Since my grand announcement about scaling back my time with PES2011, I’ve been true to my word. Since Tuesday I have only played about 5 matches in total. That’s 2 in the League, 2 in the Champions League, and 1 in the domestic Cup.
I won both of the League matches. This keeps my astonishing—for me—record going. 7 wins out of 7. Top of the table. It’s still very early of course. But the first and most difficult part of the Treble could be mine to lose this year.
In the Champions League, I started out with a tough trip away to Chelsea. It was as tough and dour a game as they come in PES2011. In most respects it encapsulated the issues I have with this year’s edition of the game. From the first whistle to the last, I felt as if an invisible hand was squeezing the life out of my team.
My criticisms of PES2011 could be summed up thus: the many “checks and balances” that work against the human player oblige me to spend far too great a percentage of time feeling out of control.
But I won the match. I scored a late goal, and cackled with glee over it just as if the good old days had never gone. I took the 0-1 result and the three points. In my next Champions League game against Cluj I got a relatively disappointing 1-1 home draw, but it’s all points on the board.
The other branch of the hallowed Treble is the domestic Cup. In every Master League campaign since the dawn of time (well, since 2002 or so) I have played two-legged Cup matches. This year, I decided to give traditional English-style one-legged Cup matches a try.
I knew I’d have cause to regret it, and I do regret it. I played Machester City away, and it was a very similar match to the one against Chelsea. Except that this time I lost. I lost 1-0, to a late Man City goal, and that was that.
I cursed my decision to go with one-legged Cup matches. In a two-legged encounter, I felt I could have turned the tie around at my place.
But that’s the Treble for this season gone.
Now that I’m playing my seasons at a vastly reduced pace, it could be a while before I actually win a Treble. A very long while.
But that’s fine. PES2011 might not be a game I want to play every day, but it serves me well as an every-other-day kind of game. This’ll do me. Even if I don’t clinch the Treble until the leaves are turning yellow again and PES2012 is just around the corner, so be it.
And who knows. It just might be better this way.