When they really are out to get you

A shorter post today—but there’s an amusing video clip in it.

I’m nearly at the halfway stage of season 6 in my Master League career on PES2010, where I continue to languish in Division 2. It’s been, er, quite a ride so far. Out of my 16 matches played, 8 of them have been draws. And the score in each one of those 8 draws? 0-0, in every single one.

And I’m playing on Professional difficulty now. I should be ashamed of myself. I’m not ashamed of myself—not really. But in some measure? Yes, I am a little bit ashamed of myself.

I’ve come to terms with the possibility that this season might not be the semi-automatic stroll to promotion that I thought it’d be when I dropped down a difficulty level. What is going on with me and this game? There is nobody else in PESdom, to my knowledge (nobody over the age of four anyway), who is struggling with Master League as I have struggled with it.

I do have a theory.

Recently I’ve been noticing the in-game advertising. That’s the point of advertising, to make you notice it, so it’s worked. The pitchside advertising hoardings can be updated remotely over the Internet. Currently it features endless adverts for upcoming Christmas football on TV. Konami have granted themselves the ability to update parts of the game without telling you first. So: could Konami have somehow nobbled the gameplay in my PES2010?

At times over the past two years I’ve been harshly critical of next-gen PES (and PES2010 won’t be getting off lightly in the fullness of time). Konami surely know that this blog can sometimes get as many as two hundred hits per day, and so they have taken steps to annoy me. They’ve sent a squirt of something nasty, just a few lines of code, up the Internet and into my game. They’ve made my game harder than everyone else’s!

Yes, I’ve decided that’s almost certainly definitely what’s been happening. Konami have decided that my frequent next-gen-bashing over the past 2 years has got to be punished. It’s really the only possible explanation.


Now I’ve got a novelty clip to show. At kick-off in a recent match, one of the CPU players suddenly decided it was all pointless. He despaired of everything. It was all futile and there was no point in carrying on. “What’s it all about, really, at the end of the day? What’s it all for?”

Link: PES2010, what's it all about

I’m 5th in the table. Once again, just look at that goals scored column—it’s just so feeble:


Next time on PES Chronicles: it’ll be Christmas Day (bah humbug), and I’ll be going shopping for new ‘talent’ in the transfer market. And will I start scoring some goals?


  1. Thats one of the funniest videos I’ve seen on your site. Brilliant!

    Only 2 points away, a good striker or 2 should hopefully give you that promotion push. Good luck, and are you posting on Friday?

  2. Makershaker—the staring, silent, depressed CPU player thing happened again in my session this morning. (The one in the post was from two mornings ago.) Has anyone else seen it in their game?

    I am posting on Friday, it’ll be a normal update on my ML progress (or lack of it? we’ll see). I had planned to post a special long movie of clips—like my PES5 videos—for my Christmas Day post, but I haven’t had the time to do it. I’ll try to make it for New Year’s Day now.

  3. Brilliant! I’ve not seen that happen yet. BTW what camera do you play on? I seem to remember that like me you were a devotee of the ‘angle 9’ normal long view, which has been removed in next-gen. I’ve opted for ‘broadcasting 2’ which probably makes the game more difficult (v normal long or wide) but gives a good goalmouth view

  4. Not many goals scored, but apparently you have the best defense in the league. That’s a great start.

    I haven’t had the depressed CPU player bug yet, but remember, just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

  5. By the way, what year are you on? 2014-2015?

  6. Not-Greg

    I’ve been following your master league exploits (though I’ve never played ML). I have only one advice to give you. And this advice would see you promoted this season – INCREASE THE MATCH TIME TO 15/20 MINS! That’s it.

    You don’t seem to play enough direct football. You may spend too much time on build up. You may need time to settle in, in every match. So, just up the match length time and you’ll be home.

  7. abbeyhill—I’ve always used Wide cam (and always used the angle 9 when it was allowed). I gave Broadcasting 2 a go on release day but couldn’t see enough of the pitch. PES won’t truly have arrived in next-gen until we get that angle-panning back…

  8. Adriano—I really squirm when I look at my goals-scored column. It’s the root of all my problems really, and I can’t account for it. I was knocking the goals in for fun in my pre-Master League warm-up tournaments.

  9. Darshan—it is indeed the year 2015-2016. The last few times that screen with the year on it has flashed up, I’ve averted my eyes…

    The way things are going, Rooney and Torres et al will be retired by the time I get to Division 1. (The timing could be perfect for me to nab them as Regens.)

    All told, it’s shaping up to be an epic ML career. I’ve got something different planned for my last few matches of the current season. If they’re crucial and deciding, possibly I’ll record myself playing them and post them (or large chunks of them).

