I have changed the name of my myClub team to The Irregulars, because that’s the squad I now play with almost all the time. I have also changed the kit to that of Velez Sarsfield from the Argentine league.
This pre-match screen below could be a common sort of sight in PES2019, if indeed there is a PES2019:
My Irregulars on the left. Somebody’s 5-star team of stars on the right. I’m back playing on Professional Medium difficulty (I got ‘relegated’ after losing a few on Professional Stronger).
I won this one 1-0 with an opportunistic strike from Zigoni, quietly out-Irregularing my principal striker, Veldwijk.
The great positive I have discovered about the accursed myClub mode is that it continues much of the appeal of Master League. Get a semi-random bunch of no-hopers, and mould them into a team. Grow them over time. Contest against progressively harder opponents (only some of which have to be human). Watch individuals come through unexpectedly.
I have big plans for the Irregulars in PES2019. Starting from day 1, could I take them up a few Divisions online? Will I get to enjoy victories, or even good performances, with my team of developed journeymen against the galacticos online?
A lot depends on what kind of game PES2019 will be. Will it be a PES that rewards footballing strategies, or a zero-fouls sprint-’em-up that ignores hyper-aggressive play? Somewhere between the two is most likely, but where between the two? A lot depends on a lot of things that we don’t yet know.
The other day I took my 4-star A Team out for a match. They must be close to being 5-star rated now. I got Dembélé and Ramsey from successive spins. The problem with big-name players in nuPES is always the same. Few of them feel like proper individuals, particularly against the AI, which is still where I am spending most of my time.
In other news I am back playing Football Manager regularly. Over the past month I have enjoyed an entire parallel FM life that has not been mentioned here. I am playing FM2012. I already had it on Steam, and it runs perfectly on all my hardware.
Football Manager remains one of my gaming white whales. I have never achieved anything of note on any edition of the series. I have tried, many times. A couple of successful promotions from lower divisions is all I have ever achieved. My FM careers end either in the sack, or in me drifting away from the game after losing interest.
I started as Coventry City in the Championship, which is where we were in season 2011-12. I was sacked before Christmas 2011 after a spectacularly bad run of results. I can never resist tinkering with a formation to rectify a bad run, and it tends to make things worse.
The key to making Football Manager part of your life is dipping into it for a match or two every day or two and having it be part of your life in the background. Big long sessions are peculiarly draining and not a great idea for me.
I have restarted in the Blue Square North with Hinckley. I have been reading about Lower League Management on the FM forums, and started watching an astoundingly good YouTube series ‘non-league to legend’.
In real life, Hinckley United were dissolved by court order in 2013. Can I change history? In many ways it’s the ultimate Default-style experience. Can I take a club with very poor players, even by Blue Square standards, to the Champions League?
The early signs are: no. But it’s enjoyable finding out.