A Sevilla Case Of Something Or Other Punwise

Today I have a 3-minute highlights reel of a BIG MATCH, which requires some scene-setting:

It is Season 4 of Career Mode with Leeds United on FIFA20.

This season I qualified for the Europa League for the first time. Started well in the group stage, but then had a couple of dodgy results. Which will happen when you’re playing a realism-modded FIFA20 on PC on World Class difficulty.

I’m still a transfer market noob in Career Mode. I still can’t shake my bad habits from Master League learned over the past decade, where wanting a player was pretty much the same as getting him. You have to prepare well in advance to get players in Career Mode, and I tend not to prepare. The most severe case of ‘mental muscle memory’ syndrome.

I have a decent First XI but barely any squad depth at all, is the outcome.

This was the Europa League group table heading into the final match:I faced Sevilla at home, knowing that I needed to beat them to qualify.

I started my session of matches knowing the Sevilla game was coming up.

I had three League matches beforehand – and lost them all, without scoring a single goal myself.

A case of my eye not being on the ball? I think so. I was indeed strategising my players’ fitness and form. Wanting the best possible First XI for the big European game, while neglecting the most important competition, the League.

This was one of those League matches: 

I truly fell apart in this match. I was half-expecting the sack, or at least a warning from the board, after this one, the chorus of boos from the home fans was so deafening.

This is my current domestic League state:Third from bottom with an uncomfrotable gap threatening to develop between us and lower-mid-table.

The transfer window is just around the corner and I WILL be using it to beef up the squad and get us out of this mess, which is all of my own making. I can play well and get results on World Class, but my concentration levels are sometimes not what they should be.

All of which set the scene nicely for me to welcome a useful Sevilla side to New Elland Road…

Here are the full highlights, about 3.5 minutes long, sadly without commentary from me as I didn’t have time in the end – but next time, I promise:

I played another League match after this and lost that one too, without scoring a goal.

So the goal I scored in the above match was my only one of the whole session.

Now I really need to focus on the League…

Updated: 2nd June 2020 — 11:50


  1. oh my word not-Greg, you had so many chances to win that one. The woodwork seemed to play a suspiciously large part at times. Loved the 4-1-5 formation at the end!

  2. abbeyhill – woodwork does play a suspiciously large part in FIFA20. It really is one of this football game’s scoreline management techniques – all footy games have loads of them, and woodwork is one of this one’s.

    I didn’t make the most of the 4-1-5 at the end when I could and should have done, and in fact I was hesitant and nervous throughout the whole game. That moment early on when Lacazette was through to make it 2-0, but I took that extra touch ‘to make sure’ and the chance was gone. I didn’t play my usual game. I froze on the big occasion!

  3. That finesse shot off the bar was a killer NG. The off-the-woodwork syndrome has definitely been around for a while in FIFA now. On the plus side, it looked like a great match.

  4. rhymes450 – I’d already scored one in the match – Phillips’ opener was a 25-yard finesse shot, and Lacazette’s effort was from about the same range with diagonal travel. Don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but football games remember that you’ve scored certain types of goal and prevent you from getting others in the same match. This is most noticeable with long-rangers. Whenever they come along, you’re not allowed more than one in the same match. In 25+ years of football gaming, across unthinkable tens of thousands of hours and matches, I have never even once scored two long-range goals in the same match (arcade footy games on MegaDrive, Spectrum etc. excepted). Why? Because the coders know their business. They know that rarity=value. They know that to score two 30-yard goals in the same match would undermine the game’s credibility in the player’s eyes. And so they are artifically prevented from happening twice.

    Last time I brought this up a few commenters stated they’d scored long-rangers twice in the same matches plenty of times. I’m not saying they’re lying or mistaken, just saying I haven’t ever experienced it, and I believe it’s a deliberate hard-coded constraint on the player.

  5. There were definite angles in Sensible Soccer on the Amiga where you could almost guarantee a long ranger, and one of the PESs on the PC (possibly 2008) made it too easy to score from just inside your own half with Park Ji Sung.
    Having said that I can see how it could be used as a simplistic limiting mechanism. If the chance of scoring decreases with distance, and you’ve already scored from distance in the match, then guess what?

  6. you must have scored more than one long ranger per match sometime in PES2013 not-Greg, it was so easy. I distinctly recall Turf rattling in hat tricks of 40 yarders with Minandinho that year. Obviously I regard my associate as a ‘proper’ PES player, but still…

  7. NG – Unlucky, you should havre won that Sevilla match, just shows how fine the margins are in this game.
    That extra little touch from Lacazette could be the difference between going on to win the Europa League, and as a result qualifying for the Champions league next season and a £40mil + windfall to invest in the squad, or ….. being relegated and playing Championship football again next season with a struggle to pay your top earners.

