Well there was Kenedy

Season 4 has ended. My first in the Premier League, my first on Superstar difficulty, and it was a fairly nondescript season in terms of goals scored and my final league placement – but I enjoyed this season the most of all the seasons so far.

I finally managed to get a couple of players into the Team of the Month… for April, with just a few matches of the season remaining. Kenedy and Krul up there are the only Coventry players to have made it all season. A mark of how things went.

The final table:

A wretched season for goal-scoring, really.

Possibly the most interesting goal I scored was the first goal on show below – but see the AI goal that followed it in the second half of that same match…

I reiterate: these two almost identical goals – one from me, one from the AI – happened in the same match, either side of half time.

Curious, isn’t it? I don’t recall anything like it happening before in any PES. But given the thousands of matches I have played over the years, it’d be stranger if this kind of thing didn’t happen, at least once.

Kenedy at LB has been one of my key signings of this Master League so far. Tim Krul was a superb early-seasons keeper, but I’m not as enthralled with him in this first Premier League season. I’m thinking of cashing in on Krul in the summer and handing the jersey to his current understudy, Savic, who is currently rated about the same, and is younger.

Just as I’m putting the post to bed, I have made a potentially huge decision for the blog and my football gaming life.

It now seems likely that Pro Evolution Soccer is permanently locked into the online multiplayer marketplace and their gameplay expectations. They like it fast, they like it furious, and they like it fun. Good luck to them. I’m so happy for them. Goodbye to them.

As of early 2018, I will be adopting the PC as my football gaming platform of choice.

Really and truly, the console side of things has been taken over by an alien sensibility. Nobody can put their hand on their heart and honestly say that PES2018 on PS4/XB1 represents the same gameplay values as PES2-PES6 on PS2 and PES2010-PES2014 on PS3. Nobody could do that. I would seriously doubt that anybody who tried to pull that one off had ever truly loved PES. ‘But times change, and games have to change with them.’  Gotta love them backheels, eh? Loads of fun.

I’m moving platforms from console to PC on the basis that if there is still a chance for PES, it rests on a platform where the gameplay can be modded.

This represents something of a leap in the dark. There are currently no real gameplay-enhancing mods available. My perception of the PES-playing world in general is that the diehard, old-school players are in an ever-shrinking minority. I will doubtless amuse myself prettifying PES with all the pitches and ad-boards and camera angles and so forth, but that’s not what I’m principally looking for. The move to PC might leave me with substantial egg on my face. From a gameplay perspective, this really is nuPES’s last chance. I want to chance it.

It’ll take me a few months to find my feet with this new departure. In the meantime, my console-based PES2018 career will continue, hopefully toward the same kind of natural end as all the other ones of recent years. The growth of the PC platform should just nicely dovetail with the latter seasons of PES2018 on PS4.

Season 5 is next, and I want it to be considerably better than Season 4 was. Tuesday’s post will see me pass through a very important transfer window.

Updated: 1st December 2017 — 09:38


  1. Those 2 headers whilst very similar, were different enough to not be clones, both flicked headers looping across goal into the far corner, its probably not that unlikely given the angle of the cross and player positioning for these two goals to happen, the fact that it was in the same match was a bit quirky.

    At present, the PC version of PES18 is exactly the same as the PS4 version, with the added mode to change graphics elements, so same game, but can look nicer.
    If there was going to be a fundamental game play change mod, it would have surfaced by now, but hasn’t, and probably never will, so the new PC gaming rig is more likely to be utilised for other games, your PES experience wont change I feel.

  2. Paul – I don’t recall seeing any looping headers from crosses (particularly my backward one), so for these two closely similar goals to occur in the same match, in the same end, with roughly similar build-up play, one for me and one for the AI, struck me as noteworthy. I bet I could play PES for another several thousand matches and not see the same thing again.

    It’s been nearly 4 years since I had any kind of new gadget to play with, and I’ve never had a pimped-out PC, so I’m looking forward to it for more than just PES. As I have said here for months now, and again in the above post, if nothing transpires in the modding works (and I can’t believe there’s literally nothing to explore), that’s it for me and nuPES. I’m more excited about seeing XCOM2 and Civilizations V and VI on the new machine, to be honest. My expectations for PES are low now. I really do think the old guard have abandoned the series in various ways, either by moving to FIFA or deluding themselves that nuPES still represents all the values of old.

    But PES will get another chance in the new PC platform era. Who knows, maybe I’ll be the modder. I once programmed a Breakout clone on the ZX Spectrum, in assembly language, in 1985 or so. Piece of piss to get PES sorted in 2018.

  3. I’m rather pleased to see ML holding up with such a rigid challenge in the top division. I’ll also be going up to Superstar when I get promoted, which will hopefully be at the end of this my season three with Brighton on Top Player.

