In Friday’s post I queried the lack of long-range goal attempts in any of the PES2010 and FIFA10 videos coming out of Gamescom. I actually wrote the post on the Thursday, one day into Gamescom. I thought that by the time the post was published, it would make me look slightly foolish. I was certain that we would be awash in 35-yard screamers by then.
Even after it was published and there were still no long-range shots or goals, I was sure it was only a matter of time. Somebody would have a go sooner or later, surely? Even if it was just for a laugh, or by accident, somebody would let loose from outside the box. Right?
Well… Gamescom is over and I do believe we never saw a single long-range effort, never mind an actual goal. (I can’t have seen every video. So I stand ready and more than willing to be corrected.)
Am I alone in thinking this is really, really, REALLY weird? Hundreds of people sampled both games. Many of them—probably most of them—will have picked up a football game at some point in their lives. And yet they all chose to play what I think of as ‘online football’—direct, always sprinting, and always trying either to create one-on-ones or work the ball into the box (preferably the 6-yard box) before risking a shot on goal.
This approach, amazingly, made up 100% of the tactics on display in all the videos I saw. Nobody worked the space for a shot from distance and then took the shot. Nobody. Whenever anybody did create space (by accident), they ignored it and carried on trying to walk the ball into the net.
I saw one solitary goal scored from the edge of the box. It came about via the trusty old PES manoeuvre of pulling a 180-turn on the wing and then sprinting inside, parallel to the 18-yard line, to create the chance before shooting across the keeper. It wasn’t the kind of long-range goal I mean. This is more like the kind of thing I mean:
That’s me playing PES6 on the Xbox 360 the other day. It’s not a particularly special goal. In PES, it’s a fairly common type of goal. That kind of opportunity is straightforward to create on PES and always has been. The effectiveness of the first-time shot from distance can vary from PES to PES, but the underlying framework is always in place. You can always do it.
But nobody did it, or anything remotely like it, in hundreds of games over the whole of Gamescom. (Assuming the couple of dozen videos in circulation are a representative sample.) Nobody did it on FIFA10 either, but at least FIFA has the excuse of not being noted for its long-range shooting in recent years. PES has no such excuse. Exquisite and explosive long-range shooting practically built PES.
It’s a mystery that will now never get solved. I will always wonder. When I go to next year’s event, I might get my answer.
POSTSCRIPT, added 25 August
At last, we have a long-range goal. Thanks to commenter BlueChampion for the tip-off. His £20 prize is already on its way*.
What a beauty that is—struck whilst running sideways too. At the end a player can be heard saying something in German that sounds a lot like “Who’d have thought it?” Exactly, mein freund. Exactly.
Seeing this gorgeous long-ranger comes as a relief, but now I’ve just got to ask: why was there only one long-range goal at Gamescom…..?
*not actually true