    Didn’t I recall last year, PES 19, or could even be PES 20, where you was consistently scoring 30+ yard R2 curlers for fun, thought I remembered you scoring 2 of those in the same match.

  8. Thank you m’colleague. I seem to recall winning a champions league final something like 8-1 that year too. I can’t recall scoring two belters in a match but I think that’s more because a real long ranger that year was 40m+. Anything inside 35 likely wouldn’t have made our highlights reel. I can’t recall not scoring more than one either, so I really don’t know.

    Wasn’t there a chap who sometimes visited these parts around the 2012-14 mark who used to score insane goals? As if he’d paused the action, typed in co-ordinates for a rocket launch and then sent the ball arcing in from the halfway line? Only sensible soccer had ever done that for me.

    I’m running out of steam with questing so I’ll likely fire up fifa again this weekend.

  9. I might have to start calling you Astro Turf now 😉

  10. I don’t know when I started Metal Gear Solid 5 but it feels like a long, long time ago. Finally at 2am last night and after nearly 120 hours of gameplay I have finished it. Not bad value since I only paid £3.99. Not sure what is next. Could be Fifa again as I couldn’t play another game of that nature for a little while.

  11. Darryl – that last boss battle though! About as traditional a Metal Gear boss battle as any of them – took me all of one Sunday afternoon, just playing that battle over and over, getting slightly closer each time, and then the final ‘aaaaaaaah’ of victory. I made a little clip of my final moments in MGS5 at the time.

    I cannot recommend the first MGS games enough, they lack the open world feel of MGS5 but for me that’s a good thing. It’s pure Metal Gear gameplay on rails. Might be a challenge to go to MGS1 now but the absolute best MGS game has to be MGS3: Snake Eater, which has the greatest boss battles of any in the series, every single boss battle has the same difficulty and intensity as the finale of 5. And the greatest intro of any Metal Gear game, which I had to watch all the way through every time I booted up the game:

  12. Uncle Turf – I genuinely don’t recall scoring more than one long-ranger in PES2013 in a single match, but as you and abbeyhill say (and I agree), given that game’s ridiculous generosity with them, I probably must have done. If I get time I’ll go through the posts from the year.

    Paul – I was nervous and hesitant, as you may have seen there was a moment with Lacazette when I would usually have just leathered it past the keeper, but no, I wanted to take that extra touch – and now it’s a relegation battle and maybe one of the Cups if I’m lucky.

    It was PES2019 where the R2 mechanic from distance was very forgiving – not PES2013-levels of forgiving, but much more than expected. I don’t believe I did get two in one match, I recall that was an example of what I mention above, i.e. if you get a goal of a certain type in a match, the game ‘remembers’ and prevents any more of that type being scored, and long-rangers are the most obvious example of this.

  13. And I am now sadly going to default on tomorrow’s post… I havent played since Monday night and won’t get any time to play today. So tomorrow’s post (Friday 5th June) is a Skipped Post for me. Lots of work and life things to attend to. I will return Tuesday as normal. Until then I’ll be active in comments here and on Paul’s blog.

  14. NG – No worries, probably the first non-planned post skip you’ve had in years.
    It’s my birthday (another one) tomorrow too, so i will be busy all day with family (at a distance) and other stuff, the wife has plans for me apparently, so will see you in comments and for tuesdays post.

  15. NG – The final boss battle and the episode right near the end where all the tanks and vehicles come at you was as difficult and intense as anything I have experienced before. My only beef towards the end was the game design as I didn’t like the fact that some of the missions towards the end were missions that had already been in the game earlier but just harder. This diluted the end mission slightly as you had faced the boss before. I would have cut the earlier one out and left this at the very end. Chapter 2 felt a bit messy as a result. Still a great experience.

  16. Darryl – overall the ending of MGS5 (and Keifer Sutherland’s strange mutism as the voice of Snake) are all reflections of Kojima’s falling-out with Konami and the demands they placed on him to have the product ready. Which l;ed to the cut and pasted missions. I thought the final boss battle was different enough from the first apeparance of the boss to be great in its own right, and my relief when I let loose with that final shot and triggered the final cutscene was in proportion to the effort put in.

