Career Mode, Formation, Goals, Highlights, Screenshots, Tactics, Transfers, Video

See The Forest Through the Tricky Trees

So we have Kick off!
My FIFA 2019 career is underway, with unanimous poll winner Nottingham Forest.
A club with a rich and storied history, previous league champions on two occasions, and former ~European cup Champions, now a fallen giant languishing in the EFL Championship, it will be my job to rebuild them and restore their place at the top of world footballs elite, no mean feat.

I have set up my career mode as shown below:

FIFA 19 Career Settings.pngI  will be playing on World Class difficulty, 5 main halves, and early signs are that the game plays very nicely indeed.

Upon starting I took a good 25 minutes to set up the team as I wanted, checking over player stats and traits and studying various formations.
This year, FIFA19 introduces ‘Dynamic Tactics’ which are a set of pre-defined formations and associated tactics and instructions that can be applied to the various attack/defence levels and applied on the fly in-game.
I have varying takes on a 5-4-1 set to the Ultra defensive and Defensive levels, with the former being an all out ‘defend in numbers’ and ultra aggressive style, and the latter easing up a little, still defending tight but allowing the counter attack too.
Then I have my ‘regular’ balanced formation of 4-4-2 diamond (or 4-1-2-1-2) for general play, and two varying styles of 4-3-3 for attacking and ultra attacking.

This allows you to dynamically change your team shape and style of play instantly in-game with no need to access menus, it’s a great addition and you can really see the changes take effect and shape the game.

FIFA 19 Career Notts Forest Setup.png

My objectives for the season, set by the board as shown above are to win automatic promotion, so a top two finish, and sign a top class player in an attacking position, and also promote a youth player to each of the defensive, midfield and attacking positions.
I started with an £18 million transfer budget, and immediately identified the need for a creative attacking midfielder, after setting up global scouting networks and searching the free agents, I settled on the idea of poaching fellow championship side Stoke’s CAM, Bojan.

Negotiation went back and forth and finally I managed to land Bojan in a £5.2 million deal, I had to guarantee him first team football in order to seal the deal.

FIFA 19 Career Sign Bojan.png

I also love the training options in FIFA, whereby you can assign 5 training schedules per week, and assign whichever player you want to various training drills, then save them as presets, so I went through and setup various schedules for Defending/Midfield/Attacking based around dribbling, tackling,  shooting and passing, and simulate all the drills so that I don’t have to play them myself, a good way to develop players skills and increase their overall rating, and worth.

So on to the games, at the time of writing I’d played 6 league matches, losing the first 3, with Bojan largely being ineffective, but a slight tweak of tactics and team shape , as well as dusting off the old PES muscle memory, has seen me since pick up 3 wins on the bounce and a draw, and am currently sitting 10th.
Bojan has scored 3 in his last 4 matches, and a final day of the transfer window also saw me bring in Adekanye, a RMF, from Liverpool for £2million, and I also took Rhiann Brewster from Liverpool on a season long loan.

The video below firstly shows the single goal I lost by in my opening game, and the one and only chance I had all match in a game where I really struggled to create anything.

Lastly this second video shows a couple of nicely taken goals, the first a finesse placed shot from the edge of their box, and then a dink cross into the box for a close range acrobatic finish.


49 thoughts on “See The Forest Through the Tricky Trees”

  1. Paul – congrats on starting this thing, and all the best with it. With the right approach it can be a great positive to your footy gaming life and life in general.

    The game looks great – looking better here in these clips than it does on YouTube, weirdly.

    Don’t like the handstand celebration thing. These quirky goal celebration cutscenes have got to stop. The worst trend in footy gaming since online.

    World Class you’re starting on? Have the difficulties been rezoned in FIFA too?

    You’ll be back on PES2019 this time next month *runs*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on the big FIFA FX kick off, Paul. I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on with FIFA 19, especially as you’ve come straight from PES 2019.

    I was tempted to get FIFA over the weekend but I think that phase has passed. I’m going to wait for the PES 2019 patch while passing the time with some retro PES.

    By the way, that’s surely handball on that first clip of your post. Have you got handballs turned on? Is that even still a thing in FIFA?


  3. Shed – I thought handball too, but assume Paul has it switched off as the handball thing isn’t very popular in FIFA. I always have it on when I’m FIFA’ing personally.

