Coventry City 7-0 RCD Espanyol

So, I’ve been toiling along in PES2008 over the past few days. I switched from the PSP version to the PS2 version, and something hasn’t clicked back into place. I don’t know what it is. I’ve got my theories about screen sizes and controller button placements etc., but it’s more probable that I’m just suffering from PES fatigue and I need a short break to recharge my enthusiasm. A day or two on FIFA08 (I still instinctively shudder to say it) should sort me out. That’ll happen on Monday now.

Here in PES2008, I’ve lost key games in every competition. This was not good in a season where I’m going for another Treble. But every now and then when you’re toiling along in PES, a chink of sunshine breaks through. You get a good game—in this case, it was a very good game. It was the last game before the mid-season break.

Espanyol are not a bad team. They’re not up with the best teams either, but they’re by no means one of the Division’s basement clubs. as ever on PES, these are the kinds of teams that it’s often hardest to play against. I worry about playing teams like Espanyol, Villarreal, Osasuna et al far more than I worry about playing Barcelona, Real Madrid, Deportivo la Coruna et al (Valencia being the sole exception).

The game went my way on this occasion: 7-0. It’s a high-scoring PES year across all the consoles. Things are not so bad (or good, depending on your perspective) on the last-gen PES2008 as they are on the next-gen game, but even so, 4-1 and 3-2 and similar scorelines are sadly a bit more common in ‘classic’ PES than they were in the past (come on Seabass, sort it out for PES2009). But a 7-0 win is still rare enough for it to remain noteworthy.

I was only 2-0 up at half-time. Usually when I inflict a hammering on the CPU, I get most of my goals in the first half and then have to get through a much tighter second half as the CPU exerts itself to get goals back, as if it’s only 1-0 or 2-0 down. In this case, the CPU was only 2-0 down. There was no hint of the goals deluge to come as I defended desperately to avoid conceding. On a random kind of breakaway somewhere around the 60th minute mark, this happened:

Good old Giggs. In real life, for my money, Giggs is one of the very few players who realised most of their wunderkind potential. Who can forget that goal back in 1999? In PES2008 I think Giggs is the best he’s ever been in PES, full stop. I got him as a 17-year-old and he’s 22 now. This goal was an example of my favourite type of PES goal: taken on the half-volley at an angle from outside the box. It’s the kind of goal that a 4-3-3 formation like mine is particularly suited for, with its wide frontmen just waiting for those aerial through balls to come bouncing through.

Giggs went on to claim a hat trick. Kim Cyun Hi got two goals. Andy Cole got one, Bradley the other. A 7-0 win is special in any kind of football, real or virtual.

In all my years on PES I’ve only ever scored one full volley (not a half-volley) from an aerial through-ball. It came over two years ago in PES5, and it can be seen toward the end of my first PES5 compilation video. Maldini floats the cross-field aerial through-ball over to Bergkamp, who deliciously thumps the ball into the net without letting it bounce first. That PES5 incarnation of Bergkamp (he was a Regen) remains the single best striker I have ever played with in 10 years of ISS/PES. The rest of that video (and its follow-up) shows why.


  1. 7-0 is not that rare, unfortunately. You’ll see when your whole team’s really matured. Granted, scoring more than 7 goals in a match is apparently impossible in PES.

    I have scored a couple of full volleys with BRADLEY. But I have yet to score from a bycicle kick. I have nearly managed to a couple of times, but nothing yet. In PES 6 I did score a few with Fernando Torres, Rafael Sobis and someone else I can’t remember.

  2. Adriano – I remember getting an 8-0 back in the day on PES5. Veron got 4 goals in that match – he was great on PES5.

    I’ve scored dozens of full volleys with various players – in the post, I was talking about one specific kind of volley from cross-field aerial through-balls that drop over the player’s shoulder, and then BLAM! into the net.

    Like I said, I’ve only ever scored one goal like that. It’s not for the want of trying. They’re pretty rare goals, along with full bicycle kicks (not a side-on, ‘scissors’ kick, but a full reverse bicycle kick – I’ve never scored one on PES, ever).

