The Return of Shimizu

Season 14. Played 9 league matches. Won 5, drawn 2, lost 2. Goals for: 11. Goals against: 7. It’s just not good enough, but somehow I’m still in touch:

Not a great start to the season, but I’m still only 7 points off the leaders, and there’s a long way to go. Can’t afford to lose many more matches, though.

I also have a new Away kit, as modelled here by Ruggeri, my captain fantastic at centre-back. I’ve had (and will have) many memorable players in this Master League. Ruggeri is right up there near the top of that list.

Superstar is a great level to play PES2012 at, in my experience.

Get your gameplan wrong, commit a noob error, go 1-0 down, and you’re in serious trouble.

But get it right, and play with discipline and skill and the right tactical approach, and it can be the most rewarding football gameplay ever. PES2012 on Superstar with a mature team is better than PES5. In my opinion.

But I need to start scoring some goals again on Superstar, and fast. If I don’t, I’ll fall out of the running for the League title. I don’t want to end up in a situation where I’m permanently excluded from the top tier on Superstar. I’d (reluctantly) drop down a difficulty level to Top Player before letting that happen.

But I don’t think things will come to that. I think this is more a case of adjusting to life under a new squad management ethos.

I’ve decided to restrict my big-money buys to one or two per season (if that). Instead I’m cultivating Youth players promoted from within, or young Regens brought in from elsewhere.

Caracciolo is such a player. Promoted from my Youths several seasons ago, he’s only now getting an extended run-out in the team, playing up front alongside Forlan (another former Youth player).

Here’s a goal Caracciolo scored for me in the Europa League—I loved his leggy take-down of the ball, and then of course the finish:

(Pardon the blurry quality. It’s the time of year. The recent blazing sunshine has been shining directly into the room. If I hadn’t already used Spending warm summer days indoors as a post title, I would have used it for this post.)

That goal was against a team called Pacos de Ferreira, whose teamsheet featured a thirty-something player called … SHIMIZU. Ah, so this is where he’s ended up, all these years after I sold him way back in the day. He was no trouble at all, and still weaker than an especially weak kitten.

(Yes, it was a deliberately misleading post title today.)

After three matches in the European Masters Cup, aka the Europa League, I’m topping the group table:

I’m also still in the FA Cup. I met Everton in the first round. It was 0-0 pretty much all the way, a tight, ugly game with few clear-cut chances to either side. I won it in the last 5 minutes with a sucker-punch rebound goal scored by that man of the moment, Caracciolo. He seems always to be just there whenever a loose ball squirts across the box. Great stuff.

I don’t think my youngest young players are going to be much help for another season or two (or three).

I’m talking about Hagi and Kaka and Ribery. Even Schweinsteiger. Maybe Schweinsteiger could play when nobody else is avaiable. But those first three are all pretty weak and unformed. They need solid experience and growth before there’s any point playing them. I’d love to send them all out on loan, but there have been no takers. I’ll keep trying.


  1. I was amazed to see how well you took to superstar at first, never made it past top player myself, probably a daft question but do you find as your player ratings start to drop the game becomes more difficult? my worry is how playable the game is when the players are in the 80 – 90 bracket.

    On another note, Ive just finish my 12th season and the 3 relegated teams were Everton, Spurs & Liverpool, now some might say that’s unrealistic but all 3 teams had some very highly rated players at the start of this years PES but as the seasons past they sold them off and replaced them with rubbish, as such their results nose dived and led to relegation.

    I have to say I’m mighty impressed with that, all adds to my Pesverse so to speak, its just a shame the game doesn’t store records for the comp teams because I’m sure Liverpool won a couple of trophy’s in the early seasons, id love to check.

  2. Dec66 – Liverpool are ‘The’ team in my PES ML p-they win the league most seasons.
    As for how the game plays when players are ‘only’ rated in the 80-90’s – it plays very well indeed.
    Im now about to start season #15 and my team is made up of mainly mid 80’s, with a few low 90’s and it still plays very well.

    Out of interest NG – I played a Euro 2012 tournament on PES over the weekend, as England, on Superstar, and was dissapointed to find that every CPU team played with 10 men camped along the penalty box, I thought superstar was less rigid in that seanse.

