This was originally going to just be one post, but as I was writing down yesterday's relatively spineless performances I realised it'd be probably be best off split into two parts due to its length.
You can find a backstory and the squad I used in the post linked above, but if you can't be bothered to click it then just imagine a mostly Eredivisie squad with a few La Liga players and a couple Icons sprinkled in for good measure.
The following is the conclusion to my second Weekend League in six months.
S U N D A Y
The sunlight seeps through my bedroom window, and a cursory glance at my phone tells me that it's nearly 10AM. Strangely, I feel more drained than yesterday, despite the amount of sugar, meat, fat and carbs I shovelled down in the previous 24 hours (For those curious, I didn't get a Thai in the end – I found some brisket in my fridge that needed cooking so I had that with some dirty fries from my Co-op across the road. A full tub of Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough followed soon after. It hit the spot very well.)
My carnal desire for more meat, fat and carbs well and truly satisfied, I mentally prepare myself for fourteen more matches of mental anguish and wearily turn my Xbox on.
Game 17 is a relatively straightforward win, although credit must be given to each one of the game mechanics which rears its head throughout the game. At one point, and this is no word of a lie, the ball is on my left wing so I try to player switch to my left back, Tagliafico. The player I take control of is George Best, my right midfielder. My opponent's goalkeeper movement
leaves to be desired, which Ibra takes advantage of twice. Strangely, they rage quit in the
dying seconds of the game.
My eighteenth game of the weekend is against someone who has evidently mastered the art of just fucking shoot from anywhere. Cruyff bags a rebound from a corner, before Ibra scores a long range thunderbastard that puts my opponent 2-0 down at half time. I have had six shots to his eleven. The game finishes 4-2, Milinkovic-Savic making his customary substitute appearance and, in the process, scoring his 5th goal in 106 appearances. How I wish Lazio fared better in the Europa League. My victory takes my win/loss record equal for the first time this Weekend, and, for a second, I permit myself to dream of the lofty Gold 2 finish once again.
Opponent number 19 of the weekend goes 2-0 up after 19 minutes, a double from Crespo dampening spirits. His passing is silky smooth and runs me ragged, and it's not until the 28th minute that I make a successful tackle. I realise that his main tactic is to literally just get Crespo to shoot first time, and by midway through the second half we've drawn level. No sooner has he made his way up to my box from kick-off though, and a mistimed tackle gifts him an equaliser. Luckily, Ibra scores
in the 90th minute, and we head into extra time.
He scores in the 92nd minute, before I make the most controversial decision in my managerial career thus far: I sub off Ibrahimovic and bring on That Purple Martinez That I Did A Weekly Objective For Ages Ago But Never Use. My decision pays off, and he breaks away in the 120th minute, fluffing his shot slightly before Cruyff tucks home the rebound.
The less said about the penalty shootout the better, but he beats me 3-0 and I'm still shit at them. This loss, moreso than any other this weekend, was one I should have won.
In my twentieth game, I'm matched against a bog standard EPL team, which at this stage of the game is a terrifying prospect. However, even though it's clear that my opponent is much better than me, my team is better than his and he rage quits in the 67th minute, his team 3-0 down.
I start by going 2-0 up inside 11 minutes, and hope for a rage quit. My opponent, however, does not oblige. We eventually end up 3-3 in normal time, including a spell of around 20 minutes where I concede 7 consecutive corners. This sequence is only broken by my opponent scoring. We go to penalties, again. Between us, we miss six penalties in a row. I lose, again.
I have nine games remaining to scrape four wins just to make Gold 3. I start to wonder why I'm doing this to myself, and remember the sweet electric blue Dumfries that could be protecting my right wing on Thursday morning. I continue.
The 22nd battle this weekend is a relatively straightforward win, a 5-2 victory cappped off by an Ibrahimovic hattrick sandwiched between a pair of Cruyff bangers. At 2-0 up, a voice in my head that sounds suspiciously like Alan Smith reminds me that this particular lead can be a dangerous one, so I set my formation to defensive and let my opponent try to break me down. He does so with gusto, and eventually we find ourselves tied at 2-2 before I break away in the final fifteen minutes and wrap things up with relative ease. This game also marks the first appearance for the POTM Havertz that I did bored at work one day and forgot to add to my squad. His 10 minute cameo coincides with two goals, and I am impressed.
