It’s been a long road, getting from there to here. It’s been a long time. But my time is finally here. And I will see my dream come alive at last. I will touch the sky. And they’re not gonna hold me down no more, no they’re not gonna-

Pardon me. I have scored a long-ranger. That makes, what, a grand total of three long-rangers I’ve scored in PES2017 now? If I’m being generous.

I knew it had a chance the moment I pressed the shoot button. Most often in PES2017, the keeper saves, or it hits the woodwork, or it sails wide. This was a rare instance of none of those things happening. The perfect PES moment happened instead.

The scorer was Gabi, a Youth Regen who is still only 17 years old. I was just moaning on Tuesday how there are no consistently great Youths, and that’s still true of Gabi as well, but he seems more consistent than most. I’ll be keeping him around.

He’s a hot prospect for the future. In an era when PES has sadly had its individuality balls well and truly cut off, the few baritones in this hall of eunuchs really stand out. Gabi stands out.

I tentatively nominate hm for the short list of players in PES2017 who feel somewhat like individuals, albeit in a ghostly fashion. I’m tentative because there’s no telling if this ghostly feeling of individuality is anything more than the anomaly of a few sessions, or something that could last. Cassano, for example, another Youth Regen, since scoring that goal has done precious little (actually, he’s done nothing).


I’ve made it to the January transfer window in Season 5. John Terry appeared a season ago but I resisted until now. The Youth team system is crazily overpowered.

I’m generally horrified at the world class players that appear in the Youths. You could make a decent ML team just out of Youth Regens, it seems to me. I helped myself to Terry, Leighton Baines, Jesus Navas, and a few others. The window’s not over at the time of writing.


I’ve already wished for PES2018 to have a referee strictness setting, so that we can have an average of 8-12 fouls per side in every match (yes, in every match).

I will now add another wish: a Classic Master League option. Ultra-tight transfer and wages budget that doesn’t ease up until the club is at the Treble-winning level. No Youth team – or at least one with a severely reduced capacity to produce starlets, meaning NO Regens in it. Ever.

Neither of the above will ever happen, of course.

Season 5 is going differently to Season 4. Last year I had no players even on the first page of the top scorers’ list. This season, Lobato is right up there:


With 22 matches played, I still stand a decent chance of making it into the Europa League spot in my second top-flight season.


I keep getting close to the top 6, only to promptly have ‘one of those matches’ and fall back again.

I’m reluctant to dip into the transfer market and snap up ‘Generic Attacking Midfielder Type-C2’, which is so drearily easy to do in this ML, but it might be the only way.

One last morsel before finishing today – my first free kick scored in PES2017. Bit of a ‘cheat’ way of doing it?

Updated: 16th December 2016 — 09:59


  1. nice hit! I like the way the keeper is so confounded by the dip and swerve he barely attempts to save it

    a 6th place finish for me in season 4 with the defaults, not bad but not enough for promotion. Goalscoring is a problem, as Coutinho, Jarvis and Yankov are still 70-72 OVR and don’t create much for themselves. Star players these days are Giorza and Castledine, both 83 OVR, and Rice is an excellent midfielder, usually hovering round the edge of the box to thump a shot in. Might be running out of time for promotion though, as CBs Vasilj and Eriksson are down to 59 and 61 and getting overpowered by average forwards now

  2. Great goal from Gabi, not quite postage stamp but a great goal nonetheless.
    I imagine you let out a squeal when that went in.

    How was the free kick cheating? it was placed well, hit hard and flew in, another great goal.

    As for the youths, I have Terry in my team after promoting him from the youths, this is his 2nd season and he’s solid, as you’d expect, great in the air.
    I also had Jesus Navas for 2 seasons and sold for 11 million earlier this season.
    I also passed up on Baines, Cannavaro, Torres, Buffon, Pique, *continue listing superstars* …. it is way too overpowered, your youth team after 5 seasons becomes a warehouse for world class players.

  3. That’s a proper long-ranger. Good that it can be done even if they are a little too rare. It’s just that type of space you need to hit a shot like that which seems to disappear in games when the AI is being a bugger.

    By the way n-G, have you stuck with your 4-3-3?

    Six games to go in season 4 and I’m having to fight to stay in the top six. I want a Europa place at least.