    I’m currently third at the halfway stage of my current season having got through one of those nasty little runs of games ML tends to throw at you when you think you’ve cracked it.

    On the player front, the biggest development in the last few games is summer signing M.Gomez (he’s Uruguayan so not the German Mario Gomez) who has displaced my main man P.Hoffman up front. He’s already scored ten in as many matches including a hattrick in a 4-1 vs Burton last night.

    I am finding a little more player individuality this year but why do AMFs all seem the same?

    On PC PES, I really have no idea about all this spec talk. I also find it odd that a couple of weeks on from planning to abandon modern PES (and I was and am included), some are considering splashing out £500 plus to keep playing Konami’s latest offerings.

  4. Shed – I’m getting the PC for myself primarily, PES is a high interest but not the reason. I won’t be playing Konami’s latest or any future offerings on it. I’ll be playing modded nuPES or no nuPES at all. PES2018 was definitely my last ever console PES purchase. The shit hit the fan two years ago for me with PES2016.

    why do AMFs all seem the same?

    I’ve been saying this since PES2016. I never, ever think ‘thank God Correa is on the ball!’ or ‘come on Prieto, come on!’. They might as well be called GenericAMF002341 etc. The answer is because they’ve stripped so many layers of stats and subtletly out of player individuality. Also, there is the ‘responsive’ delusion. Online requirements are to blame for everything bad that has happened to PES, and nothing good.

  5. Fair Point NG.

    The Gaming PC will be great for all those other games you enjoy, being able to play them on ultra settings, and also there’s a wealth of patches and mods for the likes of PES5,6 even the much heralded WE9LE, all of which will of course run like champagne on that kind of PC spec.

    I haven’t used an outright AMF this year for the first time in many years, not playing that diamond style formation means 2 CMF’s suffice, and both my CMF’s luckily enough fall into the upper reaches of the player individuality scale.

    Diakité is fast becoming one of my all round fave ever PES players, he’s an African Stevie G !!

  6. Paul – I might try switching my two AMFs to LMF and RMF. I take it that’s the set up you have.

    I’m two games away from the January transfer window so time to tinker.

  7. NG – in 2015 I have at least five players who carry the cmf, Amf, ss tag and yet can all be played at an advanced amf position with barely a rothmans paper between then. Even Totti who carries multiple traits plays virtually the same, give or take his awful stamina. It comes down to who has the best arrow ( and even then I’m not convinced that makes any difference).

    I am however sad that the blog will be turning into the village of the damned, where talk will turn to warhammer figures and Egyptian death metal bands. It feels a natural transition though when you look at things like the Star Wars battlefront hooha and the umpteen episodic releases of the likes of hitman and batman telltale. The console lone wolf is very definitely dying as once sold the game they carry no spending power. Might be time for me to dig out FM when that day comes, or maybe civilisation, the only games I’m ever likely to play as I feel like a piano shifter on the deck of the uss enterprise when left alone with a pc.

  8. Shed – I play a 4-4-2 with a LMF, RMF, DMF, and a CMF.

    Turf – my Uncle used to work for Rothmans, was always bringing over branded coats and such like.
    I was reading all about FM 2018 the other day, it looks seriously in-depth, but very appealing.
    Once I have transformed the office at home into a games room, I’m going to buy a laptop (Macbook Pro) so i can get rid of the big L shaped desk with the Mac Desktop on, I can then sit and have FM18 running whilst sat with the missus etc, otherwise id never get to put any decent amount of time in on it if I had to go and sit at a dedicated machine to play it.

    There is the mobile ver of course but thats watered down a lot.

  9. I once declined to buy a Honda as the salesman refused to consider chucking in a branded jacket as part of the deal. Must have been giving them away internally and the daft sod was over confident. I was never a big rothmans reader, I had a lot of the European football yearbooks – a tome I imagine Werd is familiar with.

    im still hanging around in fm 2014 but the transfers and job swaps are so frequent I don’t really mind. Sometimes amusing seeing the likes of dele Ali being transferred to Barnsley.

  10. Btw in that there real football England surely have to be looking at an easy ride to the quarter final? Where they will of course lose.

  11. Uncle Turf/Paul – Football Manager is always something I’ll wish I had more time for. I think it’s become overburdened with complexity since FM2011 or so. FM2010 was the last one I played extensively – that seemed just about on the sweet spot for me between fiddling and picking the team/watching the matches, always the best part of CM/FM. I know there’s a stripped-down option (I have FM2013), but that’s a bit too stripped down. Might as well play CM01/02 at that point. I do love watching the 3D matches though.

    Uncle Turf – next summer may be about nothing other than the Russian police vs assorted hooligan firms from various countries. It’ll be more interesting than the football. The group matches are always all right but is there ever a great International tournament match after the group stages anymore?

