Is it possible to be so suddenly, so awfully bad at FIFA?

I used to be good at FIFA.

In Career mode, I play with the World Class difficulty level, winning consecutive trebles for as long as I’ve been playing. I boast my four-and-a-half stars on the multiplayer Seasons mode. I know my way around winning a match; I control possession, I accurately place my passes, winning by a 2- or 3-goal margin. I enjoy the times when I dominate so much, the opponent disconnects mid-match, adding easy “W”s to my player statistics. I go up and down in Division 1 and 2, but never below that.

Until recently, that is. I’m now struggling heavily in Division 3, having almost being relegated to Division 4 for three times in a row. I misplace my passes, I lack the ball control, I never get a clear sight of the goal. Everything’s a mess, even though I’m using my exact same winning formation as always. So it probably comes as no surprise to see that my last 5 matches’ statistics look like this:

L-L-D-D-L

And I have no ——— clue what is going on.

I’m a big fan of the FIFA series. I’ve been playing it since FIFA World Cup 2000 in the original PlayStation with my brother. (I remember slide-tackling each other’s goalkeeper with him, on purpose, just to see the most players can get red-carded in a match). Since then, I’ve been catching up with all the annual FIFA releases (except 14 and 15, where I was too busy with graduating university and working at my first professional job.)

I can confidently say that I do know my way around the game. I’m familiar with the controls, I know the evolution of the UI. I am no stranger to the weird glitches. (Which actually happen less often than you think.) And I was good at it!

It’s killing me to be losing like this. Is it possible to be so suddenly, so awfully bad at FIFA?

Has something happened to me? This thing that made me win 10 consecutive matches in Division 2 in Seasons mode has gone. Or maybe that thing is still there, but malfunctioning? Maybe it’s run out of its usefulness. It’s tired. And then that thing, whatever that thing is, tells my body telling me to stop being so obsessed by FIFA. Maybe it wants me to take a long, relaxing break from it. Maybe it’s telling me that there is more to life than wasting my time on FIFA all day.