Season Eleventy

Onward and upward with Season 11 of my Master League career.

Last season saw me finally achieving escape velocity in PES2012. After many seasons of struggle, I won the League and European Cup—the biggest and best trophies.

Ah, but in Master League there’s still a grand tradition of the domestic Cup. In that spirit, I cannot be satisfied until I get a Treble, at least.

Or possibly a Quadruple. I won the Super Cup soon after season 11 began, beating Paris St Germain 4-2. With the World Club game coming up, too, there’s actually a potential Quintuple to go for.

I’ll be going for everything. With a great squad, on paper anyway, I’ve got a great chance.

So all I’ve got to do is turn up to win everything, right?

Well, it hasn’t been the greatest start. Goals suddenly seem a bit harder to come by. Possibly unwisely, I’ve started blooding my two young CBs—MANFREDINI and NATALI—as much as possible. I’m conceding a few more goals as a result. Ruggeri and Nadal last season were totally solid, but they’re not getting any younger.

I’ve already lost 2 matches, against Newcastle and Manchester City. The latter result allowed Man City to develop a healthy cushion at the top even this early in the season. Here’s the table after 10 matches:

Thinking back over the years of Master League, I’ve traditionally struggled the first season after winning the title.

It’s as if the game knows I had a good season last time out, and decides to extend the old dampening field just a touch.

In my 1-0 defeat at Newcastle, I had something like 19 shots on goal, of which 12 were on target. At least 6 of those on-target shots were great chances, and at least 2 of them—I thought, the instant after pressing the shoot button—had to be certain goals.

On each occasion, my old friend, PES2012’s central-shooting mechanic, intervened and guided the ball squarely into the perfect geometric centre of the goal.

I’ve speculated in the past that PES2012’s problematic shooting mechanic could be seen as a way of controlling scorelines. I now firmly believe that the prima facie case for this is almost beyond all doubt. I’ve seen no other explanation for PES2012’s wonky shooting that makes any sense.

Never mind. If it was all bad, I wouldn’t still be here, would I? I am still here, and I’m really relishing what is turning out to be a remarkable year of PES.

You have to make sure of getting clear-cut results at home against the minnows, and that’s what I have been doing. Oh, I also beat Liverpool, away, 3-0 as well. They’re still a top side in the league but I rarely have any trouble against them at all. Last season’s Champions League final was as troublesome as they’ve been for me in a while.

In the FA Cup I had two ideal opening fixtures. First came Brighton, and I beat them 3-1. Then Leeds—I beat them 2-0. Next up are a bogey side, Fulham. This will be one of the most important matches of my season so far.

I’m doing great in the Champions League group. I was drawn in a pretty easy group compared to last year’s. I’ve claimed three easy wins out of three to start with. Top of the group, 9 points. Only complacency will stop me qualifying now.

Ronaldo is settling in well. He’s some player. I did the right thing getting rid of van Basten. Ronaldo is a proper all-round footballer, whereas van Basten (in my hands at least) was pretty much just a goalscorer. Ronnie’s got pace, two cracking feet, and packs a venomous shot from all angles and distances.

He might be a bit too good, actually. He might turn out to be the player who forces me to go up to Top Player. But it’s very early days yet.


  1. uncle turf—for almost as long as I’ve played this game I’ve felt that it manages human goal-scoring across a number of matches. If it’s not just PES-paranoia, you’ll find it tough to score more than one or two per match for a while. In a similar vein, I tend to find that if I get one goal from a cross in a match, it’s unlikely I’ll get another similar goal in the same match, and unheard-of to get three, never mind four. So it could just be paranoia after all.

  2. Paul—yep, just stick to best defensive practices and you’ll be fine. And don’t be shy about going forward. I erred in being too cautious for a few seasons. Like I said when I hit my purple patch of form last season, it’s a lot easier to defend in this game when you’re a few goals up, so make it your aim in each match not just to take the lead, but to score again. (And again and again if possible.) You’ll probably find that you need to score at least two, as the CPU will always just take a goal if it wants one – prepare to be irritated beyond belief at the sheer bullshit that’s coming your way.

    I have a feeling that you’ll find Professional easier than you think, though, after putting in all these seasons on Regular and absorbing the ins and outs of PES2012. I went up far, far too early, looking back.

    But the feeling of achievement when you turn the fabled corner… it’s definitely the best feeling I’ve had in PES, ever, and I’ve still got Top Player/Superstar to go yet.

  3. Cheers mate, top stuff. looking forward to the challenge now, wil finish my current season tonight so will keep you posted of how i get on.
    Might even post up extended highlights of my first match on professional if your interested.

    PS: read the sample of the book over the weekend, loved it and brought back some memories, looking forward to the finished article. Great stuff.

  4. Paul – bear in mind I’ve had 6 seasons to assemble a good squad, 6 of the goals were Ribeiro’s head from Belhanda crosses or corners (only 2 were shots as both Belhanda and Crespo nodded in crosses from the other side as well) and I’d bought Everton’s only big player earlier in the season. I’ve had 7-1 before but this was freakish for me, if I stepped up to top player I’d be toast (I was actually till I took NG’s advice and learned to enjoy a lower level). I’m really not as good as 10-0 sounds.

    I do think the headers were the reason I got so many. I haven’t experienced limited header success in the way I have central shooting, maybe I’m just better at that discipline as I still don’t think I’ve had more than half a dozen goals from outside the box. Some of those shots of yours NG are like a different game to mine.