  12. Last tournament I remember enjoying was Italia 90. I enjoyed the football of our Euro hosting/almost victory but despised the johnny bandwaggoning of z list celebrities onto the football bus. I’d struggle to name the last few winners of world cups – I know it will have been one of Germany Italy Brazil though. Much as I’d like to see st basil’s and the kremlin I can’t imagine why anyone would want to go to it, they might as well paint a big target on their back.

    We’ve spoken before about the match watching of FM, something I never do. I’m a pure moneyball stat man when it comes to assessing players but agree latter FMs just gave too much to tinker with.

  13. just joined LinkedIn purely to access Paul’s chat, which has not disappointed so far. How do I ‘connect’ to the rest of you guys on it?

    not-Greg – sounds absolutely the right choice to shift to PC for PES and in general. Will download PES2018 on Steam and join you when the journey starts

  14. Abbeyhill – I don’t tend to put my name out on forums, not like Greg downs and that Cornish fisherman bloke but Paul likely doesn’t have many turf based connections and I’ll look for you under your no doubt Grendel emphasising profile…

    I’ve just got round to watching the force awakens now it’s on Netflix. I’m not a fan of that particular world (at least not since 1983) but bugger me, it’s a new hope, almost scene for scene.

  15. Uncle Turf – you might as well just play CM0102 then – I have been, once a week or so, for the past year, and itstill works perfectly well, will run on any computer, and if you’re not inspired by the 2001-02 football world setup, there are fan-made patches and add-ons to make the squads and leagues current, make transfer windows, etc. (there were no transfer windows in English football in 2001-02!). CM0102 official download link (just 277MB, how quaint). If you do grab that you’ll need a virtual disk drive to install it. And a no-CD crack, which I can supply if needed. My version is the 2016-17 season updated version. I really can’t see myself playing anything more complex than this on the football-managery front.

    abbeyhill – I’ve already a identified a few alleged gameplay-altering patches in the wild for PES2018. And of course the XCOM/Civilization possibilities are mouthwatering.

  16. Championship 01/02 is probably my favourite footy manager game of all time and had a Hull save that lasted about 30 seasons. Them were the days. FM 2012 was the last one I played. I used to play in the 10th tier of the football league with additional leagues added. Actually I have just realised I did play a bit of the Championship Manager comeback game. Was that 2013 or 2014, can’t remember off hand.

    I found myself watching the Rugby League World Cup final on Saturday. In the past I have watched Rugby Union but never bothered with RL. I found myself quite engrossed and wondered on the possibility of getting a RL game. The whole 6 tackles and fight for territory dominance, seems like something that would work on a video game.

  17. Just had a look it was actually Championship Manager 2010 that I was on about. Shows how time flies.

  18. I’m quite a keen rugby league follower Darryl and can happily enjoy both codes without the ridiculous x is better than y nonsense. However, I don’t think they’ve made a good rugby game since Jonah lomu, and even then you need street fighter like dexterity to pull off the run, hand off and kick ahead in one flowing move. Madden is hard enough to remember which is spin/hurdle/shove while you are moving and sprinting but add in offsides, regular passing, kicks and it all adds up to be quite complicated fare. Someone may know better – I had a look at the EA one a few years ago and there was a rugby manager sim but recently I’ve lumped it in with cricket after reading reviews that don’t promise much.

  19. Turf – I have played some of the Rugby Union games such as Jonah Lomu on the PlayStation One and Rugby Challenge & Rugby Challenge 2 on the X Box 360, which were good games. Never played any of the League games which get good reviews.

  20. I think we need not trouble anyone on here with cricket talk from now on. It’s taken precisely seven days for us to make a horses arse of the ashes defence.

  21. I played a fairly decent Rugby game on the MegaDrive in the mid-90s. That’s literally the only thing I have to say about that. As for the cricket, I heard Geoffrey Boycott on the radio this morning fulminating about how England had blown the second match of the series, and he actually made quite a good job of explaining how the batsmen had failed to play it clever and accept no-balls and fast-balls and wait for the ball/pitch to become more favourable. Made it sound very strategic, like baseball (heretical of me to compare the two in that way, I know).

  22. And therein lies the problem, the demand for instant gratification and big hits out of the ground every few minutes means we are unable to play well when it turns tricky to bat and demands patience. Boycott is obviously one end of the spectrum and would cause folk to leave the stadium but aiming to play a little more like him when it’s a five day game wouldn’t be a bad idea – look how few matches actually last the distance nowadays, it’s because they all want to whack every ball. Madness. It’s the online pes of the cricket world.

