Declining relationship with Online Seasons Co-Op partner. Seeking advice.

Hi, everyone

My friend and I have been playing FIFA Co-Op Online Seasons since around FIFA 13 or 14. Only in the recent couple of years (mostly this year) have we taken the step up from playing casually, to caring more about our record and winning games.

In all these years, I've been a Division 1 player, comfortably, and my friend has been a Division 5 player, at best. The skill gap is pretty big, which has meant I've had to carry him often, especially when we play against opponents who are clearly both Division 1 level. Throughout the years, I have taken a bit of a coaching role when it comes to the partnership, in an attempt to elevate my friend's skill level, but his reluctance to play and practise on Solos has meant his skill level has stagnated for a long time now.

I am very competitive when it comes to FIFA, so there have been many times in the past where I've snapped at him for giving away cheap, free goals or for completely abandoning the style of play that works for us, causing us to play badly. There have been many times in the past where I will let him know of my displeasure at something he's done by slide tackling with my player in the game straight after his error (additional info: we are both deaf, and cannot use mics, etc, so all communication is done over text during pauses). The slide tackling thing is something I have cut out almost completely in the last few months, as I am aware it is quite a bad thing to do, but texting him during the game about things he needs to improve, etc is something I still do, to which, these days, he seems to react extremely badly to, but I have to do it, otherwise he never seems to get it back on track. It is worth saying that he doesn't always react badly to it. Sometimes he will take it on board and we will instantly improve as a result. It is a bit of a random lottery as to which response I get from him. But these days, it's definitely more negative.

The slide tackling thing I used to do is now something he does on a regular basis, to take a shot at me during the game. For example, last night, in our session, we won our first 2 or 3 games, but then in our next game, we came across much harder opponents, and found ourselves to be 3-0 down pretty quickly. For the 4th goal, I (VVD) had passed to him (Gomez) and he seemed to freeze once he noticed that an opposition player was going to press him. This meant he got tackled, and the opposition was then one-on-one with our keeper. Just after my friend got tackled, he did the slide tackle thing, which meant he was trying to blame me for him losing the ball like that. I paused the game at that point and told him to stop doing that slide tackle thing, and he replied saying it was my fault for passing to a dead end. After that, there was no turning back. I told him how whenever he starts doing that slide tackling thing, the session always goes downhill and we never recover from it, etc, so please just stop it.

The very next game, he began passing it to the defenders who were under pressure, in an attempt to make me repeat the mistake/gift he made the previous game. Being a Division 1 player, I obviously dealt with it much better than he did, which seemed to trigger him even more, to the point where later on in the same game, when we were 2-1 up, I attempted a skill move near the opposition corner flag, and messed it up, so it went out for a goal kick, then after that goal kick was hit long into our defence, he started dribbling around with Gomez, basically mimicking the dribbling/skill I was trying to do moments earlier, and as a result, he lost it to their striker, who then was one on one and scored. So he gifted another goal whilst trying to score points against me. There was zero chance of recovery after that, and we went on to lose that game too, and during that game, I had called him out over text, saying I can't believe he is prioritising point scoring, over actually winning the game. He replied "I can't believe you're still texting".

As the next game was loading, I texted him once more and said that he really needs to get better at starting fresh in a new game, rather than carrying anger from the previous game into this one. He replied "wow, another text. I'm just sliding now", and we proceeded to go 1-0 down early on because of his constant sliding, and he promptly quit the game, thus, we got yet another L.

For me, it is his mentality that is the issue. I think it is really poor that he gets triggered so easily and sessions go downhill so fast because of it. But he doesn't see it that way.

My question really, is, who is in the wrong? He genuinely is of the belief that it is all me. My texts are what causes all this, but in recent weeks I have avoided texting first in an attempt to improve the relationship/sessions, but 3 sessions in a row now have gone massively downhill after a good start, and all of them started with him doing a slide tackle thing after I've made a random mistake, such as misplacing a pass. The other question is, should we just stop playing?

Also, as a side-note, it is worth mentioning that he texts me too, blaming me for stuff or telling me I did something wrong, which I tend to shrug off, as I am lightyears ahead of him as a player, so it feels really weird getting criticism from someone I literally spend most games carrying and have spent years trying to improve him. To me, it is like if Dejan Lovren started to criticise Van Dijk for the way he's defending.

But he reacts badly to the way I shrug off his criticisms and let him know that I think I am actually playing quite well (which I feel that I am, most of the time).

Another side-note, in my opinion, when he does the sliding thing, the only person it actually impacts is him. I don't tend to let things like that affect the way I play. But once he has started to go down that point-scoring route, he pretty much never recovers from the pressure he is inadvertently putting on himself by blaming me for something. Once he has started doing those slides, he will suddenly really struggle to string a few passes together, or score one-on-ones, which only makes the whole thing get even worse and we start to lose several games in a row as a result.

However, I don't bring it into the game and start point scoring/throwing away results anymore like he does. I play to win, 100% of the time and have done for a good few months now.


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