The Bournemouth Identity

I stayed up with 1 game to spare.

Season 7 had been a struggle all along. It was my maiden season in the Premier League, and the teams have mostly brushed me aside. I’d got into winning ways toward the end of my time in D2 and it was a shock to suddenly be the whipping boy.

The number of straightforward wins have been very few. Thumping defeats were plentiful. The amount of sweaty, stressful wins and draws proved to be just enough to keep me up.

In previous years I’d have played this season on Top Player, but it’s not an option this year with the re-zoning of the difficulty levels making TP much too easy.

Here are the March results:That point against Liverpool, at Liverpool, was huge for me. It was the first time I’d come away with something from one of the big teams.

Those two wins against my fellow lower-half-of-the-tablers was pretty good too.

Heading into the final 5 matches of the season, I was 5 points from safety and not picking up any results. It seemed likely that I would be relegated. I had to win matches that I was routinely losing earlier in the season.

April:Those two defeats put everything back in the balance. At this stage I had 3 matches left and was still 4 points away from safety.

And then the win against Tottenham – my first 3 points against one of the Big 6. Are Tottenham a Big 6 team in PES? Very much so.

Which meant I had two matches in May to secure my survival. Away to Bournemouth, home to Brighton.

One win would do me, and the next match duly provided it as I romped to a straightforward 3-1 win, at Bournemouth.My keeper is right to have a grumble about not keeping a clean sheet. I was 3-0 up when the game went very weird and suddenly it was impossible for me to play two consecutive passes correctly. I’ve been playing this series long enough to know when shenanigans are afoot. PES2019 blatantly decided to take that goal. I’ve succumbed to the catchup script before when 3-0 up. Fortunately it was too late here to do any damage.

I then lost the final match at home to already-relegated Brighton, but it didn’t matter.

The final table:The Team of the Season – I had one player in it:Gomez got 20 goals, which was good for me and good for him. Gomez is going to be one of my all-time PES Legends. The goals were the difference. I would sell all my other players to keep him if I had to.

Forlan had purple patches but was mostly underwhelming. He will get another season to show more consistency.

And that was Season 7. One of the toughest, scariest seasons I’ve ever played in any Master League. I would never usually persevere at a difficulty level that’s a notch too high for me right now.

Season 8 has of course already begun at the time of writing, and I can report that my time of relying on Loan players is now pretty much over. A clutch of new players have arrived for me to get to know and see if they can become PES legends too.

The plan for Season 8 has to be to try my best in the FA Cup, and see if I can sneak into the top 10.

Updated: 18th December 2018 — 11:38

46 Comments

  1. Congrats on the survival, sounded like a tense run-in.
    That’s some league table massaging by the game there to keep you in with a chance despite all those defeats at the end.

  2. It would have been an annoyance to drop back down but I’d have quite enjoyed it I think. I’m fascinated now as to whether I’ll ever be a force in the Premier League.

    ML table scripting over the years has taught me that the game will pretty much always massage any scenario no matter how unlikely. My final 2 seasons in D2 saw some of the most obvious table scripting I’ve ever seen in 15 years of ML, to keep me involved. I had no right to even be close to the playoffs. The kicker is that the player himself has to deliver the results at the crucial point. ML table scripting is one of the most overt ‘hidden hand’ scenario scripting setups in gaming.

  3. If you knew you was relegated with 6 games or so left to play, would you actually play them? or sim them?
    The ML table massaging is obviously there to keep player interest and engagement, and rightly so, as you say, you still need to win the key games, if you don’t, you’ll go down.

    Getting promoted, finishing bottom of the Premier League then coming back up as Championship winners has made my FIFA career story so much more rewarding, it probably would have had the same effect on your ML too, but still, always nice to be playing in the top league, maybe your finances and player salaries would have been hard to manage with the reduced rewards back in the Championship.

