Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.

April is here. I’m still playing PES2012. I may be for some time.

I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time playing PES2012 over the past four days. Hours every day.

It takes a lot of time and hard work to play Master League with the appropriate dedication. It takes a lot of time to unearth the jewel at the heart of PES2012.

I’ll mostly let pictures tell the story today. I’ll bring things right up to date, and set things up nicely for the season finale on Wednesday’s post.

I’m in season 10 of Master League on PES2012. After really struggling with so many aspects of the game, things finally clicked. I stormed to the top of the table and opened up a 10-point lead after 26 matches.

I’d also, somehow, made it to the knockout stages of the Champions League, where my opponents were Barcelona.

First leg at my place, Barca were immense. They powered their way to a 2-0 lead inside half an hour. I thought, This Is It. The end of my unlikely League-and-Big-Cup double dream.

I clawed things back to 2-2 by playing in my newly-discovered PES2012 way. Just going for it.

By injury time, I was happy to take the draw into the second leg. Then I spotted Forlan making a run forward into space, of his own free will I might add.

This happened:

I won 3-2. It was a crazy, pulsating match.

At Barcelona the outcome was a 0-0 draw. A very cagey match. I’d qualified for the quarter finals.

Where I was drawn against Inter Milan. I’d alread played them in the group stage and taken 4 points off them. I was confident in the QF, and it showed. I had to endure a bit of a nightmare first leg at my place that ended 2-2, but I won 2-1 at Inter.

In the meantime my good League form continued. I lost only once, to Everton, at their place. I was 2-0 up inside half an hour and subbed a few key players at half-time to keep them fresh for Europe, and paid the price.

Lesson learned. Unless the players specifically tell you they need a rest, always play your best team in PES2012. Always.

In other League action, I beat a few of my elite rivals for the title, including Liverpool, 3-1. Van Basten scored a beauty.

Back in the Champions League, I met Arsenal in the Semi-final. It was the TOUGHEST couple of matches yet. I lost 0-1 at home in a disaster of a match. Every bullshit move that PES is capable of pulling, was pulled in this match.

I played much better at Arsenal, winning 3-1. I’m in the Final!

Where I’ll play Liverpool for the right to become Champions of Europe.

That should be interesting. I’ve found Liverpool quite easy to beat this season (hasn’t everyone?). But life in the Champions League is very different. I’ll be intrigued to see how ‘Pool shape up against me. Suffice to say I’ll spend the first few minutes trying to have an early feel of the ball and calm things down.

In the league, I played Arsenal and found them strangely withdrawn compared to their Champs League performances. I beat them quite easily, including this gorgeous strike from Forlan:

Here’s the table after 32 matches.

Man City have fallen away quite badly, to be overtaken by Man Utd… I know, it’s weird, isn’t it? Except, in this make-believe world, I’m above ’em both:

Since the above picture was taken I’ve dropped a couple of points, and Man Utd have closed the gap to 9 points.

And now I’m 3 matches from the end of the League season. Ahead of me are just 3 more League fixtures, and the Champions League final.

Just before I sat down to write this post, I got this message:

My opponents? FULHAM—one of my bogey teams. After them, Spurs. Then Wolves to finish with.

Okay, so the League is pretty much a certainty. If I don’t get 1 point from those three games, I shouldn’t be playing PES at all.

But the Champions League? The Double I crave?

I’ll tell all on Wednesday.



  1. Exciting Times!!!!! the league should well and truly be in the bag, but to lose the Champs league final would be a massive blow, good luck with that!
    In my ML world, Liverpool have Andy Carroll and Drogba up front, carroll destroys me every single time, shame things arent the same for us in real life.

    Some great goals there too!!
    So if you do the League/CL double…. will you play on? only the FA Cup to add for the fabled treble.

  2. Paul—I certainly will be playing on. I think I’m in it for the long haul now, looking like May/June time before I even think about getting back to FIFA12. I’ve got a load of unfinished business with PES2012. As my Classics age and retire, I want to see how my youngsters turn out. And I’ve yet to play on Top Player. Even that move up is at least another season away, probably two, so there’s lots to do yet.

    Andy Carroll is up front with Ruud Gullit in my ML world. They’ve scored the same goal against me a few times: Carroll nods a high cross down for Gullit to smash one into the net. It’s always amusing to have Gullit and van Basten on the pitch together when we play each other.

  3. haha Carol & Gullit up front – only in Master League!!!!

