Do-overs are over

I’m very close to the sack in the latter parts of Season 4 in FIFA20 Career Mode.

Leeds United should be doing better than we are with the time and resources at hand. I’m still hovering between 15th-18th in the Premier League.

This is mostly down to me using this season as another one of experimentation with various settings.

I started out on World Class difficulty, and did well for a time. Until I stopped doing well, and started getting routinely thrashed. I plunged down the table. I belatedly realised I’d be better off going back to Professional.

Then I couldn’t make up my mind whether to stay on Professional or not. The matches were too easy.

I went back to World Class, started getting thumped again, and now I am back on Professional, but playing with a difficulty modifier: Semi-Assisted passing and shooting. And it works.

It works a bit too well – results on Professional have been awful in the past couple of sessions. I remain in the places above the bottom 3 that might be called the ‘relegation zone zone’.

Manager Rating is between 45-55, oscillating up and down. I keep getting ominous email warnings…

I’ve made my mind up that the time for side-saves and restarting is over. One of the things that makes football gaming so compelling for me is the weight attached to events and outcomes. Matches have to mean something. Goals have to mean something. Or they really mean not much more than nothing.

I have to take to the field knowing that everything is on the line. That if I hit the wall here, it really is over. No do-overs. So…

If I get sacked now at Leeds, it is over. No reloading old saves. And no starting again from Season 1 with Leeds.

I will continue as a manager in this world. One of the reasons I’m reluctant to part ways with Leeds is that I’ve grown attached to some of my Youths and want to see how they turn out. But I can just buy them at whatever club I end up with.

That’s if I get sacked. At the moment I am hanging on, just squeezing out enough of a result occasionally to stave off the inevitable sack, which won’t take much to happen.

Very brief highlights of a representative match, at home vs Wolves. Literally just the goals and one or two misses.

This vid is notable for a couple of things.

First, the appalling and comical miss at the start that shows just how much unlearning of Assisted muscle memory I have to do.

Second, the continuing story of how I am constantly tormented by Adama Traore in this game.

Third, in one of the PC platform’s many random events, my recording software has started capturing at 720p max by default, and I still haven’t remembered to go in and fix it…

Incidentally, this video contains one of my biggest bugbears with FIFA20 – note the way Traore twists away from my sliding challenge at 1:10.

The game blatantly reads your controller input and evades a slide challenge even when you ‘know’ it should connect.

Yes, I know, that’s Traore’s unique style anyway, and I should have played better, but it is true in FIFA20 that every AI player is capable of doing that last-nanosecond evasion.

If (when) I get sacked, I will play on and take the next likely job offer, but I am fighting for this. I’ve covered a lot of ground with Leeds Utd in these 4 seasons and I would like to finish the job. Sadly my early noob errors in the transfer market have cost me dear. I am constantly fielding a threadbare, average squad. I need time to set my errors right, but I likely won’t get time.

Updated: 30th June 2020 — 11:56


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  1. Emoji of the hands clapping…if we did that sort of thing.

    Sensible choice. I am comfortable in my restart as I didn’t really know what I was doing. Blackburn only have 4m compared with stoke’s many but I’ll likely not waste it as much on multiple scouts and networks.

    What is everyone’s preferred camera then? A customised effort?

  2. NG – Indeed that would be the more authentic option and you could always sign a few of the Leeds players to your new club like real managers do. That is of course if you do get sacked.

  3. Good that the semi-assisted settings are working out for you NG.Think you’re doing the right thing by not restarting. I’m coming to the end of season 7 with Brescia in FIFA 19 and, after a poor start, I had a five-match winning streak, including a victory over Torino, who sacked me in season 4. If you do get the sack, putting one over your former club is always something to look forward to. And you do get to know your new players after a while. Still looking at mid-table mediocrity but enjoying the matches. I’ll basically settle for any kind of silverware between now and season 15. A pre-season tournament seems like the best bet. Can’t see Brescia winning Serie A, at least not with me at the helm.

    I like Tele Camera Turf, and I’m not saying that just to piss Paul off (unless I misunderstood him, he had a bit of a go at its shortcomings on the previous post). I play at 20 height and 0 zoom, tho’ I feel that customised camera settings in recent FIFAs have been almost identical to default settings. That may have changed on FIFA20. I find Tele to give me a reasonable balance between being close enough to the action and being able to see what’s around me on the pitch. But I generally like camera angles with a bit of height. Definitely not going to work for you if you prefer a flatter view, as Paul suggested.

