Career Mode, FIFA 21, Formation, Game Play, Tactics

Just my cup of Tea

So I have continued my FUT play sessions, and did record some noteworthy goals to show off here, but no idea where they have gone, but there was only one on the PS5, so nothing to show here.
Still mostly enjoying Ultimate team, the beating random show off dickheads, and beating their team of galacticos is the most addictive part.
I still haven’t entered into the weekend FUT Champions tournament, the good thing is once you have amassed the 2000 points needed, equivalent to 80 wins, you can enter that weekends tournament, or save the points and enter another week, I was busy last weekend and you really need to dedicate some time to playing as many matches over the weekend as possible, thats where the big rewards come in.

Aside from Division Rivals, i have also been playing the offline Squad Building Challenges, where you play against other real players, even celebrities, FGUT teams, but offline, with the AI controlling, there are also some good rewards if you complete enough of the challenges.

Career mode got a bit of love too recently, frustrated and fed up with a constant losing streak, I changed my team formation and tactics to mimic the 4-2-3-1 formation my FUT squad uses, only downside being my Luton Town players are mostly very average, so harder to pull off, but the change brought about a few draws then I started to pick up wins, which has seen us finally move out of the relegation places:

With 11 games left to play, I’m confident of picking up at least 5 wins, which would take us over that 40 point mark usually needed to avoid the drop, which was a key board objective.
We did however exit the FA Cup in the 4th round, falling short of the last 32 as set out by the board.

The new formation looks like this:

Harry Cornick up top is keeping out pre-season signing Awoniyi from Liverpool with his superb form, Youth promotee Leleivre continues to impress on the left, with other pre-season signing Musonda giving us some serious pace down each flank.
I have custom formations assigned to each of the attack/defence levels too, with variations on the 5-4-1 for defence and 4-3-3 for attack.

One gasp of respite has been our carabao Cup form, in between losing 9 out of 12 league matches, we somehow managed to progress through to the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, where we played West Brom over 2 legs, a 5-0 agg score line sent us through to the final, where we face Chelsea

Condensed highlights of the carabao final:

League Cup Champions, surely that will save my job, along with the expected avoidance of the drop, it was a back and forth game and satisfying to grab a 90th min winner when I was geared up for and dreading the impending extra time, having already used all 3 subs.
The first league cup to grace the Kenilworth Road trophy cabinet since the 1987/88 season.

League form picked up after the cup win, as mentioned at the top of the post, with wins over Fulham, Palace and a narrow loss to league leaders Liverpool.

some Premier league match goals

I have to wonder, if I can get Luton Town promoted from the Championship in my first season, and win the League cup and keep us in the Premier League in my second season, am I wasted here?
Does a bigger club with more opportunity deserve my skills more?

Looking at the club budget, we are operating a tight ship, there wont be much more to add to the coffers after this season, certainly not the kind of money that will be needed to boost the squad and provide strength in depth, in order to challenge for European places, then I saw this….

Should I? Shouldn’t I ? Chances are I wouldn’t get the job anyway, Liverpool are league leaders, why would they sack their manager to bring in someone from Luton?
But there were some other high profile jobs, Arsenal, Inter, Atalanta, Sampdoria…..

Or in the true essence of career mode maybe I should stay and see out my journey with the Hatters.

46 thoughts on “Just my cup of Tea”

  1. Doesn’t the Carabao Cup win get you into the Europa League next season? Worth staying for that surely?

    Harrogate Town are hovering around the play of spots in the Championship and through to the 5th round of the FA Cup. Team is developing nicely with some good youths breaking through.

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  2. Oh yeah Lloyd – didn’t think of that. Might be worth a play through, see if we can win the man Utd cup !!

    had a spot of fishing yesterday, 18 carp, mirrors, commons, crucians, ranging from 3lb to 12lb, banded hard pellett on the pole at about 8m. Good days sport!

