Everything is cool when you’re part of a team

The great momentous matches just keep coming. I got thumped in the above match – Man Utd away – but it was still a great event.

I’m still in that phase of my Career Mode career with Leeds United in FIFA20 where ‘everything is awesome’. I keep repeating this at the start of recent posts for the benefit of all readers who only check in every couple of weeks or months, and might not know or have forgotten that, yes, I really am playing FIFA20, and I really am taking it seriously this year.

Ialso repeat it for the benefit of another, much larger group of readers: the ones who can’t believe this FIFA spell is really real and is going to end soon as all the others have.

It’s really real. It won’t end soon. Oh, it will end at some point – summertime PES will happen at some point (but what PES could follow FIFA20?) – but that won’t be soon.

I’d put twenty quid on us not seeing any 2021 football games until November-December this year, what with one thing and another. (I hear there’s a bug going around.)

Here’s my main man. Pound for pound, Kalvin Phillips is my MVP, keeping alive the fine tradition of central defensive midfielders being the most important players in football games. Giants in defence, Titans in attack. I would like a few more goals from him but he gets enough to more than earn his keep, and he is immense in front of the back 4.

I have always played football games with a deep-lying midfielder and I have always found them compelling to play with, on the whole. Every single iteration of PES has had a great DMF, and it’s a tradition I am pleased to see continuing for me into FIFA. Where of course they’re called CDMs. No matter.

I’m writing this a few minutes after getting to the end of January in Season 2. I had a sneaky few matches this morning – the very morning of the post, when I forced myself to get up early. I’ve been laying abed until 11am, luxuriating in the silence and laziness of the lockdown. Curse these interesting times, eh?

It has always taken me ages to get through FIFA seasons and FIFA20 is even ‘worse’ for this because I’m actually stopping to smell the roses with this one. Instead of racing through from match to match, I’m stopping and doing Training, I’m examining my Youths, I’m reading emails, I’m fiddling with formations and tactics. The ratio of matchplay to other activities in PES is roughly 99:1. In FIFA20, for me, it’s about 75:25, which is a nice sweet spot for a football game to hit.

Two goals now from my half-forgotten striker Gabriel Barbosa. These two goals were crucial in an FA Cup replay against Salford. The first was a standard sort of shot, but the second was a rarity for me so far in FIFA – a finesse shot from about 24 yards, it looks like. A long-ranger? You decide. My PES muscle memory keeps making me try these sorts of shots, but I don’t recall one coming off until now.

One day, PES muscle memory won’t be a thing and I will talk about FIFA muscle memory. Are we there yet? Not yet – 20+ years of conditioning takes some time to wear off. But I think I soon will be there…

Updated: 10th April 2020 — 11:58


  1. that is some meaty looking gameplay and nice solid goals there NG.
    Am trying to get on board here with the whole FIFA-thing but I can’t use my ps4 controller for the life of me with Origin. Any way around that?

  2. Hartlepool finished 19th in my first cm01/02 season for what must be 18 or 19 years. Appalling. I had no idea who to buy, how to play them or which tricks to use. I don’t want to google them, I’d rather rediscover the old magic. Besides which a lot of the wnderkids I remember didn’t turn up till 03 onwards. Chairman is not happy but says my job is safe. I applied for the Burnley job just to see how it all worked again and was offered it. So the standard suspend reality of football gaming is very much alive. I obviously declined. Season two has to be better with a settled formation and staff.

  3. #1 – sorry for very belated response, I had a weekend of long hours not working from home, but thankfully that’s my turn done for a few weeks now.

    Paul tried a lot harder than me to get his PS4 controller working on PC. It’s a general PC problem I think, not specifically an Origin one.

    I’ve never really tried as I had a sturdy Xbox360 for Windows wired controller that I used for a while, before buying a cheap and cheerful wired PS3-like controller that is serving me well too.

    Uncle Turf – I managed to talk my way into the Carlisle job in my FM19 world. Finally a foothold in the English leagues. I could have made a similar move a season or two ago but I had put down roots in Denmark and felt great affinity with my club, BK Avarta. Now I arrive at Carlisle United, an established ‘name’ club in England, with an 18000-seater stadium (avg attendance at Avarta: 600). Carlisle finished bottom of League 2 and are in the Vanarama as I arrive and expecting promotion back at the first attempt. I have a 1-year contract. No pressure. The joys of starting the save unemployed mean that if I get sacked, I have to continue in the world of this save and who knows where I’ll end up. If I succeed and don’t get sacked, I can either take Carlisle further or step up the next rung.

    Your CM exploits are helped by the speed you can move through seasons. Even with my stripped-down full fat FM19 it takes multiple sessions to progress through single seasons. I’m in season 5 and have 110 hours on Steam.

  4. NG – yes that’s the appeal right now in a household of distractions. I can set it running in front of the tv and decisions are really quite simple, no multi faceted transfer deals or budget negotiations, it’s not a million miles away from the managerial aspect of pes or FIFA, just a bit more stat based. It won’t replace Cobh ramblers – they will return once we are either free to resume as per usual or sitting on a heap of burning cars.

    Abbeyhill – pond will be looking good I presume?

  5. NG – not a problem of course! I’ve got one of those Xbox controllers laying around as well, that’ll have to do. Tired of all the tinkering already.

  6. #1 – I could NOT get the PS4 controller working with windows for the life of me, using DS4, and the associated drivers, just kept dropping if connected via blueooth, and wrong button mappings everytime when wired, I gave up and bought a non-licensed XBOX one controller and its superb, works every time and feels just as good as the PS4 dualshock.

    NG – glad to see the enjoyment is still bubbling over, I’m just nearing Feb in Season 4 and its probably been the most enoyable season so far, will save details for Thursday, but I’ve had numerous matches akin to your one last week against City, proper up and down, intense, nerve racking, highly realistic matches, where I came away thinking ‘wow, what an experience’.

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