Down with Castolo

As ever before a new Master League season on a version of Pro Evolution Soccer that I actually care about, it was time to redesign my team’s kit. I do this every season, for variety’s sake. It makes each individual season more memorable. The inability to edit kits is one of the things that peculiarly makes FIFA09’s career mode—the fully licensed Manager Mode—feel restrictive.

I still like my burgundy away kit with sky blue trimmings, so I left that alone. I only changed the home kit. I went back to a striped design, only this time overlaid the baseline sky blue with dark blue stripes. Sky blue trimming on the shorts and socks. The end result is one of the nicest kits I’ve ever played with. Not bad for 30 seconds’ work.

My bank balance over the past few seasons has been absolutely terrible. Last season and the season before, I had to release loads of players in order to come in under the wages budget and avoid a Game Over. I just accomplished this on both occasions, once with a cushion of only 11 points.

There are no such worries this season, although I still scheduled as many pre-season friendlies as possible. My existing budget would be just enough to cover the wages but I’d have had nothing left over to get new players. And I need new players.

My team’s prestige has increased to the point where I’m allowed 7 pre-season friendlies. I won a couple of them, drew the others, lost one or two. I was delighted to beat the South American selection 1-0 with a goal in the 88th minute. There’s nothing like giving the CPU a taste of its own heartbreaking medicine.

The goal came from my current star player, GAMBINO. He’s still my only player with the all-important Middle Shooting ability. This goal was a rather delicate strike after some good tricksy approach play. It thunked in off the upright:

In negotiations, I released Baumann and Castolo. Their contracts were up for renewal and I just didn’t bother.

The myth of Castolo is still so powerful in PES lore that it did give me pause. “This is Castolo—CASTOLO!—and I’m just releasing him….?” But in truth, Castolo is probably the 3rd-best Default striker. I’d take Ordaz and Gutierrez before him any day. Maybe even Macco.

But still the myth of Castolo persists. I find it all very strange. I’ve got to get something off my chest…


Somebody at Konami must be very, very amused by the persistence of the myth of Castolo, several years after his once-great skills were firmly brought into line with the rest of the Defaults.

I bought two players from the Unbelonging list (or the Not Belonging list as it’s been renamed this year). I picked up two strikers—one called just DAVIES, and the other FORESTIERI (his first name should be NOTTINGHAM). I also decided to get another young keeper, as Ivarov just isn’t able to deputise for Dudek when called for. I found BLAZEK on the Youth list.

I could have got a few more players. But I decided to leave myself a good cushion of points to get some fresh blood in the mid-season negotiations, if need be. I anticipate a promotion campaign. There’ll be something seriously wrong somewhere—with me, or with the game, or with both of us—if not.

I think this a pretty healthy squad now. I think it could be a promotion-winning squad, based on the form I’ve shown at times last season, and how I know I can play if I focus and play the game properly. And you do have to play PES2009 properly. Here’s to season 2012-2013.


  1. Another beauty! He hasn’t appeared in my ML career yet but will be looking out for him.

    I ended up finishing my first season last night. I won the D2 cup, and finished 1 point off promotion – that was pretty hard to take considering I hit the woodwork twice in a 0-0 draw against my title rivals. Oh well.

    In the summer I embarked on a serious rebuilding, and somehow I managed to sign Ortega! Add him to Okaka (young Roma striker), Kim Do Heon, James Tomkins, Lee Catermole, Reto Ziegler and about 5 other decent players, my squad was ready for a title.

    I beat South America select 4-3 in the summer, but after starting the new season full of hope, i’ve taken 1 point from 2 games. My only goal was an own goal too! I don’t know how this happened, my new team is 5 times better. Strange. I still fancy the title though.

    Just looking through your squad, I appear to have only three of the same signings so far (Jackson, Traore and Kobayashi).

  2. Liam – it always takes a few games for a team with even a few new players to gel together and start playing well, You should notice that in a few more games.

    I’ve stuck with Youth players mainly during the course of this ML so far, only because of the salary situation and how hard I’ve found the game.

    Isn’t the South American select a great team?! They always show great movement and skill (with the traditional CPU helping hand, naturally).

  3. Yeah it’s an amazing team – had Adriano, Messi, Aimar, Aguero, Roberto Carlos, Kaka etc…… I went 4-1 up (two of the goals from Gutierrez) but they almost nicked a draw off me.

    Hoping to get promotion this season though.

    I had so many changes in the team, that I can’t even remember if I released Castolo or not – I know that he went the whole season without a goal though. Down with him!

  4. Liam – if Castolo was still even slightly good with some decent stats, I could understand the persistence of the myth.

    But he’s very, very poor. He’s one of the worst Default strikers and among the lower end of the Defaults as a whole.

    Granted, he has the odd flash of brilliance, but so do all the others at times. None of them have this myth surrounding them.

    It really is all to do with Castello, back before the name-changes came in. That’s who we’re all remembering. Not this ‘Castolo’ player.