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  3. Paul – got maggots, worms, corn and prawns for tomorrow. Mainly after carp, but theres some big perch lurking about as well. 🐟🐟

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  4. You could combine sitting by the river doing nothing with listening to the cricket to liven things up. No wonder I’m sitting here waiting for my VR headset when you’re off drowning worms all day!! ; )

    I’ve pulled the trigger on 21 as Smyths dropped the price of the bells and whistles edition to match the current online promo. I still prefer a disc and a bit of residual value. I might not give up on anderlecht but I feel like the increasingly interesting FUT is only half as good when it’s a release behind so might engage in a dual 20/21 approach.

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  5. Turf – Apologies, still waiting on sourcing a decent box and some packaging, had an amazon delivery yesterday, hoping to reuse the box from that, prob be in touch soon to grab your address again.

    Lloyd – Nice, chopped worm for the perch all day. Feeder, bomb, pole or waggler?

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  6. Don’t worry about it mate, it’s just another opportunity to take the p out of you, I’d forgotten about it tbh and doubt I’ll do much other than fifa and finishing off tomb raider for a while. You’re a world away from my teenage experience of sea fishing – one rod, choice of ragworm, lugworm or spinner. Catch bugger all. Return home feeling like you’d been sandblasted.

    Just a shame our old colleague isn’t around to welcome in the spring hour loss. Always good for a day of poking the bear through the bars of the cage.

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  7. A bomb, is that allowed in the world of fishing? Guess it solves the key problem of killing lots of fish as quickly as possible allowing more time to watch the cricket

    Congrats on the Littlewoods Cup Paul and an interesting dilemma you have there. Normally my preference would be to stay with the little team but you’re right in pointing out that the financial ceiling FIFA has for smaller clubs is pretty realistic and makes it tough to really break through. Maybe an extensive youth system is the solution, but requires an awful lot of patience…

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  8. Abbeyhill – Funny you should make that joke, I went fishing down the local stretch of the Grand Union canal last weekend, canal’s are known for ‘bite a chuck’ fishing, plenty of small bits to be had, so did a click and collect, got me some pinkies, worm, groundbait, and off i trotted for 5 hours on the bank on a sunny sunday afternoon……. Not a single bite all day.

    Apparently according to a dog walker, the environments trust agency boat had been along the canal earlier that day dragging electrodes behind them, stunning the fish, scooping them into a trawler boat behind and redistributing stocks between locks.
    I was literally fishing for electrified fish, no wonder they didnt wanna eat. Hilarious.

    I’m pretty much made up on staying at Luton, never been one to flit about between clubs, I’m not a Werd or a Turf, here for the long haul.

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  9. I was a bit sceptical about this story Paul, but further research suggests that electrofishing is indeed a thing. Well well well, learn something new every day!

    What on earth were you doing with the keeper in the cup final? It was almost as if you felt guilty about your striker being granted 10 yards of space for the opener and wanted to give Chelsea a chance. Loved the drama of the injury time winner though

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  10. Season 3 heading towards its conclusion and Wembley beckons. 4 points from final 5 games will secure a play off place and a FA Cup semi against Southampton on the horizon.

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  11. Just fired up 21. I got the Ultimate Edition on an offer (brand new) but am a bit uncertain if I’ll get the promised free FUT packs – do you know if they come out every week you play, or every week from when the game is launched? (ie. too late for me) – I’ve had to email them to find out but don’t expect to hear for days.

    I’ve also got some serious statistical quibbles with a supposed random pack content that can manage to consider all the players in all the teams in the world then give you duplicates of numerous players from merely a dozen or so rewards. The transfer market shows how common certain players seem to be, when the % is supposedly linked to the level not the player. Hmm.

    Anyhow, I’m also PSPlussed as well, which is rather ironic given I just discovered my EA account user name is something highly derogatory about online players.

    Am I imagining it or do the same players play better in FUT than in career mode – I’m seeing way more long rangers go in, and a different variety of goals – even without any of the expensive icon types in my squad.