  4. Uncle Turf – persisting with the modded Broadcast cam for now, but I’m feeling that I need a more side-on, elevated view to maximise my chances with Semi-Assisted. I’ve never been as committed to the realism (TV realism at least) angle. I’m far too bone idle to do much experimentation though so sticking with Broadcast for now.

    Darryl – no sacking as of this writing at least! And it looks like Death Stranding 2 is a go. Lot of discussion about DS not needing a sequel, and it doesn’t, but neither did any Metal Gear and they were still good.

    rhymes450 – in FM2019 I’m playing a Start Unemployed (40 y.o. former park footballer) and am already on my second club, Carlisle, after a good 3 seasons at BK Avarta in Denmark, and I had a look at all my best players there but decided none were worth the effort. A football game-game, though, is a different prospect, and I will be raiding Leeds for at least two (Ward and Colombo) if sacked.

  5. Perfectly acceptable to bring a few players with you if you move clubs a la Harry Redknapp.
    Had to laugh at virtual not Greg after that blatant miss. You look like Pep Guardiola with rickets.

  6. NG – I am having similar issues as I spent money this season to bring in some quality. This meant I was expected to challenge for promotion. Results have been similar to last season and my manager approval is dropping all the time and has gone from 90 to 62. Fair enough as they were right to expect improvement. I love this as it puts pressure on every game.

    As for Death Stranding 2 I hadn’t heard about that and personally I would have preferred that they left it were it was.

  7. Ooh, Death Stranding should be out on PC any day now, no? Darryl, inspired by your efforts I am back onto MGS5 again. Managed to defeat the tricky mission 22, when enemy soldiers invade mother base, which had previously confounded me, using a grenade launcher rather than stealth this time, plus another couple after that. Also made time to visit the zoo, one of my favourite things in the game.

    Another season on FIFA19 has rolled by, a bit of a failure this time after the previous treble in season 10, no trophies and just scraped 4th place on the final day. Long term injuries to both first choice CBs and losing a LB on contract release clause left us quite weak at the back, including a 5-1 champions league defeat in Leipzig. Impressed by how unplayable an ageing Haaland was in that game, given that he had not quite ‘emerged’ by FIFA19. Lots of unhappy noises from the Exeter board but of course they gave me another season – not-Greg it does seem really hard to get sacked in FIFA these days…..

  8. “not-Greg it does seem really hard to get sacked in FIFA these days”. Thanks Abbeyhill! That really magnifies my sense of achievement :).

  9. rhymes – I finished rock bottom of English League 2 for two consecutive seasons without being sacked, which makes your achievement even more remarkable!

    Just looking at the Death Stranding PC details; apparently thanks to DLSS even my mid-range RTX2060 graphics card will be able to do >60fps at 4K, can’t wait

  10. Ah,of course you’re modded. I’m on plain old zoomed out default and can’t really find anything better, it’s either too close – and like Paul says, cuts off the stadium – or it looks like a table top football game.

    Blackburn seem a decent squad but a bit thin on the ground. Might need to recruit youth.

  11. It’s all down to personal perference.
    Personally I can’t stand high up elevated camera views or too zoomed out. Looks unrealistic and you lose so much stadium detail, hence I opt for a lower down angled broadcast cam.

    If you put sky sports on now for the west ham Chelsea match at the London stadium, the camera view is pretty much identical to my game camera.

    Have you seen the trailer for FIFER mod V3?
    Pretty impressive. Comes out tomorrow.

  12. Looks superb Paul. Begs the same question as the PES mods I used to use; why don’t EA/Konami just employ these people?

  13. Chris99 – Will forever be one of the great mysteries of the world.

    new post up on FIFAFX

  14. Paul – astonishing work from FIFER and others indeed. I can’t stop feeling amazed that FIFA PC modding is such a little-known thing. Until I specifically checked, I had no idea it was even possible, never mind that anyone did it. There’s never been even a passing mention of it on the PES forums that I know of.

  15. NG – A couple of weeks ago, I made it a mission to Patch up the copy of PES 20 on PC that you kindly gifted me, so I could see if I could get PES looking all pimped up with Premier league stadiums, graphics, adboardc, kits etc just like FIFA.

