Career Mode, Goals, Highlights, Transfers, Uncategorized

All to play-off for

defrby forest title.png

This is it. The culmination of 46 hard, gruelling games, the reward for putting together a final 12 match unbeaten run to climb the table and secure 6th place, the final play-off spot.
After defeating West Brom in the first play-off match, we are now in the final against local rivals Derby County, who finished 3rd, all to play for, a multi-million pound promotion to the Premier League hangs in the balance, so does the sacking if we fail.

Here’s what happened (Full Match). Condensed Goal highlights are available after the full match footage for those who prefer not to watch the whole match.

Full Match Footage:

Condensed Highlights:

So there we have it! Success! Play-off champions and promotion to the Premier league in our first season. I was still sweating over my end of season review with the board, wondering if promotion via the play-offs rather than automatically, as was my objective, would be enough.

eos review.png

They gave me another chance. That was big of them, last 8 of the FA Cup, installed a solid youth team, and promotion in my first season, bloody should be enough to keep my job, so into the Premier league we go.
I declined the invitation of a pre-season tournament as I wanted to focus on my transfer dealings and club business rather than having to play non-important matches, during this window I was informed that several players would be leaving as their loan period had finished.

Dias (RMF) 76 OVR, Janko (RB) 76 OVR & Brewster (CF) 62 OVR all returned to their parent clubs, Dias and Janko were both first team players and will leave a substantial gap in the side, so priority is to sign a new right midfielder, right back and also a centre back as I will need more solid defensive options in the Premier league.

I was presented with this nice message, good to see my hard work being recognised.

club value rises.pngI immediately checked the finances to see how promotion had affected my budgets and was satisfied with the money I was given:

budget.png£65 million transfer budget, which  have revised to around 45 million, freeing up more money for player salaries, which I can revise at any point should I need to.

I have set up my global scouting network to search for players, specifically the positions I mentioned above, but also identified I need another left back as my back-up had also returned to his club after only being on a loan.
One of the CB’s I scouted is a player called Vranjes from Anderlecht, 76 OVR but good solid defensive stats, I managed to sign him  for £5.4 million and on 28k per week.
He’ll add the good defensive abilities  needed to cope with Premier league players

cb signing.png

Finally I checked my objectives for the coming season set by the board, very realistic I thought and was relieved to not be tasked with winning the league or anything silly.

objectives.pngFinish mid table at best within two seasons, whilst avoiding relegation, that’s proper sensible expectations from the board right there, and am confident of achieving that, hopefully bettering it.
I’m also looking forward to playing in a fully licensed Premier league with official broadcast presentation elements and all 20 official stadiums too, but more looking forward to seeing how the differing play styles present themselves with better teams, and the 38 game season is much more convenient too.

My first season on FIFA 19 could not have been any. more enjoyable, the up and downs, the final push, the play off success, the immersion, the big match atmosphere, it’s all there, easily the best FIFA EA have pushed out to date.

Here’s to season 2 …….

44 thoughts on “All to play-off for”

  1. Paul – congratulations – and that was definitely a bicycle kick! I watched the highlights, very well put together. You only really got comfy in the match at 2-0 I think.

    And that is definitely a trophy presentation I spotted at the end there. Yep, pretty sure that’s what it was.

    That’s a peculiar detail in the Board message, where their abbreviation of Nottingham is N’m. Never seen that version before.


  2. Thanks NG, although I won comfortably 4-0, I didn’t score the second until gone the 70th min, it was all quite tight and tense up until then, as the full footage shows.
    It was only late on that Derby started to attack more, that I countered and got the second ( the bicycle kick) after that they noticeably fell apart, allowing me to find gaps and score 2 more.

    As an example the fourth goal, the ball i played out to the left wing, where my winger, Osborne, had tons of space to run in on goal, during the first 70 mins I never got any space out wide, Derby were compact, it was only when they were chasing the game and demoralised,that their defenders stopped tracking runs and were caught out of position.

    That’s a proper trophy presentation right there, when you win something or achieve something its a fitting reward, was nice to see.


