The weekend saw me put in a few late-night sessions after work when I was a) tired, and b) had relatively little time to play.
Not a good pair of conditions to play any football game, especially not nuPES in particular – and so it proved. The game felt fast and cheap in the most PES2018-like session yet. 6.5/10.
Monday, though, brought a more considered couple of sessions, and brought back the joy. Back up to around 8/10, shading into 9/10 when I factor in the squad headache that Master League is giving me (gloriously giving me).
I’m still not seeing that many more fouls in PES2019 than I saw in PES2018. My overall stats now show an average of 1.97 AI fouls against me per match. Matches with 0 (ZERO) fouls in them are unfortunately more common now than they were to begin with. This is partly down to be getting more familiar with the game’s ins and outs and what works and what doesn’t.
And dare I say it, but I am starting to get the better of Top Player.
I had 6 (SIX) wins in a row at one point, one of them a 4-1 drubbing of Swansea.
Which all brought about this table after 22 matches:
I took that screenshot with a few matches left to play of my most recent session. I won most of next few matches and am currently 6th (SIXTH – or, as people weirdly insist on saying nowadays, SICKTH).
I think Villa are realistically out of reach at the top for me, and probably Southampton too, so the chase is on for 3rd place.
January came and with it I ran full-tilt into a trap of my own making.
nuPES hasn’t yet brought about a very common scenario that would affect us all back in the glory Golden Age days of the PS2 editions, and on some of the PS3 editions. That was a time when you could very easily misjudge some aspect of the transfer system and leave yourself with a bare-bones squad. I remember many seasons on Classic ML where I would play full seasons with a First XI and a subs’ bench, and nothing else. And a large number of those players would be last-minute panic-bought Youths.
That situation couldn’t happen in nuPES.
It can happen and it has happened to me. I have run full-tilt into a trap that everyone has to watch out for.
Maybe there are a few ways to fall into this trap. The way I fell into it was to fail to realise that being able to go into minus-figures on the Wages budget doesn’t mean I should merrily go ahead and do it. And then keep doing it. And keep doing it. And keep doing it…
Just before the January window came along, I started to renew all my key players’ contracts.
Rice, Castledine, Necid, the lot – about 8 or 9 players, all of them got fat new contracts, negotiated as low as I could go of course, but still substantially more than they were on.
Each new contract bumped my wages bill even further into the red. Each time the minus-figure got larger, I thought, wow, this is great!
I ended the spree with a Wages bill of -£865,000. And yes, I pretty soon realised what I’d done when I tried to go shopping for new players.
Being in the red for Wages means the game won’t let you sign any new players. The only way to get out of this would be to transfer out 2 or 3 of my top players, and then that would only just about allow me to afford 1 new player, who would probably not be better than any of them.
An all-round disaster (that I am thoroughly enjoying, needless to say).
There are two ways out of this:
- Sell many of my high-earners and replace them with journeymen or Youths.
- Get promoted this season and hopefully get a boost to the Wages budget. I’d still have to let a few key players go, I think, but it wouldn’t be so bad.
This is my full squad – for this crucial last half of Season 3:
19 (NINETEEN) players.
1 suspension and/or 1 injury and I’ll be sweating.
I have had a few menu-screen injuries for a few weeks apiece.
Almost 3 seasons in and I am yet to see a proper forced-to-squad-screen injury.
Although I did see this:
I’d already used all my substitutes and couldn’t take off Lincoln. He had no ill-effects, other than a down-arrow for the next match. He was fine after that.
He’d better stay fine, too. Him and the others.