November reign

So it’s the end of November and I’m still playing PES2010. I’ve played it for the whole month, with great enjoyment, with love, with something like the old fire of years gone by. That doesn’t yet mean the game is a success in PES terms. A successful PES game should last all year round. It should feel as fresh and immersive in the late summertime—with the next PES just around the figurative corner—as it did back in the wintertime. That’s the golden standard that ISS/PES got us used to for many years, and it’s the standard I think we all hold it to even now.

If I’m still playing PES2010 a month from now, there’ll be strong grounds for hope. Right now I’m about 80% certain that PES2010 really is the first all-year-round PES on the next-gen consoles. I really hope so. I’ve bloody waited long enough.

I’m playing Master League, of course. That’s all I ever play on PES. I bring all my own limitations and idiosyncrasies to the table. So my experience of PES2010 won’t be everybody else’s experience.

I had a great start to season 3 in my current career: top of the Division 2 table after 7 matches. I’ve now played 15 matches, very close to the mid-season transfer window. Alas, I went on a terrible run immediately after those first 7 matches. I lost 4 matches in a row and plunged down to mid-table.

I couldn’t work out why I’d suddenly started losing. I wasn’t doing anything different, really, than before. After upgrading my staff, none of my players were unfit or out of form. I was playing the same style, a mixture of conservative passing with my weaker players, and quick, bold attacking with my stronger ones. That was serving me well to start off with. What went wrong? I still don’t know. Just one of those strange PES fluctuations. Perhaps it was the game deciding I was getting ideas above my station. Or perhaps it was simply lack of attention from me. Or something else. Who knows.

I rallied soon enough. I pulled out a draw from somewhere to stop the run of defeats. Then a couple of wins, another draw, and another win. These hauled me back up towards the promotion zone.

I scored a weird goal with Oscar. It was a clipped shot with an insane amount of power. The ball fairly rockets into the top of the net, almost taking the keeper’s hands off:

Link: Oscar goal - PES2010

That was the first noticeable thing Oscar’s done since I started getting a few decent players, a while ago now. He seemed exceptional at the start of this career. Now? Now he seems rather ordinary. But he’s still a young player, I have to remind myself, and he’s got a long career ahead of him.


I haven’t got any transfers lined up for mid-season. I’ve deliberately kept it that way. Okay, so I might get one player in—or maybe two… I’ll see.


  1. Three Points off third is not a bad place to be in. I reckon you should look into the Loan market to get that promotion push going.

    I managed to get back to the point that lost my data at – haven’t ended up any worse off points wise, though the AI Liverpool have this time won every single match, so it’s gonna be hard to get back on top.

    Agree with what you say about not knowing this game yet – I still feel like there’s something new I see every time I play it.

  2. Liam—have you activated Auto-Save? It’s priceless, a real life-saver. I still get occasional freezes during loading times. Pressing Start straightaway so the game skips loading the intro scenes has eliminated the freezes 99% of the time, but every few days I’ll get that 1% case of it all freezing anyway. With Auto-Save I lose no progress at all. I know you’re a PS3 user as well, and it’s the PS3 that this freezing problem is affecting. (And just to be on the uber-safe side: after every session I back up my game save to a USB stick that I leave permanently plugged into the console. The YLOD a few months ago still haunts me, although I have to say the PS3 runs better and quieter than ever after the repair.)

    Re. getting used to PES2010, I just this morning started to feel that I know how to approach most matches to get a result. After 70+ hours!

  3. Once again another brilliant blog….. well done, your comments really help sustain me during a tough first season. Im still third/fourth with about seven games to go and Aberdeen leap frogging me every other game, I have a massive game against them coming up.

    Oscar scoring a cracking goal, thats great but I just cant seem to get the best out of him? Im playing 352 and hes either a central mid or the far end of the diamond, but to little effect.

    Gutierrez is sparkling and Anita (loan from Ajax) is proving very Essien like in the midfield I also have a guy called Kooistra in DMF who seems great but no one seems to talk about him?

    Good luck for the final half, I look forward to hearing about your promotion, so fingers crossed. By the way is it possible to sign loan players outside of the transfer windows? Ive made potentially a massive error by trimming my squad down to 16 and then not signed anyone in the january window and I sold Ivarov so I only now have Jacobs and no replacement, which could be catastrophic!!!!

  4. Lord Stanley—Promotion is by no means guaranteed… The next few posts will be very interesting, if I say so myself. I don’t know about the loan players. In many respects I’ve treated PES2010’s ML just like the MLs of old. It was only by accident that I discovered the possibility to arrange transfers all-year-round. I’ve never tried to arrange a loan! Something else for my to-do list later on.

    Jacobs might be young and untested but I’ve found him amazingly solid for such a low-skilled keeper. He’s been a regular for me and will go on being one.

  5. You can close loan deals outside the transfer window, but players will only join your team when the window opens.

    Re. keepers, I had Jacobs on my Youth Team, but didn’t sign him. I chose to wait a bit longer while Ivarov was still servicable. A better keeper than Jacobs popped up the next season, and I signed him: Stalovic. After one season he was about 56 OVR when a new keeper appeared in the Youth Team with a 64 OVR! Houtmael or something is his name.

  6. Hey not-Greg, you know what? Your blog is something of a sports newsletter for me, once every few days I would log on to see how’s the new progress like in your PES world. I don’t play PES 2010 myself, mainly because I am disappointed about how PES have stalled in terms of improvement while FIFA just went leaps and bounds. I am an ex-PES addict if you would call it, but I have since converted to FIFA. And I am loving FIFA 10.

    However, I do admit that I am tempted time and again by your PES updates. It reminds of the good, old PES times with my mates during my conscription.