    I was sort of tempted to get FIFA19 too over the weekend, but really was put off by some of the footage and the weird way it moved. Glad I held off now as PES2019 is really holding up for me. I might be the only one….


  4. NG – Thanks, I plan to keep the content going as regularly as possible, posting Mondays and Thursdays, with some flexibility thrown in if needs be.
    The game does look great, admittedly, its not as ‘fluid’ or ‘organic’ or ‘insert any buzzword here’ as PES overall, but there are many many more animations for things, which really add to the sense of always seeing something new each match.

    NG/Shed – I didn’t see any setting for handballs, not sure if they are still a thing, I certainly didn’t turn them on or off consciously.

    Played a few friendlies on World Class level and liked the flow of the games, and the challenge, so chose to start on that level, and its proving a challenge, the AI closes down quickly, and generally keeps good shape, you have to work the ball, play the percentage passes and be patient and wait for an opening, much like PES 19, which is a welcome thing.


  5. n-G – I was very tempted too but having read some forums and watched a few vids, I came to the conclusion that I would just be doing the old FIFA/PES flip-flop again. Saying that, Paul may well yet entice me through his shiny new blog.


  6. Shed – I think the best way to approach it is not to look to compare FIFA and PES, as they are both different games in their own right, and play differently, and offer different things, ad well worth having both, but obviously, its sensible to not play both in parallel, due to differing controls, mechanics, etc.


  7. Paul (or should we call you FIFAFX?) – very very VERY important point about not mixing up the mechanics of different footy games. Shed is wise to focus on PES5 as well. This weekend I’ve moved my faithful old PS3 to under the telly in the living room where it will mainly be a media hub, but to test it out I played one of the games on its hard drive. PES2014 was that game. I only played a half, as a test of the setup on an older TV, but it was enough to show me yet again that PES2014 was and still is PES’s great Road Not Taken.

    Inevitably there’s going to be a lot of PES talk on your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s fine NG, all discussion welcome, as on your blog, chat can wildly swerve off topic now and then but its all good.

    Absolutely, it took me a good 5 or 6 matches of FIFA to shake off that PES muscle memory, even though I’d played a few friendlies, it is different when playing ‘proper’ matches that mean something. You definitely need to focus on one football game at a time to get the most out of it.


  9. The club is called Nottingham Forest, or even Nott’m Forest for short, not Notts Forest as you keep suggesting so as not to be confused with Notts County. Jeez.


  10. Paul – I was wondering when Tommy was going to get around to telling you 🙂

    ‘Notts Forest’ is a howler of the first order when it comes to the club.

    Notts is the abbreviation of Nottinghamshire and is applied only to Notts County.

    Sometimes you’ll see ‘Nottm Forest’ (Videprinter etc) and of course people will wrongly say Notts Forest, but it’s still not the done thing. A bit like calling Liverpool ‘Liverpool City’ or the like.


  11. If you say Notts Forest here in Nottingham they would tie you to the Major Oak and flay you. So I’ve heard.


  12. Good luck Paul. It’s a shame the first window is already closed. Was it tricky prioritising weak areas when you had to consider playing with your five formations? Looking forward to your searching and scouting for the next window. Are you setting up a youth squad too?

    When do we get the first team/squad screenshots?


  13. Hey Chris99 – I declined the pre season tournament offer so I could focus on bringing a few players in, as mentioned, but the truth is options were very slim.

    With the limited wage budget anyone the scouts found or suggested were usually beyond reach, and the free agents were mostly Indians or very low rated players.

    Thursdays post will have a squad pic in, with a bit more commentary around some of the players specifically, and the youth squad.


  14. In previous years I have found scouting the lesser European leagues such as Belgium and the Netherlands can be rewarding, as the salaries are generally less. I don’t know if FIFA still has a higher chance of strong players when scouting in Africa?


  15. Chris99 – I did look in the French ligue 2 and Serie B and specifically for a CF, it only returned literally 3 or 4 players for each, there were no other filters set, so don’t know what was going on. I need to revisit it.


  16. I started with Villa with the same settings as you roughly and got an eye-opener in the preseason tournament. I did turn off the first transfer window though, just to make it as is. Maybe Steve Bruce isn’t so useless after all.


  17. Not yet but I’m noticing the career mode has evolved since I last played one. I already have a critical financial status to look at. I think it plays better than its demo.