  3. Decc66—I definitely struggle more on Superstar when I field my weaker players. It’s tough anyway with the strong-uns. I recommend playing your next round of Training Matches on Superstar and see how you get on. Or an Exhibition match of course. That’s what I did out of curiosity one day, and haven’t looked back since, despite it probably being a touch too hard for me even with all my big names out. Getting a Treble on Professional, with the players I had, was a foregone conclusion—a matter of when, not if. Not so on Superstar, and that’s what I’m after. It’s the fascination of the struggle, which I know I will succeed in one day. This morning I played a match that was probably one of the best single matches I’ve ever played on PES, and I believe it could only have happened on Superstar. I’ll be writing it up on Wednesday so won’t say any more now.

  4. Paul—different modes, different CPU behaviours. All I can say is that in my Master League, in season 14, with the changes wrought in the world over that time, the CPU defences tend to play with a more advanced back line more of the time. We all have such different setups and play styles that it might not be the same for everyone. You still meet the Wigans and Boltons who sit with everyone behind the ball and do you 1-0 on the break (grrrr), but otherwise there’s more variety. It’s just as critical not to concede first on Superstar, maybe more so.

  5. Yeah hoped that was the general concensus, I just found it odd after the praise I have seen you give SS level that EVERY team did the uber-defense thing, your right though, ML is a law unto itself and behaves differently to any standalone cup/league modes.

    Nothing revelational and just common sense, but the l;ast 8 games of my last season were all brilliant. Purely because I simply laid off the sprint button.

    When teams do park the bus, the criticalk thing is pateince, and laying off sprint and only using it realistically, ie to buy a yard of space to whip a cross in or beat a man for a gap to shoot, made so much difference.
    The AI of your team mate runs is alot better and more active when you dont clamp sprint, giving you more choices to stretch the cpu about.

    As i say, nothing revelational, and i dont conciously use sprint alot, i just hadnt before consciously NOT used it, and was suprised by the difference it makes.

  6. Always nice to see where the ones that might have been a bit of a hasty departure end up. I’ve only ever regretted one or two.

    4 games to go in season 1 of ‘no buys’ and I have done a Reading. Remember how they wowed the Premiership when they went up and 2nd season everyone found them out and they went down – well mine happened mid season. 6 defeats in 7, 5 red cards, the supply to Ribeiro shut off, the headed corner route closed down. Super Star is letting me know I need a plan B. A sign of just how good it was going though is the fact that Ribeiro is still top of the scorers on 25! – 10 ahead of the next best in the league and Cinalton leads the assist rankings. With that in mind I have got myself 3 frees for next season; Oberhauser GK, Sigurdsson CB, Di Michele SS. I had Di M in my glory game as a stop gap 36yr old forward and loved him. Hopefully a few seasons before he retires. Not only will I not buy but at their wages I could not buy…

  7. Weiss left me last season due to me trying to negotiate the salary hike he wanted from 1.2m a year up to 4.8m, down to something more realistic, so i was quite glad to see him washed up in the free agents section last night!

  8. Paul—consciously not sprinting is a great exercise to indulge in in any football game. Many next-gen FIFA players swear by never using the shoulder button sprint at all (they use the right stick instead). I believe in PES it is more useful and justified, but the default usage of it is to use it to an extreme that harms the game. Many of the problems we have in defence in PES2012 can be traced back to overuse of sprint and the squeezing of one or more tackle buttons. When I panic I do it too…

    Re. Weiss he was a very useful early-seasons buy for me, but not a long-termer. He had no shot to speak of, just like Shimizu and so many others. Shooting is a must for all my midfielders.

  9. uncle turf—this morning I had a first for me: a CPU player was SENT OFF. It was an innocuous-looking side-on clip 30 yards from goal just as I was in the act of shooting on goal. I’m convinced the game ‘pre-loads’ likely outcomes in its football brain and somehow the referee decisions are related to those likely outcomes. So my shot must have been going on target at least, and so the CPU player was punished accordingly. Similarly. I believe that when we get those innocuous reds ourselves, the game has looked a few seconds ahead and seen itself in on goal with a scoring chance. Just a theory. I know how obsessed you are with red cards in PES2012. You can put this theory up on your serial-killer-style wall collage of red-card-related stuff 😉

    Whatever, I was delighted to see a CPU red, as you can probably imagine. What’s good for the goose…

  10. Paul – I have only ever re-signed one player when he’s done a contract walk out on me – Tolchotrzyn. He snubbed my offer but couldn’t find anything better and languished in the frees for a seaosn before agreeing to rejoin. Even then I only wanted him as backup as he became a decent all round fill in.