  4. Shed – I consider it my first true long-ranger of PES2017. Only took me until Season 5.

    I am persisting with my 4-3-3, despite it failing to set the ML world alight thus far. It’s the least ineffective formation I’ve come across. They all tend to get smothered after a while.

    Paul — the Youths situation seriously hacks me off. Long gone are the days of nurturing some young unknown. Yes, we could still do that, I’m sure, but I always play ML the way it’s set up first.

    Abbeyhill — 6th with those players is good going. My Rice seems to have topped out and won’t improve no matter what Training regime jiggery-pokery I employ. Ditto Jarvis, it seems. I offloaded Giorza long ago if only because he WILL turn into a superstar, and I had him as one all last year in ’16.

  5. Very nice long rangers there. Too bad they’re so sparse, I haven’t scored any yet.
    As for the youths, it is indeed way too overdone. My plan now is to offload them to other teams in the league, to at least make them have *some* value.

  6. I’m still wary of Konami’s ‘Live Update’ feature.
    How can teams still have their real-life current day squad after 6 seasons in my game? Im sure the Live update is somehow overwriting some of ML’s transfers and replacing them with original squads.

  7. I’ve now stopped even looking on the youth list for signings – they’re so stupidly over powered.

    Paul – Thanks for the Christmas kit. Very festive!

  8. Good effort on that kit Paul, how about an elf one for the opponents?

    Abbeyhill – what are you going to do when they retire? Have you been using the youth team or resolutely sticking with the original lineup no matter what?

    Like others I have no issue with that free kick NG. I always try over the wall and one has gone in, it’s how I clunk the bar so frequently, there must be a very small window of just high enough yet low enough. No I’m in the premier league I’m not going to try, smash or lay off it is.

    Won my second Europa league match and am already looking secure for the knockout phase. After that awful dull start the game has been spot on with attack and variety. I still feel there’s an element of nerf as I should be scoring much more heavily given my forwards and approach. Similar to Paul’s comment I’ve just played man Utd and it’s unthinkable that after four seasons their team is martial, Rooney, fellaini, schweinstiger, etc etc.

  9. Turf, season 3 and utd have clyne, Vidal & lewandowski (steger) in my ml

  10. Hmm, well I have live updated so maybe that’s a factor? Have you Pete?

  11. Yes, I’ve let the updates happen automatically, I did notice a month ago or so that loads of free agents vanished from the game (though stayed in my ml) after one of the updates. My star striker, Henry, is no longer in the edit mode and wouldn’t be there if I started a new ml

  12. I turned off the live updates before ever starting my ML so it’s a non-issue for me.

    The free kick was a ‘cheaty’ one in the sense that it’s not an up-and-down over-the-wall free kick. They’re the traditional nes that I’ve yet to get in PES2017. Only got a couple in PES2016 too. I’ve never been a regular free kick scorer in PES. Probably just PES2012 and PES5 were FK golden years for me.

  13. Turf – still just using the original defaults. Plan is to get promoted, try to survive one season in D1 with the defaults and then start signing youths. However if promotion proves impossible I’m not sure what plan B is. Maybe start again

  14. I don’t think live updates affect an active ML save. Could be that just their existence affects the underlying transfer logic in ML, but it doesn’t move around players automatically I dont think.

    Just finished 6th in my fourth season, first with ajax. No euros for me this year. Just domestic League and Cup then. Not getting anything done with 433 so I think I will try 442 again.. Could be worth trying.
    Some random thing I was just thinking of.. I think the devaluation of individuality is even worse than thought. oftentimes, especially when it’s hypercuntification time, you feel like your not playing a CPU “team” but more a collection of stats.

  15. #1 – agree entirely, the live update thing has to be a red herring, there is no way that it could affect an ongoing ML.

    Still struggling to find the right formation for PES2017 too. It’s not really a ‘running’ PES that rewards pace in the channels, or a passing one as the centre is so congested. And I’m reluctantly agreeing with not-Greg that it’s not really a crossing one either, although perhaps because none of my default strikers are that aggressive in the air. Most of my goals come from threading a through ball to a run into the box, so have just switched to a 4-2-3-1. Jarvis has great movement in the box, and Castledine and Rice have central positions for their powerful shooting. Arcas a bit out of place as a RMF though

  16. Ive got dozens of goals that would show you different abbeyhill, but I still don’t know how folk do those show reels. You won’t get much head wise with the defaults but once you get a good cf you should be banging them in. Unless of course you play NG’s brand of tiki taka or whatever is going wrong for him in the crossing dept.