  18. Shame you went for Notts Forest rather than my strong case for Villa (or would that shortened form see me flayed atop the bullring?) I should have added that a major consideration is the headline potential of the team name. “Villa go pop” for example, or is that a north east thing?

    Side by side there’s no contest, FIFA dumps all over pes, but that shot, I just can’t get away with how it looks. I’ve always had a weird feeling of FIFA, that it’s like pushing the buttons on one of those old kids toys where you have hoops in a plastic box of water that you try and get on a spike or something, and the harder you press the further the jet makes the hoops whoosh round. It’s not a crisp enough smack, it’s more whoosh. If the pes patch is hollow, or simply doesn’t materialise then I’ll trade as everything else says it’s the better game.


  19. Turf – The poll I ran was unanimous in favour of Forest, plus Villa were a better team and players were better overall so I opted for the greater challenge.

    Have never heard of the Villa go pop thing?

    I completely get where you’re coming from in terms of FIFAs floatiness but in fact the shooting is its strongest feature.

    Some shots do tend to whoosh and float but there so much more variation in shit type than there is in PES that it’s night and day.
    That side foot I hit from the edge of the box, was hit with the instep at the bottom of the ball from a virtual standing position. Not much backlist, this would produce a softer lifted shot, same as when in on goal, in FIFA you can trickle a ball into the bottom corner, or place the ball into the net, with PES it’s either. A finesse shot that has the same curl and arc every single time, or a thunder smasher, very little in between.

    Of course FIFA can produce rockets too. When I manage to score one I’ll record.


  20. Good luck Paul. Keep this coming as I will be interested to see how the Dynamic Tactics work as Fifa was always in need of a change as I have never been a fan of the tactics sliders.

    On that note I have a question for you. One of my main gripes with Fifa in recent games is the tactics during a match. You have all your individual player roles set up (Target Man etc) but if you change formation during a game it means you have to do all this again manually. Does the Dynamic Tactics negate the need to do this?


  21. Darryl – you have in effect, five different game plans you can apply. Each with its own set of specific attack/defense instructions and individual player roles. You could just switch to a new formation with its own roles at the press of the D-Pad.


  22. Yep Established 82 is mine. Just a hobby. Have been getting a beating in FIFA. I’m conceding horrible goals, maybe a hangover of PES trying to pass out from the back and a few wonder headers from the AI.


  23. Ah Paul, you and your typos…just how much variation do you enjoy on your shit type??

    Villa was the name of the company that used to deliver bottles of pop when I was a youngster. People like my granny would get the Villa pop man to drop off a bottle of tooth rottingly sweet lemonade etc. They were always known as the villa pop man, even if you knew them. I didn’t know if it was just a local thing or if other parts of the world had villa. I think I once heard of a Sykes pop man.


  24. Haha Turf – was walking carrying a heavy gym
    Bag and typing whilst trying to cross a main road, but I’m Leaving it, as I do have quite a huge shit variance, some of them are ungodly.

    Nope. No villa pop man round here. Milkman used to deliver bottles of pop.

    PRS – love the site mate. Bookmarked.


  25. nice new site Paul, like it. That defending for the Bristol City goal though…..a blind pass from inside your 6 yard box? Had to be row Z

    Any thoughts yet on how it compares to FIFA18?


  26. Thanks Abbeyhill. I know. Basics. Complete schoolboy error. The PES muscle memory wasn’t even an excuse there as PES19 doesn’t let you play blind balls out of defence like that either.

    Definitely plays better than FIFA 18. And better than the demo. More refinements.


  27. Uncle Turf – the pop man was called the ‘Alpine pop’ man down our way. Villa pop, never heard of it until your comment.

    I thought the FIFA19 demo was excellent – shooting too, very satisfying. But this is the first year when I see what you’re talking about with the ‘gloopy’ way FIFA moves.

    Paul – remind me, as I haven’t got that far in many years – no classic players or equivalent in FIFA, right? Can you still Edit in players at least? I’m thinking you need Garry Birtles and Tony Woodcock in there somewhere.


  28. NG – I don’t think there’s any classic players in FIFA, just real world, current day squads, you can of course unlock legends in FUT, but don’t think they’re useable offline.

    Not sure about editing players in, possibly, haven’t looked.


