Career Mode, FIFA 21, Transfers

Back among the elite

Luton Town FC are back in the English top flight, the Premier League, after winning the EFL Play-off final to secure promotion last season.

With prize money, and profits from last season, plus selling a few unwanted players, my transfer budget going into season two was just under £40mil, not bad but in today’s market, only realistically going to get you a couple of players that could make a difference, this career mode journey will be about slow, steady progression, no quick fix , squad overhaul type stuff, some Harry Redknapp style wheelin’ n’ dealin’ was required.

A 2 week training camp at Camber sands got our pre-season underway, a good opportunity to have a face to face chat with a few of the lads, signal out some of our key players last season and gauge their interest in signing new deals, talks went well with youngster Leleivre, goal king LuaLua, play-off final hat trick hero Cornick and keeper Sluga, all committing to new long term deals.
The training camp was followed by our participation in the International Champions Cup pre-season tournament in Holland, a good chance to try a few new things and blood some youngsters.
We progressed out of our group, won the semi-final 2-1 and found ourselves in the final vs FC Nacional of Spain.

a solid confidence builder ahead of the new season
our first goal in a comfortable 3-1 win over Nacional to clinch the cup

Always nice to win a trophy and build some momentum going into the new season, it also helped to boost the selling of the club to prospective new signings who we had scouted and entered talks with, with that said, we was able to sign 5 new players for a combined fee of just £20.5 million.

Awoniyi (CF) – A strong powerful pacey forward signed from Liverpool to give us extra firepower up top.
Piedl (RM) – Signed on a free, a young but versatile right midfielder to give us extra cover in a position we was short in.
Miazga – Chelsea starlet who I’m surprised they let go, tall, good in the air, an upgrade to our existing CB’s
Musonda – Another Pacey, agile, skilful winger, immediate first choice on the right flank
Williams – Promising young RB signed on loan from Liverpool, with a buy option included

Hopefully these lads have added some depth and cover to the squad, we will need it to survice in the Premier League.

Out board have set realistic targets for this coming season:

Reduce wages, sign 2 youth players, and avoid relegation (out of picture) are all very achievable, so I’m confident of surviving the season in my job whatever happens.

We were happy with the fixtures when they were announced, we could have had a much harder start, but the first four games of the season were all against teams that we expect to be in and around us in the table, so a decent start would give us a sense of how things might go this season.

Sheffield Utd Away first game, we lost 2-0, a baptism of fire, they bullied us all over the pitch, constant pressure, we just couldn’t get our game flowing, unlucky not to score but never looked like getting anything from Bramall Lane.
We followed that up with our first home game of the season against Brighton, a superb display with the new lads slotting in well, earned us a 3-1 win.
Selhurst Park and Woy Hodgson’s men for our third game, Wilf Zaha proving to be the difference maker on the day, as they beat us 2-0, our last game of the month sees us welcome the Villains to Kenilworth Road.
At this very early stage of the season, here is the league table:

our first Premier League goal bagged by Awoniyi

New signing Awoniyi, showing a good first touch and a burst of that pace to stride clear of Brighton’s defence and slot in our first EPL goal, hopefully the first of many.

42 thoughts on “Back among the elite”

  1. Looking very nice and immersive, I quite like that the controller adds some challenge by making the buttons harder to squeeze down (comments in the previous post)

    Anyone still on pes21 or am I the last one standing?


  2. The idea of all those fans, some in tears, over Luton…! I’ve never actually been to Luton (from previous thread) but I’d imagine it is as you say. I visited Cranfield a few times which I think is close? and I imagine it as one of those late 1800s places that just grew up as the factory owners sought to put a bit of distance between themselves and the mob (that’s how our bit of Gateshead developed from the rough end of Newcastle). In football terms I’m like a lot of people in terms of Pleat, Stein, Hill, et al and nothing since. My own game has simply stopped as I’ve been in full tv comfort hibernation mode. Hoping to start again when the weather improves – I know that’s insane for an indoor activity but I just don’t feel the mood right now.


  3. #1 – I did think the PS5’s adaptive controller would be a novelty that wore off quickly but it does actually have some substance, those stabs of the sprint button in the 88th min to burst past a defender, are all the more difficult when the trigger has stiffened up so much, akin to heavy aching legs.

    I dip in and play a couple f ML matches on my PC modded PES21 now and then, still a great game (with the mods) but ML just doesn’t have anything to keep me interested for more than2 matches at a time.


  4. Turf – Cranfield is just outside Milton Keynes, and about 23 miles from Luton.
    Nice little village Cranfield, home to a lovely little michelin starred restaurant and to Amazon’s fulfilment centre.