  4. Nice one nG. Onwards and upwards.

  5. n-G – I can only imagine how elated you must have felt after surviving a relegation battle so far into a ML. A rare thing indeed but something I may well encounter if I ever get a chance to get back on the game. Midi-Shed has new Spider-Man DLC and I’ve been busy so no PS4 time for more than a week now.

    Have you had a chance to check if the wonky squad sizes are still a thing in your ML n-G? I believe they patched it although I understand it could still happen for those of us still on an original ML campaign.

  6. Paul/Chris99 – I’d have been very tempted not to play the last few matches if relegated, with time at an absolute premium for me right now. I’ve spent far too much time with PES2019 the last few months and neglected so many other things that I need to spend time on to feel right (books and other games, mainly), not least my Fallout 4 progress which I’m very happy to have resumed recently.

    Shed – I’ve not noticed any threadbare matchday squads yet for the other teams, but haven’t checked properly. I will do and report back here in comments later tonight.

  7. So then emlyn….what happens next (I’m no good at editing so you’d have to pause it at 10 seconds, it shows the clip in full)

  8. I genuinely paused it at 10 secs and guessed the outcome – just from the angle of Defoe to ball and what the GK was doing.

  9. it was always going to be a header or volley back into the net of some sort.
    Trusty PES keepers 😉

  10. Scissors? I think there is too much of an angle for it to be other.

  11. Lovely outcome of the season there NG in spite of the rubberbanding. Curiously enough your first season in the premier league is almost a mirror image of my own. I get the feeling that this years’ game “forces” a story upon you depending on certain events. E. G. When nearing your first promotion, first season in the top flight, second season in the top flight etcetera with all the per match scripting and league table rubberbanding that goes with it. Just a theory… Could very well just be coincidence of course.

    I’m getting quite tired of the Premier League and English leagues in general. Each match is 300mph, fast stuff. Exhilarating at times to be honest, but I’m getting weary of it, time for a change of pace, literally. Not in the least because of the droning “Liverpool, Liverpool, liverpo-hoool” chants (but at least I actually have chants – muahaha) that keep on going on and on. Ended the season in 4th place which qualifies me for the champions league qualifiers. Think I’ve taken Liverpool as far as I will take them as I have no real connection with the team (they have grown a bit on me though) and aching to get on with “my” team, Ajax in the Eredivisie.

    Just as well that they finally accepted my transfer request then! Put in a few requests before already but they didn’t bite. Club ranking for Liverpool went up to 120 because of my good results and because of that the game finally deemed me worthy enough to make the transfer. Come December 31st I’m out of here. Phase 2 of master league begins!

  12. nG – Congrats on survival.

    Has anyone else noticed you can’t hide the display guide in the top right corner during replays anymore? It tells you to press the left bit of the touch pad (ps4) as usual, but it just doesn’t work. Bug? Or am I doing something wrong?

  13. Tommy – I hid the guide in my game in my first session or so, and it has never come back, so I can’t speak for whether the mechanism is bugged now.

    #1 – I’m not a fan of the pace in the Premier League either. A large number of matches, particularly vs the Big 6, are just like the Old Boys/Rivals matches, and those are not good.

  14. Just won the league!

    In true PES fashion, I was two points behind PSG going into the last game having drawn my previous two and dropped to second. Needed to win and hope they lost or tied. I won. They tied. Trophy!

    W27 D4 L7

    Perfect place to leave the game before Christmas!

  15. A rare real-football aside: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, to me, looks like a proper 45-year-old man now. He can no longer reasonably be described as baby-faced. But the media insist on seeing him in that framework. I noticed this phenomenon when he was at Cardiff a few years ago, and he did a post-match interview in which the interviewer led off with a bit of banter about Solskjaer looking baby-faced. I remember Solskjaer looking a bit bewildered by the remark, because even in 2014 it was just no longer true. In that interview a few years ago he looked like a typical ageing haunted 42-year-old at the time. Now, 4 years later, he looks older than me. Just a little ‘perception controlled by existing bias’ thing.