  29. Paul – Really looking forward to following this, thanks for setting it all up. I’ll be onto FIFA 19 as soon as PES starts falling apart but so far so good on that front.

    Corona pop man around my way. Used to keep the bottle return fee as pocket money.


  30. I reckon corona, alpine and villa were probably similar efforts. Like local dairies.

    And I disagree with the previous poster….beefy and a Jaffa cake!

    (See what I did there?)


  31. Thanks cook. – you play PES on pc don’t you? Must admit I’m jealous of the options and mods available to you.

    Ahhhh Turf – couldn’t resist carrying the crisps and biscuits debate over across parallel blog-verses could you 😉


  32. He he, it’s like stepping between worlds. I did enjoy The city and the city earlier this year but I think a lot of that was down to David morrissey, not sure the theory stood up to scrutiny.

    Looking forward to you reaching the champions league in your campaign, I’d imagine it destroys the previous licensee effort.


  33. Yes. What you said Turf. Totally agree.

    Already seeing champions league assets within career mode. On the main hub screen there’s a window that shows news from around the ‘football world’ and it showed some guy in a champions league branded studio pulling balls from a pot to donthe draw. Already pisses all over konami’s use of it.


  34. Uncle Turf – I hated the book of The City and The City, a rare example of me getting 50 pages in and then bailing – the adaptation was much better.

    Another very very good worlds-hopping drama is Counterpart. Elevator pitch: John Le Carre Cold War-style drama in which the protagonists are from two parallel worlds.

    Paul – I think I will miss the Champs League in PES way more than I thought I would, mainly because PES2019 is turning out so unexpectedly fine for me, and it’s added that dash of atmosphere to ML for so many years now. Will be odd seeing a generic European Cup setup back in PES again.


  35. NG – The Champs League in PES was always just a skin, nothing more.
    There was no CL atmosphere, teams played just like normal league teams, there were no broadcast specifics, it was literally just a skin over the top.

    Maybe it will add a bit of nostalgia/classic feel with it being back to the WEFA Cup or whatever, however I guess if you have the PESUni OF installed, which I know you do, then it will have the CL Logo and name.


  36. I agree, the CL was really hollow in master league, particularly for me as I always mute music before I set up a new game. It was simply a different font and it actually jarred with the lack of license and cup presentation business elsewhere. I’ve said before I think konami should just go the whole unlicensed route but up the editing capability. They can’t beat FIFA on style, names, options, etc etc so why turn out something dud.

    Not heard of that book, I’ll look it up.


  37. Uncle Turf — it’s a TV show. It was on Starz last year — one of those channels where you’re amazed they’ve got any money to make anything more complex than their own weather forecast, never mind sign up all the actors and set designers and the like required. Here is the trailer that got me to watch it:

    Paul — just the different coloured menus in MLs since PES2010 (was it?) have been good atmospheric shifts to punctuate the long weeks and months of the later seasons. Shame they’re gone, but I’m sure I’ll get over it.


  38. NG – I don’t know why you don’t play PES on PC, you have that shiny powerful PC rig and there’s so many quality mods for PC, all easy to apply, you could have CL menus and fonts and theme music and loads more.


  39. I’m on PC. Just played Man Utd at Old Trafford with the Premier League graphics, corner flags, referee kits. It’s very well done and good not have the MyClub adverts. I think it has the skins for all competitions and of course there’s the lauded gameplay mod which apparently stops LCS and increases CPU long shots although I haven’t tried it yet because vanilla isn’t too bad for me.


  40. Paul — it’s matte black rather than shiny and I love it, one of the best things I ever bought. Currently playing XCOM2 on it and it’s a beast all right, although at nearly a year old it’s already an adult in PC terms.

    The PC demo ran beautifully on the PC, so much so that I was able to use screen recording software without a single hiccup. I’ve attempted the jump to PC for footy gaming several times and it just doesn’t work for me. The PC is at a desk in a room of its own. Footy gaming for me means lounging on the bed in my room. The 3am sessions that I’m currently having couldn’t happen on PC. I got the PS4 Pro to have the luxury of enhanced graphics etc.


  41. NG – I’d have that bad boy plugged into the 4K tv via hdmi and on hibernate, especially with a SSD – instant turn on. Be up and running in seconds.
    All those mods. Graphics. Game play tweaks. Beautiful.


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