  10. BlueChampions—it has been strongly in my mind to go to 15-minute matches for the latter part of the current season. But if I do go to 15 minute matches and do well and get promotion, it’d feel wrong to me. I have to do a change like that for a whole season or not at all (like the difficulty setting). It’s just a personal thing, no real logic to it.

    I think whatever happens, promotion or no promotion, I’ll switch to 15-minute matches next season. Everything I’ve read about them says ’15 minutes is the new 10 minutes’. I like the idea of having that time and space to get a foothold in a match.

  11. Hi, you really need to ditch the default players to have any chance of progressing, surely you must have someone better in your youth team than burchet, ivarov or dodo? You can allow them to leave at end of their contract by offering them lower wages than requested when asked to renew their contract, they leave at end of june with no penalty. You can also source players who haven’t agreed new contracts after mid season on bosman deals, they usually accept a drop in wages to play for you as well.

  12. I’ve been playing 15 minute matches in my master league, and it is wonderful. You have time to be patient, to let the play develop, and the scores are varied and realistic. You also don’t have to panic when you get behind early in a game, knowing you have time to come back. The downside is that it will take longer for you to get through a season.

  13. not-Greg, do you mean 2014-2015?

    I thought I’d try something, to see whether being stuck in ML is just because of something unique to you, or not. I decided to set up a new ML, on Top Player, with the defaults (using WE United) and I simmed all of the games until I got promoted. The result: I got promoted in the 2014-2015 season, finishing 2nd (though it was very close at the end; I’d gone the first half of the season undefeated). I can’t understand why you can’t get promoted. My simmed team got through before you, so the only thing I can think is that the signings you’ve been able to make have been well below average, or something.
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  14. madrab—holding onto some Defaulters is a sin of omission rather than anything I’m doing on purpose. I’ve been itching to get rid of them but no one wants them and you can’t offer them in part-exchange any more. Having said that – see Friday’s post for news on the fates of ALL my remaining Default players.

    (Thanks for the tip about deliberately sabotaging contract talks to get rid of unwanted players without the unhappiness penalty for the rest of the squad. I’m just not ‘gamey’ enough with the new ML yet.)

  15. Ken—I’m pretty much sold on 15-minute matches and you’ll see me implementing them in my next season whatever happens in the rest of this one. I am slightly worried about the extra time it’ll take me to get through seasons, but maybe it’ll deepen the focus upon individual matches in the blog? Who knows.

  16. Darshan—I’m on my 6th season currently, so yep – it’s 2014-2015, my mistake. I was counting them off on my fingers. (I haven’t started season 7 yet, and honestly wasn’t accidentally revealing that I had— it really was a miscount.)

    The longer this goes on, the more puzzling it gets and I wouldn’t blame anybody reading the blog for believing I was doing it all deliberately for some reason. I’m genuinely not, though – it’s all bafflingly real. I can imagine how it might look from the outside. Am I the poorest player ever to play PES? I’m not, really. I really am just average, i.e. neither particularly good nor particularly bad. Or am I simming most (or even all) of the matches, pulling a fast one, possibly not even playing PES2010 much (or at all)—possibly taking it easy with my feet up and playing Modern Warfare 2?!

    It’s got to be some fatal misstep I’ve made in the game. Some formula that has clicked for everyone else that hasn’t clicked for me, not yet. Could it be the transfers, the training, the tactics, the formation, or a combination of all of them?

    It’s interesting to see your test WE United’s goals-scored column so low early on—a lot like mine, although I’ve never conceded so many (66!).

  17. PES 2010 Transfer System
    Yet another bonehead move by Konami. The problem with the transfer system in 2009 was that it was too difficult to sign superstars no matter how much money you threw their way. However, the 2010 transfer system has possibly taken a step backwards. The negotiator handles all the arrangements and then the situation is completely out of your hands from there. They want us to buy only players that are recommended to you by your Scout. The players recommended by the Scout often bring no value to your team and in some cases it’s better just to sign players coming from your Youth Team. I believe you are able to negotiate with up to 5 players during a transfer window and that’s fine but when the players take so long to respond to those offers that is when you realize you just wasted the entire transfer window. The negotiations break down with all 5 players and none of them give you any reasoning of why they decided to sign with other clubs or why they continue to play for their mediocre teams.

    Another flaw I find in the Master League is that team training has also taken a step backwards. We are not given any option to rest players who are approaching high fatigue levels. You could do it manually for each player by adjusting their training blocks for each skill but that is just too tedious. Injuries happen randomly off the field and sometimes to players who are not getting playing time. I know that all comes to down to how much your training and medical staff are upgraded to, but it’s just ridiculous. Unless you are managing a super wealthy club like Real Madrid, this becomes a huge disadvantage to clubs with very low funds, and especially to those managing their own custom club.