  16. And congrats Tommy! A Superstar title is a hard thing on this game. Good old ML table scripting. If there was any doubt at all about its existence (there isn’t), the extraordinary high amount of Last Day Drama outcomes would be enough to prove it.

  17. WHo cares about what Solskjaer looks like, seriously!!!
    The good thing though is that Man Utd have once again, albeit temporarily, appointed a manager with no top level experience, who has won or achieved nothing, to take over one of the world’s biggest clubs.
    Ask any Cardiff fan about Solskjaer and his time there, he was a disaster, and that was at a club where there were no real expectations on him.

    I’m enjoying and further and looking forward to the continued downfall of Man Utd, and their gobby supporters.

    Of course they drew on the final day Tommy, its PES.

  18. Paul – it’s about media controlling reality, which is worth caring about IMO. It’s been many years since Solskjaer could be described as baby faced but they still do describe him that way.

    And yes, he’s their Craig Shakespeare. They’ll probably take maximum points from their next 4 matches and that’ll be the worst thing that could happen because then it’ll be ‘give it to him permanently!!’ Going to be quite interesting to watch the predictable disaster. Di Matteo at Chelsea etc.

  19. Media controlling reality is a bit far fetched?
    They basically are just using the same nickname he had when he was playing 15 years ago. Anyone with a pair of eyes can see that he now doesn’t look alot younger than what he is, its just a nickname that’s stuck.

    The media aren’t trying to control everyone’s perception of Solskjaer as some fresh faced person,same as all the Brazilian press still refer to the original Ronaldo as ‘O Fenômeno’ meaning The Phenomenon’ …. have you seen him lately? only phenomenal thing he could do in 90 mins is smash krispy kreme’s but he’s still kept that old nickname because its what people know him as, same with Solskjaer.

  20. They don’t know they’re doing it themselves. I’m sure the interviewer at Cardiff in 2014 believed what he was saying. I’m making a general, academic point about how media narratives are self-sustaining by creating frameworks through which reality is filtered. A good example would be the Notting Hill carnival, which is always – always – reported in terms of how many arrests there have been. Another amusing example is that whenever the French president visits Britain, nearly every newspaper article finds a method of comparing him to a waiter in a restaurant. Whether or not these are of legitimate interest, serious or amusing, is a side-issue to the point I’m making, which is that media of every form determines the shape and contours of perception. There’s nobody in a room somewhere deciding and directing it, which makes it more sinister.

  21. Surely the media only distorts your perception if you believe everything you read.
    I don’t read an article saying ‘Solskjaer the baby faced assassin returns to steady Utd Ship’ and immediately think ‘Oh Solskjaer still looks really young’, because he’s not and I can see that with my own eyes, and I don’t just accept whatever the media tells me.

    I get the point you’re making, and probably, well definitely for some, the media definitely influences peoples views, thats why social media is king for a lot of brands and businesses, but thats down purely to the society we now live in, under-educated teens and young adults with a reliance upon social media and lacking the intellect to form their own views.

    Same as all this vegan shit going around, and MeToo crap, just bandwagons that people without the ability to think for themselves to jump on because its exposure and on trend.

  22. Exactly, we don’t as a general rule think for ourselves, we tend to adopt whatever the prevailing opinions are.

    I go back to the Solskjaer interview in Cardiff in 2014 and the interviewer’s approach. He wasn’t using a football nickname in the context of this interview. He led off by telling Solskjaer how amazing it was that he still looked so young – and Solskjaer himself looked a bit confused by this, because of course he sees himself in a mirror every day and knows that he looks like any other 40-something these days. I’m fascinated by the continuing perception of him as having actual babyfaced-ness, and will be watching and listening carefully over the next few months. E.g. when he completes his 4 wins out of 4 over the festive period (it’s a near-certainty that’s what’ll happen) and they go back to the lads in the MOTD studio, I can just picture them all chuckling and asking each other how Solskjaer manages to still look so young – that kind of thing. It’s not true, but it’s perceived to be true, and it’s therefore ‘true’…

  23. Think that says more about the moronicism of people than anything. If people just believe something because someone else says it.

