No seasonal turkey sandwich analogies here

My final post of 2018 is a short one. These days between Christmas and New Year might as well be deleted from the calendar. They might as well not exist. They’re peculiar days.

First, my current table:I’ve got a 10-point cushion between me and the relegation zone, so there’ll be no relegation battle this season.

I still have a chance of hauling myself into Europa League qualification. That’s what the chairman wants me to do.

But overall, it looks like this season is going to be a rare one without any Last Day Drama – but we’ll see. With 9 matches remaining, anything is possible.

The above were my results for the month of November, which started with that 5-0 mauling at the hands of Liverpool, but which then saw me accelerate (briefly) into my best form of the season so far.

What’s put me mid-table this season is starting to win a few matches I would have drawn last season, or even lost, and that’s made all the difference.

I’ve been through the mid-season transfer window and picked up two new players.

I sold JOAQUIN. Not individual enough.

The two new players were ENACHE, a right-back who will purely act as cover for Giorza. And step forward ADURIZ. I finally plucked him from the Free Agents list. He’s getting an eye-watering £1.8m per year. In his first few matches he’s been so bad that I genuinely nearly sold him in the same transfer window that I bought him in. But he will get a season at least.

I’m not happy about a few things that have started happening in PES2019. 1000mph online-style matches where none of the players really stand out. ‘No fouls football’ seems to be a thing again. I haven’t scored a long-range goal for six or so sessions, and it’s definitely not for want of trying.

I suspect the worst, but it’s hopefully a random wrinkle in the stretched-out blanket of ML. Hmmm. We’ll see.

A clip to end with that features two interesting moments.

First, I scored what I thought was a fine hook-volleyed goal with Gomez to seal an important win. But the game awarded it as an own-goal. Check the replay and decide for yourself. Technically, I see why the game did it. But is the flight of the ball really affected? Looks like a clipping issue, but that happens all the time in PES.

And then there is a red-card moment for my keeper. My second such in this PES.

And that’s me done for 2018.

Have a great whatever’s-left-of-2018 for you. No new post on New Year’s Day itself (a Tuesday). See you next week, 4th January, when normal service will be resumed, and Christmas-New Year will seem but a fading dream.



Updated: 28th December 2018 — 10:49


  1. NG – I share those sentiments as I am not a Christmas/New Year person and can’t wait for the normal routine to be back. I end up finding myself playing odd games here and there instead of the 4 or 5 games I normally get in the evening. When it comes down to it I love the routine of my life the way it is, without the need for forced jollity.

  2. I’d take down the decorations now – it’s amazing how big the house feels once all the crap is packed away.

    No way that’s a genuineown goal but the game is too dim to distinguish between a real deflection and a brush of hair/material on the way through.

    Btw from last thread – my free kick issue is not direction, curl or distance, it’s height – I can not find the sweet spot between hitting the wall and putting it over the bar. Best I’ve had was hitting the bar. After many many tries.

  3. Darryl – possibly the worst part of it is this obsession everyone has with the question ‘did you have a good Christmas?’ where you have to give them a thumbnail account of whether or not you did, in fact, have a good Christmas. For the next few days at least, that program will be running in everyone you meet whom you haven’t seen since the day before The Day.

    Uncle Turf – the free kick sweet spot in PES2019 is so large that it’s quite an achievement not go get the ball at least close nearly every time.

  4. Quick question chaps, advice appreciated. I’ve been struggling a bit with the old finances, am in the January window of season 3, still in the championship but looking good for promotion this season. I’ve just had a bid of £24m for 86 ovr ARCAS. My best player by far but I feel no closeness to him. He’s also just signed a new contract (on a whopping £1.9m a year) So what would be the wise decision? I’m struggling to find a decent replacement for what would be my boosted budget but I rarely turn down big bids.

  5. Bin him mike. He’s a good runner but for that money, that wage? Got to be better, more individual, options.

  6. depends on requirements elsewhere in your squad Mike plus what’s available in the transfer market but I would say sell – you could get 3-4 really good up and coming free agents in the mid-high 70s locked down on 3 year contracts with the salary saving, and perhaps use a chunk of that £24m to loan in a star player for a year to wrap up promotion

    can’t understand why Arcas’s starting OVR is so high at 75, he has decent ball control and passing but nondescript in other areas and appalling shooting

  7. Turf/Abbey Yeah, much like Paul Pogba (in real life) he doesn’t seem to show his apparent value on the pitch. He’s got something like 25 goals and 30 assists in 120+ games but never seems to stand out, and other players (Nathan for example) have the same or better. My star player is Dominic Calvert Lewin loaned in from Everton for the past 2 seasons, I’m already sold now, Arcas will be going and hopefully I’ll be able to sign DCL permanently with some of the money.



