Just a man, and his will to survive

Season 7 of Master League in PES2017. I won the League Title in Season 6. I am competing in the Champions League for the first time this season. I’ve got a squad of tough, skilful players. Maybe they’re not the highest-rated players I could possibly have, but I know what each one does and how they slot into the way I like to play. PES2017’s limited player individuality allows me that much.

Traditionally, this is the period of an ML when I’m consolidating and building towards my career-ending climax, whatever form that takes. And then I’ll wave bye-bye to PES2017, and be chomping on a PES5 sausage in time for supper…

Except PES2017 has other ideas.

My start to Season 7 has been little short of shocking. After 10 matches in the League, this is the table:The same old problem is affecting me – lack of goal-scoring. I have no trouble making chances, really. But I don’t score them.

I have played one of the best single matches I’ve played in PES2017. It was the opening match to the Champions League group, against my toughest opponents on paper, Sevilla.

It was at their place. I struggled form the start to cope with their aggression and skill. They were like 2004 Arsenal crossed with 1970s Leeds. It all seemed a proper step up from the Premier League routine.

Sevilla took the lead in the first half, and truthfully could have had 5. I offered nothing up front myself.

At half-time, I changed things around. Key to this was the bringing-on of a substitute, James Rodriguez.

Rodriguez has been a disappointment since I got him in mid-season of Season 6. In common with most PES2017 players, he feels like just another nimble online-friendly clone. His touch and turn and skills are all sadly near-universal in PES2017. He doesn’t stand out in any way.

But maybe it’s me, to a certain extent at least.

I switched from my beloved 4-2-2-2 to a 4-1-3-2, with those three midfielders all playing as AMFs and forming a spearhead behind the front two. The lone DMF would sit in front of the back four and help out up front when possible. It’s the same formation with which I played the whole of my recent PES2014 ML, to decent effect.

Rodriguez was the central AMF in the spearhead, and things felt different immediately. I made chances. However, the game spun on without me taking any of them, and it was looking like a 1-0 defeat, Until Rodriguez popped up with the equaliser. The screenshot at the head of this post captures the moment he leapt onto a loose ball and first-timed it into the net from 30+ yards. An exhilarating moment that felt deeply satisfying after my tactical tinkering.

It’s the first of 3 interesting goals in this video:

That’s yet another first-time long-ranger. Having scored a few now, I’m happy they’re possible at least. But now I want to know if non-first-time long-rangers (30+ yards) are ‘allowed’ on PES2017.

A word about the diving header seen at the end of the above video, and the player who scored it.

I’m on record as asserting that PES2017 is not the headers-friendly game that many PES folk insist it is. It’s simply not that way for me. The cross that led to the diving header is the kind I send in hopefully – and usually fruitlessly – 5 or 6 or 10 times per match.

This time, I saw Halilovic, playing as an SS in this moment in this match, making the run, and pressed rather early, with the outcome that can be seen. A wonderful 1987-style header. Coventry fans, bow your heads.

A few seasons ago I recall Halilovic being the particular target of my ire about PES2017’s lack of player individuality. I was going to sell him. I didn’t, and I’m now glad I didn’t. A pint-sized, skilful player with a weak shot who doesn’t score many, but often manages to surprise. Yes – I’m declaring Halilovic to be my Shimizu.

I’ve since played another three matches in the Champions League group:

Drawn two more, lost one. I’ll need to win my last two group matches to have any chance of progression. It seems I’ll have to win the competition to be in it again next season.

My League form is atrocious.

West Brom thumped me 3-0 at home. Man Utd thumped me 4-0 at home. This wasn’t how it was last season. This isn’t how it was meant to be this season.

One thing’s for sure. I won’t be walking away from PES2017 without having a serious tilt at the Treble. My terrible start to Season 7 means there’ll be at least two more seasons after this one, and probably more besides. PES2017, despite its well-documented faults (no fouls, no player individuality, poor ML environment), is hanging on in there.

