Pre-season 2019

The 2019 season is almost here and it’s time to discuss my attitude towards Regens in Master League. At this stage of a career the established players who populated the game at the beginning all start to retire. I’m thinking of the likes of Rooney, Torres, Gerrard, Kaka—all among the very best players that the game has to offer. Lots of PES players forbid themselves from having Regens or Classic players

My policy on Regens and Classic players is simple: I’m allowed to have them. Next-gen PES2008 and a certain Mr Elcherino apart, they’re not overpowered for me in ‘original’ PES and they never have been. I’m only an average PES player and the Regens don’t ruin my game—they enhance it. Part of the fun of playing an ML career indefinitely all year, as I do, is bearing witness to the comings and goings of the great players. When Rooney retires—as he will in the next few seasons—and returns as a 17-year-old, will he be as good or better than he was the first time around? In my experience, the Regens are usually better, because you get the opportunity to develop them from the start of their new career or soon afterwards. That’s if you can get them as soon as they regenerate, of course.

You have to keep a close eye on the Youth list to catch the Regens you want as soon as they regenerate. Otherwise an AI club will swoop in for them and you’ll end up having to pay a king’s ransom further down the line. But sometimes that’s okay. If I’ve got a large squad and I’m always playing big games, a raw 17-year-old won’t get many appearances. Often it’s more efficient to let a young player develop at another club for a few seasons before trying to get him. By this stage of an ML career, money is usually no object.

Thierry Henry was sitting in the Non-Affiliated list just waiting to be picked up. He’s 20 years old. Obviously he must have popped up as a Regen a few seasons ago and I somehow missed seeing him (which was very sloppy of me). The peculiar thing is that no AI club snapped him up, which is what usually happens to the great Regens. Never mind. I was happy to find him waiting for me to give him a home.

Another striker I picked up, albeit on a ‘proper’ transfer, was a 24-year-old Christian Vieri. This player was a semi-legend for me back in the halcyon days of PES5. He’s only young at the moment and looking good again. I offered his club Shevchenko+a few thousand points for him, and of course they took my offer. Shevchenko was disappointing for me. He always seemed rather lightweight on the ball, and he lacked his legendary pace. In a game where every great attacking player has got explosive pace, Shevchenko just seemed rather ordinary. Maybe next time, Andriy.

Back in the Non-Affiliated list (I do flit around among these lists during a transfer period) I found a quality centre-back called Runzal, and added him to my squad. Last season I just felt I was conceding too easily too often. I still don’t know what is at greater fault, my carelessness or the more open, attacking play of PES2008. It’s probably a mix of both, but a top-quality extra CB won’t hurt.

Back in the Youth list proper, I couldn’t see any legends reborn. So I located and got a couple of solid old PES names—Chivu and Caracciolo. Chivu will be a good replacment for Roberto Carlos at LB when the latter eventually ages and declines, as he will inevitably do at some stage. Caracciolo was a great striker for me on next-gen PES2008—yes, yes, yes, everyone is a great striker on the shallow next-gen PES2008, but I’m curious to see how the big man performs here in a classic PES. These two are both 17, so their opportunities in the coming few seasons will be limited. I will try to play them whenever I feel I can get away with it, though.

Regarding my First XI, it’s time to make a long-overdue decision. Kim Cyun Hi has to go and sit on the bench, at least for now. He’s been a very good striker but, for me, hardly the prodigious talent that other PES players have found him to be. I suppose it comes down to differing play-styles as well as a certain random element within individual Master League careers. I’m sure Kim will be an excellent stand-in striker when called upon, as he often will be.

Schwarz therefore returns to his natural role in the centre of my strikeforce. Thinking back across all the PES years, I’ve always played with a big man in the middle of my front three. The last few seasons with Kim Cyun Hi in that position have been exceptions. So I’m going back to my roots.

Del Piero has now got too good to be left out of the First XI. He’s 24 right now in my Master League, and a true phenomenon. Leaving him out of my First XI now would be a crime against Pro Evolution Soccer. He’s not a natural CF but he’s always played superbly there when required. I’ll pick him in place of Andy Cole, who also drops to the bench.

Giggs is irreplaceable out there on the left. I’ve always regarded Stoichkov in PES3 as the best left-sided striker I’ve ever played with in PES, but Giggs could take that crown. It’ll be another few seasons before I can be sure, but the boy is a real wonder.

Back in the centre of defence, Couto has been good but not great. Runzal, my new CB, is statistically worse than Couto, but I want to develop Runzal, so in he comes.

I had to release some players. I had no further need for Larsson, Jong-a-Pin, and Laurito. This leaves my squad at a very healthy 28 players. I think this is the optimum number necessary for what will be a very ambitious season 2019.