    THIS is what Pro Evo is all about!

    Sold Arcas and signed United’s own Marcus Rashford. His debut came at home to Swansea. Team spirit seemed to take a hit (I didn’t check it) and I was 2-0 down at half time. Pulled it back to 2-1, Rashford set up loanee Pitro Pellegri to slot home an equalizer.

    Into injury time, youth team product Michael Carrick strides forward from halfway, playa a ball into Rashford on the edge of the area, he’s tightly marked but turns, giving himself half a yard and fires in at the near post. Cue a weird demonic curdling noise from my throat.


  9. oh, just realised that holding X when near the striker makes your defender home in and put in a decent tackle! Partly explains why I’m doing so badly in PES this year, relying solely on R2 for defending

  10. In my view the “1000mph matches” is just one of the tools the CPU has to its disposal to tilt the balance in their favour. Same as them getting away with murder and you being booked for the slightest touch, your animations slowing down when taking a shot so they can get a foot in, their pissweak 60 rated CB being able to muscle one of your playerws with 90+ unwavering balance off the ball like they weren’t even there….the list goes on and on and on and on. I am stopping those free kicks now though so that’s a relief.

    My current problem with the game is that the CPU cheating is just so blatant and out there. It’s almost an insult to us as players / buyers of the game. The main thing that irks me is that when the cheat-o-meter is dialed right up, it turns straight into PES 18. Stats do not matter anymore, and it all turns into an identical gray blob of frantic button mashing. The off-the-pitch table scriptig or whatever you want to call it – same. I just got to first place in the league (to my own surprise really) and I just knew it was time for me to lose. So I did-twice in a row. So predictable and unsophisticated.

    It’s just so tiresome…and as soon as I’m getting fed up the game throws 5 great matches my way. Maddening.

  11. abbeyhill – that seems to be such an obvious satire on the FK discussion that I’m worried you might be sincere. It is possible. In either case, let me join you in enthusing about the way holding R1 can make my players run faster.

    Mike – the spirit of PES indeed. Modern PES since 2014 is generally like a bland-tasting Pot Noodle, but occasionally you get one that randomly tastes fantastic.

  12. Pot noodles went ridiculous years ago – Bombay bad boy etc – complete nonsense. Sweet n sour, chow mein, beef n tom, chicken n mushroom is all you need.

    Abbeyhill – that’s got to have been typed with a bored teenager type face, with one of those ‘like, whatever’ expressions. I’m not buying it.

  13. not-Greg – for once I am being 100% sincere, both about defending and free kicks. I really haven’t played much of current gen PES and still basically use the controls in the same way that I learned for PES3

  14. abbeyhill – saying that you have only just realised holding X does what it does in PES, is as likely as me saying that I’ve only just realised R1 makes the players sprint. One reason why (out of many): in all the years I’ve been writing about sprint-clamping as a cheap defensive method in PES, and describing what it is – squeezing sprint+Square+X – you’ve never once thought ‘but why X?’…?

    The hold-X functionality as it is today – home in on the ball-carrier, and make a challenge – has been built into PES, in varying strengths, since at least PES3. You’re doing an Andy Kaufman-style ‘bit’. #1 not realising about L1+R3 is plausible. You not knowing about X, isn’t. FAIL.

  15. lol fair enough not-Greg, can understand your scepticism! I was always very aware of the power of sprint-clamping, not least from reading about it here, but viewed my own style of defending – jockeying with R2 and then nipping in with LS or R1+LS at the right moment – as morally superior and equally effective, as you retain better control of defensive shape. Genuinely surprised to see how much more effective holding down X vs R2 is on PES2019

  16. And square? Surely you know what holding X and square does?

  17. secondary pressure Turf! Always viewed that as a rather cheap way of playing a football game. How are you getting on in French Ligue 2?

