Season of the Glitch

I’ve experienced a bad start to Anderlecht’s first season in the Premier League. I finished last season, my promotion season, too quickly. I rushed through it—you know, the way you sometimes do in Master League, just clicking from one match to the next without looking at anything else whatsoever.

I didn’t leave enough time to conduct my transfer business properly. I’d already agreed to sell a lot of my experienced players, on the grounds that they were old or the price was right.

No, I didn’t have any others lined up to replace them. Only one, Boukari, a decent AMF. Nobody else. It was stupid of me.

I had grandiose plans of rebuilding the squad before the start of the new season. “I’ll get some players in the Void,” I thought. The Void is my name for the empty weeks between your last match of one season and your first match of the next. (Just one of many dubious aspects of Master League 2011.)

You can successfully find players, negotiate with them, and sign them whilst passing through the Void. The trouble comes when you get too many refusals. Time starts to run out. My time ran out without any other new signings at all.

Slightly panicking, I signed a striker from the Youths to flesh out the squad. ABREU has a little star next to his name and is one for the future, but right now he’s just a place-filler, really.

It really is a very lightweight squad that I was stuck with heading into match 1. There it is, just above. That’s my entire starting squad for my first season in the top flight. 21 players.

That’s not good, is it? Not good at all. I like to have a squad of around 25 players. I’ve got a bad feeling about this…

My start was what you might expect. 5 matches played. No wins. 2 draws. 3 defeats—one of them a 3-0 hammering by my fellow promotees, Shakhtar Donetsk.

My first ‘proper’ Premier League opponents were Blackpool in week 2. They beat me pretty soundly too. ‘Only’ by 2-0 this time, but it was at home and I barely had a kick.

I’m playing on Top Player difficulty, for now. This is all very familiar. Much the same thing happened to me in my last long career. My first season in the top flight back then was very hard. I got relegated for the first time in my entire ML-playing life. It could easily happen again if I’m not careful:

I was happy to absorb the body-blow to my PES pride last time. It was November 2010. We had our whole football game year ahead of us…

This time? With May fast approaching? No. I’ll happily go down to Professional difficulty at mid-season if I don’t show signs of turning things around. My patience with PES2011 is already wafer-thin. I’d have no qualms about rigging the environment to stay in the top flight. But I wouldn’t go as far as reloading saves to try for different results in matches. I do still have some standards. Sniff.

No PES game has vexed me like PES2011 has. Not even the loathed PES2008(PS3) was as full of random annoyances and glitches.

Which brings me to today’s clip. Its a 2-for-1 special. First is a strange glitch involving player selection that is sadly typical, I feel, of the shoddy code that controls too much of PES2011. The comical aspect of it is that the AI player is also affected by whatever has happened.

Second is a much-needed goal from Suarez that came against Spurs in the FA Cup first round. The goal won me the match 1-0, and kept me in the competition.

Maybe I should forget about the league this year and focus on the Cup instead.


  1. Abreu is Uruguayan international El Loco Abreu who currently plays for Brazilian side Botafogo.

  2. Ive seen that glitch a couple of times in my own games, seems to happen when the CPU wants you to control a player that isnt in the best position for receiving the ball, you try and switch to a better placed player only for the cursor selection to kind of get stuck in Limbo and not know what to do, the result is what you see, seconds where you cant control anyone!
    Whats more worrying is the little bent over quazimodo like shimmy to the side that your player does when hes trying to control the ball!! Ive never ever seen any professional footballer move like that in all my life!!! Who designs and writes these animations!!!!

