First of all, apologies for the delays in getting this out. The first two weeks I had planned to miss due to family commitments, however recently we had a Corona scare and it meant I couldn’t finish the games and post on time. Hopefully now I’ll be back on track, I may need to review how often I post these in the future because I’ll soon be starting a new qualification IRL for my job which will eat into my free time. However, I’ll still need to relax from time to time and so this would serve that. Anyway, enough schedule talk, let’s get into it.
On the back of a November that saw our form drop horrendously, we move into December 2019 with the hopes of rekindling the form we saw previously. If you missed the last episode as always it’s linked below:
Before we get cracking with moving forward into the Winter months let’s have an overview of where we’re at:
As mentioned a few times previously, our recent form has seen us drop out of the top 4 and into 5th place. Five points behind 3rd place (with a game in hand). We have big games coming up this month against Lyon & Monaco which could be determinants in where we end up. PSG setting the tone now with 1 loss from 14 games, a point clear at the top with a game in hand.
Mbappe is leading the charge for the golden boot. Our young lad Osimhen should be 2nd technically with 11 goals from 12 matches tied for goals with Benedetto of who’s got the same from 15 matches.
As expected PSG with all their goals are painting the top of the assists table. Mbappe should be leading this too with 6 assists from 14 games. Rongier in 2nd with the same from 15 and Neymar in 3rd with 5 assists from 4 matches still. Lille’s highest player is Remy with 4 from 12.
Clean sheets table highlights one of our problems at the minute, our defence. Letting in too many goals, especially for the goals we want to achieve. PSG’s keeper with 10 clean sheets (proudly didn’t get one against us), Mandanda of Marseille in 2nd and Lopes of Lyon in 3rd.
We spoke about this post Ajax but now you can see it. We’ve won our group with no way of coming 2nd. Chelsea in second will likely want to cement that and may play a strong team against us. Valencia only go through if we beat Chelsea. Ajax need to win to really stand a chance.
Across in the other groups whilst not pictured above it’s worth noting the progress of our fellow French teams. PSG in Group A have officially come 2nd with a game left, Real Madrid winning their group. Lyon in Group G are pretty much through in 2nd, they have one game left against RB Leipzig. If they lose by 2 goals or more then RB Leipzig will pip them to the next round.
After some incredible performances is it any wonder that our star player Victor Osimhen is top of the Champions League Golden Boot runners? Ahead of the likes of Lionel Messi in joint third (with numerous others) and Insigne in second. The veteran Remy makes an appearance at what should be 10th.
We should also be leading the assists leaderboard, Renato Sanches with 4 assists in 4 matches should be ahead of Gomez and Dembele who have 4 assists from 5. Araujo should be 4th with 3 assists from 3 and Postolachi in 5th with 3 assists from 4.
As far as clean sheets go, again defence is an area we’ve struggled with and as you can see we don’t feature on here. ter Stegen of Barcelona leads the way with 4 from 5, Alisson of Liverpool should be 2nd with 3 from 4 and then numerous others in joint 3rd with 3 from 5.
November proved to be a month of good growth for us as a number of players grew again and have increased their overalls by +2 for the season now. Chevalier, Weah, Faraj, Sanches, and Zekaj all improving. Sanches yet another player now to reach 80 OVR.
It’s important to consider that we will face interest for Osimhen as well. If he could grow another to 81 on January 1st that would help however he turns 21 at the end of the month. A typical 21 year old 80 rated played that’s an exciting prospect has a value around £18-£20mil. As he’s one for our future I can triple his value for any interest so we may have to sell him if someone is willing to pay £54-£60mil. If they are then that really opens up our career mode to some changes. Best not to plan too much but just consider possible sell prices.
Separate from the career mode:
I like to relate to what happened IRL (in real life), Napoli announced on 31/07/2020 that they’d purchased Osimhen for around 70 million euros (roughly £63mil) rising to 80 million euros with add ons (roughly £72mil). If Osimhen were to carry on at this rate of growth I reckon around the Summer window he could have a player value of £21-24mil which would warrant a purchase price that high.
