The question posed by the title will be answered at the end of the post.
Season 6 is underway. Before getting to any kind of action, I had a problem to deal with: kits.
I grabbed a couple of templates from PESFX, and set to work with colour sliders in my image editor. Most of the time I just go with whatever I end up with. This time, I disliked the two kits (seen on the right) that I ended up with.
I did play with them for the first few matches of the season — and then decided, nope.
So I reverted back to the ‘stock’ strips I started with in Season 1. The two CCFC 2016-17 Home and Away strips.
The aborted kits will be seen briefly at the start of my forthcoming ‘Goals of Season 6’ video.
This season I’m recording every goal I score for the purpose of compiling into a mammoth supercut of all my Season 6 goals in chronological order.
It’ll be interesting to see how many goals among them will be great goals. I find PES2017 to be the weakest PES ever in terms of great goals. Even vanilla PES2014 had better goals than PES2017 tends to have.
As last season’s FA Cup Winner, I played the Community Shield against the champions, Manchester United, and won it 2-0.
The Community Shield was followed by my first league match of the season — against Manchester United.
This was actually my FOURTH consecutive match against them. At the end of last season I played Manchester United in the Cup Final. Then my final fixture was against them too. Now, here at the start of Season 6, I also played back-to-back fixtures against Man Utd. Making four in a row against the same opponent. Is this the maximum possible?
It’s quite common to play the same team twice or even three times in succession in one season, particularly in later seasons when you’re often in two-legged European ties against opponents from your own division, either side of a league fixture against that same team.
But four times in row, albeit across separate seasons… I’d venture to say this is the maximum possible, and that it has to be across two seasons as here. Or can anyone think of another scenario where you might play the same team four (or five) times in succession in the same season? I’d imagine it’s somehow theoretically possible, but practically impossible to see in real circumstances.
My results against Man Utd in these four matches were 1-0, 1-1, 2-0, and 0-0. I never lost, and only conceded one goal. They might be the champions in my ML world, but I worry more about playing Stoke.
Here’s the table after 6 matches — spot the worrying statistic:
Two goals scored. Two.
I went looking for a striker and started with an old Championship Manager trick: checking out last season’s top scorers in the Championship.
Who should I see near the top of that list but one F FRIDAY. Hmmmm, I thought, and popped off a cheeky bid.
Brighton wanted £27,000,000 for Friday, about £20,000,000 more than I was willing to pay for what would be a bit of speculative fun rather than a serious investment. That was the end of that.
In the end my transfer activity was rather tame. I splurged most of my cash on R PALACIO, a decent 19-year-old AMF/SS/CF type.
I’m not a big fan of this trend in recent PESes, I have to say. More and more, it seems, midfielders and attackers are capable of playing in three or more positions.
I vastly prefer PES players to have just one or two positions – and for the two-position players to be comparatively rare.
This restriction produced better matches and player individuality back in the PS2 days — but what wasn’t better in the PS2 days? It’s not just nostalgia. 12-15 years ago, PES was objectively better than it is today.
PALACIO has bags of skills and really good stats. He cost £20m. On paper, in theory, he’s the ideal Pro Evo player. On the pitch, in practice… Well.
At the time of writing I’m about 10 matches into playing with Palacio and he has done nothing. He’s looking like just another identikit nuPES player. One of the many-too-many generic AMF-SS types that completely bore me to tears, frankly. But it’s still early days.
After plugging away for several matches with goals few and far between, I reverted briefly to the 4-2-4 that brought me so much success in the Championship on Top Player.
It didn’t do squat for me here, so I’ve reverted even further, at the time of writing, to my traditional 4-2-2-2.
Early signs are not encouraging. Not only is PES2017 not a PES of great goals for me, it’s currently hardly even a PES of goals.
The big departure for me this season is the Europa League.
Early results were not encouraging — a 0-2 walloping away to a made-up Konami team stuffed with TRAILLURZAKIPPZ-type players just felt wrong.
I recovered to gain a creditable 0-0 draw away to Dortmund, in a stadium positively dripping with atmosphere and emotion. A good, solid match, this one.
Then I beat Toulouse 2-0 at their place with a couple of interesting goals that I will save for the compilation at season’s end.
One last bit of business — another oddity. I’ve been picking Rice from the start again, in my desperate search for some kind of edge. After he’d played a few matches back in the team, I saw this very peculiar menu screen message:
What’s peculiar about that message, you ask? Look again.
Do you see it?
It’s that mention of real matches.
It implies, first, that Rice, when he’s not in my team, has been playing in matches that aren’t real.
It implies, second, a whole other imaginary conceptual world beneath the Master League surface that I can see — a world of Reserve team fixtures, Youth Cups, etc., for Rice to play in. Why don’t we actually have things like that?
I’m not saying I want to be able to play Reserve fixtures, but I think I’d play one or two per season. What a great way to road-test a few new players and Regens and Youths, rather than risk them in full matches.
Having a proper Reserve team dimension to Master League is probably not a great idea for a few reasons.
Master League is already a somewhat shaky world that doesn’t make much sense when examined too closely, so it’s probably not wise to introduce another layer of stuff that can go wrong and introduce complexity. The lesson of our glorious Master League past is that simplest is best.
No new post this coming Tuesday, remember. I continue to observe holiday hours, even though by then the whole thing will be well and truly (and thankfully) over.
January 2nd is my favourite day of the year. #gladitsallover