So, I had such a great time documenting my first Weekend League since December that I thought I'd do another. I'm playing this week because it's the Eredivise TOTS week, (along with another, less important league) and those of you who've seen my team progression from the beginning of FIFA 19 until now will know that I'm working my way towards a team I've rather catchily titled 'Eredivise Past & Present/Dutch Hybrid (with George Best)'.
So, what better way to (probably not) get those high rated Dutch League players than by subjecting myself to 30 of the most abhorrent games of simulated football known to man? With a bit of luck, I'll get Dumfries and Van Persie, which means I won't have to spend any coins on them and can splash my cash on Wijnaldum's electric blue card instead. This is the team I'm now
Here are the soldiers that I used for this week's battles, and unlike my last Weekend League experience, I actually bothered to make some custom tactics this week. Without going into too much boring detail, they're attacking for when I'm losing, and defensive for when I'm winning. I know, revolutionary.
The following is a retelling of my second Weekend League in six months.
F R I D A Y
I plan on playing a good five or so games after work, but my old work buddy texts me just as I arrive home and asks if I wanted to go for a 'quick pint' in the evening. Unfortunately, my old work buddy is a 6 foot 3, 20+ stone ex army officer, and that, coupled with my complete lack of self discipline, turns our quick pint into a 12 hour bender that finishes in the early hours of Saturday morning.
I play no games.
S A T U R D A Y
I awake with a dry mouth, terrible headache and unwavering thirst to decimate my weekend's opponents. I fitness my squad up, and curl up in my favouring Gaming Corner of my sofa. My first opponent's team doesn't look that special (save a few TOTS cards scattered here and there), and I feel confident to get a win in Game 1.
My confidence is slightly misplaced, however, as my team capitulates early on under its controller's sluggish reactions and unimaginative gameplay. We go 5-1 down at half time, my opponent's Flashback Ibra absolutely dominating proceedings and scoring three of the best making me pay. I don't know whether or not it's because my blood is 50% alcohol at the moment, but I just can not break down my opponent's drop back/ counter attack tactics.
Game 1 finishes 6-1, and I am firmly humbled. It's going to be a long two days.
My mother stops by to pick up a suitcase (she's off on holiday and likes mine because it's got wheels), and comments on my dishevelled appearance and sunken, blood-red eyes. I tell her I'm playing the Weekend League, and she nods solemnly and heads for the door. She's seen it all before. Before she leaves, she tells me to get a shower and I oblige.
I go into Game 2 feeling like a new man, and quickly dispatch Opponent Number 2 after 18 minutes, a deflected Ibra long range effort which leaves his keeper helpless is followed by a deflected Promes long range effort which leaves his keeper helpless. He rage quits before I've even finished drip drying on the sofa.
Game 3 ends in a 4-3 defeat, with three of the best from TOTS Lacazette making me pay. At one point, I go 3-2 up and set up my new defensive settings, which swiftly allows my opponent to claw back two goals. An uneasy feeling develops in my stomach as I begin to worry that I might not even scrape my regular Gold 3 finish, and horrid images of lone Lazzari's and Mancini's begin to permeate my thoughts.
My luck continues through Game 4, where I'm matched against a completely bang average side. I lose 3-2, the decisive goal coming from a substitute Kante who, for a moment, is possessed by the spirit of the great Tony Yeboah and scores this absolute banger. At one point, I try to switch to one of my players outside my box to defend a counter-attack and for some reason I take control of Quincy Promes, who is stood near the centre circle.
Game 5 is notable for my opponent's FS Upamecano giving away two penalties, only one of which Best converts. I scrape a 1-0 victory despite absolutely dominating proceedings, Rijkaard claiming a well deserved Man of the Match for his swashbuckling midfield performance.