    Castolo, as he is now and has been for YEARS, is rubbish!

  5. Totally agree with the assessment of Castolo. I’d even take that lummox Hamsun over Castolo.

    Finished the midseason negotiations in my second season last night. Signed 2 new players – BOS, a centre half of tremendous potential (his development sheet is off the graph!) and many stars, and also signed the legend that is PARK CHU YOUNG! Very pleased with him, means I have two quality strikers with ‘1-1’ & ‘Scoring’ stars. Him and ORELLANO should hold their own in division 1 too. As holders I disappointingly dropped out of the cup first round, but it’s a blessing in disguise as I can usually field my best players every league gamenow if I’m careful, so should get promoted.
    Incidentally, I also have SHUBIN not-Greg, and he’s my captain – not a great player but has superb mentality (my Gary Neville…)

  6. Always good to get a heads up on promising young players.
    I signed Roma (GK) Rubén (CF) Takahashi (CF) Gambino (AMF) and Falcao (CM)
    most of them unbelonging so just had to pay wages, a couple of them 17yr olds but with excellent stats, all mid 70s-80s in the key areas.
    Falcao and Rubén in particular are performing well in my half-decent start to the 2nd ML season, i seriously need to sign a decent CB, SB and WF though!!

  7. Will look out for those dudes Paul. None are in my ML yet. Missed out on NIJKAMP, he looks spectacular this year – has stars in almost every skill.

    BTW, does anyone else turn classic players on? I won a lot of the classic teams & players in tournaments before I started my ML, so decided to switch them on. Haven’t manged to sign any or play against them as of yet, but I’m sure it’ll make it more of a challenge to come up against the likes of Maradona, Pele & Cruyff when gunning for the treble!

  8. Grilled Seabass – I always used to play with Classic Players. In PES4 I can remember having Michel Platini on one wing and George Best on the other. Then last year in PES2008 it all went sour. Elcherino/Eusebio killed off the entire game for me with what he could do. This year, worrying about the same thing happening, I deliberately disabled the Classics before starting. I wish now that I hadn’t, as they never caused a problem to my game before PES2008 and I know I’ll miss them as the seasons go by. It’s yet another reason to retrospectively hate PES2008…

    Paul – Gambino’s starting stats are pretty sensational. I keep having to remind myself he’s ‘only’ a Youth still. He has the all-important Middle Shooting too.

  9. Castolo is ACE!!!!


    You can’t argue with 4 goals in 110 minutes of football.

    AND he has a shit-hot hairdo.

    I’m not reading this rubbish anymore.


  10. I’m back.

    Liam, you bought Lee Cattermole? Did you watch last nights match? I nearly choked on my half time bovril he was that bad. I hope he’s not that bad in PES.

    Steve Bruce OUT!

  11. Not-Greg – Gambino is sensational, scored 1 beauty from outside the box with him, whereas the other MF’s cant shoot for toffee!

    Nice new kit, I too like to edit kits most seasons to add a bit of variety into things, I have posted a pic of my kit and Club badge that i designed here >>

    The shirt sponsor says AstraTech, its in black so you cant see it very well, it needs changing to white, the black looks good on my Yellow away strip.

  12. I completely agree about the commentary just after half time. I DESPISE the sound of Champions voice, and his whinging- “and the fans dont like this! The team losing at half time and no substitutes, you have to wonder if this manager has lost his waaaaaaay”, especially useless when my subs were all default players! When a team is 1-0 down at half time it doesn’t require you to make subs, a really annoying piece of commentary.

    I feel this is a promotion year for Coventry, unless you get bogged down in the D1 cup….

  13. Nice logo Paul!! Did you make that with the in-game editor? On what system? I tried to make the Team Ninja logo as a sponsor from scratch but it looks utterly awful.

  14. Big Al – I told you you wouldn’t like today’s post…

    Castolo can still do great things. There was one game in PES2008 where he got a hat trick, while I was struggling too, so I was really grateful and ready to get out the Castolo flags once more. But that’s all he’s done for me in about 4 years now! 4 real years I mean, since the year of Our Lord 2004!

    Like all the Defaults, he has his moments, but does he deserve to have the aura that comes with his name in the PES community? I say no, no, no, no, no….

    Paul – nice kit, will you keep it or change it? If I find a kit I like I tend to stick with it for several seasons. E.g. my current away kit.

    Not Given – if it’s not a promotion year I really will be embarrassed, as I’ve started playing well and picking up results enough to get promoted, AND I’m still ‘only’ on Professional difficulty.

    Grilled Seabass – I’ve had a play-around with the in-game editor and you can add text and tweak it in various ways, although it’s not very intuitive.

    I toyed with adding PES Chronicles as the sponsor, but no, that’d be too self-referential.

    In PES4 (I think) when we were first able to add text, I added the word ‘Bollocks’ as the sponsor logo and thought it was highly amusing. I am indeed a grown man.

