I have you now

So I beat Inter Milan 2-1 at my remodelled home ground, the New Ricoh Arena. In doing so I clinched qualification for the knockout stage of the Champions League for the first time in this Master League career.

It was as tough a match as I expected it to be. Every ounce of my newfound PES2012 nous had to be employed.

I took the lead, but Inter pegged me back thanks to one of the the most blatant, bullshit PES goals you’ll ever see (lofted cross, frozen defenders).

I scored the winner soon after, though, and when the final whistle went I celebrated much like Rivaldo is doing in the picture.

The final group table makes for happy viewing. Qualifying out of this group was no mean achievement.

The question now was: who would I get in the first knockout round? I’d have to wait and see…

In the league, I’ve continued my good run. I kept a four-pount lead over the nearest team, Manchester City, for ages. I kept winning, and so did they.

And then we played each other, at Man City.

Where I won. It’s getting to be a habit for me in PES2012, this winning thing.

This picture doesn’t even begin to tell the story of a great match. I was 2-1 down at 80 minutes. Scored a late equaliser, and felt happy just to get a point. Then the ball broke for Saviola in the box during injury time, and I got the winner.

I was quite happy about that.

The table afterwards:

Yes, I did deliberately take the picture that way. After so long being down there, it’s nice to be up here.

And then things got even better.

Just two matches later, Man City had played some of the other big boys, and dropped points. I’d continued accumulating them. Here’s the current top of the table after 26 matches:

Yep, that is a 10-point lead. “I would love it, just love it if we beat them…”

And, of course, it’s nice to score goals in PES2012, and have some kind of partity with the CPU teams.

Here’s the formation I’m using in PES2012 now. I take to the field with this formation against every single opposition team, no matter who they are. It brings me goals galore.

If things aren’t going well, I pop into the formation screen and move my wide midfielders even further forward.

It’s not as suicidal as it might seem. It works. That gap between my DMF and my attackers doesn’t really show up in the hurly-burly of actual play.

And Neeskens is an ace DMF anyway. Perhaps that’s the crucial thing.

I keep a conservative 4-2-2-2 alternate formation on a strategy button handy, in case I need to close things up for a bit. I get by with this system, and then some.

My team selections are very fluid this season. Maybe that helps account for the success. Saviola has emerged as an absolute marvel, a true fox-in-the-box. He and Forlan are on the top scorers’ list. Van Basten hasn’t faded, really, he just plays fewer games due to squad rotation.

Mancini is just out of view on this list, with 10 league goals for the season so far:

The Champions League knockout phase draw came round. I wanted to avoid Barcelona. I’d have preferred to play anybody else but Barcelona. Please give me PSV or Schalke. Please don’t give me Barcelona…

I got Barcelona. Of course I did.

At least the first leg would be at my place. I prefer it that way round in PES. Always have done. I like going to the other team’s place knowing what I have to do, and knowing that any away goal(s) I score will probably be decisive.

I’m looking forward to the encounter. Right now in PES2012, I feel I can take on anybody and give them a game. There’s little or no fear anymore.

Thing is, if I’m knocked out by Barcelona, I’ll be gutted that my Champions League adventure is over for the season, after putting in all this effort.

On the other hand, if I somehow pull it off and beat Barcelona, I’ll feel under pressure to win the whole darn thing.

A memorable League and European Cup double is very much on. My fate will be decided by a couple of crunch encounters coming up next.



  1. Glad to see you scoring goals! Hopefully your league run continues without some PES make you lose to be competitive foolishness.

    I am glad to see Andy carroll holding his own with the all time greats around him. I am starting to hate him as he is totally unplayable and a beast in both FIFA and PES. Whenever I play Liverpool I pray that he doesn’t just absolutely dominate me.

  2. Aston Villa’s wide men have done well too!

    Sounds like this could be the season when everything clicks. Shame you got knocked out of the cup, but then you’d be close to “completing” the game just when you’ve really started to enjoy it.

    Seeing Mancini there, I wonder if it’s possible to put together a team of players now managing, from the list of classics. Maradona, Koeman, etc..

  3. Fox—I’ve already run into a few cases of the old standby of making your players suddenly unable to make or receive simple passes at crucial times. This is the twelfth full year of my life spent playing Master League and the same old tricks are still in play.

  4. Liam—Aston Villa’s men, all of them, can kiss my arse. You’ll remember the unrealistic dribbling skills that many CPU players in PES2012 exhibit as a matter of course? Well, all of Villa’s players seem to do it in my ML world to a quite ridiculous degree. Stephen Ireland is more of a threat to my back line than Lionel Messi. True.