  4. Hi NG,

    looks like things are finally looking good for your city team.

    just a quick question, i want a patch so i can have all the kits and badges for my premier league teams like yourself. i have looked on various websites for a down load for my xbox but they all seem very complicated, i was just wondering if you or anyone else had an easy way of getting this done?

    in previous PES games i have just edited the names and created the badge, sponsor and kits for my Bradford City team in Edit mode. im a complete virgin to all this patch business.

  5. 10/10 for the title once more – can you make it a trilogy (fnar) on Wednesday?
    I was loving today’s post until your little witty aside – I’m taking enough flak in the office today without you weighing in!

  6. Garry G – I’m not an editing expert (Paul’s your man), but the 360 is a nightmare for option files compared to the PS3 I’m afraid – no getting around it. Daymos’ is a goodun but they’re all fairly fiddly and time consuming. Worth it in the long run though!

  7. Paul—there are some greap Classic placements across my entire ML world. Unlocking the Classics has really enriched my whole ML experience this year. At some point in season 11 I’ll have to do a special post about famous old names and where they are now.

  8. Garry G—sorry, but I’m the original Wrong Guy when it comes to Editing questions. Prior to PES2010 (I think it was), I never did any Editing beyong changing all the English teams’ names, and nothing else. I used to leave Bosphorus FC as Bosphorus FC and everything. I can install a PS3 Edit pack using step-by-step instructions but not much else. I’m making a new kit for my team for next season and I had to have a refresher on how to get sponsor images into the game. I know that what you’re asking is possible on 360, but the method is mysterious to me. I hope someone else can help.

  9. Chris—this was the third in a trilogy of post titles 😉

  10. Garry – Unfortunately the XBOX is alot more fiddly than the PS3 for installing option files, but heres a video guide that explains how to do it

  11. cheers guys, i’ll have a crack at it tonight.

  12. Ha, missed last week’s post – shame you couldn’t use It’s a Trap but it was always going to be tricky until they start adding linesman errors into the game
    As an aside, does anybody actually utilise the offside trap in footy games? I don’t think I’ve done it once in all my gaming years. It’s just asking for trouble in my opinion.

  13. Chris, in PES12 the offside trap is mapped to the left button on the D-Pad. I use it regularly, and can be quite effective but crucial timing is essential, a split sec too late and you leave the CPU CF through on goal.

  14. Chris—in PES2012 I used the offside trap once and it worked. I used it again and it cost me a goal. I haven’t used it a third time 🙁

    You’ve got to be very shrewd, and very prepared to accept the risk, to use the offside trap in any football game IMO. The makers of the games wouldn’t give us such a tool if it wasn’t likely to blow up in our faces from time to time.

  15. Paul—the CPU CF being through on goal in PES2012 is pretty much par for the course anyway. I don’t want to give them any more help than I do already!

  16. true, i now play with a back 5 with 3 CB’s sat in front of my keeper and my LB and RB as wing backs. i’ve never even thought about using the offside trap as NG said the CPU doesnt need any help cutting through my defensive line.

    my defensive line is down to 0 in my tactical set up, i find that the deeper the better (yes, im still talking about football).

  17. Great post ng, the league is in the bag but just hope you don’t get complacent in the Champions League final. Had a big grin on my face at the end of this post, PES is a religion! Supposing you do complete the double, what are your plans for next season? Obviously a treble (even a quadruple or quintuple with the world championship cup and super cup if I remember correctly) but are you planning new signings? Will you have enough cash? New formations? Exciting times indeed. Good luck for the final. Same old scousers, always cheating……

  18. Garry G – sounds very similar to my back 5 (or 3-2). I do use offside but only in so far as I have set it as one of the options that is done automatically for me – back line to 0, position switch to 0, automatic attempt at offside. Usually it isn’t used in the game as my back 3 are so deep but it always kicks in if I’m going 5 lights attacking and has saved me quite a number of times. I try and sign big, quick guys though just in case – Benatia was the master of the red card through on goal slide.

  19. Garry G—At the start of the current season I used to set up before every match with safety-first in mind. Then I started trying to really attack and dominate matches, and it paid off. It’s so much easier to defend when you’re two or three goals up, and the CPU team seems demoralised. I still have stupid matches and moments where it all goes horribly wrong, but generally, it brings results. Give it a go, it does work.

  20. Mike—it’s never easy to predict which way a one-off match will go in PES2012. We all know that if the CPU decides to make things extra-difficult, it will, and there’s little we can do about it.

    I’ll definitely be going for every trophy next season. With the boost to my club ranking from one or two trophies on the table, I’ll want that elusive DMF with the booming shot too. If I get him, I’ll look to set up a formation accommodating Neeskens as well, who’s just too good to leave out.

