World Class difficulty is here and looks like staying. The decision was cemented in classic fashion. I paused the game to go and do something that ended up taking several hours. When I returned I forgot I’d changed the difficulty from Professional to World Class, and found myself wondering why the matches suddenly seemed so tough and midfield-y. I played two of the most amazing matches I’ve ever played on FIFA20 (or on any football game) before I remembered I’d changed it to World Class.
It’s probably too soon to go up just in terms of how strong (or not) my squad is (see below). But I need that extra layer of toughness. Professional was still giving me a good game but nearly every match was too comfortable, and too open by comparison to World Class. A rolling end-to-end procession of chances for both sides. World Class is much tighter. I can never go back to Professional now. Unless World Class proves too difficult as the season unfolds, in which case I will shriek like a girl and run back to Professional for a bit.
I will be heading into Season 4 without the exact kind of squad I wanted. Yet again I have annoyed and aggravated a broad swathe of the world’s top managers, players and agents with my completely reasonable offers. I just won’t break the wage structure at the club. No way am I paying a bench-warmer £40,000 a week when my star striker is on £30,000 a week. Not happening.
There is still a week or so of August to run at the time of typing, and I am still looking for that one extra player to slot in, but it’s just as likely that this is the squad I will play most of the coming season with.
Here, for I believe the first time in this Career, is a complete picture showing my First XI, my subs’ bench, and the rest of the squad – every player at my disposal:
Picture was assembled after a tough match, so excuse fatigue.
As can be seen at a glance, I have a decent First XI but no real quality outside it – not even on the bench. I will do well to improve on Season 3’s 7th position finish for Season 4.
The First XI is the team I want to take on all big matches. The rest of the squad will take on the Carabaos and the lesser matches of all kinds. Being in the Europa League this season has great disruptive potential to my cosy plan. We shall see.
I’m firmly immersed in the fate of this squad. As much as with any Master League.
Look at Ward (LW, 69) on the bench. He is my star Youth who has really surged up the reckoning. He started many matches last season, but after I noticed that Deulofeu is an accomplished LM/LW himself, Ward has dropped down to the bench. Nevertheless his appearances from the bench, and his still-frequent starts (because of stamina) show me that here is a virtual player whose name and destiny I might well remember for the rest of my football gaming life. See today’s Miscellany clips below for a decent goal of his.
Bello at LB is one of three (3) LBs now at the club, thanks to my cack-handedness in the negotiations market. (It’s a long and boring story.) Anyway, Bello was the one I really wanted, and got, because of his insane SPEED. It really is a joy to watch him overtake and tackle a sprinting AI winger, à la peak Michael Owen. Ayling on the RB side isn’t as pacey so when the AI attacks down that wing I still find myself in trouble.
I don’t like having two players named Torres who are so similar, and one of them will be sent out on Loan or sold before the end of August.
A word about Roberts, my young 61-rated CB. He had to play in a league match against Leicester in which I got thumped 4-0 (the World Class factor coming into play there), but his performance was a bright spot, with a saving tackle at the end preventing a truly humiliating 5th goal for Leicester. Arguably I wouldn’t have lost 4-0 if I hadn’t had to play Roberts and other squad players, and even more arguably this result does not bode well for my World Class future, but I’m thoroughly relishing the pressure and the challenge and the squad juggling, and that is what counts in a football game. These are the factors that I’ve been looking for and missing for so long.
A little clips Miscellany to end with – the key goals from the 1st leg of my Europa League qualifiying round match against Aalborg of Denamrk, who I know very well from Football Manager 2019. Also featured is a lovely 20-yard curler from young Ward, with his wrong foot, against Wolves in the Premier League – the winning goal in that match.
Also featured is a goal from my 4th-choice striker, Zlatanovic, a ferocious first-timer to the near post when I was in a spot of bother in the (World Class) return leg vs Aalborg. I went on to win that leg as well, and then faced another qualifying round vs Rosenborg, which I squeaked through (on World Class!). And am now in the Europa League group stage proper. Phew.
Onward and upward. FIFA20 is taking up a great deal of time that I would usually spend playing my other key games (the XCOMs and the like). I am addicted to progressing this club and this squad and cannot wait to find out what my young players will do in the matches to come.