A low cross to bear

Veldwijk finally netted his first goal for the club since his fairytale reappearance in PES2019.

I originally swooped for him in the Free Agents list, motivated by his impressive showing in PES2018 – another game, another PES cosmos completely – but he has so far been totally unimpressive this time around. When it comes to Master League players transferring from one edition to another, it really doesn’t work out.

I’m still selling Veldwijk in the January transfer window. There’s no way to cancel the deal even if I wanted to, and I don’t want to. His goal was just a straightforward sidefoot into the net after an AI keeper parry to the side (which they do too much, by the by).

Whilst poking around, I discovered this screen, which I don’t recall seeing in any previous PES. A handy all-in-one-place list of my current squad’s comings and goings. Yes, it is a shame about Harrington’s face.

This screen does only show the transfer activity of my current squad. It doesn’t show all the Defaults I released or sold before August ended. I can’t even remember their names.

I haven’t spoken about my keeper, MURIEL, or my left-back, SAAVEDRA, so far.

Both were Scout discoveries, and both have proved useful. Muriel in particular is a solid presence between the sticks.

That CB, CINEMRE, is a signing made after the window closed, and so won’t be joining until January, which I am almost upon in-game right now.

Results have been awful and I am bottom of the league.

The season is a complete washout in terms of getting promotion.

One of the debates surrounding PES2019 since its release – under two weeks ago – has been the behaviour of the AI.

Many PES players are satisfied with how the AI plays, up to a point. I am one of the satisfied (overall). I don’t perceive any of the repetitive play that many others see.

My only issue with the AI is the way it will frequently spurn a good opportunity to shoot or develop play for the sake of passing to a teammate.

The AI generally dicks around in front of goal too much.

I would hope and expect there is an AI patch in the works. The AI needs to be more clinical, and yes, it does need to shoot more from distance.

Another angle of the AI debate is its alleged liking for getting out wide and putting in Low Crosses. Repeatedly. Over and over and over again. All match.

Those who are suffering from this problem are really suffering from it, as the forums and the comments here have shown.

I’ve never seen this Low Cross behaviour from the AI, and to show this I decided to record an entire match.

Now there’s nothing duller than watching an entire PES match of somebody else playing when you’re only looking for particular instances of a certain thing. In this case, all we need to see are the AI attacks.

Here are the team sheets before the match:

And here is the 3m40s video – which only shows the 17 instances when Stoke mounted an attack:

I normally play with more conservative fullbacks, and a deeper defensive line. Here I deliberately played in such a way as to allow the AI to head out wide if it wanted to.

Of the 17 AI attacks on show, there is an overall preference for the wings, yes – but there’s just as much a tendency to work the ball back inside. And only two instances of the Low Cross. The AI’s winning goal came from a High Cross and a rare PES2019 (weak) header.

So why are the Low Cross people seeing Low Crosses so much? Investigations are ongoing.

A fair few things need fine-tuning with PES2019 out of the box, it seems.

I hated the couple of instances where the AI, clearly in on goal, chose not to shoot, and instead sort of tamely dribbled away to the side.

At the other end of the pitch, I have a mounting concern over the fate of long-range shooting this year. I’ve yet to score anything from 25+ yards.

My only goal from outside the box was a 22-ish yarder from Rice that was a low fizzing shot into the bottom corner.

I need to see a postage-stamp 30-yarder. I won’t feel comfortable until I’ve got a couple of them, in fact.

Rising Shot is a sumptuous new skill, certainly, but it needs to produce actual goals, or it’s just window-dressing.

Some matches I will blaze away with Rice and others, only to see the AI keeper either catch cleanly, or do that eye-rollingly predictable ‘parry to the side’ thing that keeps the ball in play and keeps things ‘exciting’. Great for online players, I suppose, who want that constant churning cycle of events.

The crazy thing is that, the above issues with AI and long-range shooting aside, this is still the strongest start to a new PES for many a year. General gameplay feels so deep and satisfying. The AI defences, at least, are proving hard to unpick.

As ever, the first season of a Master League with rubbish Defaults is a washout. And that feels pretty good.

Updated: 11th September 2018 — 11:48


  1. You are still on TP level NG?
    I’ve settled on that now, defences are quite hard to unpick, 1-2 give and go’s round the back of the defense, are so easy on Professional, but almost impossible on TP, unless you have a very pacy forward, which is a good thing.

