Season 12 ended with league failure, as expected. I was too far behind towards the end, so far that not even this game was going to give me a helping hand. I was happy just to secure 4th spot on goal difference:
The FA Cup final was against Manchester City. Seeing them as my opponents made me hiss through my teeth. My league matches against them are typically grim, scrappy affairs low on excitement and high on sheer bloody hard work.
The final was exactly the same. 0-0 for a long time, then City snatched a goal to make it 1-0 to them, and then no matter what I did, no matter what I tried, nothing would happen for me. Defeat in the Cup.Onto the Champions League Final and another sight to make me wince: Arsenal were my opponents. Another team where our usual sort of league encounter is a tight, dour match that ranks among PES2015’s least enjoyable matches.
Great atmosphere and pre-match buildup, as ever. Just shows that Konami can do this kind of thing very well, when they put their minds to it. It probably helps that the Champions League is Big In Japan.
For this biggest of big matches, I played Gerrard at DMF and made him captain.
I’d been intrigued to see Gerrard picked in the Premier League’s Team of the Season at DMF, a position I never really played him in. So for the Champions League final I dropped Pirlo (so often ineffective for me, the way I play) and put in Gerrard instead.
Things were very different in this Final.
I streaked into a 3-0 lead by half-time, and that was effectively that. Gerrard at DMF was simply a class above Pirlo or Conti or anyone else I’d ever played there.
I decided there and then to get rid of Pirlo in post-season and go with Gerrard as my captain and first-choice DMF for the rest of my time on PES2015. It’s one of life’s amusing ironies that Gerrard in video game football tends to be the consistently world class player that Liverpool fans devoutly believe him to be in real life.
It was a comfortable 4-0 win in the end – yes, it was one of those ‘easy’ PES finals. But I believe I’d worked for it. I’d seized control from the first whistle, denied the AI quality possession, and taken my chances.A well-deserved victory, and my first Champions League title on PES2015. I enjoyed it as much as my digital guys seemed to.
Gerrard has great stamina and lasts whole matches in PES2015. He was still on the pitch and wearing the armband at full-tme. When I saw him lift Big Cup itself, I couldn’t help thinking it was just over ten years since a certain famous night in Istanbul.
And there the season ended. Not the Treble I’d hoped for, but I’d won the most important trophy in club football, which was a nice bonus.
Some random goals from the season’s end:
Messi, Forlan, Forlan, Messi. Pretty standard goals, all of them, with a few points of interest: Forlan’s breakaway Goal 3 is a rare instance of an AI defender, in prime position to intercept an attempted pass, not doing so. Goal 4 is a satisfying in-off-the-post effort. Messi is coming really good now.
And so on to Season 13. I’ll be in every competition except the Charity Shield (sorry: Community Shield) equivalent. One or two more big players and I’ll have a great chance at the Treble, at the very least. #thistime