  5. Great Post!
    good to see things all slotting into place.
    Things would have to go horribly wrong to surrender that 10 point lead, surely!?
    A premier league & Champions league double would be a formidable achievement.

    In my own ML, my Champs League campaign is crumbling, im in a group with PSG, Juventus and Galatassaray, i lost both my opening 2 games, all to do now.

  6. NG – do you think home/away makes much of a difference? I tried checking if my form arrows changed or if there was anything noticeable about play or opposition intentions but over 5 seasons I’m not sure I can tell.

  7. Paul—if I lose the title from that vantage point, yes, I’d need a good slap.

    I’m fairly confident of the title, not so much of the Champs League. As you know anything can happen in single PES2012 games. The two-legged affairs are slightly better, but the final is still a one-off encounter. Bit of a lottery.

    I lost my opening two matches of this Champs League too, then dug deep. Just go for it, is what I’ve found.

  8. uncle turf—I think home/away is modelled in ML. There’s a greater proportion of red and orange arrows at home and the CPU teams aren’t as in-your-face. That system all came in last year in PES2011 as I recall. I don’t remember it being such a factor in old-timey ML.

  9. Loved this post. Great to see you doing well and I’m looking forward to seeing how the season unfolds. I’ve found the Champs League to be very tough so far. It’s gonna take me a couple more years I think.
    Anyone had an issue with letting players contracts run down? Its happened to me a couple of times. The player is in the final year of their contract. I don’t renew it, but when I get to the next window, he’s in the first year of a new contract. Getting thoroughly cheesed with it.

  10. Grilled Seabass – don’t you have to select ‘don’t renew’ or something like that for it not to automatically renew at the requested rate? I can’t remember as I have usually decided I want them out or need them to stay so do something either way but I’m sure I got caught out once when I thought I’d just let it expire. Not known it do it when you do select an option though.

    I find it more frustrating that once you have tried to negotiate down the player can say that’s it and you can’t return with a better offer or at least initiate talks again. I’m set to lose a few players like that this year as I tried to save a few quid to pay new signing Pastore’s wages (7million – 3x higher than I have ever gone!).

  11. I like the reverse Star Wars crawl for the league table – fitting, seeing as I read the entire post in Darth Vader’s voice (not out loud, that’d be weird)

  12. Grilled Seabass—whilst going for the title I always remember the screenshot you posted of your own team top of the pile with relatively few goals scored. If I can achieve something like parity with the top teams’ goal-scoring (Man City excepted) if/when I do it myself, I’ll feel really chuffed, as I have this notion of you (and everybody else, really) as being top PES players. 🙂

  13. uncle turf—I’ve never had that contract problem described by you and Grilled Seabass. All my contract rebels have disappeared, or signed for other teams before the end of the season. Adair has just done that, incidentally—signed for another team in the midst of our title/Champs League run-in.

  14. Chris—I’m looking for a solid reason to call Monday’s post “It’s a trap!

  15. NG – riding high….lovely stuff. it’ll be interesting to see which players you go for to replace the classics when they retire.

    Just thinking, assumming you do a Fergie and build another team after this one, there’s a chance you could still have unfinished business with this game come october!

    that would be not only very cool but a first on this gen?

  16. Yea, I guess I should have Checked for a don’t renew option. Frustrating as it resulted in a player I don’t want getting a 3 year contract worth £6m a year.
    In other news I rejected a £70m offer for Chigrat. I think it the biggest offer I’ve had since real currency was introduced. What’s yours?

  17. gramswagon—it’s going to be very interesting to see how it all turns out. I always have considered the Treble as a natural completion point for an ML career, but I’ve yet to even get one, and I’m ‘only’ playing on Professional anyway. I think there is a lot of life left in PES2012 for me.

  18. Grilled Seabass—I think £60m or so for van Basten/Barnes/Ruggeri at various points over the past few seasons. I always decline, but I try the PES2011 trick to avoid player unhappiness, i.e. whack the asking price up to £100m, but it doesn’t work any more.

  19. Hey NG, I think someone might have mentioned this before, but you should look up Heycory, a good DMF with an Irjescu-like booming shot. I just signed him up, and it’s very satisfying to have a midfield player who can actually put power in those shots. His accuracy isn’t the best mind.

  20. Filbert—people have indeed mentioned Heycory before, and I found him in my ML world. He’s currently mid-30s and playing as a 75-ish OVR reserve player at Villa. Looks like I’ll have to wait for him to retire and regen. I’ve got a DMF with a great shot, Falcao, but my first-choice DMF, Neeskens, is such a great stopper that Falcao only plays as a DMF very very rarely.