    Frustrating that when in on goal the CPU often, as you says, dickers about rather than finishing, but the next breath they are hitting first time shots from the edge of the box with alarmingly clinical accuracy, another fine tune tweak that could be made.

    Talking of potential stars, I signed C Russo from the youths, a 64 rated CF, and he’s cemented a starting place, one of those players that seems to outperform his stats, and he can finish!

    Using the scout often guarantees signings, but the results returned are sometimes a bit weak, unless you dismiss the ‘Consider budget’ option.

  2. IIRC it was Cook on PES2017 who unlocked the secret of long-rangers and I believe it was the player having the traits “long ranger” and, more importantly, “first time shot.” Walace in particular, Talisca another, were the Steven Gerrard’s of that year.

  3. n-G – I do hate those blank-face players as they show up on formation screens and the like. I have signed a couple of decent players who face a harder task in winning me over due to their no-face avatars.

    There’s one signing you’ve made there which is the same of mine. He’s in my starting line up already and seems a little too good to be the kind of player you sign at this early stage of ML.

    I mentioned it before but it’s far too easy to sign decent players again this year. Rock bottom of Div 2 on Top Player, I would rather have only a few journeymen and wannabe youths wanting to sign than the plethora of talent in the free agents section.

    I almost started ML again due to having signed a couple of these too-good freebies but I’m sticking with this original campaign but plan to stick with the listed and loan players for new recruits from now on.

  4. What are peoples thoughts on Regens/Classic players?
    Does anyone have good house rules?

    I stick with if I can afford their wages then it is fine. Why deprive myself of some joy in an otherwise punishing season.
    I do try and sign ones I’ve never heard of though unless it is a bonafide favourite player.
    16-year-old Totti PES 2017 was probably the highlight but I paid big in wages.

  5. Shed – I think that the current crop of defaults are too good, upon starting,
    Most of us, bar Cook, may be bottom or thereabouts on ‘only’ Top Player, but
    I’d hazard a guess that’s mainly because of the low TS rating, don’t create as many chances, once that TS rises, the defaults are all capable of stringing together and finishing some sublime moves, whatever happened to Zamenhof, or Iouga’s awful passing and responsiveness?

    I recon you could keep the entire starting default line up and by season 3 be challenging in the prem. They develop very quickly.

  6. Paul – yes, still on TP. I haven’t shifted down. Re. long-rangers, I remember the Rice strike, as you said yourself, more on the mid-range side, but like my own Rice strike, at least it was a good bit outside the box. What I’m hungering for in PES2019 are proper 30+yard howitzer postage-stamp strikes, goals like the ones I’ve posted below.

    Jay – you partly RC, IIRC – it was indeed PES2017 and Walace, but the commenter who drove the discussion about them in relation to long-range shooting was James.

    And I cannot let a mention of long-range shooting, and nuPES, and Gerrard, pass without posting these:

    from PES2015:

    and a year later, from PES2016, an almost identical strike:

    PESgasms were had after both, and again just now.

  7. Shed – I’ve already seen signs that my Defaults are starting to knit and as Paul remarks above, a Default challenge in nuPES wouldn’t be very challenging. There are some great players among them all. My Redmond is quietly emerging this year after being anonymous for me in the previous instalments.

    prsgame – the best House Rule is none at all, because we shouldn’t need them, but I had a decent few seasons with St Etienne on PES2017 the summer before last using a simple House Rule of no player allowed to be signed over 80OPR. Development ON, but any player who hit 81OPR immediately had to be sold/released, and if it was between transfer windows, dropped until he could be got rid of. It was very hard to get anywhere with players rated 80 or under.

  8. Blimey those graphics!!! and to think that was only a couple of years ago.
    be honest though NG, neither of those Gerrard goals were realistic, would never shoot (or score) from there IRL, as god-like as he is 😉

  9. Paul – for the sake of goals like that, realism can go and do one as far as I’m concerned… PES5 was and still is the greatest football game ever precisely because of its magnificent long-range shooting mechanic. Just one year after PES5, multiplayer was what it was all about, long-range shooting was slightly nerfed, and it’s been downhill ever since, mostly.

