The Treble dream is over for another season. I crashed out of the FA Cup, 0-1, at the hands of… QPR.
It was one of those 0-1 Master League defeats against supposedly lesser opposition. They got the early goal, and then no goal of mine was ever going to happen.
I don’t need to describe in detail how it went down because, if you’re reading this, you’ve played a football game or two before and you know how things work.
It’s conceding the early goal that does the damage. The AI scoring an early goal triggers whatever script – yes, I said script, and I bloody mean it too – that’s working in the bowels of the game to frustrate your efforts. A moment’s loss of focus on your part, and it’s 0-1 to the other team, and if you don’t at least equalise by half-time then you’re nearly always as good as finished. The catenaccio vice closes, and the game’s over.
Today’s post title is more than just a desperate recycling of an already tired joke that hardly anyone under the age of 35 really understands. Before the transfer window closed, I snapped up Evra.
He played in the ill-fated QPR match and missed a great chance late on that would have taken it to extra time. I had a shot that the keeper pushed out wide to Evra’s feet. From a tight angle, the goal was open and at his mercy… and the shot blazed against the side-netting. Today’s post title was chosen there and then.
Aged 25 Evra’s currently at his peak. He’s always struck me as a great attacking full back in real life, so we’ll see how his Pro Evo persona plays out.
But what of the main man of the previous post, one G HAGI esquire?
Things are going great. I made a few tweaks to his appearance, darkening his skin tone a shade or two, altering his body type and running style. (Such changes do carry over into an existing ML save that the created player has already joined, I can confirm.)
And I got a bloody free kick that I promptly swapped Hagi in to take, and promptly blasted into the keeper’s hands.
But look there – look at the distinctive Hagi-like stance. It’s him! It’s without any doubt the one and only Hagi… He plays like him too. (I scored a decent Hagi-esque goal with him that I’m saving for a longish compilation at the end of the season.)
Creating such a lifelike Hagi makes me feel proud, but I was working to a template from an online database. The credit must go the faithful online curators of PES stats going back years. Seriously, there’s a body of work out there that is almost staggering to contemplate. The well-known PC patches and console option files are arguably the tip of the iceberg of all the obsessive fan labour that goes into a typical edition of PES.
No wonder PES2015 has been something of a damp squib across the community. The PS4/XB1 version offered no way to permit the creators and curators to do what they want to do, which is edit the bejesus out of the game. PES2016 should remedy that. We’ll see.
Enough of my musings on The State of Pro Evo.
With the loss of the Treble chance this year, my focus has switched to the league title and the Champions League.
Securing even one of these would boost my team up into the top 10 rankings. Winning both would surely move me into the top 5.
Especially after I won the World Club Championship. I was surprised to find this competition was a tournament with four teams. My semi-final opponents were none other than WE United. It felt odd playing them, but I did and duly dispatched them, and then thumped Cruzeiro in the final:
And then I was awarded the World Manager of the Year. So everything is falling my way except the darn Treble.
The League table after 28 matches:
With 10 matches left, I fancy my chances of making up 7 points. Last season I was in a similar position and got sloppy. Every match will get maximum focus this time.
I saw off Napoli in the first knockout round of the Champs League. Next up, Bayern Munich. I’ve already used “I was happy in the haze of a Bayern Munchen hour” as a post title, back in 2009. So this coming Tuesday’s post title is not as predictable as you might think.