  18. abbeyhill – so, to continue the comedy sketch you’re doing, better tell us how in all your hundreds of hours on FIFA over the past decade (particularly on FIFA12 and all pre-Tactical Defending editions, in which X was a defensive homing missile), you’ve never held down X there either…

  19. abbeyhill is holding the purist high ground through stubborn refusal to adopt button mashing defensive techniques. Holding X and R1 is why Tactical Defending is a great addition to football game defensive controls. PES had a moment of brilliance in 2014 with the right stick stuff but promptly abandoned it.

    Also, double tap and holding square brings in two defenders for a full court press.

  20. FIFA? Sparing and delicate use of L2 contain/jockey old boy

  21. Cook – he’s perfectly aware of the PES fundamentals, he’s taking the piss in the context of the discussion further upstream, in these comments and on the last post, regarding button inputs on FKs.

  22. Not at all Abbeyhill – I haven’t played pes in the last week, only played arkham sparingly, as been catch up on box sets and watch the NFL.

    I repeat, there has been virtually no decent tv on all Christmas, thankfully Netflix and previously saved programmes have come in handy.

  23. while not-Greg and cohorts spent a decade with their hands clamped savagely across R1, X and square, faces contorted in a rictus of desperation as they clenched harder and harder, veins bulging in foreheads, a few of us set off to find a new way of defending…

  24. Abbeyhill – you are correct as holding X just drags defenders out of position and I am currently using legacy defending on FIFA so the same principle apllies.

  25. Turf – Live TV is not worth watching anymore and don’t think I would manage without Netflix.

  26. Uncle Turf – belatedly, re. Pot Noodles: about 18 months ago I noticed they had suddenly lost a lot of their flavour (or their savour might be a better term). Manufacturers are always trying to cut costs and boost profits. Remember the shrunken Twix scandal, that I’m surprised was taken so easily?

    The Pot Noodle people could have shrunk their Pots, but they took another route to save money. I suspect a % of the magic powder in each Pot that generates the flavour was cut by, say, 5% (or some % enough to be noticeable), which would only save a few quid per thousand, but multiply those few quid by several million Pot Noodles made and sold (we have no idea, none, how big this product is here and across the world) and that’s hundreds of thousands of £££s of extra profit in one go. And all it took was the slight blandification of the product. The upshot being that the only Pot Noodle with any sort of flavour now is the Bombay Bad Boy one that you so casually maligned.

    I had a curry-flavoured Pot Noodle this very afternoon, and I’ve eaten tastier packets of plain crisps. Time was a curry Pot Noodle was a staple for me and always a tangy pleasure to consume. So I know what I’m talking about.

  27. Might I suggest you frequent, as I do, a Chinese supermarket – for around 50p you can get many different types of noodles, all of them with multiple sachets of savouriness. I had a very spicy goreng noodle today which came with a pack of chilli powder, some sort of unusual dried vegetable/plant material and a dollop of seasoning oil. If you are at work you can stick them in a pot and cover a la ‘noodle’, at home you can add anything you want to the brew (I recommend mushroom and strips of cabbage). The only downside is you have to supply the plastic pot.

    New Year’s Eve has changed a lot for me in the last 25 years…

  28. Uncle Turf – I think it was 30 years ago this very night that I drank my own bodyweight in alcohol whilst swanning around from pub to pub, wearing only a shirt in the bitter cold of a proper winter, and with a Page 3 stunna hanging on either arm. (Some of that’s not true.)

    I never thought of the Chinese supermarket solution – there are a few in Coventry city centre.

  29. Happy New Year All!

    Having a great ML season with Chateauroux in Ligue 2, it was one final attempt at Challenge mode before giving up. After the usual very dodgy start we managed to go on a 7 game winning run full of absolutely epic matches. Tailed off a bit since then but still sitting in 6th place in January, only a few points behind 2nd and a comfortable margin ahead of the owner’s 9th place target. Newly found defensive prowess has certainly helped.

    Current team is GK-Melikov, LB-Teixeira, CBs-Vasilj, P.Jones (loan), RB-Giorza, Rice and Kohr (loan) in central mid, Sahoune on the left, Ntep on the right, Weghorst and Niasse (loan) up top

  30. I’d be on challenge if they’d fixed the 9th nonsense. I’m about to play chateauroux in my second game having replaced the whole starting eleven and only kept vasilj, giorza and rice in a squad of 18. 650k spare in wages. Pleased to have got Fraser Forster in goal, some bloke called Plea up front and mukiele in defence. Only two players I’ve had before in teams, the majority are revolving door fodder but there may be a gem or two in there.

