The horror-show of Season 12 has continued. Last time, I’d only had a bad start — three defeats in three league matches.
This time, well — here’s the League table after 14 matches:
11th in the table. 13 points behind the leaders. I’ve already lost 7 times (having lost only 4 times all last season), My goalscoring is pitiful, my defending woeful. It feels like one of my first seasons in the top flight instead of a Treble-hunting season.
I have played slightly distractedly, I’ll admit. I’ve played sometimes as if the game owes me easy goals and easy wins. Few people who have played PES2015 at length would say that it gives you anything easily.
I made a serious blunder at the end of last season that left me with a threadbare squad, as seen here:
I’ve already had more than a couple of suspensions and been unable to field a full subs’ bench, but thankfully PES2015 doesn’t then force a 0-3 forfeit the way FIFA15 does. You just play without a full subs’ bench.
I’m playing badly. I’m seeing some bizarre results, the likes of which I’ve never seen before:
That match went 1-0; 1-1; 1-2; 2-2; then I scored to make it 2-3 with 85 minutes gone, and I thought I had the win; it was 3-3 straight from their kickoff; I made it 3-4 straight from my kickoff, and cheered myself hoarse; but it was instantly 4-4, again straight from their kickoff (I shit you not); and just when I’d accepted the craziest 4-4 draw in my PES history, they nicked the ball and got the winner for 5-4 with 96 minutes showing.
It was thrilling, no question, and I confess to playing terribly to concede the goals I conceded.
The players don’t feel the same. I’m starting to wonder if there’s an automatic penalty levied on dumb-ass human managers like me who blunder into situations of having good players, but no squad to speak of. Apart from the obvious penalty where most of my players start most matches on half or three-quarter bars of stamina.
Bizarrely, things are going superbly in the Champions League itself. My draw was sort-of OK:
Juventus, PSV, Apoel FC. A standard sort of draw. I’ve played 4 matches and beaten Apoel home and away, beaten PSV away, and beaten Juve at home. Top of the group. I will qualify for the knockout stage.
With the Treble in mind it’s a shame I’m almost certainly out of the running for the domestic league.
Or am I?
Knowing PES as I do, and knowing Master League as I do, I know that if I just knuckle down and pick up a few results, then get to mid-season and bring some fresh players in, I can easily go on a run that will almost certainly see the game allowing me back into the title mix.
We might not like it, but that’s how Master League operates. There’s an auto-balancing script in play. The human player is never truly out of the running at this stage of the season. Even if I was rock-bottom now I’d fancy my chances of finishing in the top 6.
So that’s the plan: grapple with the game until mid-season transfer window, bring in some new decent players and a few Youths to bulk out the ranks, and then just go for it.
To finish with today, a brief pot pot-pourri of goals from the opening of this tricky campaign:
That first goal is from Pirlo, popping up in the DMF hole (the ‘Mathieu zone’ as my PES5-oiled mind will always think of it) to score one of PES2015’s signature types of goals (which I haven’t actually seen all that much of since the last few patches).
Goals 2 and 3 are from Drogba in full-on beast mode with two power-strikes.
And Goal 4 is Messi’s very first goal for me, coming after a long period of games where he did barely anything. He’s come good now, but still not a first-choice. Fit and in form, my front three remains the trio that helped me to the title last season: Forlan, Robben, Crouch. Drogba, incredibly, starts most matches on the bench, and so does Messi for now.