The eternal joy of the sweetest volley

I’ve now played until the mid-season transfer window in season 14. I’ve only just gone top of the table. It’s the first time I’ve been top all season. For a change I’ll post the full mid-season Division 1 table:

Burnley have faded after being a strong force last season. Chelsea have rallied well after being poor last season and at the start of this season. But look who’s in the bottom 3: Liverpool. It’s shocking to see them there, even if it’s only in the cartoony make-believe football world of ML.

In the Champions League things were not straightforward. I drew and lost my opening two matches of the qualifying group. Then I won three on the bounce to secure the second qualifying spot with a game to spare. I simmed the meaningless final fixture against Rosenborg, which the game determined was a 3-3 draw.

The draw for the next round has been made. For the 4th season in a row, my first opponents in the knockout stage are French. This time it’s Olympique Lyonnais. Over the past three seasons at this stage of the competition, I’ve faced FC Sochaux, RC Lens, and Stade Rennais. What are the odds of this kind of draw happening 4 seasons in a row?

I’m still in the Division 1 Cup. (I have a feeling about this season. I hope I’m not tempting fate—I probably am—but I can smell a Treble. It all feels right.)

My second round opponents in the D1 Cup were Spurs. They’re currently not the D1 superpower they were a few seasons ago, but they’re still tricky to play against. However I beat them very easily in both legs, 3-0 both times. I even failed to notice that the second leg was a Cup match until it was over.

Just before the mid-season transfer window, I suffered a terrible blow. Zaki, my main striker, picked up an injury that’ll effectively keep him out for the rest of the season. Zaki has been an integral part of my team over the past few seasons. He’s actually lost a point or two of OVR rating, and he’s 31 now, but he’s still a great striker. I came within a whisker of winning the Golden Boot with him last season.

So I mourned Zaki for a few minutes (he’s unlikely to be the same player after the injury, and will probably be sold). Then I went and slapped in panic transfer bids for five top young strikers (pictured left). I doubt I’ll be successful in getting any of them. I could be left to make do with what I’ve got – which would not be too bad actually. Bamen Roberk, your time may be at hand.


I was looking through some old stuff the other day and came across my PES5 videos. Among the goals I recorded at the time (using MaxDrive to transfer from PS2 to PC!) was one in particular that I always think of first in the general category of ‘your most favourite-ever PES goal, ever’. It came in Master League (of course). The scorer was Bergkamp:

Link: Bergkamp PES5 volley

What makes a great goal? It’s at least partly subjective, perhaps mostly so. Some people salivate over the Argentina ‘team goal’ from Germany 2006. I failed to see, and still fail to see, why so much fuss was made about it. Tellingly, few people today would instantly think of it when asked to recall great World Cup goals. Oh, I know that it was a technical marvel, and I love to score goals like it in computer games myself. But Maxi Rodriguez’s showbiz volley later in the same tournament was a genuinely great goal, IMO.

I love my PES5 Bergkamp goal. I’ve scored plenty of memorable goals before and since, but none  have yet occupied the special place in my memory that this one does.


  1. Hey not-greg i’ve been waitin 4 da post 2 arrive an its here finally , anyway i read sumtin about a key playa being injured an out 4 da rest of da season in the twitter section.Thats indeed a big blog but also a chance 4 castolo &co 2 impress

  2. ryan—it’s at the end of this very post—ZAKI is a goner for the season, or most of it anyway. I don’t know what I’m going to do… The Myth of Castolo will get his chance.

  3. Seeing that u have stated u r abandoning project castolo 4 now does this mean JAROMTON is gonna get a run in the team or would u rather splash the cash on a new striker an me im a pool fan so can u plz tell me where gerrard an torres is now

  4. ryan—I haven’t abandoned Project Castolo (I sense that the Myth is strong in you…). I just don’t want to potentially wreck any of my team’s progress by playing him regularly now. It’s a balancing act that could take several seasons.

    Gerrard and Torres are both young Regens at Liverpool. And if you think the table above is bad for Liverpool, they’re now bottom.