  23. Uncle Turf – home runs in baseball are relatively rare as a proportion of pitches thrown (and a huge defeat for the pitcher, often ending their participation in the game). Most baseball innings are about the strategic decisions taken by the pitchers and fielders on one side and the batters and runners on the other. Most batters are swinging for the stands when they swing, admittedly, but when and how to swing is one of the most fascinating parts of the game. Similar considerations apply to cricket, as the two games are related, no matter how much either one would like to deny it. So I believe I have it in me to appreciate cricket, but it’s all spread far too thinly, even in one-day/limited overs form.

  24. That’s one of the major problems you will face nG. If you want to really appreciate cricket for it’s tactical aspects then you need to move beyond the one day format, which realistically means test match. TMS for six or seven hours straight should sort you out.

  25. Absolutely. Not only is it an insight into the game it provides a unique perspective on how to talk about virtually nothing for such a long time. Pigeons, busses, lunches they’ve had….I tuned in the other day to hear all about a trip to a vineyard and later Michael Vaughan described the walk over the Sydney harbour bridge when he was a hundred not out overnight. It would simply not be allowed anywhere else, a last bastion against nuSport.

    I often wonder who I’d choose to go and see if I ever got the chance to do one of those American sport trips. I saw Philly flyers against Pittsburgh penguins in ice hockey, simply because it was the only season on at the time, I was thoroughly bored. I reckon for baseball it would have to be an old school team, the cubs at wriggley field or someone of that era. For football maybe the packers or the steelers, basketball (which I hate) would have to be the knicks or someone big city-ish. Can’t remember if I said but I read an interesting article that said baseball was the sport of middle America, basketball that of the harder pressed members of society and American football the military-south. I’m not sure I buy that without some huge generalisations.

  26. Paul – Next time you like a post about a Bro-zilian wax on LinkedIn can you give me a warning. Nearly spat my cheese baguette over my keyboard.

  27. NG – I really like listening to Boycott as he always makes sense.

    The problem with this England team is that it believes it’s own hype. The fact is we are going to probably lose 5-0 to an average Aussie side. This would be the best thing that could happen to us. Then you would begin the process of looking at every part of the set up.

    Our two strike bowlers (Anderson and Broad) are world class bowlers in English conditions but average anywhere else. Then there is the batting. Our senior players are not making runs and the newcomers are under pressure. Then we have good batsmen like Bairstow and Ali who should be batting up the order. The reason they don’t is that they can’t handle pressure. So they hide further down the order, where there is less expectation from them. They are led by a captain who is becoming increasingly desperate. Just look at some of his DRS reviews in the last few series. He also wants to carry on with the team banter and be everyone’s friend. However leadership is about more than that.

    So going back we need to truly assess our status in World Cricket. We should have a big advantage as we have central contracts and don’t lose good players, tempted over to IPL. As a result the standard of opposition is deteriorating. We should now be beating these teams regularly but are not doing.

  28. There is a downside to central contracts though, along with the increase in international cricket, as they result in players participating in less county cricket.

  29. Speaking of homeruns and street fighter, anybody here a fellow MMA fan and saw UFC 218 this weekend?

  30. Chris – My post wasn’t a defence of central contracts even though I am a fan of them. We should be beating these sides as the opposition teams have been weakened, which says a lot about the quality of this side. But going back to the central contracts we rarely saw international players playing for their counties anyway. I am a Lancashire fan but when it comes to it I would sacrifice the County over the Country.

  31. I think it’s been taken to excess though – look at my team durham. When I had a membership we rarely saw Harmison, collingwood, onions, etc, then we started losing Mark wood, mustard got called up, plunkett, stoneman moved on and immediately was chosen, they wouldnt even let stokes play in his home 20/20 for England. They even nicked our coach Otis Gibson. Durham have supplied huge numbers of England cricketers in the last decade and all they’ve had in return is a right shafting from the Ecb – I can’t begin to describe the anger at the national governing body up here, a mate of mine told me they all but lynched Angus Fraser when he did a club talk in up at Northumberland. It would have been better to have had a good team of old stagers so there was no chance of them being called up as once that happens you never see them again. It’s insane as they need regular cricket not carrying the drinks and having ‘a rest’. In what other sport would an international player appear in virtually none of their domestic fixtures – no wonder attendances have fallen off a cliff. Contracts are sensible but for gods sake don’t kill the clubs who are providing the players. Take out Surrey, Middlesex and one or two others and the rest are probably a bad summer away from going tits up.

    Now something that still amazes me is the NFL draft and how they have teams going up and down in cycles. Imagine it – no premier league just four regional divisions, the top few teams going into a knockout. Every year they can buy and sell players within a salary cap so one never gets too powerful and renders results foregone conclusions. How can the biggest capitalist country in the world happily live with that yet there would be no way on earth of it happening here. Celtic are showing what will eventually happen.

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