You shall go to the ball

There he is again. The man of the hour, Coynborough, modelling my new Home kit for season 3, and playing with the new ball. I went for the Powercat. Yes, you can choose which ball you play with in the top division. Just one more reason I wanted to get out of Division 2, where a stupid bug means it’s always the default ball.

As for the new, mostly non-Sky Blue home strip… I know it looks more like an Away strip. But I fancied a change here as well. When I inevitably return to Sky Blue next season, it’ll be even more special.

Before going any further, here’s a successful cross from the wing (a double-tap jobby) that leads to a diving near-post header:

And another two goals from crosses, fresh from this morning’s session:

And finally a slightly different one—after spotting Rafael’s checked run at the near post, I improvised a near-post aerial through ball for him to (just) get on the end of:

Wing play and crosses do work in PES2013. They just have to be worked a bit harder for than in PES2012.

Not much happened in the transfer market. I signed two players: MEHMEDI, to go along with my very similarly-named Mehmeti (it’s nice to have the set); and DE BRUYNE. Both are versatile attacking front men. I’ll talk more next time about them and how they’re fitting into my side.

For the move up to the Premier League, I have moved up a notch on the difficulty scale, from Professional to Top Player.

Professional is (was) by no means an easy level. But I felt that certain matches where I was winning very easily were coming along far too often. I was getting too much space in and around the opposition box. There’s absolutely no point sitting on Professional and fretting or grumbling about it feeling easy, when there are another two difficulty levels above it waiting to be moved into.

And now, after playing all of pre-season and the first 6 matches in the Premier League, I’m really enjoying Top Player. I haven’t come up against any of the big boys yet, but so far it’s everything I wanted it to be. The feeling is back of being at the ground floor of something epic.

The rumoured scripting shenanigans—while pretty bloody obvious sometimes, as ever in PES—haven’t been totally obnoxious.

The CPU player pressure is notably increased. They get closer and tighter to you much faster. My favourite scoring routine of passing down the wing and then into feet is still possible, but nowhere near as regularly. I’ve scored just one such goal in my opening 6 matches.

Matches generally are a touch faster, but I’ve gone down to -1 to counteract that. It’s a testament to PES2013 that I lasted on the default starting speed until now.

Here’s the table after 6 matches:

Won 2, drawn 2, lost 2. Scored 9, conceded 8.

I beat Everton 3-1 in my opening match, and then drew 1-1 with West Brom. After those matches I was in the top six, and the alarm bells really were ringing for the lifespan of PES2013.

I went to Sunderland and lost 0-1. Next I hosted QPR and won easily, 2-0.

Swansea came to the Ricoh next. They were one of the teams promoted with me from Division 2. They slaughtered me in this match. I was guilty of carelessness, conceding a stupid early goal that I never recovered from. I lost 0-2, and really felt the power of Top Player against me for the first time.

Game 6 was against the Villa (*spits*), and once again when they took an early lead I feared the worst.

Ah, but then Castolis stepped up.

Playing on zero-bar passing, as I now do permanently, really makes the good passers stand out. Castolis is one such player. In the 80th minute, facing another frustrating defeat, I spotted Minandinho in the box. From out wide I hit a 30-yard ground pass with Castolis that bisected all the defenders and found its way to Minandinho’s right boot. 1-1, and I was jubilant.

I was nearly ecstatic a few minutes later when Castolis found Aakobjoerg with an aerial through-ball that put him clean through on goal for a one-on-one. Was I about to have a special PES moment?

Sadly, I skewed the shot wide with the goal at my mercy. 1-1 the final result.

These matches on Top Player really brought back that titanic feeling from PES2012. The feeling that I’m playing with very tight margins of success and failure.


  1. I had de bruyne last year in mlo and signed him again this year. Dont let his stats fool you, he has a thumping shot on him

  2. John—I thought you might already have met one of the big boys on Top Player. No matter. You soon will. Wear extra pants.

  3. Cook & Filbert—I’d love to jump into discussion about life on Top Player against the big boys, but I don’t want to pre-empt Wednesday’s blog post.