  21. uncle turf—I’ve started defending using a method I call non-squeeze. I.e., instead of the old PES standby of R1+X and/or Square to hone in on the enemy, which seems to induce panic in your own players more than anything else, I literally just move my players using the analogue stick. Amazing how often the CPU will seem confused by this and randomly hoof the ball upfield.

  22. NG – I long gave up on the squeeze. Originally thinking it was the solution to mesmeric runs (it might still be on top player) I go for a chase back to cover using analogue and my patented flying shin breaker. Admittedly this is why I lost my last 16 Europa League game to Lyon with 9 men.

  23. uncle turf—it’s a grand old tradition in ISS and PES, playing (and winning) with 10 men or fewer.

  24. 3 games into season 6 and unbeaten, in a relatively decent Champs Lge group (Roma, Galatasaraay and someone I’ve never heard of). Was 2-0 up v Arsenal, back to 2-2 – in previous seasons I would have lost from there but went on to win 4-2. I feel confident I can beat most and scrap for draws with Liverpool and Chelsea who don’t tend to win the league but give me a right going over at times (usually Man U win it but I can beat them quite comfortably if I’m on form). I am going to have a season of flat out ‘only pick the best’ but with 13 internationals it’s going to be tough. I want that ‘NG’s invincibles’ pennant.

  25. although my back line is very deep and besides my DMF which is a must have in any PES12 formation, the rest of my team is positioned in the oposition half which may sound my team is a little stretched. i like to play counter attacking football, always have but in this edition it has become increasingly difficult to do so. i have my pressing turned up to 20 and play very compact narrow football, also having player support turned up to 20 means there is always a player to pass to when im trying to catch the opposition on the break or if i hit a wall i can keep the pressure on.

    it’s taken hours of tinkering but i think ive found the perfect balance for myself. it also helps that i have been able to nab regen inzaghi for £1.5m. at 21 he’s been top scorer in the league every season since i bought him at 17 and my successes in the league and cups is solely down to him.

  26. uncle turf—Man Utd are the new Barca/Man City/Brazil 1970 in my ML world. They’ve got Jay Emmanuel-Thomas up front playing as an absolute beast—always seems to score against me.

    Good luck with the Invincibles attempt. I won nothing in my unbeaten season but it was still satisfying. You’ll have to settle for lots and lots of draws to pull it off.

  27. Garry Ghmmm, thanks for the tip. I’ve usually kept player support around 8-12 so as not to over-commit and get punished for it, but my new attacking philosophy demands that I try a full-on 20 setting. Will do later.

    I’d still say my tinkering isn’t finished. I was experimenting with a 4-1-1-2-2 yesterday that didn’t go too well. So far the best formation is the one I’ve had such success with this season, the 4-1-3-2, with the 3 and the 2 all up near the opposition penalty area, like your own.

  28. NG – i understand what your saying about over-committing, thats why i have my defence so deep. as soon as i loose the ball my defence legs it for the 18 yard line whilst anyone in proximity of the ball and the oposition puts on the pressure to get the ball back as quickly as possible.

    i now find it easier to play against teams who use players who dribble and pass the ball about, it’s the teams who play with a target man which causes me the most problems.

  29. I was eliminated from the Champs League group stage last night, needed a win against PSG to go through, led early doors only to eventually end up losing 4-3 and Juventus won, taking them a point above me into second.
    Thats the second season running that ive gone out in the group stages, quality really is ramped up for the CL mode.

  30. only just still on track – Chelsea away this morning, possibly hardest fixture for me on paper and like your experience NG every trick in the PES book was thrown at me. I hit the woodwork 5 times and finally got a goal from Ribeiro’s head, he had one shot – a freekick from 35 yards that hit the bar and bounced off Drogba’s head from 1 yard out. when he got a corner in the 2nd minute of added on time I thought I was finished but he didn’t really go for it and I could blooter it out for a 1-1.

  31. Garry G—I still find it hard at times against all types of CPU teams. Ultimately, if the CPU decides it wants to keep the ball and create chances, it will do so. For me the most dangerous time in almost any match is when the CPU is kicking off, whether that’s at the start of a half or after I’ve scored. Vital to get that ball off them asap.

  32. Paul—unlucky, and you’re quite right—for CL matches the background modifiers that control CPU player and team behaviour are all ramped up even further.

  33. uncle turf—if you do get an Invincibles season, there’s a Trophy/Achievement awarded for it at the end. Lots of grinding out of scrappy draws is required, but it’s worth it. I wish I’d actually bagged a trophy of some kind during mine, though.