    I gave up on SOTTR – way too samey after a while, thought the story was one long repeat of ‘look for X’…’oh, it’s moved’…’go there to look for x’…’oh…’. Not up to the standard of the previous 2.

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  12. Abbeyhill – I meant to comment on that keeper howler in the post but forgot, I literally just switched off, like properly, must have gone into a 10 sec daydream or something because Ijust lost all concentration, was looking for a pass and didnt even notice thre chelsea player. Complete howler.

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  13. Turf – Not sure about the free FUT packs as I just got the standard version.
    You do get a load of packs for random objectives being completed, moving up a rank, completing milestones etc but most of them are pure fodder that just gets sent to the trade pile, that you dont even get any coins for.

    Gameplay is definitely different in FUT vs Career Mode, that’s why Im playing it, as long rangers etc and more variation of goals are much more common, because the opponent is human. and thinks like a human, and is compulsive, and 99% want to play high pressure, so this leaves way more spaces to get shots ff, or to play neat little moves, versus the AI in CM which is robotic and just moves banks of midfield and defence forward and backward like table football lines.

    Just redeemed my 2000 points earned from FUT division rivals matches, and registered for this weekends FUT Champions tournament, will be amusing to see how pummelled I get.
    My record for FUT is now 98-15-92 (W-D-L) so in the positive bracket, more wins than losses.

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  14. Even in squad battles it seems like players behave a little differently, despite being AI controlled replicas of career players. I only played one online match in 20 against a much better team (but not a galactico). I went 3-0 up and then got careless to see him come back to 3-2. I then gave him an old school lesson in keep ball which must have really pissed him off to see my crappy 70s outfit dink it across the back four. Ready to hand out a thumping to the Milton Keynes porkers or whatever they are called as soon as I get some players.

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  15. Wow, 21 in ultimate team at least is much faster than 20, and things like jockeying don’t seem to work half as well. It feels very much built for the online goal fest. I played one rival game to get the initial bonus and got scalped 5-0 by someone with a world class squad pulling out all the annoying tricks. It will be as dull as shit if it’s all as lightning quick and five a sidey as that. At least I can start building a squad properly as the events are still happening.

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  16. So, more people diving into the online side of things then? Paul, seems you like made up your mind regarding staying at Luton but maybe you could have a go in a different league…go with sampdoria? I quite like the serie A on PES, there’s a bit more space there with proper tactics in place compared to the constant hounding pressure in the English leagues (which I do enjoy as well)

    Anyone else completed cyberpunk?

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  17. #1 – I’m very much small scale messing around the edges of online – I play mainly squad challenge matches, but I found if I didn’t move to 21 and do at least a bit online then I was pretty much restricted in how much I could build. I always thought the mode would be too lightweight but it’s quite addictive creating squads and the gameplay is different I think, even without the other human involvement.

    I still can’t see how you can field a team of icons without unbeleivable amounts of grind or real cash.

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  18. Lloyd – my season 3 going similarly to yours, Ipswich lying 4th in the championship and looking good for the playoffs, unfortunately Villa and Norwich win virtually every game so top 2 is remote. And we have scraped our way to Carabao semi finals thanks to penalty shoot outs

    #1 – I have completed making the decision not to buy Cyberpunk! Unless you would recommend differently? After the charm and brilliance of Witcher I thought it looked really disappointing in terms of tone and dialogue

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  19. Turf – lets get a friendly set up one night!!
    And yeah, stuff like sprint jockey has been toned right down on FIFA 21, and it is pacey, and arcade like, 98% of matches finish with at least 6-8 goals, I’ve played 217 FUT matches since I started back in Late Jan/early Feb and can count on one hand the matches that have finished with realistic scorelines.

