Recoba has come good after a typically Master League-like indifferent start. A couple of goals in a couple of matches were capped by a sensational hat trick against Manchester City that helped me to a thumping 4-1 win.
In Master League it takes any new signing approximately 3-6 matches to bed down and feel like one of the gang. You used to be able to check how a new player’s teamwork was progressing. Back in the old PS2 days, a tap of a button cycled through various graphical displays. You would be shown how well (or not) your players played together in a latticework of connecting lines and numerical ratings.
Today each player has a static teamwork rating, but the deeper data has been mostly abstracted behind the scenes, which is a shame. You can still feel its effects on the surface in how it takes new players time to gel with the rest of the squad.
Here’s the league table after 12 matches of Season 13:
I like my position there. With 1/3rd of the season gone, I’m lurking behind the leaders and biding my time, a bit like Steve Ovett in the 1500 metres final in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Or was it Seb Coe who did the shoulder-lurking? I think it was Seb Coe, now I think about it. Whichever one of them it was, I’m like that.
After my bullish confidence over the Champions League group draw, reality dashed cold water in my face. An opening 0-2 defeat at home by Barcelona woke me up. I won the next two matches, then lost the most recent. I should still qualify, but I’ve made it unnecessarily tricky through over-confidence. After you get to a certain stage in Master League, you just don’t expect Europe to give you any trouble.
Recoba has been a highlight of the season so far – another highlight has been the progress of some of the ‘Emergency Youths’ that I signed last season to bulk out my depleted squad.
Among them was this young man – one K BELLARABI, an 18-year-old RMF, rated 66 when I signed him and now up to 69.
That’s a picture of him just before scoring an unusual sort of goal in PES2015 that I’m saving for a special goals video in a week or two. The vid will be compiled from all the types of goals that don’t usually make it onto highlights reels. So there’ll be no 30-yard net busters. They’ll all be in-off-the-knee scuffers from two yards, and goals like that.
It’ll be something different, and it’ll show just what variety PES2015 is capable of. Non-players of any football game could be forgiven for thinking that the only goals scored are Hollywood long-rangers and the types of multi-pass ‘team goals’ that are always held up as being the greatest goals of all. (There’s no doubting that ‘team goals’ in football are good, but they’re undeserving of the excessive joy always lavished upon them, IMO.)
I play at least one of my Emergency Youths from the start in most matches, even the big matches. Why not? It adds spice and interest.
Bellarabi is as solid and dependable in a midfield slot as any of the more experienced, higher-rated players. And it’s very satisfying to complete a good performance with him.
And they’re by no means all potential world-beaters. One of my other Youths, J ILICIC, will simply have to go in the next transfer window. Every time I play him, he has a ‘mare, with passes going astray and the player gradually disappearing entirely, his morale almost visibly shot to pieces.
I have a youth CB called BAUER (whom I imagine answers the phone with a snapped ‘Bauer‘). He has been a revelation too and I’m always confident putting him in for one of the first-choice CBs.
It’s a shame in many ways that these Youths have arrived on the scene so belatedly. It’s likely that there are only two more seasons at most left in the PES2015 tank for me. Thus I’ll never get to see them flower fully. It was a mistake to disregard the Youths early on in this ML.