  5. Continuing 4rom my last comment this is what id like 2 know about gerrard & torres. how old they r an what club(s) they play 4 an their ovr ratings an mayb im pushin it but if u could say where da kakas an messis an ronaldos r now dat would be gr8

  6. hi not-greg mayb im pushin it but if u could say where da kakas an messis an ronaldos r now dat would be gr8

  7. hi not-greg ryan here i apologise 4 the clear similar comments askin tha same question its a problem wit my server or network i think, so i apologise 4 that

  8. Zaki didn’t suffer a caerer ending injury did he?

    last night i re-started my youth/regen ML and he’s just popped up as 16 year old in my very own youth team!!! 60 OVR at the moment looks worse then Castollo!

    i could maybe use him as back up to my regen adriano and see what happens…

    lucky i have so much money after selling all my players, 650million, some regens are costing me 30+. I realy want to sign Roberto Carlos but no luck this season. He is one of fav older pro players. I’m so tempted to sim another season so i can get a complete squad of regens but i think i’ll try playing with the current youth, the average age must be about 18!

  9. ryan—That’s OK, and I’ll try to answer your other questions tomorrow in tweet form.

  10. max—I think my Zaki will come back and be good again, but in the meantime I’ve got games to play without him, BIG games.

    As for your Zaki, who knows? No two ML careers are alike and you may find him not worth bothering with. I like him, but I acquired him when he was already an established pro.

    Your new all-Youth ML sounds mouth-watering. After seeing the kinds of crazy prices players are costing, your 650 mil would buy you maybe 5 Regens. Don’t forget to keep some for wages!

  11. that is such a sweet volley it was perfect now that liverpool are buttom of the league why dont you go and buy some of their players i did that in my master league marseile where buttom of the master league and bought like 4 players of their best player of them i now have 230 playing hours on pes i was not expecting the game to last this long what a great game pes2010

  12. —on FFXIII

    Well I like most FFs. While I do love 4 and 9 in particular, which are very traditional, I also loved X and XII too. So I think im easy to please.. and yes im enjoying this one too.

    I recommend you turn the battle speed down to slow on the start screen, it is very fast paced. There is some challenge there too, I have died about 5 or so times 8 hours in. That’s not very common for an FF game.

    The locations are amazing, almost too much for the eyes to take in. If you like or have ever liked sci fi literature, this world and story will appeal to you.

    I suggest you play it without comparing it to traditional FF, if you do so, you are bound to be disappointed..

  13. Mike Mike—thank you, I rather like a nice volley too 😉

    I’m planning a swoop for several new players at the end of the season, if I can afford them. I have made a big new signing who cost a lot of money. More on Friday about that.

    I was definitely not expecting PES2010 to last as long as this either. I’m around the 230 hours mark too! That’s a bit disturbing when you think about it (I try not to).

  14. Not Given—you actually make it sound more appealing to me there. As much as I loved the old-school FFs, I don’t have time to spend swanning around villages endlessly talking to NPCs any more. FF13’s linearity is sounding more appealing the more I hear about it. I loved 12 as well—a vastly underrated FF, IMO.

  15. i know what you mean its best not to think about how you have wasted 230 hours of your life playing pes2010 but i tell you what they have been some of the most fun times you will have in your life with a video game so when you are old you can think back to the fun times u had with pes2010 damm il stop im talking real shit now.

    the most expensive player i have every bought in pes2010 was maquelweed for £29mil 93ov i though it was a good buy and his a great player

    it a shame that people still slag pes2010 of personal opinion its beter than fifa this year

  16. I still have 4/5 players to sell which should bring in about 200million, Silva will probably go for 70+ if i’m lucky. My last three regen signings have been Beckham, Veron and Vambommel which all cost me 30+ but the wages are only a few million, i have a complete squad now apart from the front line. Adian is the only regen i have seen worth bothering with and hes not very good at all yet. The rest are youth players with promiss but i capped there OVR to a maximum of 75 to make it a bit more interesting.

    i can’t wait to train up beckham the way i want, i want to see if i can get some pace out of him! Veron too for that matter, there passing stats are already quite good so i will concentrate their training where they are week and make them better then the originals!

  17. After Liverpool’s utterly abject and painful performance against Wigan on Monday I can see your Master League is taking some tips from current real-world form! Who needs Adidas Live Seasons eh?
    Well, I have to say I’m wishing I could get my greasy mits on a PS3 after reading how in depth your ML is but, for the time being I’m still utterly addicted to my current gen ML… I am struggling far more than any other career in either FIFA or PES and I love it. In fact, at the end of my first season i almost ended with the dreaded ‘game over’ due to lack of funds earned. Only an heroic last gasp 2-0 win over D2 Champions-elect Celtic spared me the push. Guess who scored the winning brace? Only our favourite mythological hero – Mr Castolo…

  18. lol great video. I scored a remarkably similar goal on PES5 and it’s still my favourite goal. I haven’t seen it for like 4-5 years and I still remember it exactly, even the kits. Its on my old Xbox hard drive which a friend now has… I might have to make a video of it!