  18. not-Greg,
    I feel the best thing for you to do (if you don’t get promoted this season) is to post some videos of a typical match that you’ve played to see where you’re going wrong. What is strange is your lack of “decent” youth team players. The 3 you said you just bought were all about 67ish, which is low considering you’re now in your 6th season. In my simmed ML team, I got three youth players rated 73+ at the end of season 6, so maybe you’ll get lucky.

    It seemed to be a habit of the simmed team to concede loads in the odd game – in fact, in the first season, I remember losing 5-0 (well, I know I wasn’t playing, but I did get strangely attached to the players, even though I’ve never used them) in at least 3 games. In that first season, I also went on a 11-game losing-streak, which was part of a 17-game streak where I couldn’t win.

    Personally, I don’t think you should go to 15 minute matches. I’ve got a feeling it might make things too easy because it gives you far too many chances, and, also, since you’re now on Professional, it’ll be so one-sided.

    Regarding your default players (the not-so-good ones), I’ve always kept them until they retired unless someone bought them. I remember, nobody ever wanted Dodo so I ended up keeping him until he was going to retire (in 2022-2023), but, by then, he was rated so low (32 maybe) so he didn’t cost a lot.

    Also, on the PS3, how many replays can you save? Is it only 50? Because I’m on the PC, and I currently have at least 600 replays saved (I’m slowly going through and rating them, but it takes so long!), and I do fancy making a bumper highlights video, but it’ll take forever to do.

  19. @ bkmelendez, you can sign players throughout the season, up to 5 at a time (depending on your Scout level), so you can potentially have at least 5 new players signed well before the transfer window opens. I find it a nice change, and, usually, the players that the Scout suggests are willing to come to your team straight away (I’ve found some real gems that way).

  20. lol, funny clip not-Greg, yeah the AI is schizo sometimes, just the other day I played a lofted through ball onto my Hull City striker Cousin. The AI defender behind my player was gaining on me, but all of a sudden stopped chasing, giving me a free run towards goal. I took the shot & scored, happily winning 3-0, but the victory was sweet’n’sour, as I shouldn’t have scored so easily, it wasn’t on my merits so much as the AI going wonky…

    Anyway, Merry Xmas, have a good one!

  21. Im glad you’ve made it up the table, I bring good seasonal greetings to, I’ve finally managed to get Brighton off the bottom and now Im only ten points from a UEFA spot, this season has been wierd what with all the non fouls and other business, I had a thought about your team and just wondered how your midfield is set up, I play a 4-4-2 most of the time with a sort of diamond with very wide players, now its these wide guys that are the key to me winning games, they basically are speed merchants and i basically absorb the play as best as possible and then go left or right and cross it to my big lump in the middle. I do try to play other ways but it does help me score goals, I was trying to play good football but my players just dont have the skill at the moment, its just a case of survival for a bit. Anyway you probably have this sorted already, and I know everyone has there own ideas so anyway good luck for the rest of the season, that clip was hilarious, hes a bit like the computer equivalent of titus bramble!!! Do you know the best way to safeguard against your players leaving on a free? I think i keep annoying my squad so they leave….

  22. Hmm. Could this predicament you are in be the way you play, or because of your formation, probably also because of the players you have?

    Although I am playing on FIFA 10, I found that playing with a mixed style is frequently better than just sticking to a patient build-up or direct style. Also, sometimes when my team adopts a certain formation, I would get absolutely owned by the opponent; but when I tweak my formation, my team starts to turn the tables.

    Lastly, when it comes to players, I tend to go for the speedy and skilful ones as compared to big, ‘bulky’ ones so to speak. Perhaps it’s because I have been used to playing fast and furious attacking football that sometimes it is hard for me to deliberately play it slow, unless I am in the mood to do so.

  23. bkmelendez—as Darshan has already remarked, you can negotiate with any players at any time, all season round. It’s easy to overlook this for a long-term ML player. I only realised after the CPU made an offer for one of my players outside the transfer windows.

    On the whole training front, I like the new setup, but now they’ve given us this much, I want more. I’d actually love to see more Football Manager-type things come into PES. They could be optional ‘modular’ elements.

  24. Darshan—At the moment I’m really attracted to the idea of going back to play on Top Player next season, and going to 15-minute matches as well. I’ll see how I feel after this season is over—it’s not yet. I’m usually a day or two ahead of the blog, but with everything going on at this time of year I’ve more or less caught up with myself now. Tomorrow’s post will be about this morning’s games, for example. And that still doesn’t end the season.

    I think 20 is the limit for PS3 saves. I’ve never come up against the limit as I very rarely save goals nowadays. I record goals I’d like to see again on my phone or camera. The last time I looked at a saved PES goal was in the PS2 days! (Or on PSP actually – I did use, and still use, the save function there a lot.)

