What is my most favourite day of the year?

in-the-tunnelThe 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.

pes2017-aborted-season-6-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.

pes2017-season-6-won-the-community-shieldThe 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:

pes2017-league-after-6Two 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.

back-to-4-2-2-2

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.

europa-cup-pre-matchThe 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.

europa-cup-group-after-3One 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:

puzzling-rice-spielWhat’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

Updated: 29th December 2016 — 00:28

118 Comments

  1. Werd – my Christmas Jack Daniels that the wife bought me has all gone. I was going to save it to have the odd one here and there but that idea was abandoned after the bottle got past the halfway mark.

  2. Good Man Darryl – a big JD fan myself.
    rthe wife bought me a huge 1.5 ltr bottle of Ltd edition gentlemans Jack back from California, only a dribble left, also have the single barrel edition which is nice and smooth, like the honey one also. Perfect for a cold winters night!

  3. Bloody arse – my skyrim has just been delivered, 6pm on the day I packed up the room with my ps4 in as its being decorated. It was clearly the parcel force equivalent of the sock down the radiator.

  4. well I was reading it as suggesting Jupiter was a planet of pretty colours and surface froth, composed mostly of gases in fast, frantic churning motion, just like online gaming. In the absence of much knowledge about Jupiter (it’s the large colourful one with a spot?) this seemed quite plausible and a really good metaphor.

    Turf – that is precisely the reason I’m not buying VR, always like to be fully aware of my surroundings. Looking forward to trying out for the first time at work tomorrow though, as a colleague is bringing in his HTC Vive to run on my new laptop

  5. abbeyhill – the solar system to scale shows how influential Jupiter is, and Saturn to a lesser degree. (Make your own Uranus joke. Pluto has been missed off – as a space geek I approve, as a sci-fi nerd, I disapprove.) There’s a school of thought that Earthlike planets must co-exist with a Jupiter-style neighbour to create the conditions for life to flourish, as they (the Jupiter-style planets) play a big role in ensuring a relatively stable inner solar system environment, their gravitational pull being so massive. I share observations like this with the women at my office all the time and they just love it, I’m sure.

  6. You may have a soft spot for Jupiter, but Mercury is the only one to have a prize.

  7. Lloyd – just watched your last vid and the one before. First of all congrats on the silverware on Unassisted passing, and second – what a showreel of goals! You score plenty of long-rangers, right enough. Who is this Aduriz? Regen of the Bilbao striker?

  8. NG – yep, got him as a 16yo. He’s hitting top form this season and last. Up to 100 overall.

  9. No sextuple this season, lost in the Semis of World Club Championship. Bugger.

  10. Venus has been highly visible in the sky at night for the last few weeks, thought we’d sprouted a new moon at first but no, according to Brian Cox its Venus.
    If it sticks around too long the Sun will start offering £9.50 holidays there.

  11. I can’t quite get my head round it when people say object X in the sky looks reddish/blueish, etc – they all look white and shiny to me. I downloaded that app that maps constellations onto your phone screen when you hold it up but I’m buggered if I know how these folk discovered Saturn hundreds of years ago. I guess I’d have been the one trying to get them thrown on the bonfire for being heretics.

    Spoke to another guy who has used a VR, he said he also felt queasy when he had to look down in it, some space shooter that made him feel like he was dangling in mid air. Can’t wait for the Daily Mail headline about gaming leading to serious illness, they’ve got to have something to fill the clown space.

  12. Turf – I think VR has to be judged on an individual basis. I sometimes get some motion sickness from reading in the car or on spinny rides at a fair etc, but was pleasantly surprised how smooth the PSVR experience is, its very comfortable and quite lightweight, and as I said the only game I’ve felt queasy from was RIGS, and that’s a very high tempo frenetic moving about game.

    Think VR definitely has a solid footing in the future of technology, an IT managed services company I recently worked for is utilising VR so that when a client reports some downtime with their servers or data comms, instead of sending an engineer to their site to check the comms cabinets and patch leads etc he can connect to their site remotely and use a VR headset to look around the comms cabinet virtually, identify that a LAN switch may be down, and remotely reboot it, saving all that timer and expense travelling to site and fixing it in person.

    Quite clever stuff.

  13. Paul – Yes I was out at the front the other night in my tartan’s looking at Venus. For the record it is a new pair of PJ’s and a green tartan colour.

  14. Darryl – I still vividly have the images etched into my mental state of you donning those red tartan PJ’s wit MOTD theme music in the background for that video you sent in ages ago ….

  15. VRs problem so far is that every 15 years it is wheeled out to a new generation as a new technology, and public expectations are raised in an area where the technology isn’t up to the task.

  16. that’s the thing Chris – previously in years gone by the tech wasn’t up to the task, it was premature, but today, VR works very well.
    not even taking the high end devices like the occulus rift into account that cost nearly a grand and require a several thousand pound pc to run properly, but just the Playstation VR, which costs sub 40 quid and will run fine on an existing standard PS4, with already 70 titles available for it.

  17. Maybe technology has caught up to now hit a price sweetspot where users’ expectations are met. I haven’t tried any of the recent cheaper devices except the 3DS, and I don’t really count that. Previously you had to be a 12 year old boy or a 20 something with a background in maths and/or computer graphics to find it mildly interesting; I’ve been both.

  18. Darryl – Mrs Werd bought us all new pJ’s for xmas. Mine were also green tartan, most taken with them.

    No PS4 as Mini Werd 2 awoke about 22:00. I did cause mario maker 3ds to have massive slow down as I placed loads of tiles etc. 25 levels created so far.

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