My Cambridge United save is barely 10 matches old but has already sunk deep roots into me.
After 9 matches I’m sitting not too far outside the playoff zone, and I fancy my chances of doing well in my 1st season.
The Board Expectations are not very high at all – I believe I could finish anywhere and keep the job – so this season is effectively a blank canvas where I can lay down a few markers for the future and set myself up properly for the seasons when I really will need to get something done.
There’s a very good chance that FIFA, and Football Manager, will be the only meaningful football action on any plane of reality in my life for some weeks and months to come. With all the exciting lore around post-apocalyptic times, we never anticipated the pre-apocalypse part being so tiresome to live through, but of course it would have to be, how could we have been so naïve, etc.
If the final Collapse of all societal infrastructure can please hold off until I’ve got my teams – Cambridge Utd in FIFA20; and BK Avarta in FM19 – into their respective top divisions, I’ll be content.
The formation at the top of the post is the one I am going with. It fits my players and their modest abilities. A defensively-minded variant of a traditional 4-4-2. I have other formations, attacking and more defensive, mapped to the ‘Game Plans’ feature, and switch to them on the fly when required.
I’m starting to get to know the players, and will speak about them some more in Tuesday’s post, if there is a Tuesday of course. My strikers are poor but when one of them gets a goal I celebrate it with true joy.
For example, this goal, which I consider the Most Important Goal Yet in this career.
Why is that the most important goal yet?
Because I was 0-1 down, and I was down to 10 men at the time. I dug in and ground out a result. This 1-1 draw was epic. And the goal itself was not too bad. Notice the run of the striker at the middle-rght of the screen – I spotted the run and played that through-ball, which found its man in space (throwing the AI CB into a tizzy), and then I had to keep my nerve and (just about) finish.
This match was an important one in my still-continuing journey from PES to FIFA.
I’m still adjusting in so many little ways. I had a CB sent off for an innocuous-seeming tackle. That was with some time left in the first half.
In PES of recent years I’d got into the terrible habit of simply not doing tactical rejigs following a sending off. It never felt as if you had to bother to cover gaps, because the series has become auto-balanced to the point of ridiculousness.
FIFA is different. In FIFA, it matters. I was punished for ignoring the sending off. Just before half time the AI got behind my full back (for a change) and squared it for their striker to sidefoot into the net – exactly where my sent-off CB would have been, and where a subbed-on CB should have been if only I had ignored my bad PES habit and got him on immediately.
Goals are like gold. Goals make points and as you can see I am still in touch with the playoffs:
I’m quietly anticipating a classic with FIFA20. Career Mode is what I have been waiting for.
Those of you who regarded me switching so wholeheartedly to FIFA as a sign of the End Times… er… well, what can I say?