Career Mode, Transfers

Derailed but defiant

Last time around, after 15 games of season 9, we were 4 points clear, well the end of this good form coincided with the start of December, and the infamous ‘Christmas Fuckery period’, which runs throughout December into January.
This is a period whereby the game turns on its head if you are doing well, matches suddenly become a lot harder, if not impossible to win, your players stats seemingly go out of the window, and they are suddenly incapable amateurs, whilst all COM teams are boosted. It is very much a definite thing, more definite than PES’s session variance, it has happened to me every single season, I thought we was good enough by now to cope with it, but seems that the better you are doing and the better your team become, the harsher this BS takes a grip.

The end result? 7 defeats and a draw from the last 8 matches, leaving us faltering in 5th place in the league, but only 5 points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

There is definitely some rubber-banding going on, as by rights, dropping 23 points from the last 24 should have seen us slip much further down the table, but miraculously (or not so) we are still actually in the mix, only 5 pts off leaders Liverpool.

To add further woe to the sorry state of affairs, this has also happened:

New Project (1)

I was due to renegotiate Dennis’ contract, only for me to somehow let it slip into the final 6 months, probably due to the disenchantment I was feeling with the game after the fuckery period, and was just slamming through games one after the other, I was then informed that he had signed a pre-contract agreement with Leverkusen, the search for a replacement of similar quality is on.

Picking up a couple of days later and results have started to improve, any coincidence that its now late January!? I think not.
A draw and a nice 2-0 win at Newcastle broke the string of defeats, sandwiched in between that was a 4th round FA Cup win at Preston NE, you’ll recall I sacrificed the league cup in order to focus on the League and Europa League, the FA  cup was a backup, I have fielded second string sides in this competition all season but we keep on winning, can we make it a 3rd FA Cup in 3 years?

I made a conscious choice not to sign anyone new in the January window, we had a couple of fringe players come back from loans at other clubs so if need be I can call those in to the fold, but then on the final day of the window, an opportunity to sign Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster came up, I had him in my PES 18 MyClub team and developed him from a 52 rated CF into a mid 80s goal machine, and as I needed a replacement for Dennis, and Brewsters stats, now 24 yrs old, looked very good, I made the plunge.

Brewster Transfer.png£48.5 million and on 97k a week, substantial investment but hoping he can fill the void.

Those hopes were realised when Brewster came on to make his debut as a 75th minute sub away to Sporting Lisbon in the last 32 round of the Europa Cup, a tense 0-0 and a very even game, until Tchouameni tried a shot from 22 yards in the 84th minute following a cleared corner, the ball was deflected by the defender and looped up and out to the side of the 6 yard box, Brewster, showing awareness and pace to nip in front of the defender and scissor kick volley the ball into the net for a crucial away goal and 1-0 win.
We subsequently finished the tie off at home with a comprehensive 4-0 win, with Brewster yet again scoring.

A 3-1 FA Cup 5th round win over Coventry City followed with Brewster grabbing a hat trick, so did league wins against Liverpool and Stoke, with Brewster now having scored 7 goals in 5 games since joining, the new Dennis?!

This turn of good form sees us into the last 16 of the Europa League, Quarter finals of the FA Cup, and back in title contention in the Premier league, the topsy turvy world of football.

league table.png

My Career Mode has also taken a substantial turn, for the first time ever, I have accepted the offer to manage a national team:


The England job came up, the end of next season will see the World cup take place in year 2026, I thought this may be a good way to reinvigorate the career after the grumbles with the fuckery period, so I have agreed to coach the national side through the World Cup, a fitting and interesting end to a largely enjoyable 10 seasons.
My plan is to carry on posting about the Forest exploits, which should take me up until the end of May time, after which the blog will purely focus on England’s World Cup exploits, which should be 2 or 3 weeks at the most, then giving me enough time for a little footy gaming break over the peak summer months before returning fresh next season to steer another new club to glory.

Will finish up with a small goal compilation from the last 2 sessions, most notably Brewsters debut scissor kick goal to start the video, and finishing with Dennis’ last goal for the club.


25 thoughts on “Derailed but defiant”

  1. Paul – good to see you back, and a lovely Coynborough Easter egg of course. Poor bloke, but that’s what happens when you only make it into one footy game.

    Surprised at the Christmas fuckery still being a thing for you really, although I shouldn’t be as my lengthy experience of rubber-banding on the other side has shown me that these modes we play have to do this to us, or there’s nothing, no friction, for us to exert ourselves against. Ultimately I think it comes down to the willing suspension of disbelief. Like watching a film and forgetting for the 2 hours that they’re all actors speaking lines, we play these games and look away whistling while the stagehands walk on to move the scenery around.

    Looking ahead that’s a great idea for a faux-World Cup on here this summer, perfect timing really.

    Shocker about losing Dennis but you really should have used some variation of the Anyone For Dennis title now, at the last chance. Dereliction of punning duty there.


  2. NG – its just so blatant, its pre-scripted that no matter what you do, you will lose games. Its awful.
    If I had have even won half those games, I would have been about 12 points clear, or would I!? The other teams around me would have had their results amended accordingly of course.

