I’ve been through the mid-season transfer window in season 3 of my Master League career on PES2012, and I managed to bulk out my squad a little. Sadly I was unable to sign any ‘proper’ players. The ‘List of Targets’ (formerly known as ‘Openness to Negotiation’) was well-stocked, but either the players I went after didn’t want to drop down a level, or the fees and/or salary were ludicrously inflated and unaffordable.
One average AMF wanted a £600,000 salary. I only had about £700,000 in the kitty to begin with. I have to keep one eye on the end of the season, and the financial reckoning that’s coming my way. It’d be nice to have enough cash to get a staff upgrade or two, plus one or two experienced new players.
I contented myself with signing a couple of players from the Youth squad. I picked up JACOBS (GK, 62OVR) as cover for that position. I’m running with three GKs in the squad for the first time ever, I think. Usually the game lets you get away with just two goalies, but PES2012 is different in this respect as in many others. I’ve come perilously close to having to pick an outfield player in goal at times, and I hear that it can actually happen, so I’m worried enough to take this precaution. Jacobs is a familiar name from recent PESes and may even develop into my official #1, who knows.
Also, I finally took pity on the puppy in the window, SCHWARZ (SS/CF, 61 OVR), and signed him up. Even though he’s 20 years old and probably lacking a few years’ development time.
Schwarz’s celebrated left foot seems to be as much of a lethal weapon as ever, despite his current lowly status. I haven’t scored with him yet. He doesn’t play much, suffering from up-and-down form and low stamina as he does. I tend to bring him on as a late sub in matches that are already safe. When he gets on the ball I try the same kinds of shots that made him such a name in PES, and they almost come off. A good few seasons’ development and he might just be as good as the Schwarz I knew in PES2011.
His wages are as exorbitant as ever: £250,000 a year for a player of his age and relatively low quality is absurd. I just won’t be able to afford to pay that and sustain my squad in other areas. And so I’ll be looking to ship him out on loan at the end of the season. And if I get a tempting enough outright offer for him, I might even consider it.
Getting just those two players eased my squad difficulties enormously. I now had a bit of breathing space. And I went on a swashbuckling run of form, winning matches and coming from behind to rescue lost causes. I’m scoring freely with my star man, Twiggy, as evidenced by the current Top Scorers’ chart:
And below is the current table after 19 matches. I’m sneaking up on the rail:
When I look at that table, I think about promotion. And then I think: Promotion? But I’m not ready yet…
If I go up to Division 1 there’s a serious danger I’d come straight back down again, or be sacked before things got that far. But I’m honour-bound to go for promotion regardless. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.
It’s worth reiterating that I am, in general, thoroughly enjoying PES2012. There’s no sense of discharging a duty before moving onto FIFA12, or anything like that. This is strange, I know, considering PES2012’s well-documented shortcomings. I have asked myself if I am being blindly loyal to the brand. Am I just an older, balder version of all the foaming-at-the-mouth PES partisans out there on the forums?
My conclusion, needless to say, is that I’m not a blind brand loyalist. I find PES2012 to be a good game, perhaps even a very good game. It should be noted that I am not suffering from the stumble animation or any other standout issue this year. Shooting possibly excepted, but even that is variable enough to be tolerable.
As ever, the part that Master League plays in the PES formula for me is not to be underestimated. Konami tried to kill their jewel in the crown with mind-bogglingly ill-advised removals and worthless additions, but enough is left of the body for it to be a viable pursuit once more.
My current ‘favourite’ part of the new Master League is when a player who plays in every match for the whole 90 minutes comes to you and says how pleasantly surprised he was to play the full 90 minutes. My Ruskin keeps doing this, despite being known informally as ‘Full 90 Ruskin’.
It’s shit like that, Seabass…