  21. To find a good DMF with a great shot too is like finding a golden nugget within PES.
    My first choice DMF, Ayan Akhman i a superb holding midfield player, break up play brilliantly, but cant shoot for shit, I could play Seedorf there, who can shoot but he’s better in the AMF role.

  22. Paul—my Falcao has a great shot, but he’s primarily an AMF too, like your Seedorf. Now that I’m moving up the club rankings and really getting things done in my ML world, I feel I should be able to pick up a top, top DMF with proper shooting. I’ll keep looking for that golden nugget…

  23. Just had to tell you this ng, in season 2013/14 of my ML with Valencia on pes2010 I was on course for a double of La Liga and my second consecutive Europa league. I beat Lille in the EL final on pens then faced 13th placed Racing Santander at home in my final game, I was 2 points clear of Barca so a win was needed to guarantee the title. Half time came and it was 0-0, a check of other results and Barca had won 4-0 so I HAD to win.
    Chances came and went when in the 80th minute my latest regen, AMF Ivan Rakitic found space in the Racing area to give me the lead and SURELY the title right? Er, no. My whooping jig around the bedroom was shortlived as the games bullshit code decided to fuck me over. Your old friend MUNITIS, a washed up 38 year old 58ovr in 2013/14 got the ball on the left, easily outpaced my 21 year old 87ovr RB David Santon and sent in a cross, my 96 ovr CB Kjaer decided to just watch the ball instead of my hammering at square instructing him to head it clear, the ball hit another defender, bobbled around a bit and despite there being 3 of my players around the ball and square being pressed to within an inch of its life, no one did a thing. 2 defenders even collided leading to the ball finding its way to an unmarked (of course) striker, who easily scored from about 3 yards. Cue anger and upset at the biggest screw job I think I’ve encountered in this career.

  24. Oh, Barca won on goal difference by the way

  25. don’t know how you are all getting massive offers – best I’ve had was 15m for Benatia, 28, 86ovr ch. I have had Shimizu (99ovr) up for sale for a year and no-one has offered me a penny!

    NG – finished season 5, finished 4th – Champions League by the side door (rather than that iffy 5th back window sneak;)
    At halfway my 3 strikers – Ribeiro, Roux and Otam were all scoring about the same, by end of the season Roux had 17, Otam 13 and the big fella…29 goals from 48 appearances, with 8 assists. Only just missed out on top scorer again to Drogba. He is still low 70sovr and no sign of gaining much and I have Crespo regen snapping at his heels on far better stats but the goals just make him undroppable. I bought Yero to see if I could repeat the trick in case of injury but ended up loaning him out. He has better stats but just doesn’t hit the target like big Rib.

  26. Mike—my deepest sympathies. The infamous PES bullshit strikes again. Playing just now, in a BIG game, it struck me that Seabass & co. have got the simulated defensive panic & confusion totally wrong. It’s the simplest thing in the world for a defender to react to a loose ball and hoof it out of the danger area, but that’s exactly what we’re artificially prevented from doing at key times.

    I remember PES2010 being very bad on the scripting & general bullshit. As is PES2012, of course. I wonder if we’ll ever get a truly level playing field. (And I wonder that, if we did, would football computer gaming be as good…?)

    It’s hard to keep one’s tempter at times, but there’s always another game and another season. We put so much time and effort into building a season’s narrative, though, that that’s a very hard attitude to adopt at times.

  27. uncle turf—the massive offers start coming in after your club and players reach a certain stage in development. You’re probably still a season or so away from that right now. Shouldn’t be long now that you’re up challenging for honours. I sold my Shimizu before his value got very high (think I got £1m for him). You’re sitting on a nice nest egg there. Your Youth policy means you don’t really need the cash for big transfers in, so you can invest in your Youth setup to the max. Sounds like an intriguing ‘story arc’ you’re on there with the young ‘uns.

  28. NG – cheers for the advice, I was considering cutting some of the youngsters adrift as I get so few injuries and at one point was up to 31 players, some don’t get a game for months. However, I think I’m going to go with the old adage of not letting a player lose his legs on your watch – so anyone starting to flatline is going. My current back 3 are De Kaam, Kmou and Chigrat, with Jig, an ex Barca contract rebel and Palmieri as back up – average age about 19! They are hopefully going to grow together.

  29. uncle turf—but you can’t win anything with kids…

  30. you could have stopped with ‘you can’t win anything…’

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