Ho ho ho. There’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that something has slightly ‘clicked’ for me with PES2010. Why and how I have found Master League so much more difficult than it seems every other player is still a mystery to me, but I’ve started doing much better. I’m still not scoring enough goals, but when I do score them I’m holding the AI at bay a lot better. Playing on Professional difficulty obviously helps.
The bad news is that, yet again, I might not get promotion. I might be spending season 7 in Division 2. I swear I’m not doing this deliberately.
It was all looking pretty darn good at one point. With 20 matches played, just after the mid-season transfer window, I was 3rd in the table:
In that mid-season transfer window I acquired 3 players. I felt on the crest of a wave.
Two were Youth Team players. AN CHONHIN (CB) and FOTECHA (GK). I released Ivarov, Burchet, and Stremer—they were just pointlessly taking up space. The rest of my squad had angry faces on them for a week about the supposed mistreatment of the three players, but they soon forgot about it. I also picked up one ‘proper’ transfer from another club, a very decent-looking AMF/SS/CF called IAKOVENKO. I know: what’s teh point of giving them names? I’ve just had so many players, and there’s nothing to suggest some or all of these new boys won’t be sold to pay the bills come August. We’ll see.
Here’s a great goal I scored with Kooistra during my good run. This is one of my favourites of the PES year so far. I’ll remember this one for years to come. As the ball dropped I was all set to try one of my favourite, first-time showbiz volleys. But I’m trying to stop doing that so much. I decided to try to trap the ball and then take the shot, or lay it off to somebody else.
I tugged on R2, took the first touch, and let off a delicious volley with the ball still hanging in the air after the first touch. The second replay shows the full extent of the goodness. This goal shows why Pro Evolution Soccer is still a force in football gaming despite its lean years:
That was a high point; it was downhill from then on. I went on a catastrophic run of 5 straight draws. I lost one in there too—only my third defeat of the season, the least amount in the division. Here’s the situation after 30 matches, with 4 remaining:
15 draws in 30 matches have cost me a lot. With 4 matches left in the season, I’m four points off 3rd place with a vastly inferior goal difference. As we all know, PES games do like to assist a chasing human player in the league. It’s likely that if I could pick up 3 wins and a draw, say, in my remaining four matches, it’ll probably be enough to lift me into the promotion spaces. So that’s my target: 3 wins and a draw; 10 points from the final 12. These will be the biggest four matches in my PES2010 year so far.
The final fixtures will be: Blackburn at home, Standard Liege away, AC Nitsaloskis away, and finally Portsmouth away. The first 3 teams in that list are all above me in the table. The matches should comprise an interesting little microcosm of my ML career so far. In Monday’s post I’ll cover them all individually.