Ah, a new season. That refreshing Day 1 feeling never gets old. Look at this bright blue August sky.Now look at your grey November sky outside.
And I am still in the Championship, in Season 6. This season will present me with quite a few challenges.
If I don’t go up this season, I might never go up.
PES2019’s Master League salary shenanigans are by now well-documented. I’m sceptical of whether Konami intended for it to be this way, but it is this way, and it is good.
In a nutshell, throughout all this time in Division 2, in order to hang onto my best players I have had to pay them so much salary that I haven’t been able to afford any other players’ wages.
I have had to resort to Loans. For the past 3 seasons or so, I’ve been running the club with around 18 club players, plus 5 or 6 Loanees to flesh out the squad.
This is by choice. I could offload some or all of my high-earners and assemble a full squad of lower-earning players, but I choose to persist with things as they are.
I need the likes of Mario Gomez (£1.8m a year), and Giorza (£1.1m), and Castledine (£1.1m), and Lincoln (£1m). There are about 10 others on the £900k mark, such as Rice and Robben, whom I could not bear to part with either.
And here’s the thing: all of the above will be out of contract at the end of this season. They’ll all typically want another million each to stay on.
And I’m currently minus-£3m in the red on the salary front.
So it’s all built to a head. There will be no easy answers. I will have to part with a few favourite players no matter what. But do you know what would make it all a touch easier?
Pre-season, I let Rodriguez and Cahill go. Each were up for renewal this very month, and both wanted silly money. I managed to sell Rodriguez before his contract expired. Cahill left as a Free Agent.
So I was down to 16 players. I went hunting and got a shock: only 11 (ELEVEN) players, in total, populated the Loan list.
I helped myself to Bakayoko. PES2019’s ML has a weird tradition of offering up top-rated DMFs for Loan. I’m more than happy to help myself.
I grabbed a few others, and took a chance on requesting Loans for Transfer-listed players who were not Loan-listed. I got a couple that way.
I won and lost the first two matches in August. Then September came and with it a patchy run of form, to say the least. The first result here was in the FA Cup, and the rest in the league:
I’ve played a bit of October. Form is about the same. Leading to the current table:
A 2-1-3 record is disappointing, but the dilution of Team Spirit and a seeming stiffening of the Superstar spine has meant I did well to get those two wins, really.
I’m still confident that I have enough experience and know-how with Superstar now to get promoted this year.
I have had an early taster of what life in the Premier League might be like. My next FA Cup opponents were Tottenham.
Here is a useful pic showing my full Season 6 squad on the left, and Spurs’ current Season 6 squad on the right:
My loanees this season are Pereiro (playing up front here for the knackered Jarvis), Piotrowski, Blind, Khaoui, Enomoto, Johnsen, and Bakayoko.
22 players in total.
Just 15 players of my own.
No, I really cannot keep doing this.
I lost the cup match against Spurs, 2-1.
They were fast and furious. Dizzyingly so. But I coped quite well for long periods and was unfortunate to go 1-0 down, then 2-0 down. Near the end I snatched a lucky goal to set up an exciting finish – but as so often happens in PES2019, scoring my goal sent the AI into a frenzy and I had to resist a battering for the last 10 minutes. I don’t think I made a single chance.
Meeting up with Spurs like this was an experience of a totally different order to my usual opponents in the Championship (even though most of them, too, are tough opponents). Strong motivation to get out of this division was already there. Now, it’s even more there.
The season continues slowly. Work and life distractions mean I’ll be making slow progress on this season. Expect it to last until the first week or two of December.
Finally today, technical issues prevent me from posting a great laces long-ranger from that gem of the new Defaults, Rice. I will post the goal in due course. Maybe later today in comments.
In the meantime, here is a short highlights reel of the opening to Season 6: