I’ve not played a Fifa game since Fifa 10.

So I took the time and the £8 out of my pocket to purchase Fifa 15. I’m always a year behind. Does anything actually change in these games?

I didn’t want to get any “practice” so I just leaped straight in to the game and decided I would go straight to the Career mode. I thought I would give myself something to work on so went with an English League 2 team that had an average budget – Cambridge United.

I literally know nothing about any team.

Now I will be honest. I love playing football, running around in a rectangle arena of mud getting tired whilst chasing a ball of air – who wouldn’t find that a delight? But ask me a question about any team or player and my face will be as blank and interesting as a  dried out puddle.

So Cambridge Utd was my choice, the team I would slowly take to the top of the English Premiership… I thought…

I’m not the best at the game, I’d like to hope I’m not the worst so I have the difficulty on Professional and 5 minutes per half. If I found this too easy I would up the difficulty, too hard and I would work harder!

Let the season begin.

August 2014.
Wycombe Vs Cambridge

Taking the decision to let the assistant manager take care of the pre-season friendlies I soon found myself preparing for the first game of the season. Away at Wycombe. The team was set, not a penny spent on the first transfer window, it was time to take to the pitch.For the first game I decided to keep it simple, 4-4-2. It was a tough game, both teams had more or less similar possession. It seemed like it would go down to the final whilst and I would have been more than happy taking a point on my first however during the second half, a lucky break left my striker against 2 defenders and the keeper. Using the last drag of energy the sprinting race perused until the box when a shot focusing mostly on power rather than position sailed into the back of the net. 0-1 to Cambridge and we took 3 points from the first game.

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Cambridge Vs Swindon

The second game saw us welcoming League 1 strugglers Swindon for the first cup game of the 2014/15 year. The Capital One Cup. Having just won my first game by a mere lucky break I didn’t know what to expect, especially of a team in the league above. Still, sticking with the same formation and making a few changes to rest a few players the game kicked off and all was to play for. I knew it was going to be tough but the prize money was much needed to help improve the team come Januarys transfer window. With the sun blazing down on the team we go under way and luckily took the lead within the first 20 minutes. A superb bottom corner header from a perfectly placed corner put the team 1-0 up in front of the home crowd. Half time came and went and the second half was as action packed as the first with shots hitting both targets but neither team managed to make the net ripple. With full time bearing down and the possibility of a second win on its way I decided to switch to an all defensive strategy to try and hold back the ever attacking Swindon strikers. Finally and to my relief the final whilst went meaning a 1-0 victory for the home side in the cup.

The confidence was building.

Cambridge Vs Hartlepool

Augusts third game and the second league game of the season welcomed 8th place Hartlepool. Having won our first 2 games, the moral in camp was high but it wasn’t time to be cocky. Both teams struggled in the sun and the fatigue was kicking in for my players from the mid week cup tie. The second half started with both teams level at 0-0 but it wasn’t to last long as the away team took full advantage of a counter attack and put the ball in the back of the net. The game ended with our first loss. This wasn’t going to be as easy as it first seemed.

Cambridge Vs Shrewsbury

7th place Shrewsbury were the next to step foot on our home ground and I was very much aware this wasn’t going to be a walk over. The first half got under way but it wasn’t until the 42nd minute where another corner, headed superbly again by the main man up top, Elliot flew into the back of the net leaving the scores at 1-0 as the teams headed in to the changing rooms for half time. The second half was slow with very little hitting the target and the shots that did go towards to target never really tested the keeper. The game ending 0-1 to Cambridge but the smiles back on the teams face and the hopes back to life in camp.

Cambridge Vs York

Bottom of the league dwellers, York City, came to visit next. Knowing the poor form that they were having I took this opportunity to rest a few players for the upcoming cup game. York had very little chances, infact hitting the target just twice in the whole game. Baring that in mind, we took full advantage of the struggling side to slot two past the keeper, both in the first half to give a comfortable 2-0 win. Putting us closer to the top and pushing York further towards the bottom of the table.

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Cambridge Vs Newport

Things were looking up as the second of this months cup games got under way against Newport who, like previous opponents York, were struggling to get going this season. This was the first round of the JP Trophy so were we again looking forward to making a mark and get going in the cup. I decided to take this time to rest a couple of the big players that had been used in the previous games as it was the league that I was focusing on. Cups are a bonus for me, especially so early on in the season and since I didn’t know how things were going to go as well as taking in to account Newports poor form so far I allowed some of the younger players to lead the way. However this wasn’t a bad choice with the first half getting under way with a great start putting us 1-0 up in front of the home crowd. Half time gave me the chance to try a few of the other players that hadn’t yet took part in a game. The second half came and Newport showed no sign of scoring, or even coming close. To seal the game off, a further goal from midfielder Chadwick but us 2-0 and gave us the barrier we needed to secure the win.

Mansfield Vs Cambridge

The final game of the month saw Cambridge travelling to yet another team struggling to make a mark, 22nd place Mansfield Town. With the form the team was in, I continued to allow the younger players to take charge which again, didn’t show to be a mistake. Within the first half, the team was 3 goals up and looking ready for yet another win however when the second half came I took this opportunity to rest a few of the struggling midfielders and replaced them with some of the least experienced players in the squad. This proved to be a slight mistake as Mansfield piled the pressure on continuously but luckily only managed to claw the one goal back to make the final score 1-3. Another win for Cambridge and another 3 points.

Table Standings

With the end of August now here the tables were looking strong and looked to give a good example of how the season would go. Leading the table, sharing the same points as second place Plymouth things were looking good. 1 point being, in 3rd place, was Southend on 11 points.

A good start to the season, moving on in both cups so far with the FA cup just around the corner.

Fingers crossed September will be a continuation of success!

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