Any Porto in a storm

Season 10 has begun, and once again I changed both of my strips, home and away. For the home kit I went with a very fetching hooped shirt. Colour-wise, I stuck to the traditional Coventry blue, better known as sky blue. I seriously thought about going for a red- or green-dominated home kit, just for variety’s sake. I hear it’s the spice of life. But I stayed my hand on that front. Red is much too associated with other teams. And I once dabbled with a green kit on a former PES, but could barely see my players on some pitches.For the away kit I decided on something a bit different. It’s a red-orange that’s very similar to the Shakhtar Donetsk home kit.

I really like the hooped home shirt. I am considering making it the basis of a permanent style. I could make the hoops a permanent feature of the shirt, and confine any future changes to the sleeves, collar, shorts, socks, etc., like Celtic’s or QPR’s traditional kits.

I did quite a bit of business on the transfer market. My finances were in a poor state. Even with the £3.5m for finishing 9th and several more millions from my sponsors, I was in debt. Not as much debt as at some points in this career, but enough for me to need to sell players to balance the books.

I finally released Giersen and Libermann. Doing so only cost me a few thousand in each case. I put up with the rest of the squad having angry faces for a few weeks. With no matches being played, it didn’t really matter.

I sold quite a few players—probably too many. Ruskin, Hutchinson, Iakovenko, Voavy, Duffy, Tulasne, and Silanok. I got a lot of cash for all of those players, as can be imagined. The only ones that hurt even slightly were the first and last names in the list: Ruskin and Silanok. Ruskin had to go, really, but he’s been such a faithful servant, and he was my last link to the Defaults. I got about £200k for Ruskin, a good price for an ageing, fading player. Silanok was a useful player to have, but the offer—£4m—was too good to turn down. Castolo has finally disappeared from my Youth team, and if what I hear is true, he won’t reappear anywhere, in any form, in thsi career. If this career does indeed turn out to be my only career in this year’s Master League, I won’t see Castolo again until PES2011. That’s fine by me. In fact I almost wish he would reappear, so I could once again have the pleasure of ignoring him.

I’ve left myself a few players lighter than I would have liked. A squad of 20 will make things uncomfortable at times this season, but I should cope. I’ve got my backroom staff levels high enough for fitness not to be too much of a worry. What if I get an 8-month injury to a key player? I’ll deal with that if/when it happens.

I brought in only a few players. CEJUMI, CHIGRAT, TANAKA. The first two are Youth teamers and defenders, both good enough to go straight out and do well. Tanaka was a bit of a panic buy, I’m afraid, and I don’t think he’s going to work out. I’m sorry to say I splurged £3m on him as time started to run out in the transfer window. His 71 OVR rating in the picture is misleading. He’s really a WF/SS, and rated 80 for both. But he’s slow! And at the age of 25, he might not get much better in that respect. This was a lesson to me. Scout early, all through the season. Waiting to do the bulk of the transfer work in the two windows is a lazy carry-over from the old Master League.

I sailed through the first round of the D1 Cup (as I still call it; I know it’s the ‘England Cup’ now, but the new name hasn’t stuck for me yet). With some excellent league form at my back, I was hopeful of a great Cup run. Sadly I was eliminated in the second  round on away goals.

No Europa League for me this season. Whatever freak conditions enabled me to qualify for last season’s competition didn’t apply this time. I’m oddly relieved. This squad would have been stretched.

The main story of this season so far is my League form. I’m top of the table after 12 matches. As can be seen from the table, I’m not scoring many goals. I’m keeping them out, though. That’s why I’m top. For the future, I doubt I could win the league this way, or even finish in the top 4 (that’s my aim). I need to change formations, and jettison this rather stale-feeling 4-3-3, which I think I’ve wrung every drop of value from in PES2010.

The highlight of this opening third of the season was an incredible victory over Porto. They’re the giants of the league, and they gave me the toughest game I can remember having on PES for many a year (their current squad, pictured right, may prove interesting). Twice I took the lead; twice they pegged me back, both times with awful, scrambled goals that I felt helpless to prevent.

Their second equaliser came in the last minute of the match. It was from a corner. I was 2-1 up, and had everyone back, on high alert. But none of my players jumped as the ball swung into the 6-yard box, despite me hammering the relevant button. The ball ricocheted off a Porto head, struck a Coventry shoulder, landed at a Coventry foot. That player didn’t move. He was selected all right, he should have done something, but he would not move, would not do anything, for a critical half-second. I hammered the square button, desperate to hoof it clear, desperate to secure my precious 2-1 win.

A Porto striker nicked the ball, and slotted it into the net. I was crestfallen (and, naturally, furious). My kick-off took place in stoppage time. The game would end 2-2, but it felt as if I was facing defeat. Unless…

I would have one attack left, just one, before the final whistle. I worked some space for the most hopeful kind of hopeful 25-yard shots. The ball deflected out for a corner. I selected my goalkeeper to take the corner. I pushed everything to all-out attack. I had every outfield player in or around the Porto box as my keeper took the corner. It was a hell of a risk. Despite being in stoppage time within stoppage time, I feel sure now that the game would have allowed Porto to have an attack on my empty net, had they recovered possession from the corner. But they didn’t recover possession. Instead, this happened:

Link: Lastgasp against porto

Goal. Goal. GOOOOOOAL…… Regular PES players, particularly Master League players, will be able to imagine my reaction. There was no time for even the sneaky PES2010 AI to come back. The final whistle went almost immediately after their kick-off. 3-2 to me.

Will the good form last? And how will I take to the change of formation?