Updated: 20th January 2017 — 10:09


  1. Noce goals!!! that Torres goal was absolute classic Torres. Great hit from James too.

    my start to this season in terms of league form was poor too. After winning the champs league and premier league last year I was aiming for all 5 trophies this year (not counting Charity shield – its not a proper trophy) and I only took 1 point from the first 3 league games, losing my first game 2-1 to Southampton, so there went the invincibles season.
    Teams seem a lot tougher this year, and smarter, packing midfields and closing down my best players in a flash.

    Form has picked up and am now up to 3rd, having won my last 4 league games, sat 2nd in CL group too behind Barca.

  2. Paul — well I really am ‘doing a Leicester’ (this season’s Leicester) in my current season now, so there might be a script in the game where all the teams raise their game against you the season after you land major honours. Makes sense, and it’s another one of those things that we’d put in the game too if we were on the dev team.

  3. Seems like the only obvious reason, Konami did tout the intelligent AI and that it learns from your play, Maybe that’s it.
    Last season I expected to win every match, this season every match has been tough, even the 3-0 was only earned late on in the game, was a very tight match up to the pint that I scored, then they caved in.

    Either way, its welcome, and adding some longevity to PES 17, I may even yet play on beyond this season.

  4. I still find myself trying long range shots even though I know they’re not going to go in unless the keeper has wandered or it’s a first-time strike like your there n-G. Nice curly one too.

    I’ve started season 5 unbeaten after six matched. Six of my eight goals so far have been headers from crosses. Signed Dirk Kuyt as a back up player but having been forced to play him due to lots of downwards arrowed players (injured in my house rules) he’s gone and scored three in two matches.

    The other signings I’ve made seem like the same old types of player so far.

  5. Long Range shots are much more likely if they’re hit first time, even says so in the official pes manual. @its just find the space to allow it.

    I had Seydou Keita try 4 or 5 proper long rangers last night and every time they were rocketing for the top corners and every time the keeper pulled off worldy saves.

    Shed – I don’t believe you! 4 of 6 goals were headers?! no way, this isn’t a header friendly game you know 😉

  6. It’s definitely header friendly and I have two seasons’ worth of stats ready to drop shortly 😉

    Along with a few others I’m very proud of!

  7. I don’t doubt any of your claims at all. (No need to post stats, Jay.) My point all along with this has been that if headers from crosses are as straightforward or easy as you all claim, then surely I’d be getting them as well – which means that they’re not as straightforward or easy as all that.

    No PES for me today. I’ve had a day off work and been playing XCOM2: The Long War all the way. XCOM2 is a contender for best strategy game I have ever played, right up there with the best of Civilization, and this new expansion/mod is staggeringly good.

  8. Ha, classic PES not-Greg! Last time I won a league title (PES2014) the following season started off pretty much the same as your 2-4-4, every match with ghastly scripting. Just a case of hunkering down and hoping that the gap with the leaders isn’t too big by the time it lets you play again

    Season 6 ends with my defaults nicely midtable in D1 thanks to a 14 game unbeaten streak to finish. W10 D20 L8 F32 A27 so not very exciting but given I had a 64 LB Serkis and 64 DMF Grenville at CB it was not a bad effort

  9. Paul, would you mind knocking up a new PES United kit for me please using the same badge and maybe Estrella as the sponsor – free rein to do whatever you like with colour and design!

    No worries if not 🙂

    I got the second rate treble this season – PL, EL & FA Cup (as well as the Community Shield). Did the season (55 games) unbeaten, winning 51. Scored just under 200, with my striker Oulare getting 91 from 48 games. PL record was 35-3-0.

  10. Jay superb, I notice that the real Obbi Oulare is retweeting your exploits with him on PES! This has to be a first on peschronicles

  11. Jay – those are crazy stats, 91 goals?! What difficulty, and how many are headers?

    abbeyhill – no PES for me for 3 days, not because of my packed schedule but because of XCOM2. I put 80 hours into it last year to completion, but a semi-official new mod/expansion has just released and it is astounding. I never thought anything could top Civ II in the strategy stakes, but this game might just do it. Currently showing 92 hours played in Steam, which is unheard-of for a non-PES game for me in recent years.

    I have a feeling when I get back to my ML over the next day or two, I will start picking up results. Just a hunch…

  12. nG – Superstar. I only came close to losing once, which was against Leicester and I equalised with the last touch (a header) of the game!

