Faced with the prospect of a long plane journey, I decided to pop into Game to see if I could find something to while away the hours. I didn't want to spend too much, but was looking for something which might have good playability, and something which would appeal to my childish nature. Either a war shoot-em up, a GTA thing or a footy game.
Ultimately, I held two pre-owned PSP games in my hand, and thought for a few moments about which one to go for. One was Liberty City Stories, the other FIFA 08 and at last decided on the latter at £7.99. Which so far seems to have been a big mistake. Needless to say, I had to choose City as my team, and went straight into kick-off mode. The little chip drew an opponent at random, and who else could it be but Tottenham?
There doesn't appear to be a tutorial mode, so the game was away immediately, and I quickly became thankful that Kasper Schmeichel appeared to operate on auto-pilot. I was unable to move out of my own half and survived the first half at 0-0 whilst sitting on the toilet. I paused the game, washed and dried my hands and sat down to concentrate fully on the second period. I was a goal down within ten virtual minutes, then another 5 minutes later, all the time surviving countless other chances, and was powerless to do anything to stop the North Londoners' advances. Keane bagged his hat trick with 10 minutes remaining, my players were impotently sliding and running all over the place, and whenever we did get the ball, we instantly gave it away again. Quite realistic actually.
We ended up losing 4-0, with Robbie Keane scoring all four, and not one solitary shot on goal by the mighty Citizens. I put this down to my own lack of experience, and the fact that Tottenham were likely to have been programmed as one of the better teams in the competition, so decided instead to launch into a simulation of the Barclays Premier League. Bolton were our first opponents - at home - and although there was some small promise in the early stages, we conceded a comical own goal on the stroke of half time when Schmeichel dropped the ball under no pressure and Dunne trickled it over the line. The Clive Tildesley voice kept saying "Speed..." for some unknown reason, and we were soon down to a further two (Kevin Davies) goals midway through the second half. I was so frantically trying to do something - anything - to stop the rot that I accidentally pushed the power switch off with my hand. I didn't bother switching it on again.