    The World cup should be a nice aside, interested to see if I get full control of squad selection, as it should be or what the limitations are, of course it could all be over in just 3 matches if I don’t qualify from the group.

    Im disappointed to have not thought of the Dennis pun, I did try and think of something clever, but it was late.

    Brewster is showing early signs of being a legend.


  3. Paul – Really appreciate the quality and care of this post. If this is the outcome of dropping to once a week then I would welcome it.

    I do wonder though, is it the scripting curse of Christmas or was Dennis sowing the seeds of unrest in the dressing room?


  4. Paul – line up a Brewster’s millions pun please. You might be just too young to remember the film, of course, in which case, don’t worry.

    And I echo Chris99’s remarks, although you’ll have found that being able to jot down a few hundred words of a post in the day(s) before posting, rather than all in one go the late-night before, makes a massive difference to the way the post turns out, and how you feel about it, and life!


  5. Chris99 – Thanks for the kind comments, I wasn’t aware that the post was any better than usual, I guess it helps having more time to write comments down and then add to it rather than having to think on the fly and fire it all off in one go late at night.

    That would have been very un-Dennis, dressing room turmoil, he was always a positive, and personable character and supported his team mates, he leaves with the best wishes of the club! 🙂


  6. NG – Yes it is definitely helping, maybe a once a week post, with more content, is the way forward after all, I will see how it all pans out over the next week or so.


  7. Luckily he didn’t have bergkamps fear of flying. Mangos were his kryptonite. Doris the canteen lady had to remove them all from the breakfast bar.


  8. wow 7 defeats out of 8 is savage Paul for a team cruising at the top. Presume you’ve tried the time-honoured PES tactic when a game kicks off obviously full of this fuckery – defend at all costs, foul and play for a gritty 0-0, hope to nick something late on?

    video reminded me how good FIFA19 looks, especially with that camera angle. I get the impression from watching your clips that pace is less nerfed than in PES, e.g. that 3rd goal when the striker nips in behind, would never happen for me even with Obafemi Martins against the slowest defender. Look forward to seeing Brewster’s progress, remember his exploits for you last year.


  9. Paul – just the mention of Brewster sends a tingle through me. This is what footy gaming is all about and that connection we have with these players. I signed Brewster in my second season and watched him grow all the way to a 89 rated player. In his first season he was nothing special but I saw something in him. Player individuality is something very special in this years FIFA. Brewster has pace but his game is built around operating in the channels and has a fantastic touch on the ball. Crouch from PES 2015 and Brewster last year are my two favourite’s of my gaming career. If I had to chose one it would be Brewster. I think Dennis is your Brewster and you will struggle to find the same connection. However, that is the very point.

    Also Paul I haven’t commented as much of late. That is because I am struggling to find a game connection post FIFA. When I am in the zone I am more engaged. This doesn’t mean that I don’t read your posts or follow with enthusiasm.


  10. Abbeyhill – I couldn’t play the game on anything but broadcast angle now, it looks so realistic and you really get the sense of what stadium you’re in and the variation, with every licensed premier league stadium present it adds another level of variety to each match.

    RE: the 7 defeats, its very difficult to stop it happening, when the COM enters into this fuckery period, very difficult, fouls will be penalised with Yellow and Red cards, not like PES where nothing is given, and with so many fixtures its a risk factor losing one or more players to red cards.

    Since putting the game speed back to Normal ( I had it on slow) the stats are much more apparent, that 3rd goal was a prime example of a pacy forward nipping in ahead of the defender, the game plays much more balanced I feel.


  11. Darryl – good to see you mate. I know you stopped playing FIFA and footy games a while back so its just natural that your posting will be less.

    You’re right about affinity with certain players adding so much to a career mode, PES has had that feeling for years with the defaults, but FIFA also now has it in abundance, probably even more so.
    Brewster was a shining light for me last year in my little PES 18 MyClub foray, so seeing him now at 24yrs old, and rated 84, it was a no brainer to pick him up, and I’m having great fun with him so far, his agility, turn of pace and his deadly finishing show all the signs of him becoming a standout player, just a shame I acquired him so late on in my career, 10 seasons in.


  12. I’m afraid I’ve touched nothing else since I started red dead2. When I finish with it (rather than finish it – it’s way too big for that), I’ll probably trade it immediately. I hate the missions and the need to plough through them to unlock other stuff. That you can’t fish straight away for example just shows this is not RPG territory. The mission isn’t even about you learning to fish, just some wee snotty kid. On the up side though I love the animal spotting, tracking and messy stuff. I get to indulge that non existent survivalist gene without actually pinning anything to Chris packham’s gate. There’s zero replay value though.

    Congrats on the England job. If you were from up here you could exploit the Hadrians wall link – two goals for your new striker would undoubtedly see ‘twice brewed’ as a headline. No doubt he’s just ‘brewy’ in the dressing room in that uninspired football way. I’d lay money on you having been ‘robbo’.


