matches (around 40% of all matches) with 6 or 7 AI-committed fouls in them. If so, I’d agree that was full of fouls by modern standards. But if I don’t see that rate myself in a football game – and I definitely don’t, as FIFA is about 0.75 per match for me (against PES’s 0.5) – I can’t say fouls are OK in FIFA. A lot of it will be our individual play-styles of course.

    I had a random match in my old ML save on PES2018 the other day and the AI was viciously swiping at me everywhere. 4 fouls in the first half. These can happen occasionally. If you were getting 4/10 matches in FIFA with 6 or 7 fouls in them – excellent.

  10. First they came for the slow build up, but I said nothing as I didn’t care about it being fast….then they came for the scouts but I didn’t….etc etc

    Downloaded the nms update yesterday along with the fortnite one – by that has big and regular updates for a freebie, and still it crashes on a frequent basis. I wouldn’t invest a penny in the shop ever, no matter how many footballers do the dances.

  11. NG/Paul – Cheers for the responses. It definitely feels like about 4-5 fouls a game against me from my memories of FIFA 18 because I remember thinking how is it possible that they can do this and PES can’t. I may actually try and put a few hours in the weekend and count the fouls. Like you say, a lot could be down to play-style I guess, I would say I’m often trying to run/turn/cut past the AI.

    Anyway, apologies for bringing up a subject that has been done to death…..

  12. NG – it varies, in FIFA 18, I could go a run of matches where I’d only get 1-3 fouls per match, and other times there could be 2-6 fouls per match.
    I remember having 2 penalties (both scored) in the same match inside the first half.

    Averaging out at around 3, maybe slightly less, say 2.5 but it was noticeably better than PES, having come straight off the back off a 10 season ML in PES it was a refreshing change.

  13. Abbeyhill – I am currently on holiday so have just seen your question from previous post. I was playing Witcher 3 up until the holiday and was about halfway through Velen. Though I do spend a lot of time just wandering about.

    Talking of TV series has anyone watched Designated Survivor? It is rare I get into them but it has had me hooked and was watching 2 episodes a night with the misses in recent weeks.

  14. Speaking of fouls…

    Another PES 2019 doing the rounds from TrueBrits, showing off Superstar difficulty against the AI. Looks relatively good all round and a bit better on the fouls front, at least three in this one. It’s more the defender willing to go to ground that’s encouraging to me. Finger’s crossed.

  15. First PES 5 hatrick. Take a bow Shaun Wright Phillips.

  16. Have you seen his brother – “is Bradley wright Philips MLS’s greatest ever player?” Was one headline as he scored his 100th goal. Says it all about the standard they are still at over there.

    Tried playing NMS last night, didn’t realise I needed to download another update after the six hour marathon of the other day. The link between gaming and being online is now set in stone, couldn’t even get on fortnite due to the storms knocking out t’internet round here.

  17. Wow, no man’s sky…survival is a bit tasty. I’ve completely forgotten all the controls and looks like they’ve added a lot more, consequently I lasted less than a minute on a toxic planet with knackered gear.

    I’m going to play normal for a bit to refamiliarise then go for it. It’s surely got blog written all over it, I haven’t searched but there must be a fan base logging their journeys? Hopefully it’s more than simply mine, fly, mine, fly, crap story.

  18. Uncle Turf – Survival is the NMS equivalent of Default-Superstar-manual, although Permadeath sub-mode (Survival that ends when you die once; no reloading) is perhaps the more extreme. I’ll circle back to that one and stick with Survival for now. I never did dip too deep into NMS over the past few years so all this is amazing for me. It surely has got blog written all over it with a 1970s sci-fi book cover image around every corner.

    Tommy – I saw the TrueBrits video and liked a lot of the general gameplay on show.

    The fouls that caused so much happiness were proper fouls, but in how many matches will the AI do that? Is that couple of fouls going to be a regular occurrence in nearly every match, or will it prove to be an exceptional one-in-twenty matches (or more) event? I’d bet a whole lot of dough on the latter.