    Well 59% of my goals came from crosses (117). Not all of those crosses resulted in headers, but maybe 80% were. Obbi got at least half of those too 🙂

    William, my RB assisted 26 of my PL goals. He’s got the trait “Pin point crossing” and high stats for Speed and Lofted Ball. Him to Obbi is a great partnership.

    I’m interested to see how the game makes it harder for me this season, be it scripting or otherwise.

    Abbeyhill – yeah, Oulare’s liked and retweeted a few of my exploits with him! He’s fast become my favourite ever PES player. Before him it was Klasnic on PES2008, I think. He had a massive shot and was so strong. That year I had him Modric, Petric, Srna, Krancjar as my Croatian core.

    The past two seasons Obbi’s gone from scoring 51 in 37 to scoring 91 in 57. This is down to improving the quality of crosses into the box, Obbi gaining first time shot and acrobatic shot this season, and the general increase of stats of my team over the past 5/6 seasons. 7 of my starting XI – GK CB CB DM RW LW CF – have been with me since mid season of first season or the end of first season. Having Ruskin rise to 77 has been a particular highlight of this ML.

  13. I was on a Christmas do last night and am reminded today why I don’t drink much anymore.

    NG – your PES exploits are mirroring the Red or Dead book I am reading as I am up to the point where Liverpool are struggling in 18th place, having won their first title under Shankly the year before.

  14. That’s a great book

  15. not-Greg – XCOM2 remains on my shortlist for playing at some point this year, I was reading a Eurogamer article on the long war expansion, sounds absolutely epic. According to Steam I have already sunk 79 hours into MGSV which is remarkable given how little progress has been made. Thanks for the recommendations on the MGS series. Still not convinced about resurrecting or replacing my PS3 to play them all but will get MGS3 on the 3DS as a first step

    Jay – also appreciate the presence of Ruskin in your all-conquering team, some nice assists and pen. Is Oulare highly promising in real life or has his PES development exceeded the likely outcome?

    Season 7 commences. Taken the defaults as far as I can (mid table in D1) so it is time for some signings at long last. House rule of only youth players and no more than 4 per season. In comes Kompany to sort out the defence, a left footed CB called P.Mathieu who will play at LB (unfortunately not a DMF!) and a M.Rodriguez to act as back up to Sahnoune, Castledine and Arcas in attacking midfield. Three 1-0 wins and a goalless draw so far, quite promising.

  16. abbeyhill – J MATHIEU is the man, of course. P Mathieu must be a Konami player – ?

    XCOM2 is the real deal. Vanilla was already superb, a proper 10/10 strategy game. Long War 2 makes it an 11/10 game. I loved XCOM1, a 9/10 game, but that was like ISS with XCOM2 being a PES2-style quantum leap

    Jay – I’m playing on the same difficulty as you at roughly the same stage of ML, and my experience is of a low-scoring game across the board. Different people, different skill levels I suppose.

  17. Jay – no probs, whats the badge ?? I cant remember, post a link to a url with it if you can.

    No Pes since last weds, been busy and the couple of times I have had an hour spare i’ve watched tv instead of bothering to play games.
    Hoping to recommence tonight.

  18. Sheer bliss on Saturday. Super Size Carvery a couple of pints and first Pro Ev in ages and Mini Werd 2 slept from 20:30 – 07:20!

  19. Paul – thanks 🙂

    Here’s the URL:

    As seen here: https://twitter.com/thefalselibero/status/822918122164420608

    Maybe a kit in a black/silver/white colour scheme would look smart. I don’t mind 🙂

  20. Ok Jay, Leave it with me

  21. Paul – PES, or any football game, is a permanent background presence in life, and that’s its greatness. Spending time away watching TV or playing other games isn’t peculiar for me at all, most weeks I spend a lot of time that I could have given to PES in doing other things, and it’s not an issue for me.

    With the blog I’m constantly aware that the less regular visitors might think, erroneously, two things:

    1) That I play every day and am some kind of ‘mad for it’ Pro Evo fanatic.
    2) That this is a gaming blog and I’m obliged to provide ‘coverage’ of a certain kind, e.g. talking about the game’s features in a journalistic fashion, giving FIFA a decent amount of time, etc.