    NG – what often adds salt to the wound for me in the early years is the disgraceful obstruction of a forward in on goal. With these last 7 games I’ve been trying the over the top one on one and the cheating git has been deploying the full range of steering me away from the ball. Yellows at least! I have had a CPU red though – weeks ago in my main game – at the time it seemed relatively mild so like you say it may be a ‘what may come to pass’.

  11. God I hate Shimizu in my ML. He was the biggest moaner I’ve ever had in this career. After every game he was in my office moaning about something. “Why are you not playing me?” and when you do play him – “I’m tired, why are you playing me?”.

    He even moaned about his shirt number, saying he was a club legend and ‘deserved’ number 7 at 21 years of age.

    Sold him to PSG and then hacked him constantly when I played against him, think I gave him a injury which was great.

  12. I never should have mentioned my winning streak on superstar, ive jinxed myself. From ten points ahead to just one. oooofffff. 5 players out injured including both of my first choice centrebacks

  13. leroy getz – there is a direct link from NG to the CPU settings – every time I mention success I get trounced next time out.

    End season 1 stats;
    Finished 16th, W11 D5 L18 38F 56A
    Considering I lost 9 of the last 11 after posting how well I felt it was going I don’t know whether to be pleased or annoyed. It was a complete turn around in terms of I started losing almost every game to an early goal and then not being able to get past their defence. Arrows started changing and cards started accumulating (5 reds – likely me playing ‘frustrated’).
    Ribeiro Top scored in the division with 27! (yes, that means the rest got 11 between them), Cinalton was div top assist with 11. It smacks of a single route to goal doesn’t it? – which is what I think SuperStar worked out second half of the season.
    No penalties, 3 chairman requests – all first half season concerning no yellows.
    3 frees signed for next season – GK, CB, SS. Would like to add a good AMF as I play Maqualoa on left wing and Ettori’s form has been mainly blue all year – big disappointment. Given how much I invest in youth he will have to be a low wage free. Not feeling the need to change formation as I had so many one on ones that went unscored I reckon once players improve I’ll have a second route to goal.

    NG – I think it’s pretty obvious the difference between this season and my first infuriating effort – a good Ribeiro. I seem the only player to relentlessly mine that seam!

  14. uncle turf—that’s it, I’m turning your Ribeiro way down. I’ll put him on reduced efficiency for, oooh, let’s say half a season? 😉

    Always conceding the early goal, especially away from home against the CPU kickoff, was one of the huge frustrations of the early seasons on ML. I do not miss those times at all.

  15. Robin Hood—Shimizu on PES5 was sublime for me, one of my best players in that memorable year. In years since others have had good Shimizus, to the point where there is a bit of a Myth of Shimizu doing the rounds. This year, I don’t think anyone’s had a good Shimizu.

  16. leroy getz—that’s the joy of Superstar. Coasting along, think you’ve sussed this game. There ain’t nothing gonna stop us! Tell you what, a Treble on Superstar would be the greatest PES achievement ever.

  17. Had an ‘interesting’ pre-season last night. Planned on signing a few good players to push on and try and challenge for the title, instead of finishing fourth, and do better tin the champions league.
    However, due to certain circumstances, what happened was almost an overhaul of the playing squad.

    Seiteridis, Saha, Bacinovic, Koval and Bothroyd all left the club, I picked up huge fee’s for Saha (28million) and Bothroyd (37Million) which filled the coffers nicely.
    I release a few fringe players also, most notably Berbatov, and let a couple of others go out on Loan.

    So with a thread bare squad, so far I have brought in Jao Tomas (CF), Cemejiu (RB), Como (GK) and signed Ribery and D’Allesandro from the youths.
    I currently have a squad size of 25, and need a bit more cover in CB and CF position.

    Next season (no. 15) will be interesting, a bit of a rebuilding process.

  18. Paul—some big decisions there—Saha was an early favourite wasn’t he? You must have got the right price. And Seitaridis too?!

    I also have youth Ribery as you may have seen. I think these big names as Youths kind of seduce us into thinking they’s going to be great from the start, but it’s a long, long growth process. We’re looking at 4 seasons usually before they hit the start of their potential. But it’s well worth sticking with. Forlan, Cannavaro, Caracciolo…

    How many Loanees did you manage to ship out?