    Hear you about the cosying up watching tv thing, its the weather, and the lockdown, puts you into couch potato mode. I’m screaming through Netflix’s true crime offerings at a rate of pace.

    I also haven’t forgotten about sending you the PSVR headset, it’s just difficult getting hold of bubble wrap and an appropriate sized box during lockdown as everywhere is shut.
    Having some Amazon deliveries this weekend so hopefully there will be a box can reconstitute and get it out to you soon.


  5. No worries mate, wasn’t going to mention due to all of the above and that I probably wouldn’t use it right now. Really don’t go out of your way at all, neither of us are going anywhere I imagine. For me it’s dexter, ballers and I’ve just started watching that french call my agent thing on Netflix. Not sure about that one yet, but no shortage of other things to try. Mrs turf quite astonishingly gets the vaccine tomorrow due to working with vulnerable kids. Not that she can work with them in person till the schools go back. She didn’t ask, they emailed her to say you’re going tomorrow. Doesn’t do me any favours mind, think I’ll be locked down and jabless until 2022!


  6. Turf – Good news your wife is gettng the Jab, my sister has been earmarked for it too, she’s only 34 but has a rare medical condition and a compromised immune system.
    As soon as im able I’ll get the PSVR out to you, at least its there if you ever fancy giving it a go then.


  7. Perfect, thanks mate. Presume we won’t see abbeyhill on here for a while as he’ll be trying to offload his GameStop shorting by going all in on shares in Debenhams…


  8. all good here Turf, and delighted to see some of these short selling hedge funds wiped out – Citron Research in particular has attacked several of my Chinese investments over the years, they failed then and they have been completely humiliated now

    My sister and brother in law have already got the vaccine too, working for the NHS, which is good news. Reluctantly have given in to reality and booked our summer holidays in Scotland again this year


  9. Splendid, it seems a particularly shitty way to go about things to my ill informed ear – betting that some poor sod will go bust rather than investing in something that may grow.

    Yes, I’m assuming it will be loading the car and driving somewhere in the uk at best. Tbh I’d take North Yorkshire and cafes open again at the moment.


  10. Session this weekend while listening to the big bash. Managed to beat Watford on penalties to get through to carabao later rounds where I play Man City. Unfortunately not a board objective. Elsewhere I doing ok but this sums up my issue – most of my players need an extended run on the target shooting drill.


  11. Fearing for our summer holiday again this year, already postponed it last year as we was due to go a week before they opened the airways up again late june/early july, we re-booked the same holiday (Cyprus) for this June, thinking everything would be back to normal by then, but here we are.

    Matt Handshandy was on tv this morning telling everyone we would hope to be in for a gret, free british summer, which if it comes from him, will mean the complete opposite, so another cancellation may be on the cards.
    Just yearning for some good weather, even if we cant go anywhere, to sit at home in the newly renovated landscaped garden, and enjoy the weather will at least be something.

    I recently built a bespoke bench with wood fired pizza oven, so looking forward to some outdoor movie/pizza nights at least.

    have a Sonos wireless audio system and new ipad coming today, together with wall mounts, installing a home audio system in the kitchen, another little project to keep me amused, desperate times, but by now am single handedly funding Bezos’ retirement.

    That was a nice move Turf, shame about the finish.


  12. Exactly Paul, the finishing is appalling. So many of my crafted openings are thumped high, wide and not remotely handsome. Made it to Christmas though, with Bolton lying 8th or so, but pulled a bit of a self centred move. Their objectives made their attitude clear – keep wages under a certain level, make 900k in the transfer window, play four youth teamers in 20 or more matches…nothing relating to position or cups. So I applied for a job. The weird 2020 listing of lots of positions in the same division was there – loads in my division including Sunderland and Ipswich, but also loads in Belgium. I threw my hat into the anderlecht ring – first foreign ground I ever visited, the nation of beer, chocolate and waffles, always loved their purple/white kit. And they went for me. Madness but I see anderlecht as fair game, not like I went to the San siro from Bolton. So time to do a bit of squad research and tinkering, really looking forward to the step up.


  13. Ahhh So Fickle turf!!!
    Congrats on the promotion, will be interesting playing different teams in a new league and country. When I joined Athletico in my F20 Journey, I really enjoyed the licensed stadiums, and the change of broadcast graphics, and new teams to play but eventually missed the familiarity with players, you know who you’re coming up against in the Prem, in La Liga, bar barca and Real Madrid, most players were unknown to me.

    Looking forward to your debut at the Contant Van Den Stock, or Lotto Park as its now called?