    Are you willing to have a wager on Utd winning all their fixtures over Xmas and NY ?
    Cardiff
    Huddersfield
    Bournemouth
    Newcastle

    You’d expect them to win all those games but they just aren’t good enough to guarantee that anymore.

  24. Paul – I prefer betting on outcomes that yield a result the same day, but that looks like a great bet to me. They’ve easily got what it takes to win all them. Consider the new manager bounce factor, and that they were underperforming for the Special Gone, etc. Yes the club is such that you can just as easily see any of those four teams winning or drawing, but on balance, 4 wins out of 4 looks like a great bet. I can’t find a bookie that’s running the bet though… I can bet on the first two matches, separately, as an Acca, but not on all 4 as an Acca. I’ll keep an eye out for it as a special.

  25. Ng – would be worth a tenner at least, as you say with the new manager, and the feeling of being ‘unshackled’ so to speak they may just go out and play, I am of course though hoping they lose every match.

    Our run in is Wolves, Arsenal, Newcastle and Man City, the obvious obstacles being Arsenal and City.

  26. Paul – for short-term pleasure, yes, you should want them to lose all 4 matches, or at least perform so badly that it’s just a continuation of the post-Fergie disaster zone. But for the truly delicious long-term schadenfreude, you should want them to WIN all 4 matches and then beat Spurs at Wembley, because if that scenario comes to pass, the % chance of the no-longer-babyfaced assassin Craig Shakespeareing his way into the job permanently, becomes a fair few % higher. And if that happens, Man Utd might not recover for a generation, and your lulz might never end.

  27. NG – interested for your new season?

    View post on imgur.com

  28. I get what you mean NG, it’s like Paul’s perception that Christmas is a fun time full of twinkly lights and magic because he’s been fed the endless diet of shakin stevens records, morecambe and wise repeats and Coca Cola trucks handing out sugary brown water. If only he could see through the haze.

  29. Woah – started my first day at Ajax and immediately my best player (Ziyech) wants 17 million! Now at 5 or something… I’d have to sell half the squad to even come near that. So he’s gone next window I’m afraid. My move to Ajax hasnt brought that much extra money (about equal to where I was at with Liverpool) or “buying power” for that matter as it’s hardly a case of buying whoever I want. In fact some players that were willing to join me at Liverpool give me zero chance of joining me at Ajax. So, more to it than just club ranking then. Interesting, and harder than I expected going off previous PESes.

  30. Paul – yes please, that looks very nice. I can’t find a bookie that accepts advance bets several weeks in advance. Shame as 4 wins out of 4 for Man Utd from now feels like a sound bet.

    #1 – I have to post one of my few long-rangers from PES2017, with your Ziyech (first time hit, with his wrong foot):

    Milked for all it’s worth, of course. That was a poor PES for long-rangers.

  31. Ha…Turf, its not my perception, its just my experience.
    Its not the lights, gifts, tv, or anything that make me believe Christmas is ‘magical’, and I don’t celebrate anything religious as Im an Atheist, its just more of a special time to make an effort to spend time with family and a break from the every day grind that wears us all down so much.

    It could be called anything for all I care, I’d still enjoy the time off work, time with family, and the memories, cause one day you’ll look back and not able to do it, and have regrets.

    NG – I’ll paste the kit file here tomorrow (its own my work PC)

  32. NG – sumptuous finish! I was gonna moan that he struck it perfectly with his wrong foot but you already mentioned that so…
    He is perfectly capable of doing that in real life as well. Unfortunately he won’t be doing that for me in my ML much longer. 17 million! I’m not sure even a Ronaldo makes that at Juventus in real life. Wonder what it means for the rest of my players and the kind of pressure it puts on me to keep winning… Chairman wants me to win the league, nothing less. Interesting times.

