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…
CASTOLO IS RUBBISH.
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.