And here we go again, with Season 17 of my Master League career in PES2012. There really isn’t an end in sight, you know. A Treble might draw a dotted line under things, but I’d have to see how I feel if and when I ever get to that stage.
After season 16, my club ranking has gone up to 6th. Not bad considering I ‘only’ won the domestic League title. I suppose my semi-final appearance in the Champions League counted for a lot. The CL is massive in Japan.
A new Home kit for season 17. This time I’ve gone back to my favourite striped kit—except with black stripes instead of white stripes.
So far, I’m not really liking it. The effect is almost one of seeing a load of barred grates running around on the pitch. I’ve never disliked a new kit before, and I should really have a word with myself for creating it. I might change, or I might give it time to let it grow on me.
I’ve got other worries this season: FINANCIAL worries.
My free-and-easy transfer policy has come back to bite me. There was a stage when I wasn’t even looking at how much salary a player wanted. I was able to sign anyone, without a thought for money.
A couple of seasons ago, I had £300m in the bank. Last season, that went down to £170m. This season, despite selling two players (I finally got rid of Ribery and Vicente), that has gone down to £63m.
The tendency is clear. I need to do something to trim the budget. I have too many players earning too much money, and not enough coming in. I need to get rid of some players—and/or consistently win things, especially in Europe.
I thought I’d seen the last of financial troubles many seasons ago, but it seems not. At least I have the whole of this season to do something about it. If I can win everything in sight, I should be okay.
And so the season started.
In the league, my first two fixtures were Arsenal and Liverpool away. I beat the Arsenal 2-1 with a late Forlan winner. Prior to the Liverpool match, my coach warned me about their new striker, a certain young regen called J. Bothroyd.
I have to confess that I tittered aloud. The former real-life Coventry City lumper, Jay Bothroyd? Oooh, I’m scared…
Of course, you can guess what happened.
Bothroyd got both of Liverpool’s goals in a fine 2-1 win for them. One of his goals was an absolute rocket from the corner of the box that flew in like a cannonball. His other goal was a looping header from a corner. He looked sleek and lithe and deadly. The time of Andy Carroll and Emmanuel Thomas is past. I believe a new star is being born in my ML: Bothroyd.
And so I had lost a match almost as soon as the season started. No unbeaten record attempt this season. Never mind. That’s almost a relief.