In 2019 I want to win the Treble, and last the whole league season unbeaten, and concede less than 20 goals. We’ll see how all of that goes…


  1. Christian Vieri. Oh how I remember the days of him chipping over my keeper about 4 times per game. He destroyed my team on multiple occasions in PES4. He was truly the greatest player in that game. In PES 2008 will he have roughly the same stats as he did in 4 at the same age I wonder?

    Are you going to stick with the 4-3-3 this ML season? I have said it once but 4-5-1, is working wonders for my team. The fact that I am doing okay in the PSP version is testament to how it’s helping me. You should give it a go, you have loads of quality midfielders, and Vieri or Schwarz would make a great CF leading the line.

  2. I don’t think it’s Cyun Hi that is that good, you just seem to be able to score at will Adriano!

    All my old legends are really doing it for me on the PSP now. Since making Baraja captain he has been a new player. Exteberria has scored, and Albelda is single handedly keeping us in games. The old guard are back it seems..

  3. Not Given – I posted a reply to your posting of your new 4-1-4-1 formation. I still think it looks great – very attacking, potentially – but I have unfinished business with my traditional 4-3-3 before I start to think about tinkering with my formation. If I win the Treble this season then I’ll think about it.

    Adriano – Kim just isn’t anything like the player for me that he seems to be for you. The main reason for this is that we are different PES players.

    Having said all that… (sneak preview of the opening of the season)… Kim’s played on the left up front a few times in place of an unfit Giggs, and has been sensational. He won’t be getting a regular place back, but he’s been a lot better out there than he was in the middle.

  4. You mean he doesn’t do this for you?

    And he isn’t like this in your ML?

    Kim is great anywhere, but his left foot isn’t nearly as accurate as his right, so putting him in the right side might benefit you more. Granted, he’s 28 in my ML, and his stats are still improving. Unbelievable. I’m going to play the European Cup tonight, and I’m going to get the whole match on film, and upload it to utube, in case anyone wants to see just how massive this guy (and this team) is.

  5. Adriano – the key factor here is that Kim’s not an independent player a la Football Manager 2008. He’s controlled by a human player, in my case by me (an average and rather eccentric PES player, as you have seen).

    From your scattered descriptions of how you play the game and the results you get, I’d guess you’re one of the top players. Your experience of the game as a whole and individual players in particular is going to be different.

    Yes, his stats are impressive in my ML – among the best – but the way I play, his great games come along pretty rarely, certainly not often enough to justify having him as my main striker.

    I’ve mentioned Bergkamp in PES5 before. To this day he remains the best striker I’ve ever played with in PES. He was for me what Kim Cyun Hi is for you. But does anyone today remember Bergkamp from PES5?

    Kim’s still young in my ML – only 25 – and he had a few seasons as a first choice in a couple of positions. He’ll get another chance, but there are other strikers who I seem to play better with for now.

  6. I believe I have never even played with Bergkamp in any version of PES. I highly rate him in real life, though. I think my favourite in PES5 was the mighty Park Chu Young.

    But believe me, I’m not a top player. I might be good, or above average, but I don’t think I’m at the top. This team of mine is just way too good, as I’ve said many times.

    I play possession football too, when I’m in the mood. I pass around endlessly as if Carlos Alberto Parreira was by the sideline directing my team. But when you have as powerful players as Bos, Khumalo, Bradley, Camacho et al, you can’t help but go for the jugular all the time. That’s where the 7-0 results come from. That rating I posted was from the D1 Cup final, btw.

    But you really need to learn the joy of dribbling, man. I’m not talking about fancy stuff, just a good old trusty R2 dribble.:)

  7. Adriano – Speaking of dribbling, I’ve got a dribbled goal that I scored with Camacho to post in a few days. He beats a couple of players, cuts past another, then rifles a nice 20-yard shot just inside the near post. It’s not much of a dribble but it’s about as much of a dribble as I ever do on PES2008. I think it was yourself who tipped me off about Camacho, and he’s a player who certainly has been superb for me. At the moment he’s definitely my #1 tipped player!

    Not Given – I’ve decided to take a mid-season break in 2019 and play a quick International Tournament using a version of your 4-1-4-1. (That’ll be in about 5/6 days now.) If used right it could be simultaneously an attacking and defending formation. Should be interesting…

  8. Excellent! I am sure it depends what team you are. I have the DMF as an out and out DMF (like Albelda is). I also have the SMF as out and out wingers (Joaquin and Vicente) and the CF is tall with a great header stat (Morientes). Hope it works for you! When your in trouble it pretty much reverts into a 4-1-2-3, which you’ll be used to playing. When your in the lead you can pass it round the midfield as much as you want

  9. A dribbled goal! I’ve gotta see this.
    Camacho is brilliant indeed. If you have Bradley and Camacho in your midfield, you can win any game. I can enjoy the luxury of having Camacho on the bench as a sub to almighty Kaiser. And Prieto as a left back who scores plenty of crackers from outside the box.

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