Sometimes in PES it’s not the spectacular goals that impress us, but the ordinary goals that look so perfectly lifelike.
I’ve been very vocal about decrying the way so-called ‘team goals’ are salivated over. A team goal is where there are 20 or 30 passes that culminate in somebody side-footing the ball into the net from four yards. Then you have to listen to the commentators squeeing over it afterward.
Sometimes you have to watch the whole thing again with a numerical counter in the corner of the screen racking up the passes. Yawn.
I see team goals as being ordinary goals. Yes, buildup is important and satisfying and an integral feature of a good goal and so on. But the real defining moment of any goal is the manner in which the ball is dispatched into the net. And so, for me, any 25-yard howitzer is a better goal than any four-yard-finish team goal by many orders of magnitude. (A team goal that was finished with a 25-yard howitzer would, I admit, be a truly great goal. Has there ever been one?)
But ordinary goals can be deeply satisfying too, in real life and in PES, depending on context.
Here is such an ordinary goal. The scene is thus: 1-1 in a tight Ligue 1 encounter, in my second season with Saint Etienne, using a severely underpowered House Rules squad, having escaped relegation by the skin of my teeth in my first season, and now trying my best to do something in season two – challenge for the top 6, get a cup run going, anything.
A corner on the left. Peter Crouch lurking in the box.
Yes – in PES there is something spookily lifelike about a glancing near-post header that flashes across the goal and creeps inside the post on the other side, isn’t there? Especially when it’s delivered by a beanpole like Crouch (who then wonderfully ‘armpits’ his much-smaller teammate during the celebration).
I don’t often show my ordinary goals on the blog – my bread-and-butter goals – but as you can probably imagine, they do comprise 95% of all my goals scored. And most are satisfying in their own ways.
Crouch’s glancing near-post header secured a 2-1 win. I’ve won and drawn enough to be in mid-table, lurking on the shoulder of the top 6, Seb Coe-style.
Realistically, I’ve probably got two more seasons – this season and one more after it – left in me before PES2017 collapses like the Blues Brothers’ car when they stopped outside the Cook County building. Enough will be enough.
So it’d be nice to take Saint Etienne back into Europe before I finish with them and PES2017. In that light, my number 1 target for this season must be to qualify for Europe in some way, via the League or Cup.
Every match is a battle, as is only right with a squad like this. I am currently still very much loving life in the slow lane with Saint Etienne.