A funny thing happened on the way to the Premier League

All of the below occurred BEFORE yesterday’s Big Patch.

The final standings at the end of Season 3:A 6th place finish was disappointing in the end. I could have got a place or two higher. But I’d still made the play-offs.

My play-off semi-final was against 3rd-placed West Brom. I had beaten them twice in the regular season. One of the times was quite comfortably.

I wasn’t too worried.

At home in the first leg, I promptly went behind to two Jay Rodriguez goals.

That was still okay. It was a two-legged match. I knew if I kept them to 2-0, and maybe snatched a goal back myself, I would be almost certain to turn it around in the second leg.

I scrapped and scrapped the way you sometimes have to in PES – and I did get a single goal back.

So this was the FIRST-LEG result:More than a bit careless, but easily recoverable. I’m still on Top Player, remember. It still wouldn’t be easy by any means, but I’d back myself in this scenario. 98% of the time, I would turn that result around in the second leg.


In the second leg, I took the lead early on and thought l was going to do it.

Then Rodriguez popped up again to make it 1-1 on the day, and 3-2 to them on aggregate.

That was on 70 minutes.

Below are the last 10 minutes of the match. As the action opens in the 80th minute, I have just switched to a 4-2-4. I am desperate to score one goal to at least force extra time.

I’ve not long brought on a few fresh players, but most of my players are on zero stamina.

Yes. That really was that. The end of my promotion tilt. I will be in the Championship for Season 4.

For those not watching the vid: I did get that much-needed aggregate-equalising goal, right at the end of normal time. I worked the opening, then made sure of it with an R2 finish. I almost made too sure of it, but it went in. Making it 2-1 to me on the day, 3-3 on aggregate. Extra time was seconds away.

But my concentration slipped, and the AI did me straight from its kickoff.While I was still feeling exhilarated and relieved, the AI swept upfield from the kickoff and scored a heartbreaking goal to level it up on the day with seconds remaining. Jay Rodriguez again with the finish. That made it 3-2 to them on aggregate.

Ever since ‘straight from kickoff’ became an AI thing (in PES2012?), I have often been caught out.

I couldn’t mount a final attack with my tired players. The final whistle blew.I could have reloaded and simply played the match again until I got the result.

But that’s not what I play PES, and ML, for. The story has to have integrity. Whatever happens, happens. It’s meaningless otherwise.

The Chairman was scathing.Gomez finished as top scorer:But nothing could quench the feeling of anti-climax. It had seemed so certain that I would go up this season.All this happened prior to yesterday’s Patch of the Century, which I have been discussing in comments on the previous post and will do so again in comments on this one.

My Season 4 has already begun, with the opening matches being played post-patch. I’ll save my full thoughts for Tuesday’s post, by which time I should have racked up 20-30 matches on the new patch. At the moment I would cautiously welcome the improved AI behaviour, particularly around goal, but I deplore a seeming increase in game speed and what seems a further reduction in the amount of AI fouls.

As October heads for November, I’m enjoying Master League in PES2019. My unexpected failure to get promoted this season makes the story better, not worse.

Updated: 26th October 2018 — 10:56


  1. The closest I’ve got to an nG R2 Long Ranger. I stood up and made a short squealing noise and insisted the wife watched the replay with me:

    I’m saying 30 (THIRTY) yards.

    Elsewhere, one noticeable post-patch difference, for me, is an increased amount of individuality from AI players. Paul pointed out that he didn’t think there was much, if any, pre-patch and I tended to agree, though one of his examples – Hazard – was one of the only players I did see clear and evident individuality from, him Pogba and Sane. Post-patch I see much more clear and evident individuality from AI players and I put this down to the increased variety in the AI attack and the different angles, approaches and distances from which the AI now shoots. Also, with LCS (both nG and Paul’s) (99%) eradicated, there are more dribbles and variety in the build up as well as the final third.

    Funny little quirk: in the news screen (the one before the ML home screen) alongside training notifications and transfer news, my chairman said he had heard one of our players was World Player of the Year and to pass on his congratulations. I progress to the home screen and there’s no mention of it. I check in the info screen tab and the World Player of the Year option is greyed out. I see on the calendar that the announcement is tomorrow, after I’ve played my next game. I play my game and the next day Pellegri gets announced World Player of the Year! Chairman must have mates on the panel…….

  2. Jay – query: what is ‘my’ LCS (as opposed to Paul’s)? I don’t remember laying claim to any kind of LCS…

    And that isn’t just close to an R2 long-range curler – it is one! Lovely placement too.