  25. diego—merry Xmas to you too, and in a way it’s comforting to know that the numerous little quirks of the game—‘acts of PES’, we might say—are still with us. Like the poor and the homeless, they’ll always be with us…

  26. Lord Stanley—your question about my midfield perhaps touches on my central problem. As I’ve remarked previously, working full-time and have several personal projects on the go as well (an Open University degree course among them) means I only get an hour or two to play every day, and I tend to want to play in that time. This means I skimp on attention to formation, tactics, training, all of it. I’ve got better recently but I’m still not doing enough. My midfield is basically the same as it;s been in ML for nearly 10 years now: a DMF and two wide midfielders. It’s not really working in PES2010.

    Re. stopping players leaving on a free, I wish I had that problem. I’ve never had anyone so good that they wanted to leave…

  27. MLMaestro—see my last comment just now! It’s a combination of a lot of things. I need better players, definitely, but I also need a more considered formation, and a more sensible tactical setup. Right now I’ve got my team set to play wide, which often sees three players hugging the touchline in a long line from defence to attack. Obviously I need to finesse that a bit.

    I love to play slowly and build up attacks. I enjoy a solid 1-0 win a lot more than a 4-3 thriller. I tend to play more direct and panicky when behind—another flaw. PES2010’s ML has really found me out, and found me wanting.

  28. That video is hilarious, looks like it’s off to the Sporting chance clinic for him.

    On a similar theme, here’s a picture of West Ham set piece specialist Alessandro Diamanti believing that he’s the second coming of Christ. Either that or it’s a training ground signal!

    After this he just dribbled the ball away from the corner flag and got away with it!

  29. Happ Xmas not-greg, I hope santa brings you goals.

    That video, so simple, is absolutely hilarious! He really has that ‘what’s it all about’ look.

  30. Liam—what the heck is going on in that picture?! I’ve never seen any players doing that gesture anywhere in PES2010 before. Very nice find.

  31. Grilled Seabass—Happy Xmas to you and all indeed, if Santa doesn’t bring me goals and points and prmotion to Division 1 I’ll be more disappointed than the year I expected Striker and got Subbuteo instead. (Striker was the one where you pressed the players’ heads to kick the ball; Subbuteo needs no prompting to remember it, surely.) I came to appreciate Subbuteo in time, but Striker was the one I wanted. Not Subbuteo. Christ

  32. Not-Greg- I had super striker when I was a kid, I remember you’d put the ball in a little space just in front of the players ominous looking leg, push the head and then BAM! Well, not really ‘BAM’ it didn’t go very far at all. The goalkeepers were my favourite tho, on the the little pole which movedfrom left to right, priceless. Me and my friends used to have a league going and everything. Ahh… good memories! Happy Christmas Not-Greg, hope your enjoying the rubbish TV and all that and hopefully santa will give you promotion…

  33. patrick222—that’s exactly the game I’m remembering, only I never, ever got it, instead I was sent down the Subbuteo path by parental error. How different would my life today be if only I’d got Striker that Christmas. Subbuteo was a crazy game. I was the only person I ever met who knew that it actually had rules, it wasn’t simply a flick-for-all, it was essentially a turn-based game and you were only allowed 3 flicks per turn and all that. There was a rule book and I read it all. No one would listen to me and I don’t think I ever played a proper game of Subbuteo against anybody in my whole life. All the kids at my school who had Subbuteo used to just flick away all the time with NO regard for rules. The Striker kids, now they had it good. I wanted to be one of them. Talk about primal trauma!

  34. Not-Greg – Subbuteo turned out be the better investment over time, it’s something of a collector’s item nowadays! As you just said though nobody ever looked at the rules, and nobody ever had a table big enough! Did you know how to chip the ball, the instructions said you could although I never managed to.

  35. BTW, have you ever watched ‘James May’s toy stories’, really brings back the days of Scalextric and co…

  36. patrick222—I used to play Subbuteo on the carpet—on my own, of course, as none of my little schoolmates would even admit that were any rules, much less follow them, and it was just too much for me. I’d get so wound up at them wanting to just flick their players at the ball all the time. Even then I was a single-player…

    I vaguely remember Subbuteo chipping was where you were allowed—under the game’s actual Dungeons & Dragons-style ruleset—to pick up your player, balance him on your finger, aim him down at the ball, and flick down at an angle, making the ball bounce up and creating the chip if you did it right. Am I making that up, or is it a real memory?

  37. Not-Greg- Yup, it was something along those lines although I could never pull it off, chipping the ball always seemed rather pointless in my view, probably because I couldn’t do it! Whenever I tried somebody would cop a subbuteo player in the face and the game would be over. RIP all those subbuteo players who were stood on or brutally mauled by pets! 🙁

  38. patrick222—I don’t remember ever scoring a goal in Subbuteo against a human being. I nearly always ended up sadly flicking the players on both teams around on my own and scoring into nets guarded by a motionless little keeper. I don’t actually clearly remember chipping a ball either. I think I dreamed that one up.

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