  33. Played the three clubs around me last night – four of us chasing the automatic places. Awful, absolutely horrible matches. I won two and drew the other but they were all super fast, ping pong, kick and rush affairs. No redeeming features at all, everything normally good was off the table. I really hope it’s not an indication of the top flight.

  34. Uncle Turf – I forget but you’re in the championship right now, no? If so what you’re experiencing is not symptomatic of the top flight per se but rather a form of table / “story” scripting. I experienced the exact same thing when I was moving up. Smooth sailing until the last few deciding matches. This is what I meant earlier with my suspicion of Konami trying to force a “story” down our throats. I.e. Creating a Dramatic ending to the season, Rocky-like road to glory.. That kind of bullcrap.

    Something else I noticed after having jumped clubs: TS goes way down again. In a very un-Konami twist this actually make sense as I am the new manager and the players have to get used to my style of coaching etc. You also take your own formation and tactics with you as a manager, previously this would be tied to a team and not a manager. Interesting if other (cpu) managers move around as well but haven’t seen that yet. I took some players with me from Liverpool and those do have affinity with my team instructions and tactics, as they should. Interesting.

  35. Same in FIFA #1 – The whole story/scripting/form/momentum thing, new post coming up on FIFAFX at 10am, but had my first ever frustrating session last night.

  36. #1 – yes, I’m second in the championship, season 4, with 12 games to go. Not sure I could put up with another one, it’s only my second but compared with Scotland it just drags. If I go up I’ll stay with boro unless I get a top six type offer, no point moving to a West Ham or similar. Unlike this job I won’t go looking for it, I’ll just take what comes. Moving would of course invalidate my wage budget victory over NG but that’s not enough to turn down a great option. I feel though that someone who has gone from Motherwell to Middlesbrough should next move to a club like Everton, Newcastle, maybe West Ham – Southgate aside there is a stepping stone missing if I went from Teesside to AC Milan.

  37. Uncle Turf – a high proportion of ‘matches that matter’ seem to default to that 1000mph garbage. Somebody in the PES Productions decision-making tree thinks they’re great matches. They’re so not.

    Paul – no rush on that kit, I’ll stick with the one you gave me for the Premier until I manage to finish in the top half of the table.

    #1 – that Ziyech goal came in one of my most peculiar side-quests in PES, a two-season St Etienne career in Ligue 1, at the tail-end of the year of PES2017. Never done anything like that before or since.

  38. I’m now playing one game at a time, they are all uninspiring 1-0 scruffy wins or I get tonked against the run of play. It’s because me and the team challenging me for the second promotion spot are only a point apart. I expect it to continue till the end of the season. And it is indeed rubbish (not ‘garbage’ as Chicago Greggy might have us believe in a rare moment of kidzspeak…)

  39. For real. I sneaked in 3 matches just now, including one against Man City, and they were all pretty good. I’m mid-table, at the start of a season, so there’s no league table script running.

  40. 6 points off top with 8 games to go. FA Cup Semi coming soon. Could be a SS double. Boom!!

  41. Tommy- that dipping volley is the nuts!

  42. Max – I posted a longer version of that one in the comments on the previous post. Goal of this PES, and probably the few that came before it, for me!

  43. No League title, but FA Cup Final against Man City about to start. Boom!

  44. For all those that get done straight from KO by the CPU in footy games and hate it, this is for you

    and out-Liverpool’ing Liverpool

  45. Tommy – it’s the best goal I’ve seen on PES for many a year. The kind I’m always trying to get but they somehow don’t go in for me.

    Paul – that first one in particular was a great finish. ‘Straight from kickoff’ might be a real thing in the real game too (the just-scored team’s guard going down in excitement), but it’s so irritating in a computer game.

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