  17. Tiki taka is – much like 4-5-1, false 9, double-pivot, cowardly refs and their contextual decisions, etc. – the source of everything that’s destroyed football. I read an article somewhere the other day from somebody saying they had never loved Barcelona, for example, and I just thought yes, yes, yes. Loving Barcelona, or even just admiring them (which I don’t either), is seen as the litmus test of ‘being a football fan’, and I’m quite indecently happy not to be one.

  18. That’s as maybe not-Greg but I often think your play looks quite tiki-taka-y! Playing it out from the back, short passes only, ball always on the ground, focus on possession, teasing out space etc. A lack of big hoofs from the back, flick-ons, sweeping crossfield balls, hopeful pumps into the mixer. Not meant as a criticism, of course

  19. abbeyhill — no that’s fair comment and supports my contention that PES long ago superseded the sport upon which it’s based. I forgot to include the fawning adoration of Barca-style ‘team goals’ in my gallery of obnoxiousness. The sight of somebody side-footing the ball into the net from 2 yards after 100 consecutive passes has an astounding ability to create sheer orgasm in commentators and fans alike. Paul, you’re up!

  20. NG – Watching Barcelona for me is like ironing and painting fences. The same tedious actions over and over again. I remember a few years back playing a demo of Fifa in GAME and a foreign lad joined me and went into some kind of mesmeric fit when Messi got the ball and just kept repeating his name and looked at me in astonishment as to why I wasn’t joining in this ritual. He was soon joined by another fellow, who also seemed equally as mesmorised. I left them to it and with a shake of the head, went to Greggs. Strange people.

  21. A short update on my “shipping out youth players to competing teams” experiment. A strange side effect I noticed is that my doing this seems to have triggered the CPU into going on the transfer market by themselves. They’re keeping the players I’m offloading (for now) and looking for new blood by themselves. Interesting. They’re not always fielding the players either so CPU formation is not solely based on player OPRs. There must be some chaos factor in there as well. Interesting to see what happens.

  22. I haven’t seen it since so possibly this is one of those ‘golden memories not matching the actuality’ moments but the finest example of football I can recall was Milan humping barca 4-0 in the European cup final. Quickly followed by Liverpool whacking five past forest. I don’t recall tiki taka or diamonds n triangles just two teams in full flow. I’ve never favoured either of the Classico sides, in fact I struggle to have ‘a team’ in most leagues and sports. The redskins are an exception, I can’t think of a single other side I ‘root’ for.

    Skyrim is back on mid-pes and I’m much less powerful than I remember. I’ve done enough of the main quest to have the glorious fus..etc but I’m going to have to do some side quests to level up a bit, alduin will hand me my arse if I go too far like this.

  23. Turf – me neither as the only other team I have followed is Lancashire in the cricket and that is for geographical reasons. Saying that apart from the name there is little connection with the county as the hq is in Manchester and only one of the out grounds (Blackpool, Southport, Liverpool and Lytham) is actually in Lancashire anymore.

  24. Youth system is a daft feature. Surely Konami can do better than regens? Why do they do so many silly little things which irritate so greatly.

  25. Mr sifter – I think it’s equal parts lack of care / attention and getting as much people to my club as from what I understand there is where th *real* special players can be found i.e. Ronaldinho, Kluivert etc. “legends” or some such which can carry over to the ML world. Thus in turn devaluating getting Totti or some other “normal” regen in ML.

  26. #1 – I’m sure the Arsenal in my ML have a team with several strange names (i.e. not all ‘real life’ Arsenal 2016-17 players). I will check in the morning. This business of all the big teams sticking with their starting rosters isn’t something I’ve noticed, and despite my massive downer on real-life football it is something I hope I’d notice.

    Uncle Turf – I recall that 4-0 Milan job on Barca – the Gullit final wasn’t it? Didn’t he get a rare header? – and that AC Milan team. There’s footage on YouTube with Johan Cruyff and his staff smoking tabs on the bench. 1994. A world away now.

    Darryl – PES took the wrong road in having cover stars, I think. It started with PES4 – until then, no cover stars. Then the whole stars philosophy took hold, and suddenly we had summertime trailers showing wonderful dribbling feet and magical skills of the kind you see in halftime car commercials (you know, the sort of ads where a host of famous faces do football-themed parkour in an urban setting).