Not shown here is that our veteran Remy has now decreased to 76 OVR, he’s ready for retirement, next season he definitely would have been just a bench player if he weren’t retiring.
Let’s take a look at how our youth academy is developing as we enter December 2019:
|Thierry Konate||GK||16||63||80-94 (R14)||£625k||Ivory Coast|
|Stephane Pinot||CB||17||56||62-68 (R6)||£100k||France|
|Werner Stockli||CB||17||54||59-75 (R16)||£110k||Switzerland|
|Hugo Martin||RB||16||59||82-94 (R12)||£275k||Belgium|
|Alexandre Ferrier||LB||17||57||66-80 (R14)||£170k||France|
|Romain Maes||CM||15||53||72-80 (R8)||£120k||Belgium|
|Yves Diallo||CM||17||52||58-70 (R12)||£60k||Ivory Coast|
|Mathis Vandenbroeck||RM||15||54||63-77 (R14)||£120k||Belgium|
|Russel Gordson||LM||15||61||82-94 (R12)||£575k||Canada|
|Xavier Courbet||ST||16||48||81-91 (R10)||£70k||France|
|Harry Brown||ST||16||46||63-85 (R22)||£60k||Canada|
|Alain Camara||SUB CB||15||47||63-69 (R6)||£50k||Ivory Coast|
|Antoine Cartier||SUB RB/LB||16||47||53-65 (R12)||£40k||France|
|Cedric Paillard||SUB CM||16||47||80-90 (R10)||£70k||France|
|Franck Soro||SUB RM/LM||16||55||73-85 (R12)||£160k||Ivory Coast|
|Matthieu Garnier||SUB ST||16||44||54-60 (R6)||£40k||France|
We’re starting to really see where our players will end up, a lot of the ranges are narrowing down now. A few under 10 range and several around the R10 to R12 area.
We found a Left Midfielder from Canada, Russel Gordson, who off just the scout reports showed to be 61 OVR at 15 and with 82-94 potential. We had to say goodbye to Cedric Moreau to bring him in. Additionally, Franck Soro was demoted to our sub wide midfielder.
We have finally filled out the youth academy too, with the signing of 16 year old Canadian ST Harry Brown; moving Matthieu Garnier down to the bench.
Looking to the squad we have three players who I see bringing good value to the table: Thierry Konate our GK, Hugo Martin the RB, and Russel Gordson the new LM. Xavier Courbet and Cedric Paillard are showing great potential but really haven’t developed their overalls enough yet with both being under 50.
Now we’ve taken a look at our present situation, let’s look ahead to the games in December.
First we face Dijon at home in a Ligue match which we should win. Midweek we have Lyon away, this will be a tough matchup, one that I really need to draw at least in to stand a chance of a top 3 finish. On the 7th we face Stade Brestois at home who aren’t having the best of seasons. The week after in the week we face Chelsea in our final group stage match, we’ll play our 2nd team with reserves on the bench (not playing any 1st XI players). I have no interest in seeing unnecessary injuries at this stage in the season and then following that we have Montpellier who are hot on our heels, another reason to rest our Starting XI. Finally the weekend after that we face Monaco away, another game from someone who will be competing for a similar position that we want. Monaco will be hot competition for that 4th spot so I need to set the tone that we will be that team finishing 4th.
At some point we’ll have the draw for the Cup Nationale in December. Around the 9th I believe, so we’ll get to see who we draw in that as that’s involved in one of our objectives for the year.
Ligue Un Matchday 15:
LOSC Lille vs Dijon FCO at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy 01/12/2019
So I put out a fairly mixed starting XI. I was aware I had a big game midweek against Lyon but I also wanted to get the needed result from this game too. Defensively other than Djalo replacing Fonte it was a starting XI, similalry Sanches and Andre started in the middle. Yazici, Ouattara and Weah were our second team players in the mid and up top. Weah was joined by Osimhen who’s our usual starter.