  3. Im looking at lukaku and he looks like he hasnt improved much I expected him 2 be at least 80 ovr with 1 season under his belt and I think you will be okay jst hold out until mid season then bring in reinforcements then work towards building your team 4 a stronger challenge next season

  4. I had all sorts of problems getting players to sign for me until my team rating rocketed into the top 20 at the start of season 5. I just couldn’t get anybody to sign for me… I have to say, given that the game progresses by the week it could do with a tweek by Konami. Call me a traditionalist but I would much prefer to have a daily offseason where you wheel and deal and get rid of the rolling transfers (obviously this would need to exclude players in the last 6 months of their contract).
    This leads me to a question – can you sign players in January if you haven’t actually got the cash in the bank until the end of the season?
    For instance, at the moment I have 2 mill actually in the bank but should have about 36-37 mill by the end of the season… so if I sign a 15 mill player now, will the game allow my funds to be minus whatever until the prize money is given out at season’s end?
    I also wanted to clarify at what point you can start signing players on a bosman – is it Jan 1st?

  5. Chris – as far as I understand it, your end of year balance thats performed in September must be in the positive figures by then, I have often been a few million in the red during May/June but by time payments are made, fan club, merchandise, prize money, sold players etc, come sept that final balance is positive.
    The best time to scout for Bosmans is the first week after the Jan transfer windows close, as any players out of contract then, will not have another chance to renegotiate before the end of the season, so if you agree a deal for them in principle, then they will move on a free.

  6. Chris – you can’t sign players if it causes your balance to go into the red, even if it is just temporary. Bit annoying really.

  7. Adriano—thanks for the info, I knew I’d heard chatter about Abreu already this year but couldn’t remember why. I won’t be going as far as to edit his name in my ML world.

  8. Paul—it was an extreme example of the glitches that are all too common in PES2011, sadly. Dozens of minor glitches happen in every match that affect ball-collection and continuity of possession. And yet for all this I’m still playing the damn game and still think it’s good enough to go on playing. Why?! There’s not much else on, granted, but it does have qualities. I still like the passing, even if hyper-pressure nullifies it to a large extent. The shooting now seems normal, and PES2012’s inevitable heavy shooting is going to come as a shock.

  9. Ryan—my thoughts exactly. I’ve got enough players to tread water until mid-season, hopefully, and the just a few quality players coming in should see me all right.

    Lukaku is still only 18 and still great for a teenager. Did you see the top scorers’ chart for D2 last season? 20 goals!

  10. Chris—there’s no negative balance allowed in the all-new ML, unfortunately. In the future I’d like to see them deepen the management side of it towards allowing you to go into the red, arranging bank loans, putting up collateral etc., but I think there’s a natural limit as to how far they will take it in what is still a console football game first and foremost.

  11. Regarding the glitch, I’ve seen it plenty of times, usually when there’s a ball loose in my defense, and I try to switch to the player who’s closest to it, but the COM insists on changing the cursor back to another defender so the opposition can pick it up. It usually ends up in a goal conceded. I just mentally pick the ball up from the back of the net, and score a couple more goals for good measure.

  12. What the hell??
    When i saw this, i thought was a scene of The Exorcist xD.
    I did a joke, but this is serious, really serious, 2011 can`t have a game with this glitch.
    Did you press L1??
    I THINK YOU DIDN`T, this is serious.

    Now talking about the ML:

    Oh, i think you have to change the level from Top Player to Professional, AGAIN!
    You are not a “friend” of the Top Player this year, and this is SAD, really sad.
    And Lukaku? Is he well? if you want a very good SS, LMF AND AMF, S FLETCHER FROM THE WOLVES, GREAT PLAYER, 😉

  13. Not-greg – I can recommend a good player for you who should be available at the end of season 2 for free (I think). He’s not been much a of a success in real life, but Bebe from Manchester United has been a great success for me. He’s big & strong and has a rocket of a shot on him – kind of a Schwarz player. He starts out about 71OVR but he is currently 89OVR and still developing.
    Also, the star by the name means that the player has a positional card, ie Early Crosser or Midfield Dynamo.

  14. Adriano—you have a calm fatalism towards PES2011 that I struggle to share. Whenever I get a major ‘player switch glitch’ (minor ones are so frequent—and relatively harmless—that I barely notice them), I have to pause the game and take a few seconds to compose myself. Then I go on. So my transition through the glitch isn’t quite as seamless.

