Oranges were the only fruit

After a short break, it was back to Become a Legend in PES2009. I had just moved clubs (again) to Tottenham Hotspur, or as the game calls them, North London White. I changed the name in Edit mode, of course, but the badge is still a North London White one.

Every year the most editing I ever do is to change all the clubs’ names to their proper ones. It’s worth it, but it’s not a big deal to me. Any PES fan worth his salt will tell you that the lack of official licenses is something we learned to live with—even celebrate—a long time ago.

And it’s not even as ‘bad’ as it used to be. I remember playing at the turn of the century with players called ‘Michael Owenn’ and ‘David Backham’. There was even one year—PES3?—when every Dutch player in the game was called ‘Oranges’ followed by a three-digit number. I believe Marc Overmars was something like ‘Oranges011’.

Now that was a really bad year for licensing. But do you know what? Those were some of the best years of my football gaming life. Probably yours too.

So I have no quarrel whatsoever with Konami’s continued failure to secure licensing for PES. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. The only slight worry would be if they took out Edit mode (or diminished it to the point where it was even worse than next-gen PES2008’s). Then I might stick my head above the parapet and do some world-class whining. But at the moment, I’m perfectly happy with the status quo in regards to licenses.

I know, I know. I started off talking about my BaL progress. It’s inevitable at this time of year that I’ll often meander off to talk about the series as a whole, my hopes for PES2010, my abiding regrets about next-gen PES2008 (it’s like a movie monster in my mind; I just can’t kill it off), and my memories of the distant past on PS2 and PS1… I’ll try to keep it to a minimum and just talk about my exploits in the various game modes.

It seems as if the short break from BaL was not good for me. I’ve played quite a few more matches, and only just managed to get to the bench at the end of the sequence. And then I wasn’t even brought on! Sitting on the bench watching the CPU play the CPU is probably my least-favourite aspect of BaL. Thankfully the period only lasts for a relatively short time. At Portsmouth I was quickly a first-team regular. I think—hope—that the same will apply here at Spurs.

One reason why I’ve struggled is the change in formation. Spurs mostly play a very attacking 4-3-3 formation. Not only are there limited spaces for midfielders, but the positions in midfield were new to me. At Pompey I had made the safe, solid, left-sided CMF position my own. I was aware of what I had to do to have a good game. When I took to the field in the Spurs reserve team as an AMF, I wasn’t really sure what to do.

Gradually, over a few matches, I stared getting better ratings, and eventually got the callup to the ‘A’ team. One fairly average performance later and I was on the bench for a league match against Wigan. Sadly I didn’t come on, and remained on the bench for the next match.

This is the start of a sticky period where I’ll just have to make the best of any opportunities I do get. One slightly worrying thing is that I seem to have lost the knack, for now, of making intelligent runs into space. Either that or it’s my team-mates, who are so much better at Tottenham than they were at Portsmouth. They are more than capable of passing and moving and creating chances and taking them on their own, thank you very much. They don’t seem to need me. For now.


I won’t post about BaL again until Monday. There have been some developments on the FIFA front over the past week or so. I’ve been playing quite a bit of Manager Mode in FIFA09, and the first rumblings of FIFA10 have made me prick my ears up. I’m itching to talk about everything, and will do so on Friday.

Could my fondest wish for FIFA10—a fully-featured Ultimate Team mode in the style of Master League—be about to come true? No, probably not, but there are numerous indications that something big is going to be revealed at the end of next week when all the various non-disclosure agreements expire. I swear now that if the Ultimate Team/Master League hybrid is any kind of reality, I will arrange to have myself frozen and thawed out in October, because I don’t think I could stand to wait that long.


  1. That is a new peice of information to be, Oranges.

    It almost felt like it was being racist in someway.

    Very comical and obviously goes to show the shoestring budget has always bee an issue at Konami!

  2. Yeah I can’t wait for news about FIFA10 – and well done Barca! Football was the winner

    Oh and I scored a beauty of a free kick on FIFA09 with Sampdoria 🙂

  3. Paww—it definitely was PES3, which was one of the great old-school PESes. Some would say the greatest. At the time there was nowhere near the same level of Internet use as today. I didn’t have it at home, and I didn’t know anyone else who did either. (Crazy that this was only 6 years ago.) So it was strangely ‘allowed’ for Konami to push out a PES game with all the Dutch players called Oranges! Can you imagine what would happen today if they did something similar? The Internet would melt

  4. I remember those days….classic gaming. On the original ISS you used to be able to score from corners with “Roberto Carlos” every time….such was his ability to curl the ball.
    Id forgotten about the “Oranges” ha ha. It only bothered me for a short time about not having the proper licenses… longer. As long as i change the team names im happy. I do still often dream, however, that EA will notice PES fans arent bothered about not having them….and as a gesture of goodwill, offer to share certain snippets with them. Perhaps all the English kits….ha ha

  5. Bais—my comments filter catches all swearing and I do try to keep it off the blog, sorry. Your, er, heartfelt remark about Sir Alex and his crew might have started a real football discussion and I don’t want that!

