One more season of Master League on PES2009. Then I’ll go and play a full season on Manager Mode on FIFA09. I want to get my ML team promoted before I do anything else in the world of gaming. I have a PS3 copy of Mirror’s Edge that’s been left in its shrink-wrapping for two weeks now, because I’ve become so caught up in Master League all over again. In many ways it feels a lot like the good old days on PES. (If it wasn’t for FIFA09 lurking menacingly off-stage, of course.)
Season 2013-2014 is my 5th consecutive season in Division 2. It’s unprecedented for me. I have always got promoted in older Master Leagues after either two or three seasons. Always. It’s a measure of how tough PES2009 feels this year. It remains to be seen whether it will stay that way, or if it’s just a side-effect of playing a different football game—FIFA09—so intensively for a few weeks beforehand.
I won the first game of the season against Stoke City, 2-0, with some quite flukey late goals. Never mind. My good pre-season form seems to be continuing into the competitive matches, which is all well and good.
As so often happens I met Stoke again immediately in the D2 Cup. I was actually disappointed not to have a bye to the next round, as I have in the past two seasons. The game ended 0-0 in the home leg. It meant that in the return leg the advantages were all with me, the away team. One goal from me would effectively put me through. But it doesn’t always work out. Stoke won that second leg 2-0. It was a poor display from me, especially as I played my first-choice team.
Never mind. In many ways, getting knocked out of the Cup in round 1 is the best thing that can happen to you when you’re going for promotion. I should be thankful to Stoke for beating me. Now I can concentrate upon the League, I thought…
Things almost went slightly wrong there as well. I won my next game, then threw away the victory in the next by conceding a heartbreaker of a CPU goal in the final seconds. Then I lost badly against Lecce, who are newly-relegated this season. I started to think: uh-oh. Surely I won’t have to face a sixth season in Division 2…?
But I came back to win the next game 2-0, which included this fine half-volley from my new striker FORESTIERI:
Those kinds of goals were common as muck in the PS3 version of PES2008. But they actually mean something in PES2009. (For now, anyway…)
All of which leaves the league table looking very healthy. I’m top. As ever I’m not scoring enough, but I’m still not conceding many either. I can’t remember the last time the CPU scored from a corner.
I think this is definitely the season—Division 1, here I come. I’ve decided that it’s my last season playing on Professional difficulty, come what may. I’ll move up to Top Player whether I get promoted or not.