And so here we go again. The story so far: I mysteriously suck at PES2010, or to be more accurate, at Master League. I’m about to embark on my 7th consecutive season in Division 2.
As far as I know, this is my own singular experience of Master League this year. If I’d been told back in October that I’d still be in Division 2 by New Year, I simply wouldn’t have believed it. The tendency of next-gen PES—sadly—has been towards less difficulty, at times to almost idiotic levels of difficulty: not more. And overall PES2010 is a pretty easy PES, as I discovered pre-Master League. So I don’t know what the hell is going on.
At least I’m shaping up for an epic career. Since starting the blog I’ve often referenced my PES5 career of four years ago. The memory of that magical year of PES gaming was most of the reason I wanted to blog about my PES play in the first place. And PES2010 is already hosting my longest Master League career on any of the next-gen games. I really should be happy that I’m in this predicament—and I am happy.
Season 7 started out in familiar territory. I was in a lot of debt. A few seasons ago I expanded my backroom staff levels a little too enthusiastically. I’ve been paying for it ever since. Players first, then staff—that should be the rule. Not the way I did it.
First things first. Clear the debt, which was just over £4.2m:
I dropped my remaining level 3 backroom staff down to level 2. That shaved a few million off the debt. I could have gone down to level 1 and prevented myself having to sell players, but I was unprepared to go any lower. So I had to sell a few players. Reluctantly, but I sold them.
I sold KOOISTRA and TREJO. They both hurt, but the game was offering me a combined £4,000,000 reasons to swallow my hurt. At a stroke my debt was almost gone. But should I have held onto Trejo and Kooistra and taken my chances with my staff on level 1? We’ll see how the season goes.
Below is my full squad for season 7. The players are pictured all jumbled up after a bit more transfer activity—Nemeth is not a left-sided midfielder, as the 35 next to his name indicates:
BAMEN ROBERK is a Youth Team player. NAKAMURA and BERTOLO were available fairly cheap on the transfer market. I had some spare money after selling a few other players, so I got them. The early signs are that Nakamura in particular will prove to be an essential signing. He’s only in his early 20s in my game.
The season started. I left the difficulty on Professional, and I left the match time on 10 minutes.
I was tempted to change both. I considered moving difficulty back up to Top Player, and the match time to 15 minutes. But I felt unready for both changes. Professional is a well-balanced game. I know that most PES veterans regard anything except Top Player as equivalent to Beginner level. But I like Professional and I find it challenging, so I’ll leave it there for now.
As for the 15-minute matches, I was this close to making the switch, but decided against it for time reasons. With 10-minute matches I can get through a season roughly every 4-5 days. With 15-minute matches I think that’d expand to 6-7 days, at least. So I’ll stick with 10-minute matches for now. The main reason for switching would be to encourage a more focused, less panicky approach to the game, particularly when behind. But I’ll make a concerted effort to do that anyway, in 10-minute matches.
The first three games of season 7 went well. I managed to get revenge on one of my nemeses from last season, Blackburn Rovers. I put in a disciplined performance that dominated possession and choked off all their pacey attacks. I took one of my few chances, the goal rifled in by Nakamura, capping a fine move and sealing a memorable debut. (I’m really very excited about this player.) That victory felt very sweet. I won another match and drew another, and sit in 3rd after three matches.
Naturally it all means precisely nothing. I’ve started just as well or better in all of my recent seasons, and failed to get promoted in any of them.