Room 101b

Pre-match at a misty London Stadium. It was the last 16 of the FA Cup, and we faced West Ham. This one ended 0-0 (as a lot of FIFA19 matches tend to do), so it was all back to a replay at mine – Molton Road – a week later. On that occasion we were defeated 3-4 on penalties. Dammit. I had my eye on a trophy in Season 1, but now I suppose we can concentrate on the league.In the league, we’re well into March now. Yes, Career Mode is getting at least one complete season for the first time since FIFA15. Which already makes FIFA19 a hit, even if all ends now.

There’ll be no promotion in this maiden season, though. Here is the table after 36 matches:

The nearest playoff spot is 12 points away – Wolves on 58 points, just out of shot.

If this was PES I’d still think myself in with a chance of catching them. But FIFA table scripting is not as generous as in the other game, plus my form simply isn’t good enough, as the stats show. Only 25 goals scored says all that has to be said.

I do struggle to score goals in FIFA. It’s partly the hangover of PES muscle memory. In FIFA19 you just cannot move the ball upfield as quickly as in PES, or at least not often. I still find myself trying to bomb forward too much of the time, and losing the ball.

I’m also suffering because FIFA19 is designed to favour the methodical passing game that pulls teams apart, creates space, and aims to set forwards free in the area for close- and medium-range finishes. 21st Century Football 101.

I play that way too, most of the time, but give me a sight of goal from distance, and I’ll ignore every single one of my players lurking in the box, and I will joyfully let fly.

Long-range goals are my not-guilty pleasure in all football games. While nearly everyone else is trying to tippy-tappy the ball across the goal line from two inches out, I’m blasting away from 35 yards in an increasingly forlorn quest to see the ball fly into the net. FIFA19 is currently not the most long-range-friendly football game I have ever played, but I keep trying them.

I have got just one in recent sessions, and here it is – at around 25 yards it’s only just about a long-ranger, but it’s all I have so I’ll take it. The final (thumbnailed) angle gives the most delicious sight of the ball curving into the postage stamp corner of the net.

Updated: 25th June 2019 — 10:30


  1. I’m obviously a little behind on blog events and the current FIFA side quest, but why are Coventry in the Championship in your first season? Did you move them up a division in the interest of time?

  2. Despite having it since launch I’m not much further. Third season after winning championship and finishing 4th in Premier with Villa. How Steve Bruce didn’t succeed with that squad in championship should be a stain on his cv.

    I still can’t score at will but this season I had a major squad improvement and if anything it has made the game harder. I’m getting more chances but getting denied by better defending. The one exception was a glorious champions league game vs Leverkusen. It was all out attack from both sides. You really appreciated the step up in class.

    One goal of note shows that I was maybe too severe in changing squad as the older players still have it.

  3. Tommy – yes, I don’t want a full-on ML-like experience with Career Mode, and haven’t got the time for it now anyway with just 10 weeks to PES2020. So I moved CCFC into the Championship during setup, and I have a feeling I’ll be having a billionaire takeover of the club next season.

    prsgame – lovely goal, and I get a lot from that range as well. Super-duper long-rangers (35+ yards) used to be a FIFA staple but I have not had one yet or even got close with one. The online era effectively destroyed long-range scoring in football games, as the games now have to be ‘balanced’ to negate exploits. I watched a few FIFA YouTubers and they never seem to shoot from outside the box at all, never mind from distance.

  4. Carrying from the discussion on the last post, I thought the Premier League had said they weren’t going to adopt the new keeper on the line rule next season. Seems to me that a lot of the VAR issues could be sorted out by giving them 30 seconds to make a decision, and if they can’t do it in that time then the decision can’t be “clear and obvious”.

  5. Chris99 – what a cowardly decision by the PL. I’m surprised they’re allowed to do it given that it’s a FIFA ruling.

    And it takes the VAR booth officials a lot less than 30 seconds to give a decision. All the ‘faffing about time’ of VAR is 10% made up of the VAR booth and the on-field ref conferring, with perhaps the official running to the viewing booth (where they’re rarely watching the footage for longer than 15 seconds). The other 90% is all the players arguing and shuffling around and sulking about it – a ‘we can argue about it’ culture that is deeply embedded not just in the players but the fans and the pundits. I’ve noticed in the Women’s World Cup how incredibly long it takes them to take even regular set pieces and corners, so the extra delay introduced by arguing about VAR (not VAR itself) only compounds it.

    I will bet that coaches took careful note of the way the Cameroon team got into the referee’s head against England on Sunday and forced her not to give a penalty and a red card towards the end of the match. Coaches and managers who dislike VAR, which will be almost all of them, will say to their players: argue and protest and raise hell at every decision, make matches last 20 minutes longer, and see how long they persist with it.