    It’s the fouls where mutual barging occurs without ball contact that need to be given, but can’t ever be given because of the way players are now conditioned to play (which would lead to PES5-levels of fouls given, which make online players howl, etc. etc. etc.). It’s surely time for us to end the annual round of ‘this year! this year! this year! oh…’ Fouls are never coming back to football gaming. I must have written a thousand of these thumbnail sketches of The State of Fouls in Football Gaming Today over the past few years. I’m not going to write too many more. It’s all over and done with and finished for good.

    Darryl – I started Designated Survivor and loved the hokeyness of it. As a big 24 fan I had to get over waiting to see Keifer beat the shit out of everyone. Once I got past that I settled into it and loved it, but I’m afraid gradually lost belief in the story and the actions of characters in certain situations. When the thing happened with the black FBI boss and his son (about 12 episodes in I think), I couldn’t believe that the FBI boss would act as he did, and I stopped watching.

  19. NG – You do have to suspend belief a bit with Designated Survivor and I found the Agent Wells character a bit annoying and her role becomes more prominent as the series goes on.

  20. Tommy – Thanks for posting that vid. Rather well done isn’t it? That has at least convinced me that some of the issues with PES 2018 have been worked on although I agree that two fouls from the AI aren’t enough to convince me that we’re going to see an improvement in that area. It is good to see the varied play by the AI and better ball physics though.

    Played a lot of No Man’s Sky over the weekend and I continue to be impressed. This is just the kind of game I wanted for when that footy game fatigue sets in.

  21. Shed – It’s encouraging, but I’m definitely not reading too much into it. Watching the video I want to believe the cpu appears a tad more aggressive, but we will find out come demo time. I had a go on 2018 straight after watching the video and actually had two reckless cpu fouls in my next game!

  22. Interesting Reddit AMA talking about the AI on Superstar. It’s more the comments than the video. From a few days ago, so apologies if this is old news.

    PES2019 1 VS COM Gameplay – Played the game all day, AMA from WEPES

  23. Tommy – that’s OK, plenty won’t have seen it. I was following the Q&A live and thought the tone was very much the excited one of a long-term PES player who’s got to play the new PES – the same tone we’ll all have on Day 1. That’s when fouls & individuality etc don’t seem so important.

    I liked his video that we’ve all seen and liked too. That’s one heavy-looking ball this year. Hope it makes it to release.

    Shed – touch wood, still no bugs or glitches for me in NMS. I’m seeing some incredible things in the game’s screenshot-dominated subreddit.

    When I finally got off my Survival planet (after six messy deaths) I was instantly attacked by pirates. I’d never done much pew-pew-pew stuff in my previous goes at the game and was surprised to easily fight them off. I’m currently patiently following the early tutorial missions to get all kitted out before striking out alone. Do people make for the edge of the galaxy in NMS just to see what’s out there?

    Darryl – suspending disbelief is what life’s all about and I had no problem with Designated Survivor’s credulity-stretching moments…. until that moment, for some reason. Just one of those things.

  24. Is the story still in NMS? As I played through it after hours of happy travelling – pre bases and vehicles or whatever else now exists. If you’d asked what was out there back then I’d say lots of more of the same as every planet I visited had the same basic set up of plants, rocks and animals. It got very boring. My first planet this time is insanely tough, very very cold, and that never used to be the case, they were always temperate starts. And this is on normal, not survival (seems exactly the same mode just tougher?)

  25. Uncle Turf – I heard about the vague story in launch NMS and understand that it’s been expanded and deepened in various ways. E.g. one thing I like is that if you look in the in-game Wikipedia and click the name of an element (Carbon or whatever), the game will make a standalone mission for you to go and get it. The campaign with all that Atlas stuff and mysterious ruins etc. is all embiggened too but I have no idea how. One of the sci-fi tropes I love the most is the mysterious opening that gradually reveals more of the universe. I’m not expecting Dune-level quality of worldbuilding, but more than was there at launch is a cert. Apparently ship and suit upgrades are truly meaningful now too (ship types were mostly cosmetic before), and of course one of the headline features is being able to command fleets, which I think functions similar to sending teams on missions in MGS5.