    It’s certainly been, um, different…

  4. leroy getz—I’ve taken a few shots with De Bruyne, and he does indeed have a nice one. Thing is, I’ve got a few other players who have equally good or better shots, and those other players all seem to offer more in other areas than De Bruyne does. I have doubts that he will be around for long. But there’s a long season ahead. A very long season.

  5. De Bruyne won’t join and Gilinca has left. Unless a replacement is there (Chris Gunter is my target) Macovshire will be first choice as he meets my policy.

    Oh and Myrheim scored a screamer today 🙂

  6. Id seen DeBruyne mentioned a few times on here so when we popped up on my targets list pre-season for a decent fee I took the plunge, I wanted cover in AMF as my coveted star, Currie has been sought after by all sorts of clubs, Inter Milan, AC Milan, PSG etc…… so in case he left I brought DeBruyne in but alas, Ive kept hold of Currie and moved him out to RMF where he is even better so now DeBruyne plays the AMF regularly and does well.

    Cook – I think Curie, My Star player who has risen to 91 OVR in 3 seasons may be an option file creation, but you often get these young players shooting to stardom relatively quickly, Oxlade-Chamberlain for example, so I’ll take it as another little facet of M L, rather than feel impure, i feel lucky.

  7. Adam—I’m in the minority who’ve never seen anything from Myrheim. Macovshire, now, is a very dependable left-back. Ruskin reincarnated, really.

  8. Paul—it seems everybody playing ML has got De Bruyne. It’s nice in one way—almost as if the crop of starting Defaults is effectively much wider than in any previous year—but in another way, it’ll probably be better when the early phase is over. As soon as club rankings and staff levels go up, MLs will all go their separate ways. I don’t like being worried that I’m not getting the best out of De Bruyne. Much better to find some obscure no-name that nobody else has. This is why I very rarely pursue a player recommendation.

  9. NG – The feeling of immersion and one of the core attractions of ML is exactly that – unearthing your own little gems, Ive had it previously with Marcos Ruben back in PES 2009, Villalba and Welliton in PES11 and now with Currie in PES 13.

    Myrheim (a bastardisation of last years default Meriem ???) is a squad player for me, he is solid when he comes on and packs a shot but but isnt going to single handedly carry my team.

    Coynborough on the other hand – what a utility player.
    I foolishly am down to only 3 CB’s in my squad, 2 of which were blue arrowed and fatigued after an international match, so in hunting for a replacement CB (I like the way when you select a player it highlights/glows the players on the bench who can play in that position – very useful, it showed Coynborough, so i put him in at CB – again dependable and solid as ever.
    Only thing worrying me with him is that whilst hes very decent in multiple positions, his growth curve doesnt appear to be that great, hes still only 68 OVR after 2 and a bit seasons.

  10. Paul—re. Coynborough’s growth, this is where PES2013’s much-derided player customisation options come into their own. By concentrating a few choice training items on him I’ve got him up to 71OVR now (no boots for him yet). I’ve just finished his long-range drive training. His growth will be slow and steady. It’ll be interesting to see what he’s like at 30.

  11. Interesting. I havent really lavished any items on him so maybe i will.
    My Coynborough plays as the deepest set of two DMFs, as an actual DMF role, the other is a CMF.
    So its rare he ever gets near enough to goal to fire off a shot.

    After the initial grumblings at the lack of any subsistence in PES13, im now fully immersed in my ML and loving 99% of every game I play.
    its quite eerie how some games play out in true-to-real-life form, and after hammering Millwall 4-0 last night, the game gave me a slap and i had a 0-0 draw straight after followed by 3 defeats on the bounce, 3-2, 3-2 and 4-0.
    the 3-2’s were both games i led in and sloppy defending saw me concede late late match winners in both games.
    The 4-0 against Cardiff was just a freak game, i wasnt even there, i was abysmal, and playing a much weakened squad, then finished the session off with a thumping 3-0 win over Blackpool. Good times!

  12. not-Greg – If you’re looking for kit inspiration you could also try here.

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