  27. Classic Master League option – PES 5

    I’m still PES 5 playing on and off when time allows. The ML progress took a major diversion after we moved into our new apartment in the middle of the year. Nowadays I manage one or two matches a week. My shooting touch is still off, but AC Milan is just barely at the top of Serie A midway through season 3. A memorable match was a 2-0 home win over Barcelona – they had 3 times more shots but 2 satisfying thumps from Adriano gave me the win 🙂

  28. NG – could be that it is a random number generator thing again then? However in my first seasons in the premiership it must be said that I saw far less transfer activity than now in the eredivisie. City, United, Liverpool and many other still have their original starting 11. Could be coincidence though.

  29. Had a couple of games over the weekend, including the 2nd leg of the Champions League Ko round vs Real Madrid.
    I hammered them 4-1 at the Bernabeu, and duly stuck another 3 past them at home for a resounding 7-2 aggregate win to reach the quarter finals where I’ll play Athletico Madrid.

    What disappointed me greatly was the complete lack of sense of achievement in knocking Real out of the Champs League. I would expect, on Superstar, in the latter stages of the most prestigious club tournament (licensed to boot) in the sport, to face a rampant Madrid side, showing off their skill and pace.
    Ronaldo and Bale should have ran me ragged, Benzema should have finished deadly, I should have had to really focus and concentrate to earn anything from this game.
    Instead at one point I found myself tapping my iPhone screen to read a text message, such was the comfort that I was experiencing.

    The Com never attempted to get the ball into Ronaldos feet that often, Bale never once used his pace… it all felt very sterile.

    After that game I played Sunderland in the league, they’ve lost their last 5 games, and I drew 1-1 with them. I’m 2 points behind City at the top with 6 games to play, maybe Konami’s way of keeping the title challenge alive until the end by ramping up weaker teams and nerfing my abilities.
    Quite a contrast.

  30. Paul – I’ve seen the same in the cl and it is a bit disappointing as it makes it all feel a bit flat. It *can* ramp up difficulty-wise from the quarter final onwards or so but it’s pretty random in my experience.

  31. From my experience Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea all had pretty much the same starting line up, come season 10.

  32. I’m about 1 hour out from my first session of the week (no PES since Friday afternoon and I am thirsty…) and will check the lineups for every team I play and report back in comments.

    Paul – same as it ever was in PES, unfortunately. This ties into the ‘star turn’ that PES took some years ago now. It never really has been matched by a parallel experience in-game. Playing the big boys is often anti-climactic and samey. I have to say though that in PES2017, for me, so far, playing the big boys domestically has been exhilarating.

    LC – keep the faith! Whenever I go back over to PES5, and that day is coming, hopefully months away still but it is coming, I wonder if I will ever come back.

  33. Managed to finish season 4 over the weekend. The last few matches were a real battle and despite being top six all season I was rather gutted to finish eighth, just one point short of qualifying for the Europa.

    Now planning season five with a change of formation and some ruthless culling of some of the old guard. My nippy striker Andy Youds has gone as has Gomez, my winger. Others will follow. I’m trying a fluid 4-3-3 which is really the dreaded 4-5-1 when not in possession.

    Things won’t get started for season five until I’ve got some new kits. I’m still struggling to make my own but will have another go later today.

  34. Shed – just shout if you need anything kit wise.

  35. Shed – to make straightforward PS2-style kits, just grab one of Paul’s templates, load it into Preview on your Mac, and go Tools>Adjust Color, and fiddle around with the sliders until you hit on something you like.

    Just played a long session on the game and loved it, really loved it. A few things will always hold PES2017 back from being a proper PS2-era-style home run of a PES game. No fouls, poor individuality, and a janky ML environment. Of the three I’d put no fouls as the most serious, because when there are fouls there is more individuality manifest on the pitch. When there are no fouls – and there are just too many matches without any fouls at all, or so few as to make no difference – then you’re essentially in control of 11 bundles of pixels chasing a round bundle of pixels around a rectangle in a video game. The two extremes of PES2017 are the result of trying to cater for pick-up-and-play Johnny Onliner. This has got to stop.

  36. Its a vicious, never ending loop/cycle NG, as the more you step up the difficulty levels in the game, the harder it is/should be to make chances, so when you do make chances, to be blatantly fouled and have them ignored by the game is a major irritation, so you train, buy better players, change playing styles, create more chances, get fouled more, still don’t get any decisions….. rinse and repeat.