  26. Tommy – Those comments are very PES Day aren’t they but I do like the look of the more varied AI and the looser weighty ball physics.

    n-G – Survival mode on NMS is even tougher than Normal, obviously, so you did well to finally get off that starter planet. It’s a steep learning curve, even for those who have played the game before.

    I’m still in the same peaceful galaxy I started in so no pirate zapping for me. I’ve been busy collecting resources and upgrading systems ready for wider exploration once all these nasty bugs I’ve heard about are removed from the game which indeed they are. I’m looking forward to getting a freighter but I see many have had issues with them so I’m holding off and keeping busy building my beach house base.

    What a game though. Visually, it’s stunning and the scale of it all is really amazing.

  27. Shed – yes, and you could really stay on one planet (or in one system of a few planets and moons) forever and remain content with life, just building up to the 20,000-piece limit for bases on each world.

    I hear there’s an early in-game event where the game essentially gifts you a starting freighter, so it might be unavoidable, but all the glitches affecting them are connected with accepting missions whilst on the freighter. So I think when I get mine I will enjoy the freighter, then park it, avoiding freighter-based missions until the next big patch drops. Remember where I parked…

    And Spooky/Spoony’s responses on PES2019 are bubbling over with the joy of PES. He states elsewhere – on EvoWeb I think – that he’s not too bothered about no-fouls etc in nuPES, so his perspective is slightly different.

  28. Tommy – some encouraging words from Dutch pes-guy Spooky. Mentions more fouls, better pace and more passing error on pa1. For what it’s worth considering what changes will be made up until release.

    Edit – oops, it’s been mentioned in the posts above. Apologies. Vacation time = brain switched off.

    BTW funny thing I read, don’t know if it was mentioned here–apparently Kei Masuda acknowledged the UI is garbage but they can’t fix it in time. They will address it for 2020 apparantly. No surprise there but what’s intriguing to me is that Masuda genuinely does not seem to see any issue with the UI. I suspect this is the case with the majority of Konami choices and “issues”. Which are not issues to them.

  29. #1 – The Riddle of Konami is solved when you accept that everything we regard as an issue, to them is not an issue. It’s something they are deliberately doing/not-doing for coherent, considered reasons (no-fouls etc).

    I still see the term ‘catch-up bug’ used on the forums in such a way that the speaker seems to think it’s an actual programming bug that has somehow survived for 15 years. Every year they’re all ‘is the catch-up bug gone? is the catch-up bug gone?’. In recent years they’ve been told ‘YES! The catch-up bug is GONE!’ by the summertime playtesters and/or Adam himself, but of course the catch-up bug is not gone and will never be gone, and is not a bug. We’re exactly like those people when we talk about fouls and injuries and the like. Even the UI issue.

  30. #1 – That Masuda comment annoyed the arse out of me.
    Once again reeks of pure Konami laziness and releasing unfinished products.

    No time to fix the menus is absolute BS. The code that links the buttons to other screens is absolutely minimal, and works already, what needs changing is the actual look/design of the background of the menus, which would take any joe bloggs who is half decent with Photoshop half an hour to knock something up, just make it look modern and finished FFS.

    I say this every year, and have done for the last x number of years, Konami do not do the basics, they do not do the details and they consistently fob us off with unfinished products.

    People on Twitter saying that menus don’t matter they are a means to navigate from one mode to another, maybe, but they are also the very first thing you see when you fire the game up, first impressions, if the first thing you see is a dull bland grey menu that looks unfinished it does not fill you with hope for the rest of the game.
    And besides that, where is the pride? if you have been working on developing a game for 18 months, and it comes to release it, surely you’d want it to look as good and polished as possible!?!?