    Bottom line is that its pretty much impossible to defend. There are definite ways to defend, and definite ways not to defend, but you will always concede.
    Was watching the number 1 ranked FIFA FUT weekend league champion, on youtube and you’d expect games between these elite level players, to be close knit affairs, a goal or 2 in it, considering their win loss ration are something like 46/1, but even there, scorelines are 6-1, 8-3, 7-4 etc.

    FUT is not football, its an arcade game based loosely on the sport of football.

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  20. Since all the patches Cyberpunk is actually decent, got past the bit i was stuck on that was annoying the shit out of me, but my biggest gripe is that there’s just too much going on all the time, its confusing and hurts my head.

    Myriads of random items scattered around every shooting level that seemingly have no actual use, bullets flying everywhere, messages popping up on screen in a millisecond, its pretty chaotic.
    I’m enjoying it when I do play it, but dont feel the need to rush into the living room after work every night to play, or even choose to play over FIFA, which probably says all it needs to.

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  21. Paul – yes, I’ve been a bit put off by the difference between my single 20 online match, and the one and only 21 game I’ve had. A tight 3-2 vs a 0-5 thumping. Losing didn’t help but it was the way it went – it felt very Fortnitey – lots of rapid tricks and pinging the ball around rather than any actual thought. You simply can’t approach it the way you might career, thinking about building on a good defensive performance. I’m going to have to go back in at some point but my team isn’t even close to decent yet. I’ve sacrificed a few players to squad challenges but I’m maybe a 72 quality with 50odd chemistry i.e I’d get whacked by everyone. I’m quite liking playing a silver squad in the offline squad matchups but playing against someone I know rather than an anoymous 14 y.o taking the piss out of me would be great.

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  22. Turf – scoring goals in FUT online is easy, its defending that is absolutely critical and key.
    You absolutely must jockey, not dive into tackles, and track runners, thats the single most important aspect of everything.
    99% of online players solely assemble a team of the fastest players in the game, then will just spam balls down the wing, to cut in behind and lay back for a tap in, or will spam through balls for Timo Werner to run on to.

    if you learn to defend by tracking runners and standing up the ball carrier and forcing them into wrong decisions, your win ratio will increase by 50% at least.

    My FUT team is rated 82 and 100 chemistry, 104 wins, 94 losses and 16 draws. Im in this weekends FUT champions league weekend tournament. I will get battered!

    Drop me a mail, i’ll give you my number, you can text when you fancy a few online friendlies.

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  23. I’ve recently switched to playing in the silver lounge Paul, I hadn’t known it was there. There are still the quick players but it seems like you stand a chance of catching your breath. Mind I did still get a rage quitter when I thumped in the fourth goal…. You’re right about the strategy, it seems easier than ever just to run at people and a slide would be fatal. My gold team(s) are a long way off being good enough, absolutely loads of useless 75 rated untradeable players from obscure nations. I imagine all they are good for is upgrading if I can scrape enough chemistry out of them. I must have 20 unsellable gold keepers!

    Will ping you my number…you’ll be wanting it to let me know about the headset anyway…. ; )

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  24. think you’ve got that the wrong way round Turf – the extra hour in the garden this evening means we’ve gained, not lost an hour

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  25. My apologies, I forgot the old ‘spring forward’ rule that means we take an hour from the following day, hence the 25 as you quite rightly point out abbeyhill.

    How exactly do you stop online opponents time wasting with stupid tricks once they’ve scored? If you dive in they run past, if you jockey they just watch you, if you ask for help they pass to the free man. It’s infuriating.

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  26. quality video as always Lloyd. You seem to make a habit of amazing attacking trios, and Higgins, Lahne and Iheanacho live up to their predecessors. Good to see Higgins recover from his cruciate, I wonder if he’s good enough for the highest level? Congrats on the twin Wembley success. My favourites though were those two remarkable saves scooped off the line!

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  27. Abbeyhill – Higgins has scored in his first couple of premier league games and will lead the line in our Europa League travels.

