I am now well into the swing of things in Season 3. Above is the scrolling schedule calendar, which is thronged with fixtures now. I have played on past the above screenshot (pre-Liverpool game), and past the FA Cup tie vs Brescia (purists look away), which I won in Extra Time.
Life in the Premier League on Professional is gratifyingly tougher than it was in Division 2. I’m sticking on this difficulty for now.
Here is the current league table:
Nice to see CSKA Moscow riding high there. A real, old-fashioned ML, this one.
I am worried about my goal-scoring, needless to say. Things just have not clicked for my players so far. It’s not as if I have massively diluted PES2011’s mostly hidden Team Spirit mechanic by signing a load of new players.
In pre-season I picked up one new player – a veteran GK, Agazzi. I have otherwise started my maiden season in the top flight with the same squad that won the D2 title. In real life that’s pretty much always a bad idea, but in this pretend-life of ML, so far, it’s not been a disaster. Unless my goal-scoring picks up, though, I am guaranteed to finish mid-table, at best, come season’s end.
I did try to bring in new players before the start of the season. I was particularly pursuing the 36-year-old Diego Forlan – a personal ML favourite – who would only have cost £5m. Even if I only got one good season out of him, it’d be worth it.
But my finances are such that I couldn’t even afford the £5m.
I could have afforded it by downgrading a couple of Staff members from Level 3 to Level 1, freeing up £4m in an instant, but that would have been a foolish thing to do.
The backroom Staff system in PES2011’s ML is one of its key mechanics. Having better Coaches and Team Doctors really does have a boosting effect on form, fitness, and stamina, from match to match. So I didn’t want to downgrade my Staff, and impact the entire squad, just to pick up one ageing player.
Instead, I will pick up old Diego in mid-season if he is still available. Granted, I will then do very well to get half a season of goals from him, but I’m not playing PES2011 to be a 1337 haXXor Gam3r, or whatever the myClub people call themselves. I’m playing it to please and interest myself. Getting a favourite near-37-year-old striker, in my first ML season back in the top flight, will please and interest me.
Old Forlan will either be remarkably great – in which case, a top ML experience is in the offing, with the game being an appealing fantasy – or he’ll be amusingly ineffectual in his twilight months… in which case, a top ML experience is STILL in the offing, with the game being true to life. Either way it’s win-win.