    Does Gordon Ramsay write a new cook book, and when he’s finished cooking all the meals, throw them in a plastic zip seal bag to be photographed? No.
    Do Audi develop a new car and let the first one off the production line roll off with bubbled paintwork? No.
    Do EA ever release a new FIFA with plain dull Menus and AI? No.

    Konami never learn, for them they’d rather put all their efforts into making clubs ‘partners’.

  31. Ah yes, a quick read of the wiki and they have indeed added considerably to the story. I still think there’s a bit more of a Star Trek type game in there with more races (fewer blasters) and greater variety of worlds but as I loved it at first I am anticipating I will do so again.

  32. #1 – It all reads pretty well, except for shooting. From one of the comments it sounds a little bit like shots from any kind of distance will be nerfed even more this year, which is disappointing. But I might be reading it wrong and yes, a lot can change between now and mid-August.

  33. Tommy – my reading of the shooting issue, and what I saw on that video, is that they’ll be tightly bound up with stats and context (position, angle, defender proximity etc.) which sounds suitably classic-PES crowd-pleasing. Although I doubt we’ll ever see regular long-range goals in PES again, for online score management reasons.

    Paul – all good points. Book and album covers have thousands of pounds lavished on them for that very reason. Same for TV show title sequences. Daredevil and American Gods and so many others have wonderfully inspiring title sequences that I always watch in their entirety. Going back to Star Trek TNG and Buffy, a great title sequence really sets a tone and mood. So yes, a game’s menus etc are important.

  34. Everything about konami’s attitude towards pro evo screams ‘half arsed’. Not sure why I called it pro evo there, makes it sound like a racing game but I’m sure that’s what I used to say, before this ‘pes’ business caught on. They clearly haven’t heard about the legendary blue Monday cover and the genius that was Tony Wilson.

    Saw NMS in cex today, currently £22. I recall it being six not long ago.

  35. to be honest I still think of the title as Pro Evo, Turf, there is no satisfactory way of pronouncing PES without making it sound dreary

  36. I still say pro evo. Mind you it took until PES 5 for me to stop calling it ISS.

    I’m not overly enthralled by the recent PES 2019 footage but I’m happily playing a few matches of FIFA every day so I’m not desperate for a new game.

  37. I’ve always called it Pro Evo,or as the mrs calls it ‘Pro Evil’.
    Aesthetically, from what I’ve seen, PES 19 looks beautiful.

    The lighting is superb, the player models and animations are gorgeous, the turf looks actually real, it all moves really nicely, the players and ball also look to have some weight this year, but obviously its all about how it feels and plays in your own hand. (ooer)

  38. Me and my lot simply refer to it as ‘Pro’.

  39. It’s always been “pes” to me.

    BTW Paul I fully agree. Being active in online marketing it makes a world of difference presenting something in Excel or making a decent presentation in PowerPoint or any other visual tool. Content is the same, impression vastly different. Of course this is applicable to almost anything and everything in life and it is something I’m quite susceptible too myself. One of the reasons I drive an Alfa Romeo instead of a Volkswagen Golf. (yes highly subjective and I realize a Golf can look just as good or better than an Alfa. End disclaimer)

    Partly because of this, fifa 18 felt such a fresh breath of air this past “season”. I will say pes 19 looks fantastic otherwise. The return to “proper” shooting is getting me somewhat hyped up as well as that was something that was very deflating last year.

    Tommy – the Dutch comments suggest that shooting is a-OK, I see no worries regarding long distance shooting. Might have missed it though.

  40. #1 – Yeah, I’m beginning to see that now. “Doesn’t Read Things Properly” will be written on my gravestone, I swear.

  41. Late to the party, but it’s always been Pro Evo. PES has connotations of those horrible little sweets.

  42. The campaign to rebrand it “” starts here….

    And “not-Greg” has to go as a name, hyphens are so last year. How about PROEVOCHRONICLES! Brought to you by….Gn0t Greg….

