This season I was going for my first Treble in PES2012′s Master League. Having already won the Super Cup and the World Club Cup, it would have made for an unprecedented Quintuple.
But I missed out on the League title, as expected. Not even a Master League AI in its most generous mood was going to let me overhaul two teams, with a 5-point gap, with just two games to go.
Man Utd won their very next game, and the title was over for me. Amusingly, both Manchester clubs lost their final games, allowing me the pleasure of contemplating a final table where I’d missed out on the title by 2 points.
The final table:
In Master League as in life, the table doesn’t lie. I’ve got no complaints really. I sensed from the start of the season that it was a tough one.
Scoring 90 goals is my highest season total ever. I’ll be aiming for the 100 mark next season. Assuming I still have the team that’s capable of getting so many, of course (more on that later).
Ronaldo (the proper Brazilian Ronaldo, natch) scored an impressive 32 of my 90 goals, and finished top scorer—my first Golden Boot of PES2012′s Master League. He’s well worth it, is Ronaldo. But can I keep him?
The Best XI for the League was a pretty sight—lots of bold blue:
Brolin had a great season, scoring twice in the FA Cup Final. Which I won surprisingly easily, beating Aston Villa 3-0.
That completes my haul of trophies in PES2012. I’ve now won ‘em all, at various times. If I can only win all 3 main ones in one season.
The FA Cup Best XI was even more cheering than the league version—love the bold blue on show here:
After the FA Cup Final I took a look at the upcoming schedule and was confronted with a truly ridiculous run-in. Konami have got to have a serious word with whoever put together this aspect of Master League:
An International round the day before my final league match, and a Training Match the day after the Champions League final? Strewth.
And so it came to the Champions League Final. I felt really intimidated by the opponents, to be truthful. Manchester United did the double over me in the league. They’re a phenomenal team in my ML world, with a striker—Emmanuel Thomas—who seems divinely entitled to score against me every time we play.
I’d been clever, I thought. I set my team up to defend and try to nick a goal or two at the other end. My usual philosophy of attack, attack, attack hasn’t worked on Man Utd at any time in the season or two since I adopted it.
So I played with two DMFs—Neeskens and Farinos—and did very well for the first half. 0-0 at half-time, and I was confident.
After the break, PES2012 must have decided it’d had enough of toying with me. Emmanuel Thomas scored two devastating counter-attack goals, against the run of play. I was 2-0 down with ten minutes left. I pulled one back with Ronnie. After that, I could hardly get the ball and when I did the Man U players swarmed me out of it.
It’s a horrible feeling, to have worked so hard and slogged your way through all the group matches and knockout ties, only to fall at the last hurdle. But you’ve got to take the setbacks. No reloading, ever. Otherwise, the whole enterprise is meaningless.
So the only actual thing I played for and won all season was the FA Cup.
It was still a good season, getting to he CL Final and finishing 3rd in the League, and the game reflected that.
I was very happy to see my Club Ranking shoot up from 13th to 2nd.
And so to Season 12. Where there are going to be some changes to my team and the general outlook.
Some of my stars will have to be sold. The finances demand it and, really, I demand it. It’s time for some of my promising Youths to take centre-stage.
Some of the ageing classics can be sold/released. My young players have been waiting for a long time. Perrotta. Cannavaro. Carraciolo. Manfredini. Natali. All will play a lot more more regularly. Carraciolo, a 21-year-old beanpole of a striker, has quietly sneaked up to 80 OVR without playing at all.
So there’s no end in sight to PES2012. Not even close. Back in October, I thought I’d get to FIFA12 by April/May time. I’m now thinking June/July. If ever.