  3. Paul – forgot to mention how fantastic it looks as well, the PS4 Pro really showing through with this footage. I’m still very sore that I had to disable HDR for the other game. A big week coming up over there.

    It’s a bloody shame about modern footy gaming on all sides and its phobia about giving the single-player a proper AI fouling model. But the devs know their market, and are shaping their product for that market (I would do exactly the same in their place), and us oldies just have to deal with it.

    Are you already into the Premier season, or is 15th just the current alphabetical place for N’m Forest?


  4. NG – That footage is captured from the PS4Pro with HDR ON. It gives the usual ‘Colours may not be represented the same due to HDR being enabled’ message, but as you see, it looks great.
    Proof that the issue is on PES’s side, as Konami only use a post processing filter to make PES look like HDR, and as the PS4Pro records the raw unprocessed footage, this means it doesn’t capture Konami’s ‘pretend’ HDR filter, just the base graphics, which are bland and washed out.

    The only downside to FIFA 19 for me is the fouls, or absolute lack of them. I’d say in a 10 game run, my fouls against count would be something like 0-0-1-0-1-2-0-0-0-1.
    When there is a foul, its given, I’ve had Red Cards, Penalties, FK’s, but the COM does not tackle anywhere near aggressively as they do on PES.

    I haven’t played a single Premier league match yet, 15th place is just the default alphabetical listing.


  5. Congratulations Paul.

    I watched the full match in what turned out to be a comfortable victory – with a proper bicycle kicked goal! Nice to see a trophy presentation too.

    This is the first time I’ve watched a full game of FIFA 19. It looks like it plays a nice slow game – very unFIFA-like compared to previous years. Some nice build-up play by the AI too. Is it me or do defences let attackers in behind rather easily?

    Anyway, good luck for the Premier League.


  6. Thanks Shed.
    I’m playing FIFA 19 on slow game speed, its much better.
    Some teams are looser defensively, others much more compact and tight.

    It also varies during a game based on situation, I fully expect premier League teams to have much more defensive discipline.


  7. Paul – well done indeed and loved the fans and player reactions at the end. I bet you are looking forward to next season.


  8. Thanks Darryl, yeah it was a proper sense of occasion replicated very nicely.
    I am indeed looking forward to the coming season, playing at Bournemouth’s Vitality stadium will be nice due to the small intimate atmosphere and close up cam view.


  9. Well done Paul, the game looks fantastic and well presented by you as always. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into a marathon Career Mode from League Two to European Glory once PES has run it’s course.

    I see your forward with the hattrick is wearing number 2, it’s triggering me a bit. Bring back 1 to 11 I say. Do you still have Brereton on the books? He turned into a formidable player in FIFA 18.

    If I’m being pedantic shouldn’t the trophy be presented up the steps at Wembley?


  10. Thanks Cook. Will look forward to following your adventures when you’re done with PES.

    Yeah I noticed Soudhani is number 2, will look into changing squad numbers as a number 2 should always be a right back.
    I think i either sold or loaned out Brererton. Will check later.

    As for the trophy ceremony, I will take a 2min plus trophy ceremony even with lack of Wembley steps over PES’s non existent offering any day. Just glad to see a trophy in display at all to be honest.


  11. Well done, I’m glad the game didn’t throw any anomalies at you in the last match. I’m struggling on at the top of the league but each match is such a mental torture that progress is slow.


  12. Cook — I also never number my squad(s) in any game (PES or FM or FIFA) according to real-life criteria. My current first-choice CB wears number… 9.


  13. nG – Philistine.

    Paul – Absolutely, trophy presentations are an integral part of a football game. All the details in FIFA only add to the experience and we’ve never had it so good. I want to try out La Liga too now the stadiums are in place.


  14. Well done mate, decent expectations for the forthcoming season but outrageously harsh summary of what you’d achieved. Think that board might prove a little temperamental!


  15. Was thinking a move to La Liga might be on the cards at some point Cook. I also want to manage Bournemouth. Mainly for their home stadium.


