The Nakamura the merrier

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.



  1. the goal rifled in by Nakamura, capping a fine move and sealing a memorable debut. (I’m really very excited about this player.)

    And that sums up why ML is still the best career mode in football games. Some players just have that magic feeling — how many points will his addition be worth in the long run?

    Now all you have to do is stay calm, bear down, make yourself extremely difficult to beat and most of all, remain patient when attacking. Stalk your opponent like a panther, silent and ruthless. Savor the taste of blood, and let the world know that 1-0 to Coventry City is game over.

    Whether that goal comes in the fourth minute or ninety-fourth, it won’t matter, because City Does Not Concede.

  2. Not-Greg,

    As far as the CPU possession play goes, again, I only find it a problem when I’ve got the “R1 + X” grip going, chasing him around. Once I stop chasing and invite him up the pitch, the possession play stops. Also, I only see the ping pong passing around the back four. The difference between this PES and 09, for me, is that in 09 the CPU would ping it around all over the pitch, culminating in a magical lobbed through ball to a suddenly by himself striker or winger. Now that only happens occasionally in this year’s version.

  3. That squad looks very promising, not-greg. I bet this is the season for promotion.

  4. ck—Over the next few weeks I’ll be whining a lot about PES2010’s God Mode. It’s killing me. I hate it more than I’ve hated any other PES’s God Mode. Solid 1-0 leads with me having 17 shots to the CPU’s 0 shots and 60+% possession, only to see them magically turn into 1-1 scorelines at the final whistle—and I blink and wonder how the hell that just happened…

    PES2010 is a different game, I tell myself, with different values. I need to learn how to defend all over again.

  5. Ken—I admit it, I get more and more wound up and end up doing ‘the Claw’, as I have called it, with maximum poundage of pressure on R1 and X (and square too for good measure), making the controller creak and crack under the strain, until the CPU gets tired of hoarding possession and gives it up somehow. I need to learn a better response to crisis moments and periods in the game.

  6. Adriano—it’s certainly the best squad I’ve had yet, which is a shameful thing to say. I curse myself for wasting seasons on lavish staff upgrades when I could have pursued good players instead. Just a few Scout upgrades and the good players would have come anyway, regardless of my coaching staff levels, which I could have raised a notch or two in pace with the good players’ arrivals. Instead I bungled it all. I had level 3&4 coaches at one point with players little better than the Defaults!

    Ah well. The better players are here now. I don’t want to give too much away but the handling of my team seems better, much more akin to the way the teams handled in Exhibition and tournament modes. Which doesn’t mean I’m not still finding things hard going…

  7. Your squad looks a bit better now, though I find the default 3-5-2 system allows me to keep the ball and defend slender leads, the two wide midfield players give the defence a good out ball option. Good to see that jacobs and partolon continue to progress, starting season five and have both on my bench as future prospects. Does the young Minanda improve well?

  8. madrab—the born-again Minanda is a fine young player. He’s as good as any other Youth player I’ve taken on, and better than some. Jacobs is easily the best Youth of them all for me. I think he’ll be my keeper for his whole career now.

    It’s too soon to tell if Minanda will develop into a decent older player. I’d like to think he will, as it’d be very nice to play with a Default name in a mature ML team.

    A few other Defaulters have regenned into my youth team. I’ll be mentioning them over the next post or two.

  9. Speaking of defaulters, Valeny is a hell of a player from an early age. I got him in my Youth Team, and he started out in the high 60s, if I recall correctly.

    I didn’t keep Minanda long enough to see him reach his prime, maybe because he was taking too long to be good enough for the starting lineup, but also because I already had too many players in my squad. But he probably does get pretty good, it just takes quite a while, probably 5 or 6 seasons.

  10. Adriano—I really like seeing the reborn Defaulters. Apart from one notable example, I’ve signed all the ones who have appeared in my Youth Team so far (tomorrow’s post has more on this topic).

    Only time will tell how good/bad/indifferent they prove to be, of course. With one thing and another I think I’m in this career for the long haul so it’ll be ideal to see what becomes of Minanda & co. Assuming of course that I don’t end up having to sell them to survive, which is entirely possible.

  11. Not-Greg – Am I right in thinking that noteable exception is Castolo?! 😀

  12. patrick222—no comment… but today’s post will be up soon and you’ll see.

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