Number 23 pits me against
this team, and unfortunately like my game earlier against the EPL team it's a case of the better team winning, not the better player. This particular foe is a master of the dark arts, and his PIM Kluivert la croquetas his way into an easy 2-0 win. His TOTS Sissoko, who I generally find to be a lumbering oaf when playing against him, seems to be everywhere on the pitch at once and yet again I struggle to break down another drop back/counter attack tactic. I return to the menu, and it is at this point that I realise I have actually just played a game of Division Rivals.
My real 23rd game pits me against another average EPL team, and I sit comfortably 3-1 up at half time, his only shot (and goal) coming from a penalty after I'm distracted by my Amazon package arriving. He nicks another goal after changing tactics to – you guessed it – drop back/counter attack. I stay true to my principles, however, and continue to attack. We eventually win 4-2 thanks to some
Brexit football, and my win/loss record goes positive for the first time this weekend.
Game 24 is a routine win, a couple of early goals from Cruyff sending my opponent to bed with no supper
after 12 minutes.
I take the lead relatively early in Game 25, holding on before Milinkovic-Savic ices the cake by capitalising on a goalmouth scramble in the last few minutes to clinch a solid 2-0 victory. I reach
Gold 3, a seemingly insurmountable feat just a few short hours ago, with four games to spare. Four games remain to attain my Gold 2 objective. I must win three of them. I have won my last four games in a row, and the Friday night beer that was coursing through my veins has now been replaced by steely determination and quiet confidence. A short break beckons.
I start Game 26 well, taking a 2-1 lead against an
My next game (27, for those couting) gets off to a great start, but much like the last game, does not end as well as it begins. I once again take a 2-1 lead before the dredead cement boots strike again, with my opponent equalising not long after. Cruyff
My opponent then further secures victory with SBC Baluta tearing my defense to shreds, and TOTS Ben Yedder capitalising on the loose ball. I have no response, and unfortunately take a big fat 4-2 L. The 100th game of Best, Rijkaard and De Jong does not end well.
With my confidence now non-existent, and the Eredivisie SBC now live, I decide to complete it and inevitably pack Onana. Dutch, CB, Ajax.. well, Blind will make a decent CDM with an anchor… De Ligt!!!!!!! (I have no idea what happened to the screen recording of this, so you'll have to do with the
shitty photo I took in my living room to send to my group chats) I ruthlessly send his FS card to the transfer list, and set about changing my team. Before long I'm
so close to my endgame team, the only issue being Ibrahimovic on 7 chem. But it's alright for now.
Game 28 is the first of my three cup finals, and the first with my entirely new team, and the importance is clearly not lost on them as we take an early lead. Dumfries links up beautifully with Best, and dinks in a cross for Ibra to nod home. However, I concede three in quick succession in the second half and it looks like I'm going home with nothing to show.
I make some changes. Ramos, Carvajal and Gnabry all come on, and within minutes it's 3-3. I can tell my opponent is rocked, and I go all out. We reach the 50th second of the 93rd minute, the very last attack, and Wijnaldum flicks a deft touch through to Ibrahimovic, who finishes with aplomb. Relief floods through me as the dream continues. My new signings impress, Wijnaldum bagging a goal and an assist and Dumfries getting an assist for himself. Onana, De Ligt and Rijkaard, despite conceding three goals, are solid.
Game 29 picks off where the previous match left off, two goals from my front men forcing a
rage quit in the 21st minute, and meaning that, yet again, I go into the final game of the Weekend League needing a win to clinch Gold 2.
Despite my team only losing 1 fitness % from the previous game, I ensure that a squad fitness is taken pre-game. These are my opponents in what may well be my final Weekend League of the year.
We struggle to settle, and it takes until the 22nd minute for our first attack. I think I score at one point, but it's offside. Just before half-time, we break and score. I must stay calm. At half-time, De Jong goes off for Ramos, with Rijkaard moving back into midfield.
The second half is a barrage of attacks, my defense staying steadfast and Onana having quite possibly the best game I've ever seen from a goalkeeper. My attacks are limited to a hoof ball from defense, which cause his TOTS Telles on the left flank all manner of problems.
In the 80th minute, I switch to my ultra defensive formation, Havertz replacing Best and Promes making way for Milinkovic-Savic. After another neverending attack, I manage to clear the ball in the 86th minute to Ibrahimovic, who shoots instantly. TOTS Sirigu makes the save, but only into the path of my POTM Havertz, who tucks home the rebound. Four minutes later, the roles are reversed as Ibrahimovic nets from Havertz's parried effort. The ref blows for full time. I relax.
3-0. I've done it.
I finish 17-13. Gold 2 is mine.
Source: Original link
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