  3. All the full bicycle kicks I scored were on PES 5 and 6. In 6 the secret was to tap the R2 buttons two or three times while the ball was in the air. I should try that on training again to see if I can get the hang of it again.

  4. CLASSIC pes, I know all to well. Seabass can we get back to that on next-GEN? you can keep the same graphics as 08, they are fine by me.

    7-0 Greg, hoopy days as I would like to say. I used to play my mate on ISS Pro, I was the daddy then, the height of my football career. I always went Nigeria, I set out to score 10 goals against him every time, I only managed it once.

    That was the days of the legend BABINGIDA, the number 7. My favourite number, Jinky Johnstone, Henrik Larsson and my own football number.

    To rub salt into the wounds of my best mate, who was recently to become my best man. I would transfer BABINGIDA into the goal-keeper position. A right “get it up ye” slap in the face.

    That was the best I have ever been in PES, if it was online then, I would fancy myself to beat anyone. Times change, you get older have a family and responsibilties change. But to go back to those days when you seemed to have loads of mates, but NONE ever beat me at ISS Pro.

    Due to my sporting background, I WILL get better at FIFA and hopefully compete against the best online. That’s my competitive nature, always want to be the best. I want to get back to the levels of ISS Pro days.

    I have watched both of your compilations, I remember your Bergkamp goal well, it was a cracker. My favourite goals are the L1 chips, especially against my mates, I LOVE it when they go in. I jump around the room when they go in. Right slap in the face to my buddies.

    Let’s get a PES Chronicles online tourney going? I know it’s poor, but it will be fun.


  5. Adriano – I don’t think I’ve ever touched the R2 button on PES, except once or twice just to see what it did. Honestly. I got used to playing the game in a certain way without using it, and I’ve stuck to that way. I know, I know – there’s a whole dimension to PES gameplay that I miss out on.

    heraldo – BABINGIDA. Now there’s a name to conjure with. I can still remember the surge of delight I used to feel whenever I worked the ball out to him and went off on a run and knew everything was going to be okay.

    Way, way back I once half-promised on this blog that during the summer (i.e. now) I’s methodically play each of the former ISS and PSE games, one by one, for a few days each. I still own all the PES games and it wouldn’t be hard to get the ISS ones for a few quid. It’d be worth it just to complete my collection. I might just go ahead and do that…

  6. You don’t use R2? Come on, mate, don’t let me down. R2 is vital, even in defense. If you press and hold R2 while the opposition is taking a corner, your defender will automatically make a run to position himself to head the ball away. How else can you defend corners? Do use super cancel fro that or do you just pray?

  7. Greg I think you have just revealed why you concede so many ‘auto goals’ from corners and score so few yourself. The R2 button is king at set pieces in both attack and defence.

    So it may not be that the goals you previously deemed un-defendable actually are quite easy to stop

  8. I checked yesterday, and double-tapping R2 still works. I was able to score with a half-bicycle kick. I got it on tape. I’ll make a new better comp later and post it on utube.

  9. Adriano & stinger – When I say I never use R2 it is a slight exaggeration. But not much of one! Shocking, I know, but what can I say? I think it’s a hangover from the early ISS days. “We don’t need no stinkin’ R2 button!”

    I remember a couple of years ago when the PES community became very excited about the R2 button’s use as a finesse button for shooting—I tried it a few times and didn’t like it. I never dribble, as you know, so I have no real use for R2’s controlled sprint/sidestep function.

    I do use R2+Square in defence. However, I’m a very indisciplined defender and I don’t use it nearly enough.

    Using it at corners and free kicks is a new suggestion to me—next time I fire up the game I’ll definitely be trying it. What I do at the moment is I take control of my player(s) and move him/them around in the box to try to cover the attackers’ positions. In former PESes you could position a tall CB on the outer corner of the 6-yard box and be sure of clearing 95% of corners. That doesn’t work in this PES, I’ve found, so I’m always ready to try something new.

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