  19. It wasnt what I planned mate.
    Seiteridis left on a free, which really bugged me as he was a 95 OVR and solid. developed from a raw youth, would have easily got 30mil for him.

    he put his contract talks on hold, and subsequently slipped out the back door. Cant even remember whom he went to.

    Saha had slipped behind Bothroyd, Sazi and now Jao Tomas in the pecking order so was quite happy to accept the 20+mil i got for him.
    I Have loaned out Helder Postiga, Korshka and Lovenkrands, and released Berbatov, who just wanst getting enough match time to develop, was still a raw clumsy 68 OVR after 2 seasons.

    So this season is a bit of a rebuild, and whilst the Avg OVR of the squad takes a bit of a dip, due to bringing in youths etc, which will obviously make winning games harder, it also sets me up for the future in being able to nurture young talent and slowly integrate them into the team.
    One thing id like to see improved with Transfers is that when you receive a bid for a player, for example Gerrard last night, if its from Liverpool/Man Utd/Chelsea and i reject the bid then id expect him to maybe want a move and his happyness drop, as theyre big clubs challenging for trophies, but I had a bid for Gerrard from Hoffenheim, and i Rejected it, he spent 2 or 3 weeks unhappy demanding to know why i wouldnt listen to offers.


  20. Paul—the good side of youths not getting enough match time is that they develop anyway as part of your coaching setup. E.g. my Caracciolo (man of the moment – see tomorrow’s post!) must only have played about 45 minutes of football for me in 5 seasons, but rose up to 85 OVR at age 24 anyway. This is what I was alluding to with Ribery earlier. I’m pretty sure that he will just hang around my squad for the next three seasons or so and be fairly useless. It’s a waiting game with youths and the payoff isn’t for several seasons.

    I’m nearly up to January in season 14, and about to go Gerrard-hunting. In five seasons’ time he’ll be an AMF for me, in front of Farinos/Schweinsteiger at DMF, with Ribery/Hagi on one side and Kaka/Simao on the other, behind Rooney/Caracciolo/Forlan… Mouth: watering.

  21. I actually just signed a 17 year old Gerrard and got the player walking out on to the pitch cutscene. Brilliant!

  22. I actually just signed a 17 year old Gerrard and got the player walking out on to the pitch cutscene. Brilliant!

    That!! I had a debate a week or so ago that Gerrard was enough of a name to warrant that special cut scene, and I signed a 17yr old Gerrard but only got thebog standard cut scene.

  23. Robin Hood—I was grinning the first time I saw the ‘special new player’ cutscene as well. Still waiting to see the World Player of the Year cutscene. Hopefully I will before PES2013 comes out.

  24. Paul—I thought there was no ‘debate’ with Liverpool fans about Gerrard’s exalted status 😉 (No, let’s not go there again…)

  25. Gerrard just regend in my ML 78ovr but i wont sign him as i Have him in another save. Does every1 play Gerrard as a Amf? I always play him as CM or when he’s still young DMF. His dribbling is way to poor for AMF IMO but that shot of his is something!

    NG I to am not a fan of farinos as although he has shot power of 90+ he has a terrible shot from long range. I attribute this to his dribbling stats being to good. I find the players that take long strides shoot much better from long range ie gerrard or irjescu. For the record I still have irjescu and is 80ovr and I use him as a long range specialist sub in the dying minutes if the CPU has parked the bus and I need a goal. He has saved my beacon on quite a few occasions!

  26. Max—I’ve been concerned about Farinos’ distance shooting as well, but there’s a little something coming up in tomorrow’s post that might interest you.

    Now that you mention Irjescu, he must have regenned somewhere in my world by now. Another one to have a look for on a rainy day.

    I haven’t played with Gerrard in PES since PES5, I think (or maybe PES2008 on PSP/PS2), but when I did, I favoured him as an AMF. The way I play gives lots of shooting opportunities to my AMFs. The DMFs get chances too, but the juiciest ones fall to the AMFs.

  27. I also noticed if you switch transfer frequency to high when you need to shift a few players then you get alot more offers, helps to move players on/generate revenue.

  28. Paul—that’s a nice sneaky tip there, a bit like the ‘Max’ repeat-transfer-list dodge thing. I’m not above doing such things, but with £250m in the bank my problem isn’t money coming in, it’s rather having too many players on the books. I just release them if I can’t sell them.

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