  15. Willian Ribeiro—I think that when my player chested the ball down the game switched players for me to another player, and didn’t switch back for a few seconds, and in those few seconds we saw what we saw. I didn’t press L1 at any stage, no.

    Lukaku is still pretty good, but I need some new players. And I will go back down to Professional if I’m still really struggling at mid-season. I’m not one of these Top Player macho-man types 😉

  16. Grilled Seabass—cheers, but mid-season’s going to be my critical time. It’s then I’ll need some new players or most likely have to go down to Professional (which I don’t want to do, as I find the game on that level a bit one-sided, without being easy as such). If I’m still in the market for quality new players post-season, and if he’ll come to what will probably be a bottom-half-of-the-table team, Bebe’s on the list.

  17. Was a little late last night to get involved in Master League shennanigans so I had a little play on PES6 on the XBOX and FIFA11 on PS3.

    I missed it first time round (Was a FIFA man back then) but can see why PES6 is held in such high regard.
    The passing obviously feels a little rigid now after being used to PES11’s freedom passing, but the game is just solid. Everything works and works well, the refs, collision detection, offsides, dribbling … plays a real nice smooth solid game. Might even play a mini ML or a few tournaments once my time with PES11 comes to an end around september time, before the release of the new title.

    FIFA 11 …. hant played this for months, wont be playing it again anytime soon.
    You can doubt that FIFA looks good, animations are seamless, fluid and flows along nicely, but the core gameplay… horrendous.
    I play a number of matches, on every difficulty from Pro up to Legendary, I played with full manual controls, with semi assisted controls, assisted and played as a number of teams both big teams and less able teams…. and the game was identical every single time!
    Full on frenetic pressuring by the CPU, as soon as i got the ball it was like a race to have to get rid asap, before 4 cpu players aggressively swarmed all over me, i had no space to use flair with any players at all.
    Every single pass i tried to play behind the defense or up the channels was intercepted, with the cpu defender stepping up a few yards as soon as i pressed pass and just nicking in front of my player and taking the ball, with such regularity that it was easily more annoying than PES’s stumble bug.
    Every single shot i attenpted outside the area, blocked, charged down, deflected, no time or space to do anything whatsoever, just a rushed hurried frenetic bee swarm in midfield, that felt claustrophobic and not enjoyable.
    As i said, it was like this on every difficulty with every team on every control scheme.
    I certainly wont be buying FIFA 12 this year thats for sure.

  18. Calm? No, my attitude has nothing to do with calm, I usually grind my teeth all through the rest of the match, and make sure I score as many goals as possible, and sometimes I even hold a grudge against the team I was playing against when the glitch happens.:)

  19. Paul—is that the Xbox360 version of PES6, or the old-gen Xbox version? They’re two different games, and I have a sacrilegious opinion that the 360 version is a better football game than the PS2/Xbox/PC version. For me that old-gen version of PES6 marked the beginning of the decline. There’s no question it was and is a classic version of PES and a great game in its own right, but with the benefit of hindsight the seeds of decline were already sprouting. It was the first PES where I strolled to a ML Treble in 4 seasons. It was fast and frantic compared to its predecessors.

    As for FIFA11, that’s my view of it too, but the extreme high pressure and ‘angry bee effect’ you mention is what I see in PES2011 as well, all the time.

    I think FIFA has gradually gone back to being what it was, i.e. just something to tide you over until PES comes out. But no, I don’t think I’ll bother this year either.

  20. Adriano—ah, but I’m never really the kind of PES player who can just decide to score lots of goals as you imply that you’re able to do. On PES2011 in particular most of my matches are tight affairs where one goal either way determines the outcome. So, when I give away a ‘glitch goal’, it’s almost always catastrophic. This is a theme that will develop on the blog over the next week as I struggle in D1 with my threadbare squad.

  21. It is the HD XBOX360 version of PES6, i picked it up for 99p a few months back but had never really played it until last night.
    I appreciate you see the pressure and aggression in PES too, i do in some games although never to the extent that it is in FIFA, but some games i find i have lots of space in the centre of the park, time to spray passes about, try skill moves etc… i never feel harassed and hurried in PES.