If I was going to nullify this bad patch of form, a win here was vital. Otherwise we could fall further down the table and be in for a real battle.
The game was fairly open ended to start with. It was mainly us in control of the ball creating chances and then trying to contain any counter attacks from Dijon. Weah managed to bag in the 16th minute following a great first touch from Yazici who created space out wide and created an easy chance for Weah to make it 1-0. Balde looked dangerous most of the game, he seemed to never run out of stamina and showed great pace and strength. Young Bradaric had a tough ask to keep him in check but he did fairly well, limiting balde to weak crosses or having to track back. However, the 29th minute showed that even if he did his job and forced the pass back, it was that quick it threw my defensive line off, Mavididi ran in behind and was found and he slotted it past Maignan. I think Maignan’s positioning could have been better, he was still setting himself up when the shot had already been made so it caused a huge delay before he made the attempted save. In fairness though it would have been an incredible save if he did pull it off. Our shots never really caused the keeper much trouble, Weah had a few chances to get a brace that weren’t taken but overall I felt we deserved a lead going into half-time.
The second half painted a similar picture to the first. We found a lot of room out wide to pull their defence open with but we struggled to convert. I noticed this was a game where my players really suffered from stamina drain a lot. As in more than usual which was bad timing as I have Lyon midweek to consider. I pulled Osimhen off and brought on Remy, I also brought on Xeka. The difference in those players was huge, the full stamina they had meant I was trying to give it to them every time as the other players began to become just static as I couldn’t do much. Remy created some great chances but unfortunately time after time it wasn’t dangerous enough or the keeper was there to make the save. Felt there were big calls for a pen on the 87th minute as Weah was pushed out of the way by a defender who couldn’t get near the ball at that moment but it wasn’t called. The game ended at 1-1 and I really felt we deserved 3 points here. 2 points dropped but not for lack of trying, we played well we just couldn’t find the final finish.
A bit bummed out after that last game, a disappointing draw but there’s still plenty of the season to go yet. We played well which is more important sometimes. Now we had to raise our heads ready for the Lyon match.
I was checking the league to see if we’d fallen further down or if anyone had slipped up above us and thought I’d have a look to see where Dijon were. To my dismay they were 17th with 3 wins, 3 draws, and 9 losses. We REALLY should have beaten them, we’ll need to make up for this with good performances against the top teams now I think. At least after the Lyon game we have Stade Brestois who look to be having a dreadful season with only 1 win from 15.
Following the match good ol’ Nicolas Gaitan decided to kick off again about his game time. I may stop including texts from him in these updates because frankly they’re pointless and show the lack of attention to detail EA put into FIFA 20 career mode.
During the build up to the Lyon game we also had emails from the Chief Exec confirming the acceptance of the season long loan deals for Zeka and Droehnle, they’ll be heading off in January.
Now we have a big game against Lyon who are vying for a spot that I was aiming for (personally). If we could set the tone by winning on their home turf we could bring ourselves back into contention for that top 3 place. I knew our team would be suffering from stamina slightly but hoped I could get enough strength in to see that win come in.
Ligue Un Matchday 16:
Olympique Lyonnais vs LOSC Lille at the Groupama Stadium 04/12/2019
Unfortunately the stamina caused us a few problems. Even Maignan was feeling it from the previous game strangely. I had to give him a breather and play Jardim. Remy & Postolachi were our starting strikers and Osimhen was on the bench whilst not being fully fit. Fonte had plenty of stamina to captain our side with Agouzoul there to support. Pied and Reinildo were our fullbacks with Bamba and Ikone in front of them. We had our second string midfield options in due to stamina as well, both Andre and Sanches not fully fit meaning we played Xeka and Soumare. At this point I dropped my optimistic hope of an away upset and instead aimed to keep a point and hope to keep within reach of the top 3.