    Very nice FK goal. Is this the right time to confess something—I’ve yet to score a direct free kick in FIFA09. I don’t know what it is, as I was pretty good with them in FIFA08. Actually, I do know what it is – I rarely try direct shots. I always call the second player and do the lay-off free kick. I think I’ve only ever tried a direct shot from the free kick a few times.

  6. Phil—I only remembered about the Oranges in PES3 when I was putting together this post. Konami would never get away with anything like that today. We all just got on with it back in 2003. I remember places like PESfan publishing lists of who the Dutch players really were, number by number. There was no big outcry, nothing.

    Of course, the landscape back then was utterly different. No near-universal Internet, as there is today, and—perhaps most significantly, no FIFA. Well, FIFA wasn’t a factor then as it is now. Did FIFA2002, FIFA2003 even exist for us? They did not. Everything was clear-cut, certain. There was no point moaning about Oranges in PES3, because what else were we going to do? Play FIFA? My God, to have those days back again…

  7. I am very skeptical about all these improvements to FIFA and whether they will even BE in 2010. I also think this 360 degree dribbling will be completely different to what most of us believe it means- if not though, it should play like a completely new game.

    Not greg- want to try again for a FIFA match one last time? I have an open NAT connection now, so it should work. I’ll be Valencia or even a lower team if you want to be Coventry.

  8. Not Given—I worry that we’ll get to September and have to find out, yet again, from fellow forum-hangers that Manager Mode (for example) doesn’t have half of the improvements mentioned in the leaked videos. That producer bloke talks about the improvements, but never specifically says they’ll be in FIFA10. I’m officially worried, but willing to wait and see, and hope. I think we should know next week. But it’s almost guaranteed that none of the previewers did any more than play 1vs1, so we won’t find out from them. The ones who are in Canada this week should have had plenty more time on the game, but again I think they’ll have just played each other the whole time.

    I’m willing to play a few games online, but won’t be available at night until the weekend I’m afraid. By far the bulk of my gaming is in the mornings these days, and it’s not an online game time for me. If you see me online on Saturday or Sunday night, I’ll be up for a game.

  9. I went on for a quick FIFA online game. How depressing. The person flicked straight to Barcelona and continuously pressed X and O as I was setting up my team in a rush- aghast that he was having to wait before the 5 minute match started and he could hold run. I exited out before we started and went into another game. Next person picks Manchester United immediatelly, starts the match, hammers a through ball up to Ronaldo and scored a 1 on 1.

    I just pressed start and went to quit to arena, it’s just not fun at all. I remember thinking about online play when I didn’t have it, and how great it would be. Oh how naive we all were… back to 1 player for me.

    If i’m on around then ill send an invite.

  10. Sorry about that Greg – I’m not a fan of Sir Ginsoaked but ty for ur kind word on my free-kick. I like the fact it was not done with a superstar but just a regular player. I’m always up for an online game with anyone that is not a five star team – it just gets so boring otherwise.

  11. not-greg is your PSN published anywhere?

    I would be interesting to play a game against you sometime, I’m not big online either but against certain people would bother!

    I actually quite like the Oranges now come to think of it, so much so I might have to create a team of fruit… how childish but amusing. 🙂

  12. Not Given—I’ll definitely be on at some point Sat and Sun nights, probably from around 11pm on. I like to play FIFA09 online with good teams—Atletico Madrid are my favourites—but also like playing with minnows too. It’s shame we can’t play with Ultimate Teams, but maybe that’s the Big News about FIFA10 still to come out: a fully online, MMO version of Ultimate Team. I might just trade in my cynicism about online play if that happens.

  13. bais—as you may have gathered from my posts I’m not much of an online player. Thinking back over the 6 months since FIFA09’s release I have probably averaged about 4 matches per month overall (!). Having said that whenever I do play online I’d prefer it to be against known people rather than random ones in the lobbies. Tomorrow I’ll mail you my PSN ID and XBL gamertag—the same goes for anyone who would like a game or two, either leave a post here or drop me an email at the address over there >>>

    I don’t recommend leaving your info out in the open though.

  14. Paww—I’ll mail you my PSN too.

    I have to warn you guys, though, I’m a terrible online ‘buddy’. If FIFA10 arrives with anything like an online Ultimate Team/Master League hybrid, though, that can all change. Never say never.

Comments are closed.