  19. Mike Mike—I don’t regret a moment of the time I’ve spent on PES, or any other game, over the years. As for PES2010, judging by a lot of what’s said on the forums a lot of people never gave it a proper chance, true, but plenty of others have genuine concerns with it. I suppose we’re the lucky ones this year.

  20. max—Training the young players the way you want is a massive part of the game once you get past a certain number of seasons and have enough time and money to do it. I find I’m enjoying this nearly as much as the core game at the moment.

  21. Chris—I don’t know what the PES2010(PS2) Castolo is like, of course, but I suspect he’s really just as rubbish as he has been in every instalment of PES for the last several years. If Hamsun or Macco or somebody else had got that brace of goals, would you be feeling about them in the same way? I doubt it, but because it’s Castolo… I sense the Myth is strong in you as well!

  22. Grilled Seabass—one of my biggest gaming regrets is trading in my old silver Xbox and a stack of original Xbox games (the rare Shenmue II among them) to get just a paltry 25 quid or whatever off my PS3, back in 2007. That was a great console, really, and was retired before its proper time.

    PES5 was a volley-friendly PES, and the distance goals were pretty easy (easier than in PES2010, IMO), but goals like these still didn’t come along very often. Like you I still remember the sheer rush of scoring that goal. Many others too, but that one in particular.

  23. Noooooo, I’ve encountered a Groundhog Day bug at the end of my first season… I keep on going back to week 45 and replaying the same game. So my Masterleague ended rather nastily after one season. I don’t think I have the heart to start again right now, I think I’ll give Bal a go until I recover from the disappointment

  24. Chrisouch, but at least it was only 1 season… if you want to look on the bright side.

    There’s an awful habit people have when you tell them bad news, where they’ll tell you how they never encounter such things because of X, Y, and Z. E.g. “My house burned down last night”. “Oh, really? That’s terrible. All our smoke alarms are working and my house is fine.”

    So I hope I don’t seem to be doing that when I say the following. (This might be tricky on PS2, but at least you can do the first part of it.) Keep two separate rolling saves (at least two), and if possible after every session back up your latest saves to a USB or similar—and then at the end of every season, store those backed-up saves online somewhere. They can just be attached to a draft email if you don’t want to dabble with any of the many online storage services available.

    I do all of this, hoping I’ll never need it. I never used to be so anal about backing up, but when my PS3 got the YLOD back in August it scared me a little. Everything you’ve worked for—in any game—could disappear in a puff of smoke. After sinking so much time into a game like this, I don’t want to risk suddenly being left with nothing should anything untoward take place. Commiserations again, and if you do get back into it (you will!), at the very least keeping two or three save files going on a couple of memory cards should provide good insurance.

  25. The irritating thing is I’m normally massively overboard about backing up but due to space restrictions I only had two rolling saves that both started at the beginning of the friendlies so no dice.
    You’re quite right though, it’s essential and I shall be deleting all other data from the memory card to give me my usual qouta of 4 rolling saves and I shall lookup using my old PS3 memory stick for the PS2, I’m sure it’s very simple.
    Anyway, on the upside I’ve never tried Bal and I hear good things about it – I loved BAP on FIFA even though it was exceptionally shallow as a mode.
    I’m the sort of eedjut who enjoys watchng 3/4 of a match before coming on as a sub ha ha ha

  26. Chris—It took me a few seasons to settle in BaL last year, and I never really accepted having to watch matches. Even on fast-forward (which isn’t all that fast) I found it utterly tedious and a total waste of my gaming time. I know that if/when I try BaL again I’ll be much quicker to make progress, and shouldn’t have to spend so much time spectating. All of this is in the murky future after my mythical Treble in ML, though… (And even if/when I get it, in the past I’ve always wanted to just play on and on, and may do so again. I’ll see.)

  27. hey not-greg is your season really over already but where do u think it all went wrong mayb u should have changed to a 442 with jaromton who i think is my fav playa in your team an castolo upfront what do think u should have done

  28. ryan—there’s another entry to go yet in this current season (season 14)—that’ll be on Monday now. And: Jaromton with Castolo up front… in a 4-4-2…?! You know, if I didn’t know better, I’d almost swear you were being satirical…

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