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.