  13. Turf – Ashamedly I still haven’t revisited RDR2, I will get back to it at some point.
    You’d have won the bet too as ‘Robbo’ was my go-to nickname on the pitch, there were 3 Paul’s in our team, so naturally and by default, the nickname was based on the players surnames.


  14. Ugh, just had one of the worst footy gaming matches I’ve ever had. Up against man city who’s competing for the league title with me. 2 points ahead they are so a deciding match if ever there was one.

    Suddenly full pes-type terminator scripting kicks in. I won’t mention the symptoms, you all know the deal. So bad I wanted to just quit, It got so boring and annoying and predictable. The cpu just wouldn’t let me play.. What’s the point of that? Even then they still just managed to get me to a measly draw after I got ahead of course.

    Next up the fa cup final and immediately after, the league decider. I betcha the cpu will win no matter what. Yawn. Quite disappointed here! Will definitely just take a peek into the champions league next season to see what EA have done with it and call it a day.


  15. Well I’ll be damned. Beat burnley soundly and man city lost their last match. Champions in season 2! Will post the final table later as it makes for some interesting reading. That got me a cool 150 million extra in the transfer kitty. Brought in Blind, Depay among others. Still sticking to the plan though. Quick peek in the CL and then I’m done with footy gaming for the season I think. Worn out on it all..


  16. #1 – Congrats on the title, still chasing my first Premier League trophy.
    Thursdays post will be a bumper one.

    The games (PES and FIFA) but have their ways of simulating the ebb and flow of form, and pressure, sometimes it can be very crude and annoying but it has to be there, if every match was run of the mill the boredom would soon kick in.

    I was planning this as my last season, but still enjoying FIFA enough to warrant another season after this, especially if Champions League qualification is achieved, like you, keen to see how it all looks and feels.


  17. Great post Paul, not that I really know what I’m talking about but your design skills really add to the aesthetic and help the story telling. I was going to mention I remember Darryl having a lethal Brewster up front but he’s already done it. Good to see you splashing the cash, I’ve been doing the same, gives a warm fuzzy feeling to bring in the superstars and then realise why they’re so expensive in the first game so hopefully Brewster does the business.

    The dreaded script is very strong in this FIFA and less subtle than PES in my experience so far. I had a turgid February/March last season where I couldn’t even beat the bottom team. It leads to anxiously taking unnecessary risks and letting in more goals resulting in a downward spiral of frustration and defeats. I lost the league title on goal difference to Man City and then lost the Champions League final to Everton in extra time, I was gutted.

    So, I spent all the £300m transfer kitty in the summer window and I’m trying again with what must be the strongest squad in the league (possibly the world), two players above 80 rating in each position, 4 above 90 rated. My squad includes 3 youth players I’ve been nurturing since the early seasons and one in particular is brilliant, I’m fully invested in the story with these homegrown players and it’s definitely my favourite part of career mode. Season 10 is going well so I’m optimistic again, that is until the winter script kicks in I guess.


  18. Thanks Cook – I like to add some of the cheesy newspaper articles and interviews etc as it give sme chance to put a bit more into the posts and deviates it slightly from the standard narrative driven blog.

    That must have hurt, 2 big losses in dire circumstances, season 10 is on for you then, avenge those defeats!

    The winter script is an absolute killer, its very hard to counteract too.

    Thursdays post is shaping up to be an 800+ word bumper with several directions in it.


  19. Paul – thanks! There is some novelty to getting all those new players as well so I might stick around a bit longer.

    I’m also very curious about CL, definitely worth it to take a peek from what I’ve seen and read.

    As far as the script goes I fully agree – it is a necessary thing and It definitely needs to be there. However I can’t remember it being this blatant, ever. Also I’m fairly quick to annoy in general, I have less patience with this kind of thing than I used to have.


  20. #1 – I agree that the scripts this year appear to be far more in your face, and only really show their face when you are doing well and challenging for titles, which compounds the annoyance as to be flying, at the top then hit this invisible brick wall, is against the realism off ebb and flow of form.

    You don’t see Liverpool or Man City or other top sides suddenly lose 6 + games on the bounce, it definitely needs dialling down a touch.
    Like you I have little patience and tolerance.


  21. I’m the the other way Paul, I’ve not been back to FIFA since I started red deading. I’m planning to finally fire up the witcher next so I’m glad I didn’t opt for the more expensive fifa19. I’m struggling to even care about the Man City Liverpool run in, it hasn’t looked like anyone could get close enough to them to change things, even their scruffy one goal wins have seemed inevitable.


  22. Turf – I hear the Witcher 3 is lauded as an amazing game, I personally cannot wait for CD Projekt Red’s CyberPunk 2077 to release, everything will go on hold for that bad boy.

    The litmus test was the games against Spurs and Man Utd, if City were gonna drop points it was there, they won both, and then scrapped their way to a 1-0 over Burnley last weekend, they will win their last 2 games easy, as will Liverpool, and we will finish 1 point behind them, on 97 points, having only lost once all season – and have nothing to show for it.

    I also haven’t forgotten about your WP blog thing, just been busy, will log in to that alternative link over weekend and see what I can access. Wll reply to your email proper later.


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