We are going up. I said we are going up.
It went down to a last-day decider for the title (of course). Master League does so love its last-day deciders.
Of my final 4 matches, I ‘unexpectedly’ lost one and drew one. Heading into the final round of fixtures any one of three teams could have won the title depending on all results.
I was 1 point behind Villa, who were top. Sporting Gijon were behind me on goal difference.
Knowing PES as I do, I felt that as long as I won my match, I would more than likely win the league.
My players were well up for it – the subs’ bench too.
In PES2011(PS3), red arrows really mean something. I thumped my last-day opponents 5-0 after being 4-0 up at half time. Matuidi scored a gorgeous 25-yard daisycutter that almost prompted me to get out the mobile phone.
When the final whistle went, my players’ celebrations fired. I wasn’t sure if we’d won the title or if they were just celebrating promotion. Impatient to find out, I pressed Start, and missed seeing whether or not there was a trophy presentation.
Sheer delight indeed.
This was the final table:
And this was the Team of the Season, with Individual awards:
Pinilla should have made it there, having been superb for me since arriving mid-season, and part of the reason why I suddenly surged up the table, but the methods of PES’s calculation are obscure.
Iaquinta is totally justified as he got 20+ tap-ins throughout the season as a whole. Top scorer.
And that concluded the season. I will now have to spend 20 minutes cycling through The Void, as I call it, that separates one season from the next in PES2011. That’s around 30 button-presses while the calendar moves slowly from one week to the next. Turning off Autosave for the duration speeds things up, but not by much. No ‘Skip To’ calendar option in PES2011, remember.
Plans for the Premier League? Well, for one I will be needing a new keeper. My main man, the totally reliable De Sanctis, retired at the end of the season. I deliberately chose to bring in a veteran keeper at the start of the season, so I can’t complain too much. I got Fatecha from the Youths mid-season, but I’ll be shopping for another veteran GK come the Transfer window.
And how about the difficulty? I’ve played the past two seasons on Professional. Now I’m in among the big boys, would a move up to Top Player be in order? It would make sense. Things were getting easier for me in Division 2 toward the end of the season…
Not a chance. I will start Season 3, in the Premier League, on Professional difficulty. And see how things develop.
So here at the end of Season 2, with a D2 title under my belt. where does PES2011 stand?
Very high. I’m having a consistent 8/10 experience that is slowly building up to something more than that. I never have a bad session. Bad sessions were not a feature of Golden and Silver Age PES. You could always have the odd bad match where you thought ‘ugh’ once in a while, but an entire session of arcade, button-mashing crap? Never. Bad sessions of PES are entirely a PS4-era phenomenon.
Season 3 beckons, and it seems this whole retro PES thing has really bedded down for me.
One thing’s for sure. I don’t believe I could ever now go back to the sprint-’em-up nonsense of the current generation of games.