Shaping up to be a classic PES year. I’m not counting chickens yet, but the augurs are good.
Heading for mid-November in the ‘real’ world, my Master League world in PES2019 is taking on surprising levels of depth and width.
Season 5, and my club, Coventry City, continues to languish in The Championship. Master League is a made-up world, so there are no pundits on my back questioning any of my questionable decisions.
This is the lowest-ranked I’ve been heading into Season 5 on any PES for many years.
My aim for the coming season is one thing alone: promotion. It’ll be tough on Superstar. And yes, I do think occasionally about dropping back down to Top Player, but that level is really too easy for me now. I am generating a kind of enjoyment and deep absorption from the friction of struggling with Superstar that I don’t want to miss out on. The struggle is a joy. So here I am to stay.
This is my full squad for the start of Season 5:
Valverde, Arciero and Soulas at the bottom of the subs’ list are my only Loanees so far this season. They’re really just to provide cover. I clawed my way back into the black financially, but splurged it all on renewing contracts.
Suddenly, that formerly rich-pickings Loans list seemed to dry up. No more Diawara-style stars. Valverde was the highest-rated available.
Since this screenshot was taken I have abandoned the DMF role for the first time ever in my PES history. Rodriguez went to the bench. Rice moved to the DMF slot but will play as a CMF. Castledine has taken the central midfield role but will play slightly further forward as an AMF. And I’ve moved that left-sided AMF position a little wider and a little further forward and made it an SS role – to accommodate Robben, who has started to emerge from the Youth doldrums and is delivering performances.
That is an unfortunate nickname for Lincoln. I know ‘terrible’ here is meant in the same semi-archaic sense as ‘terrific’, but nowadays in English, the foremost sense of ‘terrible’ is, well, terrible. But Konami gonna Konami.
I’ve had a decent start to the season on Superstar:Those 4 draws all came in the first 4 fixtures, and all ended 1-1. Frustratingly, in three of the matches’ cases I was 1-0 up and dominating for the majority of the time, before conceding the heartbreaking equaliser late on. Superstar in PES2019 – as in previous recent years – is a harsh, unforgiving mistress.
A major turning point in my PES2019 fortunes came in a wonderful match versus newly-relegated Hull.
I went into the match needing a win to get myself into the top half of the table and really get this hoped-for promotion season kickstarted.
I made my mind up before the match that I’d Had Enough of the draws and I damn well would win this match no matter what.
I played like a demon, covering spaces, tracking runners, shielding the ball, and somehow it was still 0-0 after an in-game hour.
Then I slid in too rashly in the box, and conceded a penalty. Most AI penalties go to the keeper’s right (left as we look at it from the kicker’s POV), so I duly dived that way – and saved it.
Yes! I lived on.
Play was cleared to the halfway line, where I promptly lost the ball. Hull surged back toward my box, and I rashly button-mashed in panic, leaving a Hull striker clean through. I chopped him down from behind. Red card for my defender – Cadavid – and yet another penalty for Hull.
I dived the same way. The AI player put it high, straight down the middle – and the ball hit the bar and bounced out.
Yes! Again, yes!
Now I was in ‘holding on for the 0-0’ territory. But I was also in ‘can I snatch a goal for a famous victory?’ territory….
I didn’t have another CB on the bench, so I played these last few minutes with one CB and two SBs. A helluva risk, but one I wanted to take.
Hull pushed right up against me. It was the most overt change of approach from the AI I’ve yet seen in PES2019. They were all-out attacking, leaving only a token few defenders back to cover my forwards (Robben, Gomez, Jarvis).
I thought I was up against it before – now the pressure seemed tenfold. I led a charmed life. Time ebbed away. I wasn’t threatening the AI goal at all. I knew I would get perhaps one opportunity before the final whistle.
I used to specialise in getting results with 10 men, or even 9 men, on ISS and PES of old. Been a while since I’ve done that…
Right at the end, I was defending a free kick when the ball fell to me. Hull had all their big men pushed forward, leaving themselves really short at the back. I went on a breakaway where I had 3 strikers against two defenders…
Jarvis with the little dinked through-ball, and Robben with the rifled finish.
The game obviously ‘knew’ what the goal meant to me, as it showed me those riotous celebration scenes, typical for a goal celebration of a team that knows it’s performed a smash and grab at the death.
I’ve scored quite a few aesthetically nicer goals on PES2019, but not one of them was more satisfying than this goal.
I held on after the AI’s kickoff. They had one attack, which I halted in its tracks. The final whistle went. It was the most glorious win of my PES2019 career so far.