  16. Looks great Paul, congrats on the promotion. I really like the atmosphere in the prem last year, I’m sure it’ll be even better this time around. The presentation does bring up the whole experience so much, especially if the gameplay is good.


  17. I’ve just caught up on the last three posts and all the comments whilst on nightshift. I’ve been very caught up with ML and Real Life Football recently……

    Paul vs nG on abbreviated names and chants had me laughing out loud.

    nG – I read the PES guides back in the day. Every year the same joke was pulled on me. I’d get the guide in my Christmas stocking and then open all my presents to find no PES. I’d have to wait until I went to my dads later in the day or on Boxing Day to inevitably receive PES from him!

    Paul – your passion for your career mode shines through and is genuinely selling the game to me. Baby allowing I’ll play once I’m done with PES. A league two to champions league epic, too.

    Congratulations on promotion! Goncalves chip shot was particularly tasty a few posts back.


  18. Paul – I take it you are staying on World Class next season? For me the balance is perfect.

    Well as the title says it is all to play for. My relegation battle is one of my best experiences in footy gaming. Every moment in a game comes with pressure. In my session last night I got a vital win against Bristol City at home and two well thought out draws away. I was unlucky not to win in one against Aston Villa. Now that would have been a scalp. So with 10 to play I am 1 point clear. I have Norwich and Swansea both away (gulp) then I play 3 teams all in the mix. What makes it all fascinating and adding to the pressure is where does this leave me if I get relegated and sacked?


  19. Cheers Jay. That’s a bit harsh from your family, keep a kid waiting.

    Darryl – Tense bumhole times then!!! good luck mate.
    I’m on World class in the prem, and what a different kettle of fish, more on it in Thursdays post but wow, this will be one tough season.


  20. Congrats Paul. Watching the highlights the passing did seem like you were playing on 3 inch long grass. Maybe slow will be too slow for me this year.

    You’ve got a decent budget there, but I’m surprised you didn’t enter the preseason tournament and then sim the games. You would have ended up with at least another couple of million.

    No Easter egg today, or is that you in the Vranjes negotiation cut scene?


  21. No easter egg this time Chris 😉
    I find the pace of FIFA perfect, it definitely feels better when actually playing, normal speed is a bit too arcadey for me.


  22. Just more to do with how it actually feels in Control. The realism I think Chris. All depends on what you prefer. You may get on better with the default speed.


  23. Paul – the first time they did it, it was a clumsy oversight. It then remained a running joke for a couple of years. My first experience of something akin was a cruel joke though. When I was approximately 7/8 I’d been playing my dad’s GameBoy for a few months and had really been enjoying it. I’d also been enjoying Pokémon cards. For Christmas my parents bought me Pokémon Gold for the GameBoy Colour. I obviously explained this would not work on the GameBoy as it wasn’t backwards compatible. They let me think for a few minutes that they didn’t realise and would have to take it back! A few minutes later the final present appeared! At some point in the next year or so my younger brother, who would’ve been around 4, couldn’t get a game cartridge to load up. Unaware of the simple blow through down the cartridge and slot trick, he decided to run it under the tap. The display was dodgy and pixelated that afternoon and I thought he’d broken it. I was devastated. Eventually it dried out with no long term damage. In fact it was still working when I last played it a few years back and it must’ve been over ten years old!


  24. Blimey Jay, Those some memories. They certainly don’t make ’em like they used to, lucky if a technology gadget lasts 2/3 years nowadays.


  25. PRS – haven’t seen the latest patch notes from EA, can’t say I have seen an over use of the bicycle kick at all, maybe one from the COM and I did one, in a whole season, not an issue for me.


  26. I am drinking in The Last Bar Saloon. An awful night of results has seen me drop to bottom and four points away from safety. I had a game at home against bottom side Oxford, which was a must win game. My keeper got sent off and lost the game 5-0. My players fell apart literally and I couldn’t pick them up in the next games in the session aside from a 1-0 home win against Millwall. Just four games left now and the writing is on the wall. Who knows where this thing is heading now, which does have me fascinated. One thing I do know is that I will stay on World Class as I love the challenge.


