Yes we Can

Through the pre-Season 3 transfer window, and I made a few absurd signings that would never happen in ‘real life’. I got Kenedy, Emre Can, and the aged but still Big Named Lukas Podolski…

I enjoy making these moves for big players in Master League – as long as the Master League in question can support it (i.e. not turn into a canter). I recall getting a boatload of Classic Players back in PES2012 at aorund this juncture – Van Basten, George Best, Falco, etc. – which was sniffed at at the time by some commenters, but that move turned out to be the making of PES2012 for me.

Quite a few PES editions, including all recent ones, have fallen apart very quickly as soon as squads mature and talent arrives. But certain other Master Leagues can absorb anything (in a cheaty way, usually, but still). PES5, PES2011, PES2012, PES2014, and now PES2018? Could this game eventually stand in that hallowed company? It seems unlikely now, but it’s not impossible.

One of my lesser (but greater) signings was M KEANE from Liverpool at CB. He might well play his full career here. Already putting in sterling performances, and already Captain. (Would get a 7 or 8 on the Individuality front.)

I also picked up KENEDY from Chelsea. Oh, and a Youth CB with the nothing-to-see-here name of FANNI.

My final unlikely signing was the 36-year-old L PODOLSKI. In real life, a striker of his stature would retire before going to a second-tier English club. Death before dishonour. But this is not real life – this is better than real life. A creaky Master League in a dodgy edition of PES is better than all real-life football. Not just by a little bit, but by a lot.

Here is my Season 3 First XI and squad – there are two players out of screenshot at the bottom of the list, Rice and Castledine:

Podolski played in the first few matches, but didn’t do much. Got a goal, handled well, nothing special (5, so far, for Individuality).

Veldwijk came in for him and scored back-to-back braces, and chipped in with regular goals here and there. Consecutive great performances are a rarity for a nuPES player, so it felt as if Veldwijk was making a point. ‘I was top scorer last season and you’re dropping me for this has-been?’  Veldwijk has been restored to first-choice striker. I have tried playing them alongside one another, but there was a bit of a Lampard-Gerrard style cancelling-out effect that I didn’t like.

Results are good. Here is the table after 17 matches of Season 3:

I’ve managed to lose 5 matches and still sit just 4 points from the top. League table scripting is a thing, a most definite thing.

I believe I will go up this season. Getting several players into the Team of the Month is always a sign of impending promotion.

Can so far hasn’t really stood out. His current Individuality rating would be a 4. He will get at least a full season.

All in all, Top Player is starting to feel like something soon to be left behind. Not this season, but maybe next in the Premier League – if I get there – I’ll go up to Superstar.

Updated: 7th November 2017 — 11:00


  1. NG – my rant was really aimed at digs against the AI & nothing else 🙂 I agree on the other points, just not with us much zeal. Looking forward to James posting more about Legend presuming he does so before I venture on to it!

  2. @Jay thank you for reminding me why I do not post anything on any forum as a general rule. You have taken micro-snippets from my point what I will say in reply is that, here is the first time I have expreesed an opinion online about the game and sure enough, a constructive reply? No a self described rant, not based on my piece or my opinion that you were quick to critise.
    To add you are partially right in relation to the AI team selection the AI often selects its lowest ranked goalkeeper.
    Anyway keep up the good work NG a silent observer I shall remain!

  3. Having two players “injured” for the pre-season tours, should you qualify, is standard – and in the two instances that I’ve had so far, they’ve been my best-rated squad members.

    I’m off PES until the patch arrives. As enjoyable as PES 2018 can be, foul-free matches are bad enough on Superstar. I’m not making the full step up to Legend until I can be sure that I can play without the AI constantly kicking the fuck out of my players with absolute impunity.

  4. James/Jay – could Konami be getting quaintly confused with how real-life players are so often withdrawn ‘injured’ from International squads during breaks in the season? I imagine this increasingly well-known phenomenon being on somebody’s list called Things In Football We Might Do In ML. ‘But not everyone is an International manager too. How do we incorporate it in the mainline of ML?’ After a few turns of the wheel, it emerges as this baffling feature of pre-season tournaments. Just a guess.

  5. A rant – yes. But not based on your piece and points – no. I stand by my point that not winning doesn’t equal AI broken. The tyre might be a bit flat and the bell doesn’t ring, but the bike still cycles.

    In my reply I pointed out many reasons why I don’t think the AI is “broke” and highlighted criticisms as well as praise for the game. People will always have differing opinions on a game. I wasn’t abusive and wasn’t personal.

    I apologise to NG if I’ve causes him to lose a poster.

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