    Inheanacho is fighting for his place with free transfer signing Big Shaq aka The Cube

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  28. absolutely no idea who Big Shaq might be but the name sounds good Lloyd! Following in your season 3 footsteps Ipswich won the Carabao Cup last night, 1-0 win against an oddly passive Man City with Kayden Jackson cutting in for the winner. In fact the whole campaign felt a bit scripted with none of the Premier League teams putting up massive resistance. Starting to wonder if World Class is too easy on FIFA20, but in the Championship we’re only in 6th and just got cuffed 4-0 by Villa

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  29. Abbeyhill – Xherdan Shaqiri lol. A lot of Liverpool fans I know call him the cube due to his physique. Calves of steel

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  30. Abbeyhill – I never found world class easy in 20 but I reckon it’s scripted up to the hilt. I rolled over everyone in Belgium until I had the top of the table matches. I’m finding 21 quite filthy by comparison, way too fast and much more open, as if someone high up looked at its predecessor and said ‘more goals, more tricks, none of this defending nonsense’. I’m still in ultimate team but it’s maybe 90% squads offline and only a few matches against people. I’ve had some very good odd goal games but some total filth and rage quitters.

    For ref. I got none of the benefits of the ultimate team edition. Regardless of what the voucher code says the rewards start on release day and buying it one week after even costs you some of those rewards. I explained this to Smyths and they were great actually – said it was poor by EA not to advertise this more clearly and refunded the difference to standard edition plus an extra tenner.

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  31. Having played a lot of ultimate team now I’ve got to know about some very good players, especially strikers. I’m assuming these don’t change in career, that the stats aren’t altered, even though the game itself is less frantic? Just that it would give you a huge advantage in scouting. You’d still need to in order to find out valuations so you don’t mess up but you can target the players you know are worth it. Or is it not that simple?

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  32. Just a quick note to apologies for lack of new posts and comments lately, work has been ridiculously busy, several business critical projects im heading up, and some stuff going on at home has meant i’ve played zero career mode and only a handful of Ultimate Team matches, so really did not have any motivation to post, no new content to post or or time and energy.
    It will probably be like this for a few weeks yet, so I will apologise again in advance.
    Obviously will leave the comments open for everyone to natter, and will try my best to make some time to get something new posted, even if its a shorter update in the comments section.

    Cheers.

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  33. Take it easy Paul, looks like a lot of folk are on pause. I’ve just gone for an outrageously cheap offer on the full Elder Scrolls online package, which with some credit and discount I had cost 3.99. I’m only 5 years late to the party but if I get a fraction of what Skyrim has given me I’ll be missing for weeks. Played an offline game of Fifa 21 with mini turf yesterday and the contrast with online couldn’t be more clear. I’d warned him it was much faster than he was used to – nothing of the sort, really good game. I despise how they have obviously ramped the speed up in Ultimate Team, it reduces matches to who has the quickest players and can beat a man as once you’ve done that it’s pretty much all over. My latest opponent had the combination of Zaha and MBappe up front. That he can afford Mbappe but also chooses Zaha says everything about it. If they’d just dial it down a notch it would be a perfect mode.

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  34. Turf – Just not within the mindset currently to dedicate several hours to an offline career mode and all the deep decisions and tactical elements that go with it, thats why FUT has been addictive, pick up and play.

    FUT is all about speed, fastest players being played out of position, purely just to sprint past a defender and score, thing is if you watch elite level players, they don’t play like that, its much more patient build up and pass and move and about 50 trillion skill moves, shot fakes and the like.

    Fed up of playing against PSG in Online divisions, Neymar and Mbappe, there is zero you can do to defend it.

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  35. understandable, Paul, sounds a busy life at present. You guys down south starting to travel around a little more? Got next week off for an Easter holiday but stuck at home.