  10. well judging by my abortive attempts last week a default challenge in Challenge Mode on nuPES2019 would be very challenging indeed

  11. Tongue in cheek NG – I know yu love your long rangers.

  12. prsgame – a good house rule I stuck to on PES2017 was to only sign players from clubs ranked below you in the World Rankings. It made things particularly tough, especially if you also pair it with no free signings.

  13. prsgame – I tend to turn classics off before starting ML. As for house rules for regens, the youth team and free agents are off limits. If I want a regen, that’s fine, I just have to sign them from another club.

  14. Goals 4 and 1.

  15. My best Gerrard Pro Evo.

  16. I was actually at Anfield for both those Gerrard goals Lloyd. 4 & 1.
    Neither were as far out as the ones NG posted from PES 15 though 😉

  17. Hmm, I had no Classic players last year and decided to turn them on this year.
    I’ll stick with if I’ve never heard of them then they are ok
    I’m a bit of a Statto so should be ok.

    But I agree if you stuck it out with the defaults you could craft a fine team. It’s just some of them are hard to like.

  18. Wow those graphics! those games have not aged well visually. and pes16 looks a LOT slower than I remembered.

    On the PC modding front – apparantly there is now a patch out which almost eliminates the cross-thing and makes CPU shoot more outside of the box. Now you all might now I’m skeptic about PC patches – which did absolutely fuck-all for me last year and the year before – but reportedly there is something different in the structure of the files this year which allows for these kinds of modifications. I’m a bit hesitant to screw around with the gameplay so early on but I think I will test it out soon, if just for curiosity’s sake.

  19. Paul – well jel. The handful of times I have made it up to Anfield, Gerrard was either injured or didn’t play.

  20. I always play PES with Classic players ON. PES and Master League are unthinkable without the possibility of pairing Michel Platini with Jonjo Shelvey in a dream midfield. This might explain my star-loaded Free Agents list.

  21. A word of caution then…the regens, the made up amf ones in particular eg. ‘Zambrosa’ or such like a 175cm amf classic 10… have acquired a ridiculous number of traits. Most of them only have one – Robert Huth with heading, etc – but some of the random faces have ten or more. In addition to rising shot there’s dipping shot, first time shot, one touch pass, long range drive, acrobatic, etc etc. I’m hoping they don’t end up being all zico as it could really impact squad building.

    And the keepers parry too much NG? Parry? Too much? I can’t think of an issue I have a more opposite view on in superstar. They don’t parry a thing, they catch every long ranger, every twenty yard attempt, just about everything except a five yard whack at them. I haven’t had one single rebound. This is truly the AI that will divide.

  22. NG – my midfield partnership is Rice and Shelvey. Could end up being one for the ages.

  23. Paul – sadly the 2016 clip looks better colour and smoother than it does on my TV this year. 2017 still looks really good on my TV as well but for the life of me I can’t get the game this year to be compatible with mine. I think I may have a re-start with the defaults.

  24. Rice is currently not worth a starting berth in season two. Very limited development

  25. Hi All – Something extraordinary happened to me during a session last night. An in-game injury! V. Mihailov was taken down by a bruising tackle early in the second half. The ref dispatched a yellow card and signaled for the medical team. And to my surprise, I was directed to the substitution screen to sub him off. He wasn’t tired, and this wasn’t an effect of ‘visible fatigue.’

    After the game, I was told that he’d be out for 2 months. He’d been a beast for me. While it was just a few weeks into my first ML season, he was my top scorer. It’s a tragic loss. The idea of this happening again with other players is exhilarating.

    Unfortunately, I’m not savvy enough to have captured a recording of the event, sorry!

    Anyone else had any injuries like this?

    I’m not having many problem with low crosses per say. But defending from crosses in general seems much more difficult with PES 2019. I think the ‘clear’ timing has been changed, so i need to relearn it. Also, I’m finding it much harder to score from crosses, which I really like.

  26. I’ve got my master league set up, finally. Great option file including full Bundesliga, 8 additional official stadiums from previous pes’ (hello old Trafford and hello again signal iduna), and champions league and Europa league restored right down to the correct balls. God knows what else. Going with Liverpool, professional. Can’t wait to start properly. Got my first freebies lined up, tactics are set and training regimes as well.

    Good times.

  27. #1 – abbeyhill was looking for a PC OF/patch. Are you using the one by Milesy on Evoweb? The stadiums are great to have, I checked them out last week, all looking fab. It appears there are plenty of talented people working on PES this year. How’s the gameplay patch?