    Neither of those things will ever be the case. I won’t play FIFA17 at all this year, I already know, and if I choose to drift off and play PES2009 or something at a moment’s notice, that’s just what’ll happen. I’ve just had a couple of matches in my ML and that’s probably all my PES done for today. Later I’ve got my eye on XCOM2, some telly, some reading, and then bed. I’ve got things to do tomorrow, and might not play PES again until Wednesday or Thursday. That’s just how it is, and that’s why PES is the pipe and slippers of gaming.

  22. NG – that’s it, I don’t feel any pressure to play PES every day, as you don’t, and I don’t think its expected, most adults don’t have time to dedicate to gaming every single day, that’s just life.
    I think this blog works better for that very reason.

    Jay – hows this?

    View post on imgur.com

  23. NG/Paul – that’s it for me at the moment for me as I am playing the odd bit of Fifa here and there, which just suits me fine. Have hit upon some settings that have transformed my Fifa experience. I have always found Fifa lightweight after playing PES for a while. I was messing with the cameras and played on Dynamic with height at 20 and zoom at 0, which gave a camera angle similar to PES. As a result the game seemed so much more robust and sturdy, with lots more variety and animations. Then I found some sliders a chap had put up on Operation Sports to give it PES style gameplay. This really worked the trick and have never seen Fifa play so good, with more natural transition of play and turnover of possession.

  24. Thanks Darryl I might give that a go. Currently doing my annual FUT foray (offline nG, don’t worry) until I bored and start a career.

  25. Chris – the Dynamic Camera angle is a must on 0 Zoom and 20 height and then the following sliders:-

    Match lenght: 10 minutes
    Difficulty: PRO
    Controles: Default
    Game speed:Slow

    Sprint speed: 20/20
    Acceleration: 45/45
    Shot error: 52/52
    Pass error: 50/52
    Shot speed: 55/55
    Pass speed: 40/40
    Inj freq:50/50
    Inj severity:50/50
    Goalkeeper ab:50/50
    Pos Marking: 75/75
    Run freq: 85/85
    Line height:50/50
    Width: 50/50
    Fullback pos: 80/80
    First touch err: 0/10
    Power bar: 50

  26. Paul – that’s beautiful 🙂

    I’ll use that as my away kit to complement the white and Red Red Stripe one! Thanks a lot – another great kit!

    Do I just click on the image and save it to USB? (Post on here from my iPhone)

    My unbeaten season didn’t stretch too far into the next. After winning the Community Shield 4-0 against Arsenal, and winning the UEFA Super Cup vs Manchester United (5-2 in extra time), my league started with an incredibly tough 1-0 win against Everton followed by a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea! I wouldn’t say it felt scripted, it felt how playing Chelsea should feel: Courtois was majestic in goal and Gabriel Jesus was clinical up top. I’m on 6 points after 3 games. Stoke top on 9 including a 4-0 smashing of Man U in first game!

  27. NG I started my ML with Forest but at the start of season 2, having list in the play offs last year and ending the transfer window having signed Vincent Janssen from spurs for 7m odd, as well as 2 players from Arsenal and numerous others I shouldn’t have access to at this early stage I’ve given up and started over with AC Milan. Signed a few lowly Italians, skipped my first game as I couldn’t be bothered with an all default XI and played game 2, Salernitana.

    This game was noteworthy for several reasons.

    I won 5-0
    I scored 2 free kicks for I believe the first time ever in any PES
    (and both with VASILJ)
    The second earnt me the “Sniper” trophy for a free kick from 30 yards. I’ll try to upload the video.

    The stadiums are much nicer in Italy!

  28. I’ll have a look at those settings when I eventually transition across to FIFA Darryl.

    Jay – yes just click the pic, to load it full size, right click and save as image. you need to put it in a folder called WEPES on your USB for the PS4 to read it.

  29. Mike – sounds like you really need to step up the difficulty. I lasted several seasons on Professional before hitting that threshold, but sounds like you’re well over the line already.

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