  22. Paul—yes I remember you picking up that 99p copy of the game. When you mentioned in the comment above about finally seeing what people were talking about with PES6 on the “Xbox” I thought you could only be talking about the old-gen version. Nobody really talks about the 360 version in the same way, but I think it’s better.

    The PES6 that you still hear people talking about in such reverential terms is the PC/PS2/Xbox version, not the one you’ve got there for the 360.

    They really are two completely different games. If you missed out back then, I’m sorry to tell you that you’ve still not played the PES6 🙁 You could probably get an old-gen copy of PES6 that’d play on the 360, not sure though.

    It’s been a very long time since I felt I had any time and space in PES2011. I find the AI pressuring ridiculous. This is on Top Player, granted, so I should probably just go down to Professional and get it over with.

  23. Hello, hello, not posted on here for a while, I had a long period where I abandoned PES (although I kept reading the blog of course ;-)). Basically it was a combination of getting hacked of with it and getting totally absorbed by oblivion. But I’m back now, although still only playing short sessions. And I finally won a treble! Still finding it challenging (especially with all the com ‘cheating’) so am carrying on with the same ML career. Does anyone else find that choosing the right formation is incredibly important? 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond and a SS and CF upfront seems to work well, but 4-4-2 with a flat four in midfield, not so much. I actually won the treble with a 4-3-3, narrow midfield with a DMF, CMF and AMF and a RWF, CF and LWF upfront. Reverted back to 4-4-2 now as I’m just not keen on 4-3-3 for some reason. Additionally, shock horror, I’ve got fed up with Schwarz! I bought a striker called Rodrigo, who has the same shot power as Schwarz, but also pace and dribbling ability. Schwarz, meanwhile, has started declining (stats-wise) badly (i think he’s 26 now) and stopped scoring. Additionally, Villalba has started to come good. His stats took a massive dip when he was 22, but now they’re shooting up again. They started shooting up again when he wasn’t playing regularly, so this must be his natural growth. He’s now forced himself into the first team at schwarz’s expense. Pace, dribbling, quick feet and a bit of a goal poacher. Played as a SS he seems to time his runs off the shoulder of the last defender perfectly. I’d also recommend Hazard (SMF), Bonnuci (CB), Inkoom (SB) and Douglas Costa (AMF), although they’re all quite expensive. I bought a 16 year old regen Totti and am really excited about developing him! I think a bit of the old PES passion is back, but for how long?

  24. I didnt play the old gen ps2 ver of PES6 so i have no comparison to make but if its even better than the HD ver on the XBOX360, then for its time, it would have been a gem of a game.
    I will give it one more ML season on Professional difficulty, i got to the 1/4 final of the Europa league and am in contention to do the league/cup double this season, so if next season proves to be as fruitful, I will switch up to Top Player.
    Although i have a fair few aging players so the challenge of rebuilding my squad to incorporate youth and develop them, may be enough of a challenge to stay on pro level. We will see.

  25. Yeah, ok, I may have given the wrong impression. I meant I “try” to score as many as I can. But then that is my usual mindset when I start each match. My current ML team is ridiculously overpowered, so I can pretty much count on scoring a few times every game.I should really start putting together a more realistic lineup.

  26. Bebe came to me as a newly promoted team so you should be OK.
    I just reached the CL final in my game. Epic tournament can’t wait for the final against the mighty Barca. Man City are blitzing the league, they’ve only dropped points in four matches this season, I have no chance of catching them. Their team is filled with 95+OVR players.

  27. Filbert—that reminds me to look up Villalba in my ML game world. Last time I was 8 seasons in before I found him and by then he was in his late twenties and only an average player stats-wise, but I got him anyway and he felt a lot better than those stats.