    I just don’t comprehend how Konami have gotten this so so wrong.

    by ‘Janky ML environment’ do you mean the slightly dodgy transfer activity, and other bits which make up the ML mechanics?
    If so, and you was the lead designer for ML at Konami, for PES18, what basics, or mechanics would you change/include/exclude for a revamped ML mode?

  37. Paul – PES2017 as it is + an average of 6-10 fouls, per side, per 10-minute match + no Youth team Regen extravaganza + proper AI team transfer behaviour = an awesome PES2018. Nearly every other issue that could be brought up would be resolved by those few changes to gameplay (fouls) and ML.

    The fouls are the way they are on purpose.It’s not some mysterious aberration. It’s exactly the way they’re meant to be, for purposes we know so well. Fast, furious, fun, etc.

  38. Random question alert : anyone have good advice on what camera to use? I’ve been using dynamic wide (custom with a but more height) all this time now but visibility is bad near the touch line and during goal mouth scrambles. I’ve been experimenting with custom camera, zero zoom and 10 height and angle and that works pretty nicely, very pes 11 like (and also discussed here a few months ago if I’m not mistaken) … Any “sweet” spot settings this year?

  39. NG – theres a few other things id change, to make ML more enthralling and more of an immersive mode rather than just a pick team-play match-sign player-pick team-play match kinda thing as it is now.
    But then theres a fine line between pick up and play/accessible, fun element and deeper more involved, time consuming mode.
    Things such as sponsorship deals, managed revenue, hiring of different level of scouts, agents, season objectives to hit, Player management….

    #1 – I know NG uses a PS2 style elevated camera with an angle, I personally use the default wide but with zoom set to 0. I find it the best overall camera.

    I really like broadcast too for the old FIFA style isometric type view, but don’t like nit when it zooms in when the ball is on the wing.

    Had a 5 game session last night that id rate at around 9.6 out of 10.
    Played Athletico Madrid in the quarter finals of the champions league, first match Away, went 1-0 down after about 25 mins, then went on a rampage whereby I scored 4 goals in about 20 mins, including 2 worldies, from distance, to win the first leg 5-1.
    Next match was a league game against Sunderland, who hadn’t won in 5 games, the game has a habit of making weaker opposition really tough in the league, so this was a tricky one, again going 1-0 down and levelling immediately.
    A very tight affair, knowing that I needed a win as im 2 pts behind City at the top of the league with 5 games to play.
    A nice passing move and a dribble from Arcas before slotting home near post in the 85th min grabbed the win.

    Champions League return leg next up at home, a bit of a nothing match due to the resounding first leg result, so fielding fringe players and rested my main ones, went 1-0 down against the run of play, but grabbed 2 late goals to win 2-1, and 7-2 on aggregate.

    Last up was a top of the table clash, against Man City. They haven’t lost at home all season and are the leagues top scorers, I have the best defence, something had to give.
    It was one of those gloriously bright sunny games where the graphical beauty of PES was lit up, and the tension was palpable, the whole match felt on edge.
    Win this and I would be top by a point with 4 games to go, lose and Id be 5 points behind with 5 to go.
    0-0 until the 75th min, them Arcas unleashed a drive from the edge of the box to make it 1-0 to us, 88th min and as city poured forward, Embolo (European and world player of the year) pounced and made it 2-0 for the win.

    Im now a point clear with 4 games left, and in the semi’s of the Champions League, the double is still on.

  40. #1 – yes, I still use the PS2-like camera as discussed previously, but have been considering a switch lately, nothing definite yet though.

    Paul – sounds like an awesome session and I’ve had a few of those lately. Your ML ideas are nearly all things that have been present before in some form, i.e. in PES2010 and PES2011’s MLs, the best we’ve ever had. From a foundational point of view though, all we need are restricted finances and a Youth setup that doesn’t pop out 10 world class players every 6 months, and we’d be good to go. Just those two changes would transform ML at a stroke.

  41. We can live in eternal hope, we know Konami wont make those kinda changes as we’ve had in previous ML’s because ML is now geared to pick up and play 5 seasons type gamers, hence the no fouls and uber quick youth development.

    PES 12’s stadium editor, alongside PES10’s ML, and PES 17’s Gameplay = The Perfect PES.

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