  14. It’s started badly. I’ve got a decent looking squad but lost the opener in the league and then knocked out of the cup at the first hurdle. I suspect the board won’t be too harsh but it’s a bloated squad with plenty of loans in and out to overhaul. Priority is a good European striker in the bosman lists.


  15. Turf, I’ve just reached end of October, in season two, have setup my usual scout search for players out of contract, it didn’t seem to work too well, or the way it used to, last season, so hoping for better results this year.


  16. Suspected that you wouldn’t last long scraping out gritty 0-0s in the rain against the likes of Accrington Stanley, Turf, before swanning off somewhere exotic! Are you playing on semi/manual shooting or were your strikers really that bad? Personally I’m in Paul’s camp of preferring English leagues, recognising the players does add to the immersion – e.g. last night in a 2-0 win against Rochdale I spotted they had Luke Matheson at RB, a player Ipswich have just taken on loan from Wolves in real life, so was keeping an eye on him all game

    Anyone else spot not-Greg’s Castledine PES21 goal on youtube a few days ago? An extravagant 30-35 yard curler as you would he expect. He deleted the video almost immediately but good to see he’s still playing


  17. I assumed he was still knee deep in bed ridden patients and unlikely to have any time away. Must be an impossible job he has had for the last year.

    That sounds like you’re calling me the sort who couldn’t produce on a rainy Wednesday night in Stoke abbeyhill! I approach the game as if it were life and who wouldn’t jump ship from Bolton to Belgium. Not exactly exotic but it’s a move I’d make in a shot irl – ask Werd about those continental strips, just majestic. Not on any manual or semi settings, they were that lump footed. I’m having a similar issue with anderlecht, no win in half a dozen games, despite a good on paper front two. I’ve tried blasting it, styling it, flairing it, passing it in, all to similar effect. Sometimes I just don’t believe the numbers and am really in need of something to click.


  18. Nice finish turf, hopefully the one that gets the ball rolling, quite literally.
    I will be posting a bit later today guys, somethings come up with work so will be busy most of the day.


  19. Pulled the trigger on fifa 21. Now to decide which team? Did Fleetwood in fifa15 and Exeter on 20. Gonna be another league 2 team.


  20. It’s good price for 21 but I’m not sure it would do much for me given how I opt out of all that pack opening stuff. Ps5 is not on the radar for a long time, lockdown go to of choice has been family mario kart 8 tournaments. I lose my rag something terrible on it.

    Lloyd – barrow would be a challenge, or Harrogate town.


  21. Turf – must have read my mind as I plumped for Harrigate Town. Only player they’ve got I’ve heard of is an old slow Jon Stead.


  22. I was gonna go for Harrogate on FIFA 21 but opted for the championship to prem to Europe route instead. Wouldn’t have the time to play through from league 2.
    The quality or lack of it and the team sharpness affecting responsiveness in those early days will be a tough challenge Lloyd.


  23. Imagine if Harrogate drew Leeds in the cup though, or York city in the bettys tea room derby….

    I think Harrogate had to rip up their 3G when they got promoted. Shame we don’t get to see pitch factors in fifa, do you get any kind of weather impact in 21? It’s a feature that seems to have gone downhill ever since the early days of PES.


  24. Will get a new post up later guys, have been dealing with work stuff and a killer headache, so not had chance to prep the post yet.

    Turf – Weather conditions in FIFA 21, and 20 if i remember rightly do have an effect.
    certainly in 21, when it snows the ball bounces much more and the ground is much more slippy, players can not turn as tightly etc.


  25. So Harrigate Town….. My best player is a star youth at 64 rated. 😂😂

    I’ve started on professional and it’s still tough. Tried WC in the pre season tournament and got beat 5-1, 7-4 and 5-0. Beat Bolton 5-1 in Carabao Cup 1st round then got spanked by 4-0 by Fulhams reserve team in the next round. Won 4 and lost 2 of first six league games, haven’t played anyone decent yet. Seems more meatier than 20, but that may just be cos my team is shite lol.


  26. There is something particularly civilised about having breakfast while the cricket from India plays out on terrestrial television. Ideally it would have been the bbc but I’ll settle for the Darjeeling, toast, marmalade and a cool breeze wafting across the veranda.

    Anderlecht have settled down. I think when you change tactics there is a built in nerf that makes them play a little more sloppily, as I used exactly the same setup I’d had at Bolton, so it wasn’t my lack of familiarity. 4-4-2 diamond, goals coming steadily, squad being trimmed, ready for season two title challenge.