  34. What irked me was that PSG have a very tall crouch lookalike called Avdici up front, my coach warned me about his threat pre-game, so i man marked him with my tallest defender, yet he still scored 2 headers in succession, i must have had triple the shots and hit the bar 4 times!!

    Just one of those games!!!

  35. Paul—a few seasons ago I stopped man-marking players named in the pre-match briefing, because doing so just seemed to gift space to other players. Sounds like you ran into one of PES2012’s Carroll/Ribeiro-like beasts, though. They’re a feature of this PES, no mistake.

  36. Garry G – that purchase of Inzhagi is a steal, I’ve tried for the last year to buy one of him, Del Piero, Keane or Di Vaio (all regens) without success. One of you longer term players might be able to tell me if steadily climbing the rankings is going to help buy strikers? I can buy the likes of Nani (91ovr) Fellaini (91ovr) etc but best striker I’ve been able to get was Vela at 76ovr. Neymar ‘wanted to come’ but Rangers wouldn’t sell. Roux has slowly developed into an 86 but he is now 27 and beginning to level out, I have 53million in the bank – I don’t want to wait for my youngsters to grow. My scout is the top price Spaniard guy. Why don’t they want to come to Gateshead?!?! (yeah, don’t answer that last bit)

  37. uncle turf—as your club’s ranking and prestige increase, the players are more willing to come, yes—but if they’re First Teamers at their club, it’s still a problem. You should’ve run with Classics 😉

    But think how much more satisfying it’ll be when your patience and Youth-centric policies all pay off.

  38. NG – absolutely. This is the first PES I haven’t gone for the classics and as interesting and rewarding as your team’s progress has been I know it wouldn’t have been for me. I just don’t like the balance of having someone like Zico lining up next to Luke Young…I can’t say I’m happy about the regens but they’re a necessary evil and far better than regen ‘Minanda’ or ‘Huygens’. I’ve unlocked the option to ramp up transfers but will probably lay off using it.

  39. I wonder how club ranking is calculated.
    I have finished 8th, then 4th and then 4th again in the 3 seasons i’ve been in the premier league (strongest league in the world) qualified for champions league twice, reached the quarters of the Europa League, yet im still ranked 71st in the world in the rankings, is it purely based on trophies won!?

    I have the same problem attracting certain players, have bid for a few big name players but failed to land any.

  40. uncle turf—I’m the opposite way inclined, and find the whole ML fantasy football world very compelling and dynamic. I love having van Basten and John Barnes alongside Youth players and Regens.

  41. Paul—it is almost entirely on honours won, I can confirm. See today’s (Wednesday 4th’s) post later for more on this.

  42. Thanks, thought as much, will look forward to the post later.

  43. Uncle Turf – im always trying to get the best regens when the january window comes around. i couldn’t get del piero because he signed for juventus so i didn’t get a chance and now he wont leave, same sort of situation with ryan giggs and manchester united. i have though managed to get the following as regens: maicon, lucio, zambrotta and seedorf. i love the regen system the potential of teams that can can be created is mouth watering for me. totti is due to retire at the end of my current season, roll on january 🙂

  44. Garry G—my Classics have meant that so far I’ve tended to favour my own Youth team’s Regens, rather than go hunting for other teams’. So far so good: my Forlan and Saviola are both Youth team promotees, both played decisive roles in my League-and-Champs-League double, and I’m really proud of them. I’ve got two defenders, Natali and Manfredini, also coming good right now. As the next few seasons go on, the complexion of my team should alter.

  45. Paul/NG – I wonder if it isn’t also highly dependent on how many other clubs win the trophies. In mine one team seems to dominate each year – Man U winning double and maybe semis of Champ Lge, or Barca winning it twice in a row. Must be only reason as I was in my 3rd season before I secured promotion, 1st year in Prem I qualified for Euro Lge (think I was 6th) and last year finished in a Champs Lge spot. Only decent cup run was in my div 2 days when I got to the final. Euro Lge out in last 16. So I’ve had no silverware and modest league averages, and I’m ranked 56th.

  46. uncle turf—Prior to winning anything I had the unbeaten season and a sole appearance in the group stages of the CL, and my highest ranking was 34th. I think it takes a few seasons of winning trophies to vault up into the top-ten-bothering stakes. Even with my sole league title and CL, my club is still only 13th in the world. I’m still getting 20-year-old transfer targets at clubs above me sniffing and saying they don’t want to drop down.

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