  28. Something came up this evening and I haven’t been in-game to grab the settings screenshots. It’ll be after midnight now in my late late night session.

    Uncle Turf – yes, parry – the AI GKs in my game do this a lot. I shoot, the parry goes to the sides, I chase the ball down, I get the ball, I recirculate possession, rinse, repeat. It’s part of the eternal washing machine cycle of football game gameplay, as present now as it’s ever been.

    Erik-da-Red – hello again, and I saw the feature you mention in the demo. I note you say ‘directed to the subs screen’ rather than forced there. I.e., it wasn’t a forced substitution? You could have carried on if you wanted without subbing the player. So this isn’t really an in-match injury, if so. Sorry to be Mr Nitpicky here, but the in-match injury feature in ML needs to return as it once was: no choice but to make a sub. This ‘advising’ us to make a sub just doesn’t cut it. Not that I’ve seen it in almost a full season now.

    #1 – if it wasn’t for Fallout 4 I’d be a lot further ahead of you than I am. My week off saw as much Fallout 4 action as PES did. I’m properly immersed now, really invested in the world. It takes me ages to clear a site as I have to hoover up every single item and take it with me back to a settlement (all fully supply-lined now). Leave No Spoon Behind is my motto.

  29. NG – hah, looks like we’re similar fallout players then. Having supply lines in place is a convenience isn’t it? Fallout 4 is a game deserving of game time and I find that it and pes complement each other nicely. Both can be played in small portions or extensively. Despite your fallout gaming time you must be approaching the mid-season transfer window now?

    Cook – yes its the milesy one. Top class. I’ve noticed the modding community is really jumping on pes 19,much more activity than last year it seems. Seemingly easier / more suitable for modding this year And… There’s been talks of Jenkey returning to the modding fold. Haven’t yet tried the gameplay patch btw but I’m a little less skeptical than before as people are unanimously reporting a change for the better.

  30. For anyone interested in the gameplay patch, here’s a video TTB testing it. Have yet to check it out myself. https://youtu.be/JNwVnGkMaNE

  31. https://www.evo-web.co.uk/threads/gameplay-patch-by-incas36.79362/page-4

    take a quick look here lads. worth to check if u playing on PC, it makes a difference. big time. currently using V2 and it’s simply amazing.

  32. #1/abes – Been following the developments with interest. I’ve missed a trick not getting the PC version this year, some great mods already.

  33. Abbes – does the patch not make each cpu team play the same? Only concern I have regarding incas patch.

  34. #1 i wouldn’t say so. for example, had very interesting game with my Defaults Millwall against QPR. lost 3-5 .. they played quite open, but offensive football, so i could manage score some, but lose even more. then scrapped win 1-0 over Rotherham. my last game against Bolton was much different than this one vs QPR. Bolton was tough piece at defend, couldn’t go through after they scored for 0-1. after half time i managed to make one chance and convert it into 1-1, so we drew. i would say that every game is different. already playing with it i managed to get (for cpu) red card, two yellows turned into red, penalty (which was saved btw), lots of shots from distance. only thing i didn’t see yet was an injury, besides that it was already after 10 games much much better experience than those few seasons in PES 18 last year which i managed to play.

  35. NG – must be a top player thing then as I don’t see it at all, goalies are very very good and catch balls mere mortals could only tip round.

    Never had an in game injury forcing substitution, injuries happen but the player stays on to be highlighted at the end of the game as having been injured. Never seen visible fatigue or message relating to it either. Have seen penalty and straight red for AI though. Suspect I may not see another penalty for some time.

  36. Hi NG – after the injury the game forced me to make a sub. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

    I hope this happens more. It be great for injuries to once again factor into ML. I think I went all of PES2018 without a single injury.

    Still haven’t seen the visible fatigue injury warning screen.

  37. Cook/#1 – thanks, like the sound of this milesy will check him out. And it seems there could be a veritable treasure chest of further PC enhancements to discover….

    Paul – I couldn’t quite bring myself to position my full backs where you put yours. But switched to a 4-4-2, put the defensive tactics to all out defense, middle, containment, defensive line 2 and compactness 3 plus some occasional ‘hug the touchline’ in-game option. This has made a big difference so far, with much more varied play from the AI teams and some really enjoyable matches

  38. I’ve had plenty of parries and tips over the bar on SS.

    Have had my first penalty around 100 games in. I hit the crossbar and fluffed the rebound!