  6. The new manager of Guadalajara in Spanish division b4 will not argue with any decisions. He’s somehow managed to sign Jordan Pickford again though. Laughable that he’s England’s supposed nailed on number 1 in that short time since the game had him as a mackem reserve. We have had a complete lack of keeping depth for years.

  7. Uncle Turf – There’s a couple of GKs better than Pickford but Southgate has this strange sentimentality about him. Having said that, what a buy for Football Manager in Spanish b4!

    Nothing on the FM forums anywhere about how to rescue your former save?

  8. turf – Which FM is this?

  9. Thinking positive, I’m starting to look forward to the news ePES 2K20. I’ve been messing around on 2019 looking at potential “house rules” for when the new game comes out. It goes without saying that the game’s ML base will probably be a carbon copy of previous years, so planning can start now.

    No waiting around for complete option files this year. I’m getting straight in there with the defaults as soon as a basic kit option file becomes available and the day one patch and transfers are done. I’m embracing the fake players and the fake leagues.

    House Rules Idea 1: One In, One Out.
    Loans: None
    One in, one out transfer policy based on the nationalities of the default ML squad line up. There are 28 players, and everyone is from a different country. So if I sell/release Castledine, I can replace him with another player from Greece. Et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum.

    I’ve been trialling this one for a while, and it stands up. Thoughts/suggestions welcome.

  10. Tommy – the financial ML base was vastly different from ’18 to ’19 (drastically restricted finances in the latter making Loanees vital early on) so best wait and see what ’20 is like before committing. It might be impossible again to run the club without Loans. You just never know which way it’ll go. I think PES Productions did 19’s finances by accident so it’s likely back to the ‘Galacticos by Season 5’ model of previous years.

    I don’t remember how your ML went by the time you eventually started it, so probably a good idea to get going immediately.

    I’ve got the week off and will be starting ML on the Thursday or Friday, depending when it’s delivered. I’m still not convinced that the 10th Sep release date is the UK release date. I’d now bet a tenner (it was a fiver last week) that the date is just a placeholder on all the UK sites and will be updated to 13th Sep in due course.

  11. Tommy – 2014.

    Yes, there’s a whole whack of info on the forums about corrupted saves, most of which run to extended discussions of drivers, installed service packs, etc etc. I despise the way pcs make solutions so hit and miss with the number of possibilities. Even though I’ve only ever run it through steam (as it forces you to) whatever bug fix went out clearly didn’t solve it. I’ll just have to make sure I only ever expose a week or so worth of game to each individual save so rolling back is only a match. I’m playing classic and tbh it’s not as good as the original championship manager imho. Full game is just too micro manage, classic feels like there are things stripped back that should be there – like retraining an individual player. An old pc, disconnected from t’internet, running cm01/02 would probably be the best option.

  12. nG – I wasted a good month waiting on the “complete” option file, which ended up being just a mash-up from various sources and with a few problems here and there. Not this year. Straight in to the championship with a fake team and fake players. Classics on too.

    ’19 was an improvement over ’18 in terms of finance restriction for sure, but I’m in season 7 now (of my main ML save, Red Star) and I’ve got more money than I could ever need. Wanting to stretch things out a bit is more my personal preference anyway, as the last few years have seen me win the top league in 6 seasons or less, and then the PES fire goes out. I’d like to prolong things a little longer if I can. But I’m getting ahead of myself and we’ll have to see these revamped* ML changes first…


  13. NG – You have the on-line brigade to thank for the lack of long rangers. Yes they were slightly overpowered at one point but the usual counter is to nerf them and that is what happened.

  14. n-G – It look like you’ve gone back to broadcast cam, have you?

    I finished my random league in FIFA 19 in 15th place which I was quite happy with. I’d given myself the target of finishing outside the bottom three.

    I’m now debating whether or not to start a Career Mode. I still feel like I’m wrestling with FIFA 19 at times but that’s more than likely PES muscle memory in full effect. It is the best FIFA game I’ve played though.

    But then I found myself back in the shed playing PES 5. The title is now definitely on having just taken top spot with a rather glorious run of wins. Tough matches but wins.

  15. Shed – I switch back to Broadcast intermittently. I’m still trying to find the most comfortable gameplay camera in truth. Co-op now feels a little too far out. Tele feels the most natural. The default camera isn’t bad. It’s definitely the best FIFA for a long time.

    Darryl – I do sense the nerf of 30+ yard long-rangers. It’s one of those nerfs where you feel it in your fingers (and feel it in your toes). The player’s in position. His stance, his running, his posture, and his rhythms are all just right. There are no other players within a couple of yards. I’ve pressed the buttons in the correct fashion (very important, this, as Paul knows from PES free kicks). But somehow the shot never goes in. Exactly like recent PES games, and for exactly the same reasons of course.

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