    Chris99 – it’s not Daylight Savings that irks me but the mass delusion (which is stubbornly immune to all pointing-out-the-bleeding-obvious) that changing the states of our timepieces alters time itself.

    #1 – I’ve moved up to Superstar but am likely to move back down as it’s just too hard for me. And Superstar is just a lesser difficulty level as well. Imagine what the game must be like on the actual highest difficulty level – Legend.

    Also loving the straitened financial conditions needless to say and the decisions it’s forcing.

  3. NG – your LCS is Low Cross Syndrome,
    (though not a sufferer yourself) which you went on to describe in length. Paul then specified that LCS – a term he lays reasonable claim to having coined – stands for Low Cross Spam, and his description was not the same, though similar, as Low Cross Syndrome. You could see it as the difference between ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

  4. “The mass delusion…that changing the state of our timepieces does not alter time itself”…are you saying that changing our timepieces does alter time? Wow, I’m going to set my watch now so I can go back to bed.

    And Jay, LCS stands for long range syndrome? Does NG also include the mass delusion that letters don’t necessarily need to be the same as the words they represent? He clearly suffers from the misbelief that superstar is not the hardest level. Legendary is merely a fancy mode, somewhere twixt top player and the one true difficulty.

  5. Turf – I just re-read my comment and that’s obviously a mistake down to tiredness after a 25 (TWENTY FIVE) hour day!

    NG – could you amend my comment to Low Cross Syndrome please?

  6. Understandable Jay. You wil get the hour back in spring when we go down to a 23 hour Sunday. Something to do with the tides and the moon I think.

  7. Busy weekend along with a nasty stomach virus meant minimal gaming time, which was split 50/50 between FIFA and Red Dead 2.
    Interesting to see the differing comments on the patch, K new they couldn’t just fix the broken things but had to mess with the game speed and difficulty levels too.

    Dawned on me yesterday whilst having a quick game of FIFA that there is absolutely zero that PES can give me that FIFA doesn’t, and tons that FIFA gives me that PES just can’t, so I doubt I’ll pay PES again at all this year.

    New post up on FIFAFX at 10am, albeit a shorter one due to lesser playing time.

  8. Heart breaking way to go go out! How fatigued were your players? It really is something we have to think about this year and i think its great. Although the only way to stop the AI scoring when it wants is a foul but even that might not be enough…

    I’ve a good few sessions this weekend and i finished my first season getting promoted via the play-offs. In January a made a lot new signings and took a dip in team spirit and really struggled for 10 games or so(pes enforced form?) but then went a 8-9 game winning streak to get up to 3rd with 4 games to go. That’s when after reading the comments on here i decided to accept the patch.

    I did notice slightly more varied attack from the AI, although i am still seeing a lot of low crosses they seem to feel more situationaly correct. AI they are not trying to low cross from the touch-line with a crowded box like before. Defiantly seeing more high crosses. I have been able to win a few more headers from goal kicks, i noticed my defender getting stuck and not even challenging for the ball on many occasions. i have noticed the keepers come out more. I have NEVER seen the AI take a short goal kick?

    1 win 2 losses and a draw left me in 5th. Then in the first game of the playoffs my start CF M. Rodriguez got INJURED! He finished top scorer in the league with 27 and never missed a single game not only getting one down arrow all year. He went off for treatment during second half but came back on and wasn’t injured. After the game i got the bad news that he had picked up a knock and would be out for a week, just enough to miss the play-offs. I got through games without much of a problem but made things more interesting that’s for sure.

    Played 2 games in the prem, still on top player, lost both. The first vs Crystal Palace that i thought i should have won but my team really suffered from fatigue late on and i was punished. I usually always make defensive changes if i’m winning and when my rb or lb are out of stamina they leave massive gaps down the wings, and we no that’s not a good idea…
    But i wanted to try my new signing LINCOLN and see if i could score a trade mark NG-Curler.
    I didn’t, although i do like that corner routine and will be trying out.

    Next game vs Leicester got smashed 3-0. Looks like it will be and interesting second season, i have made quite a few signings including one pretty un-realistic one. 80 OVR L. Milivojevic on LOAN for not even 3million… and obviously he played vs his parent club first game.
    I looked into it and you can sign a lot of good players on loan, something i will not be doing when i start my default save. For now i wanted a DFM that was good at free kicks and long shots to get some practice in.

    Time for a coffee and a morning session of getting trying to get my first win in the prem!

  9. Jay – my ‘Syndrome’ was just me getting the word wrong, which is happening more and floor as I get closer to the big 5-0 and things seem to be slowing down. There’s no difference between the Syndrome and Spam versions, and I believe I will conclude business with PES2019 – whenever that is – having never experienced any version of LCS! #AIthatweneed

    Uncle Turf – I don’t know what you mean, you seem to have misquoted me there?! I definitely haven’t gone back and edited my late-night comment from last night, so I can only assume you didn’t use your imaginary extra hour to get some rest.

    Paul – I’d rather have almost any physical ailment than a stomach bug of any kind. Great when you start feeling well again, though, isn’t it? How is RDR2? I’m one of those who still had RDR1 on my pile of shame and might well crack that open one day. After Fallout 4 of course.

    Max – my players were shattered as that was something like the 3rd game in a week. I remain profoundly unimpressed with the fouling model in nuPES. PES2019 is only a marginal improvement for me. Occasional matches with a respectable amount of fouls are balanced with long series of matches with no fouls or the token 1.

  10. Still not feeling that great NG, it has hit me for six, back at work today though, hence no gym tonight, just straight home, and rest.

    RDR2 is shaping up to be possibly the greatest game ever made, only played 3 hours worth so far, so very very early days, actually 0.98% of the story complete as the games progress meter shows me, but story telling, graphics, living breathing world etc is amazing.

  11. Paul – should’ve taken the week, but if your employer has gone like mine, there’s a general crackdown on sickness that makes it feel like less of a palaver just to go in.

    One open world game at a time for me. Fallout 4 might well keep me going forever.

  12. NG – Mainly energy, just feel zapped, so tired all the time, but quite busy at work so thought I’d come in.
    Our company is usually pretty good with that kinda stuff, japanese company, so big on morals and values and work/life balance.

  13. NG- i’m getting fouled minimum twice a game usually more, it might all come down to playing styles. I play at quite a fast pace and get fouled a lot. When i’m winning nearing the end of a half or full time i played a much slower build game and it naturally keeps the ball away from the opposition and fouling opportunities.

    having great time in the prem so far, after a few beatings i slightly changed my formation and tactics to not commit so many players forward and in a game where i have never concentrated more in my life i got my first win against a top side 2-0 vs Man City.
    Next game i was down 2-0 vs Spurs within 15mins but didn’t go attacking just stayed calm and bought it back to 2-2. Eriksen smashes a free kick into the wall followed by a goal mouth scramble and 3-2 Spurs with 5mins to go. I’m in that sweet spot right now where you really have to concentrate to score and defend, almost every goal is an air punching moment.

  14. Picked up RDR2 today, but won’t get to play it for a while. I personally think the first one is the best video game ever made.

  15. Just wait then Tommy, you’re in for a treat!

  16. Paul – Wise move. I would imagine the last thing you need with a dodgy stomach is the strain of lifting heavy weights.

    nG – Quite right. Only a TARDIS can alter time.

  17. Chris99 – haha! Dodgy stomach plus weights! I imagine Paul would clean up with his copy of PRS 2019 as toilet roll.

    I can’t help but misread RDR2 as R2D2 every time.

  18. Cough, splutter, censorship! Kim Jong NG rewriting history. I fully expect every negative pes5 comment to be autocorrected to something about glorious, life affirming gifts from the leader.

  19. Damn right Chris99, or any type of physical activity right now, just no energy for any of it.

    Jay – the few matches I had after the PES 19 patch has somewhat rejuvenated PES to the point where if I wanted to, I could play ML for many seasons over the next 6 months, but I’m happy playing FIFA, I’m getting everything I want out of it, and lots that I’ve always wished I could get from PES, I’m getting in FIFA, so no need to swap, but can appreciate what PES does well, and that its a good game at last, so no wiping with it, be a bit sharp anyway, those plastic CD’s.

  20. Post patch really plays a good game doesn’t it. I like that there are now other options for the cpu to take and not just the path of least resistance. This seems to have “set players free” and for me it has restored a sense of occasion to matches. I cannot for the life of me beat the likes of chelsea, arsenal and man united. United just battered me 4-0 and I only just managed to scrape a lucky draw against Chelsea. Hazard was just rampant and it wasn’t the usual CPU pes victory (I.e. 1 shot to my 23, still draw 1-1), they were better across the board. Got out possessed, outpassed, they intercepted much more of my passes and took more shots.

    No rubberbanding either – haven’t seen the CPU helping hand – yet. Still fighting for survival, the only player I have that is premier league-worthy is Arcas in all honesty. He’s so much quicker and a better dribbler than the rest of my squad.

  21. I personally wouldn’t say ‘a really good game’ #1 – PES still has many things that are so basic, frustrating and either missing or just work poorly, but the core game play is at least now at a level where its playable, before the patch it wasn’t.
    I just don’t think PES ML has any longevity anymore purely down to the fact that its a forgotten mode and there’s absolutely nothing to keep the interest, nothing to do between matches, that’s not a club management mode, that’s league mode with transfers.

  22. Paul – I hear ya and can see why you see it that way. I’m in a different boat though currently. For me the gameplay is so good that it is engrossing again (especially with the added fan patch for gameplay) and the added visual and audio mods bring presentation up a few levels. ML is indeed barebones with two important differences to last year for me: finances are much harder to manage and good players are much harder to get and grow. Player individuality is back to a degree as well, this is a massive deal to me.

    There’s still a shit ton to improve but for now it’s daily glorious pes-matches for me. Additional PC mods coming in fast now as well. If you do ever revisit it somewhere next year – would definitely recommend pc. It makes for quite a different experience compared to “vanilla”.

  23. #1 – PC and Console are non-comparable, two entirely different games.
    The PC mods with custom camera angles, adboards, scoreboards, trophies, presentation graphics etc elevate the game to a whole different level, on PC it probably can be ‘one helluva game’, even though ML mode is still the same and severely lacking.

    On console though, its very bare bones all over and severely lacking in every single aspect that is needed to immerse someone into a proper ‘football world’.
    Barebones ML might have been okay 2012-2015 era, but in this day and age, more is expected, at the very least the basics are expected.

    Can you imagine NHL 2k19 and there being no Stanley cup trophy after a grueling season, or NBA 19 and no NBA Playoff trophy? Or Madden 19 not having the super bowl trophy? The very thought is even ridiculous, but Konami seem to think that its acceptable to release a product whereby the sole aim is to win the trophy of the top league in your country …..but then there is no trophy, just blank spaces, because they are too lazy to put one in. Its embarrassing.

    Then there are the dozens of smaller things that all add up to be quite huge such as no awareness at all of 2 legged ties, or scorelines or away goals affecting the game.
    If the COM is trailing 2-0 from the 1st (away) leg, but winning 1-0 in the home leg, it thinks its winning, so just plays defensively to protect the lead, when in fact it needs a goal to go through.
    even after the patch COM controlled team mates just turn into zombies and let COM players walk past them for tap-ins.
    Commentary often gets things blatantly wrong, such as scores, and says things that don’t even relate to whats going on on-screen.

    And I don’t care what anyone says, I have played PES long enough to know first hand that play styles between teams are very very limited and most teams play identically.
    And Key players do NOT play true to life skills often enough.

    The list could go on and on, all basics.

    Unless you want to pay £700 for a PC, then PES on consoles is very very limited in lifespan.

  24. #1/Paul – the PC/console divide is always a really interesting debate in PES. Personally I would say the console PES2019 plays ‘a really good game’ (pre- and post-patch) but agree that all the mods etc. that can be heaped on the PC version makes direct comparison difficult.

  25. Again NG it all depends what your expectations from a football game are and what you define as ‘a very good game’.

    If you class core game play as in animations and passing/shooting mechanics as a very good game then I guess it is.

    If you consider a game that plays true to the real sport, has intelligent AI that replicates players traits, and team play styles, has longevity, offers substance and immersion, is presented well and the mechanics of the game are dynamic, as a very good game, then IMO, PES 19 is not a very good game at all.

  26. Paul – I knew you’d have to do a little list like that 🙂 Surprised it’s not longer!

  27. Could be massively long such is the list of basics that PES just ignores.
    want me to list everything?

  28. I think everyone knows, Paul, but as you know yourself, it’s the feel of the game in the hands that causes pleasure or pain, and PES2019 nails it – nails it – with the pleasure, more than the pain. After 3.5 seasons of ML now my view has settled on it and I’d say I’m happier with PES2019 than with any PES since the PS3 days. There isn’t a rational argument against it that would get me slapping my forehead and saying ‘but of course! The covering defender should track the runner, not wander into the middle! What a fool I have been!’ It just doesn’t work like that. A game’s features and foibles are a part of its makeup. If you’ve played The Greatest Football Game Ever Made recently (PES5), you’ll have seen a dozen glaring instances of wrongness similar to PES2019’s sins. But again, doesn’t matter.

  29. Well then we severely disagree NG.
    Or more to the point, we have different expectations and/or levels of quality which we can accept.

    IMO PES 2019 far from ‘nails it’, FIFA 19 doesn’t ‘nail it’ either, both have their frustrations and things each game does well and doesn’t do so well, some might like PES’s floaty ‘air-ball’ type feel, some might like FIFA’s heavier ‘potato sack’ like feel, it’s down to preference.

    Both games, at the very core, play a very good game of basic football on the pitch, as in the pass, run, shoot mechanics.
    But when you delve deeper in, which is all part of the sport each game is trying to simulate, and look at the details, both within the game mechanics and the wider substance of the game, including how the game ‘feels’; in the hand, then PES gets so much wrong, or just doesn’t even attempt to do half of what should be there.

    I don’t know how anyone in their right, sane mind could argue the cold fact that PES is a lazily produced product, with many flaws, and absolutely zero to keep your interest off the pitch.

    I think the evidence of our differing expectations is there to see with your comment that somehow your players wandering off and leaving opposition players to tap in an unmarked goal is somehow even remotely acceptable, and you couldn’t ever accept that this is a serious flaw.

    And for the record, PES 5 feels very dated and I couldn’t play more than 2 or 3 matches on it.

  30. Forgot to upload this last night. Had a brutal to and fro game with Cardiff as I had a few first teams out, TS and dropped and a few players had no familiarity with my tactics (you need to play them semi regularity or they lose it too, which is accurate IMO). Anyway, Cardiff were causing me all sorts of problems. Every time I scored, they’d eventually equalise – not necessarily immediately. I went 5-4 up on 82’ and was adamant I’d keep the lead. Cue a 15 pass move ending in a goal.

    Curiously, a few games later, concentration ramped all the way up, I purposely set out to play long ball, counter attacking football vs Man City knowing they can easily park in my half and play tiki taka all game long. At half time I’d only completed 22 (TWENTY TWO) passes, compared to their 111 (ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN). I was delighted with my three goal lead.

    Paul – the further you get into an ML – I’d say at least two seasons – the more off the pitch *does* keep you interested. Finances, player growth and training is *essential*

  31. Paul – oh yes, differing expectations certainly. Being unable to play PES5 is a litmus test that shows just how far we diverge.

    Jay – argh, a team goal! You made me watch a team goal! Send it to a footy pundit and get some love…

    I love how you keep on using the 7 (SEVEN) meme without having any memory at all of the Vidiprinter. Kind of makes it real.

  32. NG – Only a litmus test in YOUR eyes, of a game that YOU put on a pedestal.
    I could turn round and say because you don’t play FIFA 2003 that we have differing expectations – holds no weight.

    On the pitch, as I’ve said many times, PES is decent, not amazing, but decent, off it, its not. Cold hard fact.

    Which leads me to Jay’s comment.
    Jay, I was playing PES before you was born, I kinda know how ML’s evolve over the seasons. And training, finances and player growth are not *active* things that *keep* you interested on a match by match basis, despite if you wrap them in *Asterisks*

    Finances being scrooge-like making better players harder to come by is a very good thing, certainly compared to last years bounty hoarding, but it’s not something you actively do every match, like training, you set the training schedules and leave them, nothing else left to do, except for when you maybe change them up in 6 months or a seasons time.

    Wheres the player interactions? The hiring of staff? in-depth transfer negotiations? Press conferences? Board objectives? (and PES’s flawed challenge mode hardly counts, finish 9th no matter what team, or league!!)
    All the stuff that actually makes you feel like a football manager, and mostly stuff that used to be in PES but has been scrapped over the years.

    In PES 19, you set your training schedule, then what else is there to do match by match outside of the transfer window other than pick team, play match, pick team, play match, rinse and repeat. ? Nothing.

  33. Someone’s got their strength back….

  34. Someone is just fed up of people making excuses for being served up a bland unfinished product year after year.

  35. PES2019: da best eva. FACT.

  36. Don’t you have a bridge to be under NG 😉

  37. Seem to have missed a bit of a discussion here 😉 Paul, I agree on the difference between console and pc. Nowadays I think a comparison to the elder scrolls franchise is a fair one and one you might’ve seen me make earlier. To me skyrim is nigh-on unplayable unmodded but is, by some, regarded as the best thing since sliced bread in its vanilla form. It was a good experience for me vanilla but after having tasted the modded experience it pales in comparison and I could never go back. Pes is similar for me.

    As it is, I do have a pc capable of playing it easily and so I’m balls-deep into it.

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