  27. Paul – Not looking good as a high request was financially to make 12 million profit, which was out of the question given my resources. Another one was youth development that was also high and the objective was to grow a youth player by 10 points and play him in 10 games. Theoretically I could have done but would done but would have risked results. So I weighed up at the beginning of the season that I was going to try and avoid relegation. This is the part of the career I love as decisions have consequences. A team like Fleetwood with thier resources struggling in the Championship is very realistic. I imagine on World Class in the Premereship that you will encounter such things. My appetite for this wonderful game.


  28. Darryl – As you saw above my first season premier league objectives were very realistic. Just avoid relegation. and season 2, finish midway.

    I found a little trick you may be interested in to do with the scouting network and youths etc


  29. I’ve 6 games to go and am 7 clear at the top. The issues I was having seemed to fix themselves at the same point they did in the previous run of fixtures. Be interesting as long as there is no collapse as Villa’s team is made up of loan players. Will need to start again.

    If anyone saw the Norwich Villa match last night it had exactly the same tempo as a ‘problem’ game in FIFA 19. Norwich played like possessed demons in the second half. So, in conclusion, I was whining about nothing.


  30. Didn’t see it PRS but I see variation during matches, some teams sit back and allow you to attack, some press hard and deny you any space, and some are more balanced, it changes during a match too.


  31. You may already know of it Darryl but I find when promoting youth players to the first team, you put them up for loan, and when a club comes in for them, you accept, but 75% of the time they reject the loan, so they don’t move, same with first team players.

    Once you have accepted a bid from a club to take a player on loan, got the squad hub, find that player, then remove him from the loan lost and immediately ad him to the transfer list instead.
    90% of the time you will find that the player then accepts the loan move.

    Has helped me ship about 5 newly promoted youths and a couple of first team players out on loan.


  32. A night packed with more drama than a soap opera. Four games left with four points to make up. I felt up for it after the previous downbeat session. First up Cardiff away and won comfortably 3-1. Gap down to two points. Next up Blackburn at home. Lost 2-1 but the other results went in my favour. Still 2 point deficit. Then Swansea away in a physical encounter in which I came from behind to win 3-1 again. At the end of the game the commentary team were talking as if the season had ended. I thought it was strange as I had a game left. I did go into this fixture knowing I had a game in hand of 3 teams around me, so thought it was strange that they were playing as well. I had thought this game would be my game in hand. No I had my game in hand the following Monday. Table comes up and I am still 2 points behind. So all I need to do now is win at home to Rotherham. Not the toughest of fixtures. Great start and went 1-0 up after 23 mins. By 60 minutes I am 3-1 down. With 15 minutes left I pull one back but end up losing 5-2 by chasing a lost cause.


    Remarkably the drama was not over as now it was time to here about my job. I was gutted to go down for two reasons. The first is I have never been competitive on World Class on FIFA without sliders. Here I was with a weaker team and competing without sliders. I gave it my all and survival would have been a huge accomplishment. The second reason was because I had built a good team and had 3 quality players coming in the summer to almost complete the pieces of the jigsaw and have a quality side that can handle this league.

    Notification received of a meeting to discuss my future at the club. Remarkably the board decided to keep faith in me. So on we go to the next season. Temptation would have been to drop back to Proffesional to reflect the lower division. But we don’t want to do that. Against lesser opposition and with a good team I am going to learn how to win matches consistently on World Class. I just need to sign two players (CB & CM) to have a team that will not only go up but will be ready for the Championship. This time I will be stronger and have the benefit of this experience. Where is this thing going next?


  33. Bad Luck Darryl, Sorry to hear about the relegation, although you should be too strong for League One, so should come straight back up, possibly as champions.
    Will be interesting to see if players want to leave or you have to sell due to the low financial rewards of League One.

    All part of the experience and Journey though. Not tempted to see if there are any job openings at a Championship side and apply ?

    As today’s post will show, I’m not faring any better.


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