    Frankly speaking, I would love to see you play the Manager Mode of FIFA 10, as I am doing now.

  7. Not-Greg, i’ve decided that it would be better if you started posting during every weekday. Otherwise my Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes seem to be missing something.

    Have never done auto save as it means losing a few valuable seconds in between each game. Though i’ve twice suffered in recent months so maybe it’s about time.

  8. Adriano—I’m very happy with Jacobs, and also Palmieri. I’m going off Oscar a bit. Shimizu has just popped up in the Youths and I think I’ll take a chance on him, expensive as he is. Duffy is amazing, the best matchday stamina of any player (still three-quarters of a healthy green bar when others are on a tiny amount of red!). Overall this Youth system is working very well so far. It looks now as if this ML career will be very long-term, so itll be interesting to see what shape Castolo and other retiring Defaults all reappear in, eventually.

  9. MLMaestro—thank you, and a word of caution: as I say at the top of this post, my PES2010 experience, and my ML experience within that, will both be peculiar to me. If you get PES2010 it’ll be at your own risk! It sounds to me as if you’re enjoying FIFA10 and MM, so I’d recommend you stick with that for now and maybe pick up PES dirt-cheap in a few months. IMO there is no way to play two football games concurrently and get the best out of both of them. You might be able to manage it, but my experience is that one game inevitably ‘contaminates’ the other, and vice versa, and things don’t end prettily.

    I played a couple of seasons of Manager Mode back when FIFA10 came out, before PES2010 landed. I never had game-wrecking bugs, just the tiresome weather bug and the GK assists bug. FIFA10 is an amazing game—probably the better pure football game—and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that it’s right there for me to play and enjoy in the future. My criterion for doing so is really ‘whenever I get fed-up with PES2010’, whatever form that would take. It hasn’t happened yet and, from experience, I don’t think it will happen for several months yet. In ye olde traditionale PES dayes I’d start to slow down my PES play around February/March time (but still play it nearly every day). In the year of PES5 I played it with the same intensity pretty much all year round. If PES2010 manages to reproduce that feat I might never get back to FIFA10…

  10. Liam—indeed, those few seconds’ delay between matches are annoying. I always turn off auto-save temporarily when I want to pass through blank weeks at the end of the season quickly. But given my PS3 version’s occasional freezes, I’m a lot happier with it switched on during the season (and during transfer windows). PES2010 can be a lot of hard work and I couldn’t handle losing a session.

    I could never go back to daily posting, I’m afraid. Looking back to this time last year I was posting every day, and the year before that! I don’t know how I managed it. I find three times a week with occasional Saturday Specials is just about the right balance between playing the game and blogging.

  11. Players like Shimizu and Schwarz are only good for making money, honestly. They take quite a few seasons to really get up to a decent level, one is strong as a bull but way too slow (I mean S-L-O—–W), while the other is very nippy but it only takes a 3mph side wind to knock him off his feet. They take YEARS to develop. It’s much better to sign less expensive players who are usable from the get go, like Artece, M. Roberk and your very own Oscar (not to mention Kooistra).

  12. Hi not-Greg,

    It’s been interesting following your progress, but at least not it seems as if you’re able to get results. It was similar with me: my first 3 seasons were poor (I finished 15th,14th,16th) but then in my 4th I came 1st (the first time I’ve won the league in D2 actually). It felt so good. My first season in the PL went well too – I finished 11th, which I though was very respectable (it was far too close though). Out of the defaults, I only have El Moubarki, Palmieri, Baumann, Oscar (and Kooistra), and Schwarz up front. I still have Shimizu too, but he rarely gets played thanks to this great AMF called Stans I have.

    The loan feature is great, I’ve been loaning out a few of my not-used players (Guttierez, a few youth team-ers) and the cash has really helped, though my expected earnings reads -£14mil (I had £20mil at the end of Season 4, and my total costs were around £16mil, but it’s a scary figure). So far this season I’ve won my first 3 games, with my star man Delfouneso (from Aston Villa, who was top scorer last season) getting all the goals so far. He’s only rated 75, but I prefer him to Schwarz (who’s rated 81).

    It seems to be a much easier game now that my team is behaving like a team (thanks to the staff upgrades I assume), and it’s a lot more fun. I just hope it doesn’t get too easy like last time though.

    I’ve not seen Duffy at all, but I’ve realised that your Youth Team (the names of the players at least) depends upon your starting team. Last time around (with PES United) the new players had the names of the actual players of PES United (in exhibition mode), while this time I’m getting the WE United ones, which makes me wonder just how easy would ML be if you started with a PL club?

  13. Adriano—building for the future is a luxury I can’t afford right now. Schwarz is long gone and I don’t miss him. Shimizu, I’m still wary of. If I get him it’ll be mid-season so I get a chance to offload him in the end-of-season window and avoid paying a full wage packet.

  14. Darshan—I’m still getting used to the new financial arrangements in ML. Back in the old days I knew its ins and outs almost without having to think about it. I could squeak through a negotiations period into the following season with just 30 points left or whatever. That was pretty common in the early years of my MLs. Now? Now I’m not so sure-footed, and Expected Earnings often lies when it includes the cost of transfer offers for your players. And I never seem to have enough cash to cover things anyway. I always seem to have to sell one player for big money to survive. I know the only penalty would be the loss of staff upgrades, but they’re so important that I don’t want to lose them. It’d be worse than GAME OVER!

    If you see Duffy, get him. Not only is he a versatile SB/DMF/SMF, but he’s got stamina like you wouldn’t believe. He never goes into the red and his green is almost always over half-full even in the latter stages of a tough match.

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