Whoah, as they say. It’ll be February tomorrow. Where did that come from?
It seems like only a few days ago we were hunkering down to get through the Christmas and New Year revelries. And now here we are, munching through at least two Cadbury’s Creme Eggs per day (well, I am) and noticing that the days are getting longer and milder.
At this rate you could almost stretch out your arm and snap your fingers – click - and it’ll be October, and we’ll be salivating at the approach of PES2009.
By now, there’ll almost certainly be an almost-complete version of the game running somewhere at Team Seabass HQ, and tentative plans for PES2010 will have been drawn up. I almost don’t like to think about it. Perhaps living in the future is as bad as living in the past.
So, I played the first leg of the D2 Cup semi final, against Spartak Moscow, one of the division’s weaker sides.
I played a very good game despite the CPU being predictably supercharged throughout. I had to bide my time, pass the ball, keep possession, and defend with discipline, but I got there. I won 3-1. I was not happy about conceding the away goal but I believe I have done enough to make things comfortable in the second leg. Altintop and Caracciolo started together for the first time (I think) and scored all three of my goals, with Altintop bagging the brace.
Next it was back to the League, which is a wash-out for me this season. But still, you have to keep going. There’s transfer points to be won if nothing else.
I took on AEK Athens at home and won a hard-earned draw after conceding a late goal. Lots of times in PES, you can take almost as much—or more—satisfaction from a bread and butter goal than from a picture-book goal. I loved scoring this one (Altintop again):
Torino turned up in the next game and beat me 0-1 at home, which I was not happy about. It was almost a carbon copy of the Athens game, except without the late equaliser.
Things were righted in the next match. Earlier this season Real Zaragoza beat me 1-6 at home in my heaviest defeat in a PES Master League game ever. Elcherino, my former star player, got four of their goals. Ouch, and ouch again.
But the times are changing. Over this season I have shed more and more of my bad habits, and acquired more and more discipline. I think I’m more or less back where I was (the zone, I think they call it) when I was tearing up trees with my Coventry City team the first time around.
I went to Zaragoza’s ground and absolutely trounced them. 1-5 to me. Sweet, sweet revenge. (Elcherino wasn’t playing for them in this game, which probably helped…)
All five of my goals are in the clip. Altintop got a hat trick.
My favourite moment came during the build-up to the second goal. I started a breakaway after a Zaragoza attack, played a perfectly-weighted through ball with Camacho to Altintop, and finished the move with aplomb. Camacho had yet another great game but I got him sent off in the second half when I was chasing the sixth goal and trying too hard to get the ball back.