  1. Brilliant! Just like Ipswich v Coventry a couple of weeks back……

  2. abbeyhill—I’ll have you know that ‘brilliant’ is one of those things that’s very much in the eye of the beholder 🙁

  3. That looks to be one satisfying moment. Beating the CPU at its own game!

    Have you not got one freeze not Greg? It’s ruining this game for me, I have beaten both Manchester United and Liverpool 0-1 and each time its froze after. So I fire it onto beginner and 5 minute matches and score with the same player etc. But the results change, it effectively means those epic matches never happened! There’s always some problem with games nowadays. I don’t remember any problems on the PS2…

    It may sound like i’m having one amazing season, but all the small teams are kicking my ass. I cant beat the MIGHTY Portsmouth, Panithinaikos, Bolton, Benfica and I was 2 seconds from winning at Arsenal, when they scored an auto goal. I see what you mean about Spurs! They hammered me 3-0 without getting a touch, then the ps3 froze, i restarted, simmed and lost 2-0 instead.

    After 12 games we are clinging on to 7th and in free fall.

  4. Not Given—I do get freezes, but they’re the kind related to the known issue with the game freezing during the tunnel sequence before a match. When it happens I have to hard reset (and after the restart, restart again at the PS3’s bidding, grrrr), and it drives me crazy when it happens. But, it’s only roughly once every four sessions that it happens, and with auto-save I never lose a match and the proper progress of my ML as you regularly do. Yours seems to be another issue completely. I think that if your freezing problem was related to the game there’d be loads of examples out there on the forums. Maybe there are? I don’t remember ever seeing any cases like it, and I do browse the PES forums a lot (especially at work), but it’s possible.

    It’s a shame this is happeniong to you as it sounds like you’re having a great ML career. I vaguely recall lots of people talking about custom MP3s in relation to crashes. Could your PS3 be looking for custom tracks at the moment of the crashes? Just a wild guess. Try disabling custom tracks (if you have them) and see what happens.

  5. Some nice kits there, this really is shaping up to be an epic ML. Your squad is looking very nice, and I think you have adopted a more business like approach to your team in relation to wages, purchases, staff etc. In a way it has become a strategy- like game, I like that, I enjoy games such as railroad tycoon, I’m guessing you’d like that sort of game?
    Lately I haven’t commented much as I accidently deleeted my ML save(dont ask!) and I can’t get back ‘into’ a ML,the thought of the ML default team sickens me, any tips?

  6. LOL, the end of that 1st paragraph sounds like a sales pitch!

  7. I had no luck getting my ML team onto my mates PS3 so next time i’m just guna take the hole machine with me!

    But one great thing did come out of tonight, i finaly found a formation that works for me with my beloved Spurs. I read that your having troble with the old 4-3-3 and thinking of changing, can i recomend that u start up a friendly match with Spain and save their formation.

    As u can imagin its so well suited to a passing game, both through the middle and out wide. Tonight with Spurs i was putting 4/5 past my mate who used Madrid and Barca.

    best result of the night was England 12-0 Argentina, i haven’t beat him so bad since PES 4!

    going back to 4-4-2 has been like discovering the game all over again. I wasn’t even that bothered about scoring, just having fun passing at around the pitch.

  8. patrick222—I love games like Railroad Tycoon, Civilization, anything strategy-ish really. I’ve got a really crappy Java version of Railroad Tycoon on my old phone but it plays well enough.

    You’re right that I’m looking at the composition of my squad a bit more strategically now. I’m past the phase where I’m just looking for any good players no matter what.

    Re. you starting a new ML (bad luck with the save btw, with all the files around I can imagine how it happened—this is why I back up to USB after session), you could create a new team from scratch and register as many of your old players as you can remember to it, and start from there?

  9. max—my formation changes are coming up in the next few posts. It’s gone in a slightly unexpected direction. I’ll say no more for now!

  10. I didn’t have any custom tracks but I disabled all music (usually play with the radio on anyway). No freezes yet but haven’t been playing long.

    Just had one of your Porto moments. At home to River Plate the bottom team in the league. 0-0 in the 90th minute and we got a free kick, sent everyone in including the CBs and crossed it in for a headed goal. Every result so far has been from long ball tactics, we are really playing like a recently promoted but successful side.

    Currently in 7th place with 40 points. Its such a tight league though, first place has 48.

  11. I know this game doesn’t have a 6 star difficulty anymore, but im convinced it does exist in the game code because after getting into 4th position each team is giving me a kicking every week. Four straight losses, one of them being the absurd Tottenham who you arent allowed to tackle. Then Chelsea who scored and and then defended the rest of the game AT HOME. Now we have Porto coming up what a joke.. Out of the Europa League spots and only heading one way.

  12. Forgot to say that all my first team are now ‘voicing discontent’ about our situation. This is the team that was bottom of division 2 a few years ago, now voicing discontent over challenging for Europe in the premier league. Perhaps ill just get rid of all of them if they aren’t happy. Send them to WE United.

  13. Not Given—hope you’re still okay with the freezing issue?

    I’ve never had an issue with my team voicing discontent, and as you know I’ve been on some pretty severe bad runs of form, in the lower division and in this one. So what is going on with you experiencing it after just a few iffy results?! I think the game must include some kind of ‘random seed’ element, which ensures that all of our ML careers, while broadly the same, are just different enough…

    The worst discontent I’ve seen happens for a few in-game weeks after I release a player or players. The squad doesn’t like that, but they soon get over it. I have individual cases where I’ve played somebody out of position for a long time, but that’s easily fixed. My squad are quite the placid bunch.

    Ah, ‘the absurd Tottenham’ indeed. It takes a few seasons but you eventually adapt even to the super-teams in D1 and Europe, I’ve found.

    Are your Porto still tearing it up out there? Mine are on a dip currently, but still fearsome.

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