  27. (Shakes head the way an old man would witnessing a young child who will come to learn to drop his foolish ways)

    So Belgium finished strangely. Played an away match, won 4-0, get message that I’ve been awarded 5m for my position. It’s mid March. Turns out there’s only 16 teams and there are relegation playoffs which I’m not in so that’s it, all done after 30 games. In a sign of what I’ll need to achieve to win it though, club Brugge won 26 of those games to take the title. My squad is good for Belgium, so much so I think my main battle will be scripting and silly results. I’ll definitely stay for that fight though, knocked back lots of international offers and not going looking for any jobs.


  28. I’d take a shorter 30 match season Turf., 38 games in the prem is ok, but the 46 in the Championship is always a slog and always cant wait to get out of it.
    For a lockdown with nowhere to go, the weekend has been pretty busy, along with very busy work week last week so still not had time to prep last thursday’s post, I haven’t even played the game to provide any updates so best I just wait and get a new post up this week, sorry about that but can’t update when there hasnt been any.


  29. Yes, 30 games and one cup is a big part of why I’m keen to stay. That and of course to call out abbeyhill’s mind games of me as a fly by night manager…


  30. It appears I misjudged Belgium. In a weird lockdown style stop-start twist my calendar insisted that I was due to play club Brugge despite the league showing 0 games played and lots of points for everyone. A few weeks went by and then, yes indeed, it was ‘the championship round’ or the ‘relegation round’ a series of matches between the teams in the top middle and bottom sections. Very odd. I get the whole rugby league style playoff effort but with such a big gap? And using six teams out of only 16 to decide the title, and you start on the points you had. Funny lot them continentals.


  31. And the first three games of this championship round have been 1-4, 0-4 and 0-5. It’s insane, I had to check the difficulty level. I hate Fifa when it does this clear alteration of ability as you might as well aim for a 0-0 or sim it.


  32. That’s a weird setup Turf, almost sounds like american football and the different conferences then going into the playoffs before the superbowl.


  33. so what position did you finish in Turf and who are you playing? Was just looking at wikipedia’s explanation of Belgian first division where you have 4 teams in title playoffs and 4 in Europa league playoffs but that sounds new for 2020-21 so probably different in FIFA20. Where is Werd when you need him? Charleroi was the Belgian team I adopted when (briefly) living there

    would agree that FIFA20 is pretty ugly when it does this scripting, no fun to play at all, have just been through a similar run of games with Ipswich in League 1 season 2. Players stop making runs or closing down opponents, strikers position themselves just the wrong side of defenders, 50 50 challenges automatically lost etc etc. Not quite as blatant as PES physically shifting defenders out of position but does lead to some really drab and frustrating matches


  34. The 16 teams split into a top 6, a middle 5 and a bottom 5 – weirdly the middle and bottom are called ‘the relegation group’. So there’s another 10 matches for me to play before my final finish position, but you start on your original points tally – so Brugge were 9 points clear and odds on favourites. I am now bottom of that six team group having lost three on the bounce. Players not making runs is a big part of this recent slump. No matter what I can’t trigger full backs to come up when they’ve been bombing on all season. I should have just sat in for a 0-0 but I thought I could play through it.


  35. That’s some weird setup, and seems pretty pointless being the best team in the division all year if that doesn’t even guarantee you the title.
    Taking Liverpool’s league win last season as an example, finishing 20 points or near enough ahead of anyone else and easily being the better team all season, would then only have got them in to a top 6 playoff for the title?

    Abbey/Turf – That’s why I ALWAYS adjust the FIFA sliders, and take the OS sliders and tweak them, because at default, FIFA’s settings for everything is very hit and miss.

    As an example, everything is set to 50/50 (Human/CPU) including full back runs, this by default will make the full backs bomb forward, leaving large gaps, when they should be more defensive minded, and on the flip, they often stay back when they should be attacking.

    Adjusting this down to 0-2 for both Human/CPU fullback runs, doesn’t mean they never make runs, it means the slider settings are largely ignored and fullbacks then adhere more closely to team tactics, so if you have a team tactic to wide play, attacking fullbacks, overlaps etc, then full backs behave more realistically.

    The same logic applies to all the slider settings, defensive line width, height, marking, tackle aggression, everything, at their default of 50/50 they are useless.


  36. Hmm, so do you use a known set of sliders Paul? Or your own?

    Yes, the Belgium playoff is very similar to rugby – in league you have the team that finishes top of the division, then the playoffs which are a knock out among the leading finishers, so all that effort comes down to a one off game. It’s all part of the effort to generate excitement when one team runs away with it. Nonsense of course.


  37. Yes turf I use the operation sports sliders and I tweak them very slightly. The difference in team shape, the way players run, ai attacks etc is massive


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