  5. Paul—cheers, and it’s looking like late summer now when the book’ll be done. I’ve been very lazy recently, doing other things and playing loads of PES, kidding myself that I’m doing research. Work is about to resume in earnest.

    Let’s see the highlights of your first match on Pro.

  6. uncle turf—re. long-range goals, “If you keep trying it, they will come”…

  7. Finished my Season last night, finished 4th in the Prem, 14pts ahead of the 5th placed team, and 3pts behind 3rd placed Man Utd, and 5pts behind Winners Chelsea.
    It was a tight run in right up to the last game of the season, I put together an 8 match unbeaten run (8 wins) but Man utd never dropped a point, never did the top 2 teams, Chelsea or Liverpool.
    Thats unheard of in a PES game, usually when theres a tight run in or the human player needs a team to drop points, they will, but not this time.
    I have since bumped the difficulty up to professional and in my 3 pre-season friendlies so far I have drawn 1-1 with Rangers, beat Blackpool 2-1 and beat Derby County 3-1.

    Im relishing the challenge of the big teams on professional, it does make you play better football as the CPU is less forgiving and quicker to loose balls and actually plays some decent football itself, defending is key.

    Have signed 2 new players so far pre-season, an 89 OVR rated left winger, Calleja, and my biggest and record signing, a 25yr old DiVaio.
    I was surprised to get him, he was transfer listed, i scooped him up for £13million.
    He scored a delicate lob on his debut.

    I need some cover at CB so have a few bids in for good highly rated CB’s but my key targets have refused me, the search continues.

    My Europa league Quarter final placing and 4th spot in the prem saw my club ranking rise 32 places from 63 to 31 in the world.

  8. Paul—that’s actually good news about the teams above you behaving independently, winning their own games, and not drawing/losing with one eye on what the human player ‘needs’ to get involved in a title tussle. I’m waiting for my own minor gap at the top to close up this season, but the leading clubs keep winning. If that aspect of ML has been changed, I’m welcoming it.

    Like I said yesterday, I have a feeling you’ll enjoy Professional a lot more than I ever did for a few seasons.

    It sounds like your finances are in a healthy state too, so with more and better players, the results and money starts rolling in. All without Classics too, well done 😉

  9. NG – It does add extra realism, having to maintain your performances without relying on the fact that you know that copu teams will drop points.
    Liverpool had been top all season, destroying teams, on the last day of the season I needed to beat Boca Jnrs and hope Man Utd dropped points to take 3rd and auto-CL qualification.
    Man utd were playing leaders Liverpool.

    I lost 1-0, just could not score for the life of me, it didnt matter anyway as Man utd beat Liverpool 3-1, allowing Chelsea to take the title on GD on the very last day.

    After expenses were paid etc I had about 70million in the bank to spend, so DiVaio’s £13mil and 2mil a year wages were nothing really. I also sold Benteke and recouped 9Mil for him which always helps.

    Im struggling to find a GK rated above 85 whos younger than 30.

  10. NG – you’re probably right, i just don’t try often now – maybe the odd straight long ranger but never the curled efforts you had with Hagi, i just wouldn’t know which combination of buttons to try.

    However….read this and weep….I did indeed have two tough ‘supposedly easy’ follow up games to my 10-0. Scraped past Fulham 2-0 after taking a battering for 20 mins, and beat Birmingham 3-0. It was 2-0 with only injury time remaining and I got a corner so I thought why not set it to 5 and get the keeper (Buffon) up. CPU automatically kicked it in for me and bugger me if the Birmingham defence didn’t all run away. Buffon, alone next to the penalty spot hammered it into the net! 2 keeper goals in a couple of seasons. PES is being so nice to me at the moment – top scorers, top of the league, that I just know it is going to kill me with my next 2 games – Real Madrid and Liverpool.

  11. Paul—a great keeper is worth his weight in gold in PES2012, more so than any other PES due to the AI’s ungodly ability to squirm through and create chances. You could hope for a Buffon or similar to regen in your Youths, or just get an older keeper. Their peak age is 30+ anyway. My Dordo’s 35 and I’d buy him at that age if I had to. (He’s probably not in your ML world, though.)

  12. uncle turf—interesting events there. Are you thinking about possibly going up to Top Player? Probably premature, but there’s a chance you’ve ‘broke on through to the other side’ and cracked Professional. I thought I might’ve done that at times last season. This season, I’m not so sure.

  13. NG – I don’t think so, although I’ve just beaten Real Madrid 3-2 in the away leg. I was 2-0 down and getting dragged all over the pitch by Ribery and C.Ronaldo but guess what – ribeiro header for 2-1 and it seemed to knock the stuffing out of them. I reckon on Top Player it would have continued and I’d have ended up back at our place 5-0 down. Remembering my early efforts I don’t recall Top Player making mistakes and my abberations seemed much more frequent but then again it was new and I now have many hours under my belt. Let me have a trophy first!

  14. uncle turf—personally if I was easily winning every match and averaging three goals per match, for about 10 matches in a row, then it’d be time to seriously consider going up. But I’m nowhere near that stage yet (quite the contrary) and it just sounds as if you’re having a purple patch rather than pulling away and getting too good for the difficulty level. I still say PES2012 will soon make you PAY for these goals and results you’re getting, though…

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