Just three weeks to the winter solstice, and then we begin the incremental journey back to lighter evenings and warmer weather. Before you know it you’ll be picking the silver paper off miniature chocolate eggs and hearing the first rumours about PES2018.
Will I be accompanied by PES2017 through to that unimaginable time, though?
Almost certainly. Hopefully. PES2017 continues to hold up. At this time I have no major worries about the game. I can sort of see where things might fall apart one day, but that day is currently so theoretical and unreal that I’m not going to spoil the here-and-now by worrying about it.
Here’s my Season 4 post-transfer-window Squad and First XI:
Rice is hanging onto his first-choice position out of reputation rather than performance. I have so many other options now. My patience with him – and with Friday – won’t last forever.
Friday has actually shown some signs of coming to life. I kept him during the transfer window.
I sold Lescott. He was far too much of a nuPES clone for my liking. Playing with him was just like playing with any other identikit CB from the post-PS3 days. This is my new policy regarding players in PES. They have to come with some sense of themselves as individuals, or I’m not going to persevere with them.
The three PS4-era PES games we’ve had so far have seen individuality massively diluted. I don’t care what anyone says, there is no convincing me that individuality hasn’t been watered down, year on year, in the name of online-friendly ‘balancing’. Everything that’s rotten in the state of PES can ultimately be traced back to the stinking, piss-bottle-strewn lair of Johnny Onliner. Fact.
Over the next season or two I’ll be offloading every player who doesn’t feel like an individual – Bartual, thy days are numbered – and favouring players who do feel like individuals. This is my new sort-of House Rule.
The month of February in Season 4 was a poor one for results:
That 3-0 drubbing of Reading was easily the highlight. Many moments from the matches above can be seen in today’s promised 5-minute compilation in some form:
Some big goals and some big misses from Friday in there. And I got one of those heel-flicky goals with Jarvis, who’s quietly becoming an indispensable sort of player.
I included the very last clip to show how I typically play PES2017. From the kickoff to the shot, some 10 passes and lots of ball-squatting later, I’m carefully husbanding possession, working the positions, waiting for my players to be open before trying the pass.
There are still many who aren’t having a great time with PES2017. I wonder if they’re trying to play direct all the time?
My experience is that direct play doesn’t lead to good things. Sometimes, yes, it does bear fruit, impressive fruit (as with the first goal in the clip), but most often I find that the slow-and-steady approach enhances PES2017 considerably.
The current table – 31 points after 31 matches:
It’s reassuring to see the other two teams I came up with, Villa and Burnley, scrapping down there with me. I believe I’m safe for another season. But another few points will make certain.