    Schwarz still hasn’t appeared in my ML yet. I’m watching closely. Big fan of Schwarz 2011, here. 😉

    The memory of the old PES passion is an obstacle to feeling the old PES passion, paradoxically. I think times were different for all of us 5-10 years ago. More time. More gaming. More energy and youth. More PES. Nowadays, perhaps it’s us who’ve changed more than PES—? I think there’s something to that. But personally I think PES’s decline is an inescapable fact no matter how strenuously we try not to notice it.

  28. Paul—I think you’ve got the better PES6 version in your hands right now, so don’t go chasing the last-gen version, is my advice. If you play a bit of ML on the 360 version you’ll soon see why people don’t celebrate the version much. The editing features are pretty much absent. IN fact, I can;t think now of a single thing thats editable in ML on PEs6(360). For all that, it’s arguably the most compelling next-gen PES in terms of pure PES gameplay.

    If you go up to Top Player I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the AI pressure. I find the AI a bit lacklustre on Professional, so I’m reluctant to go down a notch now.

  29. Adriano—how are you dealing with the wage cap that the new ML mechanics enforce upon you? Is there pressure to win everything every season to bring in the cash to keep your players?

  30. Grilled Seabass—I always like it when an AI team or two turns into a major power and dominates the ML world for several seasons. I remember Porto doing it in PES2010 (or maybe PES2009). It’s very early days in my own new ML world. The team at the top of the Premier, with 9 wins and 1 draw and a very impressive goal difference, is… Fulham.

  31. So I lost the CL final. It was 2-1 to Barcelona in the final, I just couldn’t find the equaliser. Scwarz missed a peno at 0-0, it might have been so different. I tried the chip peno but as soon as I pushed direction I knew I had put it over the bar. Gutted.
    Man City 9 pts clear in the league. Unstoppable this season. I’ll have £80m in the banks after top level improvements, the question is do I stick with my squad or buy a couple of superstars?

  32. Grilled Seabass—that’s the genius of the new penalty system—it’s possible to fluff them under pressure. I had one recently where I also knew as soon as I moved the analogue stick that I’d put it over. It takes a very minimal twitch of the stick to take my favoured type of penalty, but on that occasion I overdid it due to nerves.

    Bac in my now-fabled 9-season career I got to two CL finals and lost them both. It does hurt after all the work required to get there.

    For £80m you could only get a few superstars, I think—? Depends on the ‘market conditions’ in your ML world, I suppose.

  33. Not-greg, there is indeed a lot of pressure for me to win everything every season to keep the club’s expenses covered, and I’ve been indeed winning everything every season for many seasons, that’s why I say that my team is way too good to be fun playing. What I’ve been doing to keep wages in check is to have a limited number of high-salary players, and some excellent low-waged guys on the bench. My current lineup is Fatecha,
    Cejumi, Valeny, Chigrat, Bauerstein, Heycory, Luis Filipe, Muller, Shimizu, Rengifo and Schwarz.

  34. Jesus, I can’t believe I have PES GUILT! I was playing a cup quarter final last night and was losing 2-1 with 10 mins left when my girlfriend insisted I turn the console off – believe me, she was very persuasive.
    So I replay the game this morning, win it and now I feel like my cup run has been tainted… am I suffering from a form of OCD?????

  35. It was indeed nerves that caused me to fluff the penalty. I’m warming to the penalty system – I just wish it was clearer about how to take them.
    I’ve decided to stick with my current squad. They are all improving steadily and in a couple of years I could have almost 2 teams of 90+ players. I’ll save the cash for wages.

  36. Adriano—the legendary Chigrat… I like my real Anderlecht squad players (most of them anyway), but as with the Defaults I still can’t wait to start shaping my own squad.

  37. Chris—I’d have no qualms about that. When an external force pressures you into quitting a match, the match is null and void and might as well have never happened. I have it from time to time when I try to squeeze in just one more match before leaving for work. If it looks like I’m overrunning and might miss the bus (which would be a disaster), the match—whether winning or losing—is promptly quit, and I play it again the next day without any guilt at all if a loss becomes a win. (It works the other way too of course, with many winning positions becoming defeats.)

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