I’ve zoomed ahead to February of Season 7 in my maiden season in the Premier League.
Life is tough. To put it mildly. No messing – here is the table after 24 matches:
Bottom of the pile. 24 matches played. Won 5. Drawn 4. Lost 15. Scored 24. Conceded 51 (FIFTY-ONE).
No, it’s not hard to see the problem. Too few goals scored up front, and far too many conceded at the back. A Goalkeeper and at least one defender were on the shopping list heading into the transfer window.
I needed them. Here are December’s results, which show a reasonable cross-section of results, including a nice couple of wins to finish the calendar year:Those two matches versus Arsenal and Man Utd were representative of how things tend to go for me against the Big 6. I tend to get absolutely thumped. Typically I go a goal down, and then take a few risks to try and get back into things. So I’ll push up. Then I’ll get done on the break. Now I’m 2-0 down. Still in the game, really, if I can just get 1 goal back… So I continue taking risks – and get done on the break again. That’s how the big teams punish you in the Premier League.
The matches against the top teams are not the most enjoyable matches in PES2019. In fact they’re very similar to the accursed Old Boys match and the Rivals matches – fast and furious arcade-style crap with minimal interruptions. Mostly. There are some good spells in these matches, but I don’t have the players yet to live with the opposition, and so they’re 80% tedious button-mashing slogs. It worries me that anyone (at Konami, or in the wider PES-playing community) thinks this kind of football gaming is good football gaming. All action! Thrills! Spills! Turnovers!
I vastly prefer meeting the Brightons and Huddersfields of this division. There’s the PES2019 I’ve come to know and love.
How has Forlan, my big Season 7 signing, got on?
He’s been worryingly anonymous for too many matches. Only 8 goals so far all season, which is a low strike rate compared to what I need.
But I have come to sense it’s my fault for not being good enough, frankly, and not getting Forlan in the game.
He had a great December, scoring 4 goals in a purple patch spanning 3 consecutive games.
Below is a brief video showing all 4 of those Forlan goals in December.
The first goal here was a consolation goal in a defeat, but it seemed to bring Forlan to life, and all the others came in much-needed wins soon after – including my only free kick goal of Season 7 so far. The final goal is a PES2012-style ‘turn and shoot’ jobby, which I am starting to get some joy from again.
Highlights aside, Season 7 is a grind and I love it. I’m rock-bottom of the league and facing a genuine battle to avoid the drop.
After well-documented financial struggles I have finally got myself to a place where I have a steady income of £550,000 per calendar month. It all flows into the wages budget. For the first time I feel comfort on that front – but how long will it last? The next round of contract renewals will likely give me something to think about.
I’ll focus on the here and now. In January I had enough spare cash for my first real shopping spree.
First I picked up two older Youths from my Youth team. I’ve had to frustratedly watch several decent-looking youngsters come to maturity over the past few seasons without being able to sign them.
JOAQUIN (SS, 80 OPR) and CESAR NAVAS (CB, 81 OPR), both aged 20, both come in. I’ve had the former before (in PES2017, I think) and he was great, so I’m hoping for more of the same. Navas has gone straight into defence.
I also carefully picked out a 20-year-old Goalkeeper from the Free Agents list – J PELE (79 OPR) is already more solid between the sticks than Mannone ever was.
My shopping still wasn’t done. I still had cash to spend! Ah, life in the Premier League…
Time for me to look for a proper DMF. I haven’t had one this season. My Loanee Jack Wilshere’s aerial passing has impressed me this season. Obviously I’m not going to keep the 30-something Wilshere. I wanted a DMF with the same kind of Passing stats and skills (Low Lofted Pass and Weighted Pass) as Wilshere has.
This fella popped up as one of only 4 players who fit the criteria:Riccardo Montolivo, who has the kind of facial profile up there that you might see on the front of a Roman coin. I got him for a bargain £6m from one of the Chinese sides. £1m per year salary, so it’s a risk. He’s a Regen, currently aged 20, and already impressive. Not so much on the going-forward front, yet, but he breaks up play and distributes well, and that’s the first job of a DMF.
I have a feeling that Konami nerfed the traditional swashbuckling PES DMF a few editions ago now. It feels like a long time since I had a stormin’ DMF in the Mathieu/Camacho mould.
And so that’s the state of play. My Premier League £££s have enabled me to kit myself out with 4 top players in the mid-season. It’ll be another season or so before I’m totally done with Loanees. Maybe I won’t ever be completely done with them, if I continue to struggle and future contract talks go the ridiculous way I suspect they will.
My relegation battle is close to the end of the season at the time of writing.
I’m about 7 matches from the end, still in the bottom 3, and 5 points from safety.
There is a very real chance of relegation, I sense. I would not like to see what happens to my finances if I do drop back to the Championship.
I’ve got enough 6-pointers against fellow strugglers coming up that I’m 95% confident of survival. Maybe it’ll all go to some Last Day Drama…. There’s a near-100% chance of that, I suspect.