    It would be more down with the kidz

  43. The context in which we namecheck the game is important. How often do we ever have to say (verbally, out loud) whatever name for PES we go with?

    In spoken-aloud-speak, I will always call the series by its full name: ‘Pro Evolution Soccer’. The people I’m speaking to about it, in various contexts, wouldn’t know what PES or Pro Evo was/is. And so it’s ‘Pro Evolution Soccer’ for people at work wanting to know what my week off (release week itself in most years, or the week after (as it is this year)) is all about. I tell them I’m taking the week off to play a game called ‘Pro Evolution Soccer’. I don’t care.

    Speaking out loud to the few other PES-aware people I know in so-called real life, it’s ‘Pro Evo’.

    PES is only for the Internet. I don’t recall ever saying out loud, even once, ‘PEZZ’ for PES. In written-down speak, ‘PES’ is the most economical and recognisable.

  44. not-Greg – you have definitely called it PEZZ in some of your videos with commentary on here. Just an observation rather than a criticism of course – you are perfectly at liberty to call it what you want!

  45. abbeyhill – I think you’re right, and clean forgot those couple of spoken vids for the blog. Other than them, then, ‘PES’ is my least-used term.

  46. Turf – I backing the campaign to have him renamed to !Greg or even ~Greg, although I’ll admit the latter might be misconstrued as “roughly Greg” which could draw an entirely different type of audience.

  47. #1 – Absolutely agree, presentation is everything, first impressions and all that.
    I was watching some videos on youtube of PES/Pro Evo/Pro Evolution Soccer 2019, in theatre mode, so near full screen videos, where you could see the player models and animations and turf all up close and it does look superb.

    Much more realistic than previous versions in terms of how players run, move and manipulate their footing in order to play passes and shots, and trap the ball etc.
    I’m looking forward to seeing it in action in 4k on the PS4 Pro and QLED Tv.

    Also Konami’s marketing of PES 19 this year has been impressive, with all the events they have held and the way they used E3 as a massive event to PR the game, was very professional, You can see there has been a shift in the way they are doing things, but ….

    And with Konami theres always a but, yesterday on Twitter they announced several club partnerships and new stadiums in the game, Celtic Park, Ibrox, Ajax Stadium, Monaco Stadium, Jose Alvarez Stadium etc, which will come as DLC after release, but how far after release?

    Will these new stadiums be able to be used in ML? And will we have to wait months and be drip fed them? meaning they wont be available for a ML start? I’d pretty much guarantee that will be the case. Which almost renders them pointless unless.

    Couple that with the already admitted unfinished menus, and what you may get is a really nice sherry trifle, with a White dog shit frosting, that people may not want to try because of how it looks.

  48. Paul – good news about the new stadiums but I’m sceptical, still waiting for Craven Cottage after all.

    I’m into season 4 on FIFA, currently lying 2nd in the Championship. After a rough start in League 2 it’s been plain sailing. I’m purposefully keeping it a little easy because I didn’t fancy a slog but with time running short I may change a few settings. FIFA 19 career mode sounds unchanged unfortunately, EA thinking UEFA license is enough for this year it seems which isn’t much use when in League 2.

  49. Paul – You’re right about first impressions. Konami have a massive uphill battle as it is, without deliberately tying one hand behind their back with a piece of skipping rope designed by a six year old.

    Cook – Congrats. The lower divisions on FIFA are a long old slog. I hope you get to enjoy the Premiership and Europe before you move on to whatever 19 is next.

  50. Chris99 – good shout, although we might encourage a nautical/Boy Scout crossover audience if we suggest “KnotGreg”

    Paul – I can confirm that were you to get up close to ‘turf’ it is indeed superb.

    Submitted my thesis today – four years of, well I can’t say blood sweat and tears, but a lot of reading and way too much writing. One more trip to defend the thing sometime and that’s me done as a student forever. I’m really going to miss it (not the being skint bit mind).

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