    Got to the end of season 3 on FIFA20 last night. Qualified for the playoffs on the final game of the season which was a bit ridiculous with 94 points, often enough for automatic promotion. Villa and Norwich were top with a frankly obscene 126 points and 106 points. Semis were a breeze, 5-0 v Stoke, and after taking an early lead against Brentford in the final I maybe relaxed a bit too much; they progressively got a tighter and tighter grip of the game and scored two second half goals. Not too unhappy with another season in the Championship as I’ve basically still got Ipswich’s starting team plus signing some of their loanees e.g. Troy Parrott, could do with the youth players developing a bit more.

    Struggling to find a good non-footy game at the moment, Spiritfarer is stupefyingly boring. Have downloaded MGS5 Ground Zeroes and old not-Greg fav XCOM2

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  36. taken aback to find that season 4 started with Europa League qualifiers, had forgotten the Carabao Cup win. Dispatched Sturm Graz 3-1 in the first round of qualifiers, Hearts are next, actually Tynecastle’s just down the road from me, might go and watch. The FIFA fixture generation AI engine relishing the chance to give me Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday match weeks

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  37. The huge space needed for Elder Scrolls has meant me ditching Fifa20 rather than moving stuff around – so goodbye to Anderlecht, we never really knew you. I’ve set up a new career with Hibs coincidentally. Perennial underachievers surely? Particularly as Dundee Utd and Aberdeen had their moment in the sun. For now though still spending more time doing squad building challenges on 21. I did play a guy last night though and he was the roughest clogger imaginable – scuffed his way to a 2-1 win then felt the full force of my Bundesliga outfit. Resorted to kicking me in the box for a clear and blatant foul…. plenty of time to be playing in the next few days, or watching Netflix, as terrestrial won’t be worth turning on.

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  38. dear oh dear you are right Turf, even Gardeners World cancelled

    So Hibs on FIFA21 career mode? Very fond memories of Aberdeen’s moment in the sun, moved up to Fort William at 8 years old and adopted Aberdeen as my Scottish team just as Sir Alex was putting together one of the finest sides in Europe

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  39. Just opened a gold pack I earned for some minor task Paul….outrageous odds got me the record breaking van dijk card. Currently trading at 350k but it was a no sale pack. I’ve had a few team of the week cards but I think that’s my first proper stellar effort. All I can think is that the ones with all the icons open loads of packs, use the many swaps to do squad building, to get more packs and then use those cards to trade in the 85 skill 100 chem sets that get you the icon. I’ve got one decent high level card and only similar luck will likely get me more.

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  40. Finished 11th in Prem and reached FA Cup semis and Europa League quarters. Season finished on a high note though.

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  41. Reminiscent of a bloke called Twigg I recall NG having on another game in another era.

    I feel ready to start a career with Hibs now. The ultimate team thing is fading fast. I’ve done all the entry squad building challenges – you trade in top players to get…top players. Then you take those top players online and get 6-3, 5-4, 8-3, etc. Every match is 100mph for me. Playing our dear leader was good fun but it’s a rare experience. The offline squad battles are either too easy (I won 11-0 on world class) or really difficult and script filled. I mistakenly tried ‘ultimate’. I didn’t get a kick. Opening packs retains something but I wish there was a setting for slower online matches, or they didn’t make this year such a speed fest. Everything Paul says about playing players out of position simply because they are fast is right…and there is a guy who supposedly uses Cech up front.

    I’m also slightly disappointed with Elder Scrolls Online, the combat reminds me of those dynasty warriors games, charge in melee stuff. Hoping the story compensates.

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  42. Oh and while beating me 2-1 some online twat added me to a group and messaged me to say ‘you have lost’…honestly, these people

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  43. Oops sorry about that Turf, couldn’t resist it

    Lloyd – wow, it would seem that Higgins absolutely can do it at the highest level! My favourite section of your video was from 3:30 – firstly Collins switches from being injured to going on a lung-busting run and impeccable volley in the space of seconds, then in the next clip the commentator switches his accent dramatically, scenes!

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