    I’ll say it again, the Metal Gear that is most complete in terms of design and content and truly unforgettable boss battles, is MGS3. Full of Kojima quirks too, which would make you smile after Death Stranding in particular. I’ll just say ‘Endless Ladder’ and leave it there in case of spoilers.

    There’s a MGS5 prequel game called Ground Zeroes that some of the real hardcore MGS-heads think is better than MGS5. I don’t think so, but it is well worth playing, if you can get it cheap or free.

    Paul – the world is trying to get back to normal and it’s getting up to speed. It would be very difficult for the authorities to put everyone back in our boxes now. They’d need the army for sure.

  17. 5 games to go and 4 points behind Man City and I’ve got them next. Also through to Europa League Semis against Atalanta. Onwards.

  18. Having been sacked by Torino and after subsequently leading Brescia to relegation in Season 4 of my FIFA 19 career, I managed to get promoted in Season 5. Donnarumma had a great season for me and finished leading scorer but left at the end of the season on a free transfer, despite the fact that I thought I had reacted appropriately to a warning that his contract was running out. Must have somehow ballsed that one up.

  19. that happened to me a couple of times rhymes – saw the warning halfway through the season, went into contract negotiations, agreed 1 year at a higher wage but they still left in the summer. It seems that 1 year = the remaining half year on his contract rather than one extra year. Hopefully this has been made clearer in FIFA20

  20. Thanks Abbeyhill! Good to know I’m not the only one to fall into that trap. Misery loves company and whatnot. If your theory is true, I think I may have fallen into the same trap at the beginning of this season, i.e., delegating the contract renewals and accepting the terms of the agreements reached without looking at the duration of the new contracts. Hopefully, I won’t be faced with a mass exodus at the end of the season.

  21. Injury time rocket winner to secure CL football, don’t mind if I do.

  22. Lloyd – OOOOOFFFFFFTTTTTTT!!!!! (as my kids would say). Straight as a die, arrowing right into the top corner, injury time decider, footy gaming does not get much better than that

    Darryl – you have convinced me to go back to MGS5 and complete the damn thing. Was shaping up to be one of my favourite games of all time, as well as one of my favourite cutscenes of all time when Quiet shoots down that fighter jet, but somehow I got too distracted with side missions and lost momentum

  23. Abbeyhill – my strategy was to play 3 side missions one night and then play a main mission the following night. I stuck to that routine throughout most of my time with the game.

    Back on Fifa now and have started a Bolton career on World Class. The manager objectives all centre around finances, so this means you have to restructure the club by selling and investing in youth and bargains. Poor old Bolton don’t even have a shirt sponsor, so it really does feel like you are taking on a club at rock bottom. The church mice are holding a whip round as we speak. This could be a challenge.

  24. Lloyd – well I’ve now emerged from my five-day absence from all things gaming, I’d read comments on my phone but hadn’t looked at your goal until just now – goal of the year contender or what. Given the context and match situation, better than your corner volley for sure. Bet you were screaming out loud. As we know, in FIFA20 the way added-on time works is that the game was going to end at any moment, it probably wouldn’t have let you take one more stride with that ball, you had to hit it, and what a hit.

    I got back on the game last night with 3 matches, but my team’s story right now is one of struggle and I’m glad of any goal. The game nicely models a struggling team low on confidence and I’m dragging sitters wide. Might be a bit of rustiness too of course, but I was noticing that before I had my little break.

    abbyehill – the problem with all non-footy gaming nowadays full stop. I always wanted to play Gears of War having never got round to it in its heyday. Now there’s a remastered PC version I can play it with the bells and whistles. Few weeks ago I did what I imagine most people here do: started the game, played the tutorial, learned all the buttons, familiarised myself with the map and what I had to do, played the first level proper and saved my progress and exited – and have not been back. Now when I think of resuming, I can’t remember what the buttons all do or even what I was doing, and it’s a powerful disincentive to even load the game up again. In the time available I’d rather just play something I’m already so familiar with that I’m straight back into it. Such as FIFA, FM, PES, etc.

  25. Read through some comments from pes 13 (November 2012) too bad I can’t comment. I think it’s because we’re in 2020. Well I’m still playing master league and I’m in 2024. Wroughllen is doing a great job, banging over 40 goals for the season and yes I didn’t sell him! He’s pretty much 109 in rating. Also he won world best at age 30. Madrid trying to get their claws on my minandiho who’s currently 108 rating and 32 years. Y’all seem like pretty cool guys from all I’ve read 🙂

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