My initial praise was unwarranted. This game is terrible now that I have played 50+ matches online and a lot of career mode. It is riddled with bugs and the game play is pretty shit. Every match online is the same thing. There are no different playing styles to this game. It's literally just pass then dribble at defenders and since defense is so difficult, you either give up a pk (incredibly easy to do), or the attacker dribbles around you with a simple shimmy. Crossing is a complete waste. You need 10 crosses just to win one, let alone score. Pace doesn't exist. A reddit user did a sprint test between Mertesacker and Ronaldo and they were the same pace. Mertesacker actually out-sprints Ronaldo when Ronaldo has the ball, so counter attacking doesn't happen so there is zero punishment for going ultra attacking with high pressure. Passing is so broken too. The fact that iniesta can't make a simple 5-10 yard pass with his left foot is just stupid. And through balls? Yea those don't work at all. You see your striker making a great run and you have a good 10 foot gap to pass it into and you always hit the defender no matter who you are passing with. Or you want to pass it with your center back to your right back, well buckle up cause who knows if that pass with go to the center mid, the winger, or the person you want it to. Doesn't matter that your left stick is perfectly facing the player. The game decides who you pass to. The worst part of this game is the fouls. In the box it's incredibly simple to foul a player. Even the AI will foul a player off the ball to give away a penalty. A simple shoulder off the ball, oh that's a penalty apparently. You opponent sprints straight into you? Penalty. You poke the ball away from the attacker, but your body's momentum takes you into the attacker which is a foul on the attacker, no that's a penalty. Then out of the box you need to get completely destroyed to get a call. Slide through the back of a player? Not even a yellow. Player is clearly pulling your shirt and your pass is shit because of it, no foul. You are on a breakaway and your opponent or your opponent's keeper takes you down? No card is shown. Numerous times I have been fouled by the last man and no card was shown.
The club's priority is to make money. That is done by staying in the league, building the brand abroad and not spending much money on transfer fees, wages etc. Whether the fans are happy or not does not factor into the equation, outside of maybe a slight reduction in merch. And we're pretty brain dead as a collective anyway. In our jerseys screaming advice at the telly or the pitch as if we think we have a better insight into how to set a team up, having attended a total of zero training sessions, as a professional player or manager. We are adult Beliebers, or 1Ders, suspending our usual rational thinking in our support of illiterate multi millionaires, most of whom think we're complete morlocks, like porn stars meeting their fans at a convention. We take the piss out of the young people who spend all their money on Justin Bieber stuff, saying his pop isn't music and it's crap and it's manufactured nonsense. But at least they grow out of it. I enjoy Aston Villa because it's a feeling of being a part of something. Our tribe. The things we have going for us, and the things we don't. The shared misery of it. But I don't any more think that we have a say over what goes on in the club. We are atmosphere in human form for TV broadcast. Best league in the world.