Season Three strides on, we are hovering  just outside the European places, as we approach mid-Feb, are through to the KO stages of the Europa league where we face Portugese giants Benfica in the last 32, and since the last post, we have crashed out of the FA Cup.

league table

We beat Spurs in a comfortable 2-0 home victory, then played them again 3 days later in the FA Cup 5th round, with fatigue in mind and our impending Europa league tie, I fielded a B-side, with only 2 or 3 usual first teamers selected, it was a tense tight match with the youngsters and fringe players doing well but ultimately not enough as slack marking left Moura to waltz through our defence in the 80th minute and snatch a 1-0 win to send us out.

The January transfer window proved to be very successful, in the months leading up I purposely sent my scouts out to find players entering the last year of their contract, rules state that any player 23 yrs old or above, within the last 6 months of their contracts, are free to negotiate directly with another club, I used this fully to my advantage by identifying several very good players who were in this situation.

Free Transfers

The pick of the free’s has to be Left Back Grimaldo, a very solid 86 OVR rated player, still only 26yrs old, snatched from Benfica, a player of his skills would command £40-£60 million in the game if bought traditionally, we ended up signing him to a 4year contract at £55k per week with a £300k signing on bonus, and a further £250k after 15 clean sheets.
We very nearly lost out on him too, as my initial approach showed his current wage was £28k, so I thought I would go in with an initial offer of £36k, which his agent dismissed as insulting, and ended negotiations, I then had to wait 2 in-game weeks before I could re-negotiate, by which time I fully expected him to have signed a new deal or been snapped up by another club, so we got lucky,  he will be our new first choice LB, with Van Aanholt dropping to the bench but at least now come the end of the season when the new signings will join, we will have cover in that position.

These types of free transfers are invaluable when trying to build a squad with better players, the FIFER realism mod also takes transfer fees from so are in line with real-world fees, as are the clubs transfer budgets, so no having hundreds of millions to spend freely a la PES, it’s much harder to build a squad, and more effort due to having to scout in advance, but ultimately more rewarding.

The PC modding environment continues to allow for even greater immersion, a living, breathing, all-enveloping football world wrapped around the glorious game play, I design my new kits and change them every season, Palace’s real-world kit is a Puma one, I changed this after season one to a bespoke Nike design, and as you can see in the video below, I was able to manipulate the Selhurst Park electronic adboards to incorporate my new custom kit, and update the season year, to 2020/21 instead of the old 2019/20, and also change the puma branding to Nike.

I have also edited my locale.ini file (a reference file for game settings) to include tighter deeper and springier goal nets, and increased the AI’s standing tackle frequency, which means there are much more instances of the AI sticking out a foot and nicking the ball off you or flicking it away, more realistic.

The Video below has a couple of tasty goals from semi-distance from stalwart CDM, Keyouté, some nice dribbling, and a first time hit from Zaha