We slump to a limp 3-0 loss in Game 6, with TOTS Hazard scoring three of the best and making me pay. It's at this point I mute the TV and switch to iTunes, for the sake of both my sanity and my neighbours in the immediate vicinity. Game 7 yields a comfortable 6-0 win, with Ibra bagging
three of the best, and making them pay a comfortable hattrick. Despite my opponent boasting a bog standard squad with IF Josh King and IF Fredericks, my confidence is fully restored, and Bronze 1 beckons for my team of valiant warriors. I overcome a barrage of el tornado crosses to win 3-1 in Game 8, and after taking the lead after countering from one of those particular crosses, I succumb to my inner id and celebrate with the ever-infuriating shush dab combination.
The powers-that-be are clearly watching my antics, and punish me in Game 9 by matching me against a Serie A squad. Despite taking the lead with my first kick off goal of the week, I slump to a 4-1 defeat. My stomach aching, and my morale battered once again, I take a short break to see what carbs I can find to keep my approaching hangover at bay.
Two heavily buttered jumbo crumpets and a bag of salt and vinegar McCoy's later, I'm ready to continue my penance in Game 10 by going 3-0 down after 18 minutes. To compound my misery, I have to watch both TOTS Salah (twice) and PIM Van Basten dab furiously after each goal. I set my team to ultra defensive, rest the controller on its right analogue stick, and turn my TV off. If I can't enjoy my game, I'm going to make damn sure my opponent doesn't either. After devouring another crumpet, I return to a 4-0 loss. He messages me after the game. I reply.
I finish my tenth game stuck on Bronze 1. So far I have dabbed, and put the controller down when in a losing position. I am becoming the very type of player I hate.
Before starting Game 11, I feel the need to lift a weight off my chest, so I send my previous opponent a message of apology. The Maester of Matchmaking cares not, however, and places me against a team with (amongst others) Ronaldo, PIM Gerrard and TOTS Jovic. I lose 4-0, struggling to put a string of passes together long enough to get out of my own half. I muster a measly 4 shots to his 17. A notification tells me that my batteries are low, and I wonder if my Xbox means my controller or my joie de vivre with this game.
Going 1-0 down in Game 12 leads me to wonder just who I've pissed off in a prior life, before an extra time double from Cruyff secures a much-needed 2-1 win. I look longingly at the Leaderboard, a million miles away from Gold 2. Game 13 inches me closer, a 3-1 with a titan-like performance from De Ligt, who chips in with a goal and an assist.
Unfortunately, Game 14 is a return to sorts. I face another drop back/counter attacking team, and crumble to a 5-2 loss. Whilst I'm sure MichuAtDeGeaBar as a team name provides great mirth to those under the age of 10, for me it does nothing and I remain stony-faced. My player switching, which has been generally abhorrent in most games this weekend, hits an all time low. His midfield is non-existent, though he overloads the wings with attackers and we fail to cope. PIM Pires on one flank and TOTS Dembele on the other leave me for dead, and I remain sat at Silver 3. A quick raid of my pantry yields the last bag of Drumstick Squashies, and I hope the sugar boost will lead me to victory in my final games of the day.
I struggle to get a foothold in Game 15, playing against similar defensive tactics as my previous opponent. I fare a little better this time, only conceding the losing goal with
14 seconds to go in extra time. Unfortunately, I'm unable to cope with his infuriatingly effective defensive tactic of foul like fuck, as my attacking free-kicks are horrendously bad.
Luckily, Game 16 puts me against a
God squad, and despite the alarming number of electric blue cards, it's quite clear the person controlling them hasn't got a Scooby Doo how to use them. They score two jammy goals, but I score three and I finish Saturday on somewhat of a high. Rijkaard, who so often let me down last time out, has been one of my sole highlights of the day. De Jong has disappointed.
I turn off my Xbox, fire up Just Eat and see what's on the menu for tonight. Thai, perhaps.
I finish Saturday 7-9. We go again tomorrow.
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© Post "I’m midway through my second Weekend League since December. Here’s my diary of events so far." for game FIFA 19.
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