    Not bothered enough by wing play to change my formation over it, but pleased it’s working for others!
    Enjoying my 3-6-1.

  39. Abbes – sounds interesting enough to try. You mention the difference with pes 18 but how would you say it rates compared to vanilla pes 19 gameplay?

    Also I linked to the wrong video in the previous post, apologies. Here is the correct one : https://youtu.be/9EZbDXvMXUg

    Abbeyhill – it’s top class really. Just drag and drop and you’re done. Easy as pie.

  40. Very odd, I’m starting to have small concerns about central shooting

  41. @#1 in compare to vanilla 19 i would say it’s better about shooting from distance by CPU, converting 1 on 1 chances and less low crossing. besides those three ups there are any downs in compare to vanilla. give it a shot, if u’ll like it keep it, if not come back to vanilla.
    there is 2 new versions by the way. v3 – which i didn’t like too much, cos of too fast gameplay and too easy to defend and win against, at least on TP, didn’t try Superstart.
    and today i checked there is new thread with so called by @Incas36 v1-definitive, this one i’ll try later, for now this v2, for TP, is defo must go for me.

  42. Darryl – Sounds like your Tv might need calibrating. What Make/Model is it? 4k? HDR?
    PES 19 looks beautiful, proper detail, turf grain showing, LOD even on game play cam is great, colours are vibrant, whatever is going on with your game is the TV, not the game.

    No PES last night, Big gym sesh and a slight injury so had an early night, looking forward to a decent sesh tonight.

  43. Sorry for the lateness of this, I only got on the game well after midnight last night –

    My tactical settings, all in one screen of course as I was pleased to re-discover:

    ” alt=”” />

    The surprise is that Containment Area is set to WIDE. Not central. Counter-intuitive, you could say, but actually, the little animation that accompanies the setting shows my players flooding the wings when the AI has possession there, forcing it to come inside. I think this is the key setting.

  44. NG – Interesting, it wouldn’t surprise me for Konami to get the tactics the opposite way around.

  45. Intriguing, thanks for sharing not-Greg. Would be neat if this one setting sorted everything, save me adjusting my entire team set up to counter low crossing. We have the same attack settings, surprising as I’ve always had you down as a tiki taka merchant!

  46. Pau/abbeyhill – I don’t think Konami have got the Containment settings the wrong way round. The accompanying animation for Wide Containment shows multiple defenders converging on wing attackers, forcing them inside. So Wide Containment means that the defence tactically shuts off the wings as a favoured go-to option. Presumably the AI in my case ‘knows’ I’ve got this setting and doesn’t try it on down the wings as much. I set these tactics up on Day 1 of the ML and haven’t touched them since.

    Not shown are the defensive line settings (about 1/3rd of the bar) and Compactness (about 2/3rds for this one).

  47. Hmm good find NG. I’ll check my own as well since i also am in the “no lowcross camp”.

  48. Finally got my update USB installed and started ML last night, mega excited! Started with United. Transfer listed EVERYONE.

    Not sure what to make of the pre season tournament. I faced Roma, Basle and Boca Juniors. Thought there was no point facing Roman so skipped it and got a 5-1 mauling. I played the next two, beating Basle 1-0 and being held to a 1-1 draw with Boca to finish 3rd (or joint second)
    So the first of my missions was failed, my second was to win my first league match, failed that too after being held 1-1 at Derby.
    I’ve sold about 10 players and signed a few, Chris Willock from Benfica for around £1.2m, a full back from Forest called Randall, a decent looking Japanese midfielder on a free, a CB from Ipswich called Webster for about £600k and I’m close to a loan deal for Saido Berahino for around £1.2m for the season. Really need a new keeper.

    Absolutely loving it so far!

  49. I’m pretty sure I have messed around with the containment settings on both Wide and Central and saw no difference, hence the moving the fullbacks back and hugging touchlines to effectively force the CPU inside.
    Will tinker later and put formation back to normal and try these

  50. Paul – cheers dude. It is a 4K HDR TV that I bought a few months back. I naively thought the HDR would be automatically set up. I have just googled about configuring it now and will have a go tonight.

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