The opening 10 minutes Lyon showed that they were a better side than us. They held the ball well and we hardly saw much of anything. That said, they weren’t too dangerous and we managed to get by unscathed. Lyon cleared the ball off the line 13 minutes in as after our corner some scrappy defending led to a volley which bounced off the ground and over the keeper but a defender was there on the line to clear. In the 18th minute Lyon’s Dubois placed a beautiful ball over Reinildo to Dembele. He ran in behind with it down the right hand side, put in the cross which was volleyed by Aouar, blocked by Pied, fell back to Aouar who didn’t miss on the second chance. 1-0 to Lyon 19 minutes in. Postolachi really should have levelled the score in the 22nd minute if it wasn’t for a solid save by Lopes. Again though scrappy play at the back and we pinched it off them, Postoloachi found Remy free on the edge of the box, stepped towards the keeper and then slotted it far corner to make it 1-1! It was tense and to and fro from then. Neither side controlling the game greatly although Lyon were looking the better of the two. Great work from Jardim prevented them taking the lead in the 38th minute, diving to stop a cross which would have lead to a certain goal. However, just minutes later another attack came in, again the shot was blocked initially but fell back to the player that struck it; Aouar. He then found Reine-Adelaide free about 8 yards out who took it first time into the bottom corner making it 2-1 to the hosts. Lyon really piled the pressure on at the end of the half. Auouar was again making plays, running past the majority of my defence, breaking in behind on the left side and perfectly weighting a cross in the middle to find the head of Dembele who was free in the air but hit the bar! Fonte tried to clear but had it blocked by Mendes, the ball fell to Reine Adelaide again 8 yards out who placed it but it went onto the outside of the post and out for a goal kick! We left the half 2-1 down, and in fairness it was deserved Lyon were playing extremely well, especially through Aouar.
Second half began with trouble from Lyon again. Jardim forced into making a close range save from Traore which Fonte cleared duly. 57 minutes in we broke away quickly Soumare driving forwards, drew Marcelo and played a ball in behind for Postolachi to pick up, took it first time and it slotted near post into the back of the net to bring it even stevens again! 2-2. Chances came and went for both sides and from the 73rd minute it became a real cagey affair with neither side causing too many problems. Towards the end of the game things picked up, as Osimhen the substitute held his man Anderson up with a fake shot, cut inside, pitched the ball for a finesse in the bottom corner but the keeper got there and pushed it out for a corner. As we entered injury time, Lyon were building up and the commentators began chiming in about turning the draw into a win (instant inner panic). Some great passing moves between each other lead to Tousart moving into the box on the right side. He layed it forward to Dembele who took it first time near post and Jardim was caught sleeping!! 3-2, 92nd minute, I was devastated. After how well the 2nd team keeper had played with several solid saves, for him to miss the crucial one at the near post in such a big game was heartbreaking. The crowd went wild, Lyon celebrated and we were left with our heads down. We kicked off but within a few kicks the ref called the game. Overall I felt we deserved the second half and so we deserved that 2-2 but it wasn’t meant to be.
Felt that loss greatly. A draw against Lyon would have been a great result. An update to the league is below. As you can see we’re now 6th in the league on goal difference. Monaco and Montpellier above us. 3 points adrift from top 4 and a huge 7 points behind 3rd placed Marseille. We’re not quite at the halfway stage yet but we really need to pick ourselves up and find some W’s.
In future I plan on keeping the half length at 8 minutes. I’ve used 10 minutes previously in FIFA 20 and whilst the games were good they did take a while and sometimes I felt in a game that was in my favour I’d score a tremendous amount of goals. I’ll continue to use legendary, despite the issues that it brings. I worry World Class would be too easy. Following this game after reviewing comments on OS Community Sliders I’ve made another change (sorry!). I’ve balanced the sprint speed so that both CPU & Player is at 50. I’ll continue to make small amendments to the sliders and will keep you informed just via this career mode for now until I find a set that I feel works perfectly.
For the next installment, things should be back to normal as I’m aiming to post next Friday so, please either subscribe to my blog so that you’ll receive a notification on any posts I make, or once it’s posted there will be a link below directly to that page. Otherwise it should be available around 18:00 GMT.