Season 1 of my Master League career has come to a tame end. I finished a dismal 15th in the table. I scored a pitiful number of goals. (But only conceded a few more goals than the team that won the league.) Overall, it was a disappointing end after a promising start. I’ll have to hope I can get my game back together for season 2.
There’s a lot to be said for the romance of the struggle in Division 2, but it’s wearing thin for me. Taking my previous, abandoned ML career into account, this coming season will be my 5th spent playing in the lower tier. I’m keen to get out of here and get on with things now. I really want to see and hear my team striding out on a Champions League night, for example. Will I get there before Christmas? It’ll be a mite embarrassing if I don’t.
I can’t do anything in Master League without decent players. The Defaults—even the quite-good PES2010 Defaults—just don’t do it for me.
I only had a bit of money to spend. After the financial calamity that did the most to bring my first career to an end, I proceeded cautiously, checking Expected Earnings every week. I signed DALMAT (SMF/WF) from Standard Liege for a fee. VAHRUA (AMF/CF) was a free agent. JACOBS (GK) came from my Youth team. I got tired of GKs turning down my offers, and looked in-house. Jacobs is only a 53 OVR rating, but with Lothar and Ivarov not much more than that, I figure it’s worth it. I also brought in two other players from the Youth team: KOOISTRA (DMF) and PELAEZ (SMF).
Oh, and I found out why Expected Earnings isn’t always reliable. This is very important for anyone getting by on a tight budget. If a CPU team makes an offer for one of your players, Expected Earnings will count that as if it’s a done deal. I had an offer of £1.3m for Oscar sitting on the table for several weeks of the window. There was no way I would take the offer, but Expected Earnings included the possibility of the deal being made as part of its calculations. Thus my potential final balance was £1.3m more than it should have been. I’m now certain that I was caught out by something like this at the end of my first career.
And so I go into season 2 with a decent squad of 24 players. Alas, there was no money left over to buy any staff upgrades. I’ll have to put up with mostly blue and purple form arrows for another season. I also changed my kits, as usual, going for some black shorts in the home kit and a mostly-white away kit. I’ve also, finally, given up (for now) on playing with an orthodox 4-4-2 formation. I’ve gone back to my favourite ML formation of 4-3-3, hoping the players I’ve brought in are good enough to make it work. I’ll soon find out.
I played two games at the start of the season while all the transfers were going on. I won one, and drew the other.
Here’s a clip of two goals from those matches. Both of them found identical positions in the same net, high in the right-hand corner (or the left corner, as the PES commentators would always—wrongly—call it).
The first goal is from Schwarz, and was a typical blast from the edge of the area following a cleared free kick. The second is a late, late equaliser from Rivas that had me up on my feet. The weight and inertia of the ball in PES2010 is such that when you catch the ball right, you know you’ve caught it right. I knew this shot had a chance as soon as I hit it. Seeing it fly towards goal and then arc over the keeper was a classic PES moment, and one of my best moments in PES2010 so far. No, actually, make that the best so far. It was a vital moment and a vital goal in a big season for me.