  15. Grilled Seabass – Thanks mate. I didnt use the in-game editor for the club badge, i designed it on my PC using photoshop then imported the PNG file onto the PS3 hard disc and loaded it into the game. works very well.
    If you want one done then let me know what your after and il try and get something done for you.

    Not-Greg – LMAO @ the bollocks comment!!!!
    I think you should have PES chronicles as your sponsor, self indulgence is a perk and not to be confused with arrogance!

    Im going to keep my kit for 2 seasons and change it, just like real life, sponsors etc will change too, got Budweiser lined up for my next one 😉
    If i ever get into europe, I plan to alter my Club badge to incorporate stars for league/euro cup achievements!

    Bought Football Manager 2008 for the PSP today too so that will keep me busy on the way to work!

  16. DAVIES is awesome.

    He grabbed the golden boot for me in my title-winning season in D2.

    My favorite moment was watching him dance in the locker room during the celebration, along with all of the other fellows. This is by far the fruitiest celebratory dance in the long fruity history of PES “humping”ticker-tape dances. The locker room bit is particularly funny, and worth waiting for at the end.

    Something to look forward to!

    Go DAVIES!

    There is also a wonder-striker named DJORDJEVIC — I call him “Georgie” — who is unreal. I picked him up at the same time as DAVIES, and he’s now dominating in D1.

  17. I keep reading all these stories about celebrations and winning trophies. What’s wrong with me- even on my Valencia ML i am getting beaten regularly. Just off from a 6-2 beating from Barcelona, may as well not have turned up. I actually dared to equalize to 2-2 with 20 mins left, so from then on the game stopped mucking about. Top player isn’t any fun at all…………………..

  18. I really am missing playing the ML, but unfortunately it wont be until at least christmas that I get the game. Contrary to what most people here seem to do I try to limit the number of Konami created Youth players in my side. The main reason being they are often just to good.

    Usally I’ll have between 1-4 in my squad and I don’t like going any higher than that, on a similar note I also try to avoid players that other people highly reccommend, I prefer finding my own stars. I’ll try to sign as many real players as I can when they come back through as youths because generally their stats are pretty well balanced and they wont reach crazily unrealistic levels of ability

  19. Paul – Alas, I have it on 360. It doesn’t allow you to import pictures or option files – damn Microsoft! Otherwise I’d have a go myself. I have to use the Vision camera or create from scratch unfortunately. I swear the editor used to be better on PES5, I think there was even a higher resolution. Think of going for Marlboro as my next sponsor…
    I also change my kits every 2 seasons, home 1 season then away the next. It just gives the new season that added sense of occasion.
    Surfer dude – Can’t wait to see the locker room celebration, I’ve won quite a few cups but not seen this!

  20. Grilled – thats a bit pants!!! The editing on PES is a major part of the fun factor!
    Get yaself a PS3 mate 😉

    Surfer Dude – I tried on several occasions to sign Djordjevic – looked quality, but i always get turned down for him, will try again when i start winning !!

  21. Nice to see the PS3 has something over the 360 in a game, usually it’s the other way around. Although why it can’t just be the same on both for all games has me baffled

  22. Always gonna have that Console war going on Stinger, I guess as PES used to be Playstation exclusive that Konami favour developing for the playstation as theyre probably used to the Sony SDK’s, plus being based in Japan its very Sony orientated over there.
    Alot of people make a big fuss of the different between platforms but in most cases its inegligible, each console has its own quierks over the other, the ways colours are rendered, lighting, shading, animation etc etc. Doesnt mean one is better than the other, just means each has its own unique feel.
    Although the PS3 IS by far the superior console 😉 haha

  23. Surfer Dude – now there’s a locker-room celebration?! I’m looking forward to seeing all these extras I’ve missed out on so far. Track Record tells me I’ve played PES2009 for a total of 62 hours so far. 54 hours of that is Master League and I’ve yet to win a trophy of any kind.

    Last night I saw a weird in-game cut-scene that I’ve never seen before. I misplaced a through-ball and it cut to my striker pulling up, looking disappointed. The strange thing about it was the quality of the cut-scene. It looked like full-motion FMV, similar to an intro movie. Odd.

    Not Given – well if you insist on playing Top Player! 30 minute halves? How many matches per day do you get through?

    I’ve moved up to Top Player now and I don’t want to say too much but I’m struggling. You get the odd game where it seems easier, but the others are pretty torrid for me at the moment.

    stinger – I don’t have a problem with having as many Konami players as desired, and I never used to have a problem with Classic players. I’ve omitted the Classics from my ML this year as a precaution after last year (Elcherino & wonder dribbling & etc.).

    Grilled Seabass
    – I think I’m going to adopt that policy. Changing kits every season leaves little time to ‘settle into’ one. Maybe it’ll be better if/when I get promoted and the season are much longer.

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