    I did a fresh steam install of PES20 to start brand new, downloaded the PESUniverse option file, thought once that has installed the kits, competitions etc, I’ll get looking for add-on graphics, well….
    As per on PS4 I went into PES and edit menu and import teams, selected the 654 files inside the PES option file, got to 13….. Failed, cannot load team.
    Tried again, got to 54, Failed, cannot load data
    Tried again, Got to 7, Failed…….

    And despite me having a blisteringly fast PC with M.2 superfast SSD hard drives,the time PES takes ti load each file in is agonisingly slow, so when you get to team 54 out of 655, and its taken 30 mins, then fails, over and over, it becomes way more hassle than its worth, so I gave up, not even able to Patch PES20 with an OF.

    Ironic that the game that relies on having to be patched and edited so heavily, its the most cumbersome, difficult game to mod. What with its cpk files, Lua files, sider modules etc.

    FIFA, dead easy, load up frosty, change in game values, export to mod, apply in mod manager, start game, away you go.

    I can customise my home stadiums camera, change all my teams kits, have bespoke adboard animated around the ground, custom balls, and customise the news feed, and be playing, inside 15 mins.
    PES takes 35 mins to get 1/13th of the way through applying option files, then fails, repeatedly.

  16. Paul – I vaguely remember trying that PES Universe OF on PC when I got PES2020 and coming up against the same issue – I think there are versions for PS4 and PC, you might have got the PS4 one. Not sure though and not interested to find out. The level of maintenance that you have to do to keep a PES PC installation up to date is far too much for me now. It was nice and interesting finding out how it all worked, but literally every day at times brings a new update from one of 20 or 30 separate mods. FIFA PC also needs maintenance of course but more like once every few weeks, which is far more acceptable.

  17. Are you all tactical defenders? I’m with you on that predicted right angled turn thing – happens a bit too regularly. There are a few naughty little scripty tricks like that

  18. NG – definitely downloaded the PC version, PES is just flaky and buggy, no patience for it.

    On the FIFA modding front ….. I’ve been working on a few custom camera angles, I made a BETA Mod, still a few niggles to iron out but the video below shows a few of the new camera angles off, for those that like more zoomed up higher elevated views, theres a couple in there.

  19. Turf – no I have settled back on Legacy Defending once again. Not convinced about it but there are so many issues with Tactical. There has been a lot of commentary (Including Operation Sports) around the Auto Block Pass option. The idea behind turning it to off is that it helps keep your defensive shape as defenders are less prone to moving out of the line to enable them to block a pass. I have tried this out and early signs are promising.

  20. Uncle Turf — Legacy for me I’m afraid. I acknowledge that it’s hardly Purity-based, and very sprint-clampy, but Tactical was too hard for me. The learning curve too long.

  21. That’s a relief, I thought I was really shit. I’ve been trying really hard to maintain shape, not dive in, etc but I get carved open by one quick slalom. I now feel comfortable with switching back to what I know, I just didn’t know if it was ye olde sprint clamp frowned upon short term solution.

  22. I’m a Tactical defender but there’s only a little less sprint clamping than Legacy, I end up holding down sprint and jockey rather than just sprint. I much prefer it though, makes defending interesting. For those who tried and abandoned it on FIFA 2019, the 2020 version is easier so may be worth another go.

    I’m struggling to break into the top 5/6 at the moment, the last two seasons have been best of the rest but a long way adrift. I think I enjoy lower leagues more than the ‘80% winning/20% no chance’ pattern the game is in at the moment, still enjoying it but contemplating a move to sunny Spain Liga 2.

  23. Tactical defending here, considered use of the L2 jockey, and secondary press whilst covering passing lanes, no need to rush in and tackle the AI, jockrey the ball carrier, on Legendary they will use skills and speed bursts etc so its more about forcing the AI into decision, rather than trying to dispossess them at every opportunity.

  24. Yep I’m with Paul here, tactical defending, right stick player switching, lots of L2 jockey as the best way to deal with slalom runs and right angled turns, stabbing square at exactly the right moment for a tackle, under absolutely no circumstances sprint clamping. It’s an art.

  25. Tactical defending and manual passing for me. You have to have some excuse for getting sacked on professional level. Otherwise people would think you were completely shyte:).

    Some nice camera angles there Paul but I still prefer something that brings the far touchline a bit nearer.

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