  31. the entire mode is nonsense to be honest Turf, my rating only improved from 25% to 33% during the amazing 7 win run and has slipped back to 24% with a few defeats since, seems designed to frustrate. If I can survive a season, which is no longer looking certain, will happily switch to classic with honour sort of intact. Had Plea up front a couple of attempts ago, he seemed really good value for a 80 OVR striker but did not do much. Far prefer Weghorst – strong, 197cm tall, powerful header and shot

  32. The whole first season is pretty pointless imho. Despite all my knowledge of 2019, the much improved players, weaker opposition, etc im getting whacked – I might as well be playing with the controller upside down and my hands crossed. Whoever said team spirit is too big a factor ages ago (it won’t have been jay I imagine) was right, your players simply don’t move to the places you want them. All I can do is push on and wait for it to hit the numbers where things start happening.

    Have to be honest, the NFL is making me seriously eye another madden. I know I shouldn’t, that it will disappoint but I would really love to be a general manager.

  33. Meanwhile up in Season 9, everything’s gravy. Much-too-fast-moving gravy with too-few fouls a bit too much of the time, but in general, still gravy.

  34. Happy NY Gentlemen.
    NG – That was NEVER in a million years on any planet, an own goal, IRL an OG is only given when the ball is deflected and substantially alters the path of the ball enough to cause a goal’, emphasis on that last bit.

    If a shot is taken and flicks off a defenders thigh and goes in, its not an OG, if a shot is taken into the bottom right, and it takes a chunky deflection off a defender and diverts into the top right corner, then its usually an OG.
    I couldn’t even see the clipping on your goal, its just a straight goal, and annoying how PES almost doesn’t even recognise an OG as a goal at all, no one celebrated or anything, it looked as if your CF who scored had just found out that his family had been slain by an escaped torture killer.

  35. Paul – I’ve seen lots of proper own-goals in PES2019 by now and in typical whimsical Konami fashion, they’ve chosen to represent the ‘honourable’ response of players to an opponent scoring an own-goal. No celebration, just a meek hand in the air at most. I can remember John Aldridge ruffling Gary Crosby’s hair after a Forest own-goal and getting both barrels from Cloughie, way back in the day.

    I was disappointed this went down as an own-goal because it was such a good build-up and then a stylish snap-volley from an awkward position, with probably the player of PES2019 for me, Gomez.

    I got quite a lot of play in over Xmas-New Year in the end.

    Incidentally re. Solskjaer and Man Utd: how I wish I’d found a bookie to put a fiver on that 4-match accumulator now (although they’ve not really been convincing and I wouldn’t put it past Newcastle to get a draw tonight). Also, every time I saw the baby-faced assassin on TV over the festive period, he looked older. He now looks like a 60 year old man.

  36. NG – I did think of you when utd bagged their latest win, you did call it, obviously have all been games they probably would have won anyway had Mourinho still been there.

    Good to see PES holding up for you after 9 seasons, I’ve hit my first wobble with FIFA 19, currently very frustrated.

  37. Abbeyhill – almost got your invite, I was in the supermarket. Let me know if you want to try rumbling again.

  38. Abbeyhill – are you itsdoctorok on PSN?

  39. No, that’s me Paul. It’s not the name I tried to choose, one of those automatic fill in jobs after my first choices were rejected.

  40. By the way bet you’re excited for the wizards unite game Paul – Harry Potter based on Pokemon Go, I can just see you wandering around Milton Keynes shouting out those cod-Latin phrases (I’m not a fan so have no idea what they are).

  41. Paul – I’m aliway, if you’re ever fancying a quick game of Rocket League! PS4 gets very little gaming time these days, almost completely replaced by PC/Switch, but remains my console of choice for FIFA

    Turf – almost! Gave you a shout on the bus into town to go ice skating but by the time you responded we had arrived

  42. Haha Abbeyhill, I don’t own Rocket League, sorry mate!

    Turf – Just so you know, I don’t Own or play Fortnite, so no point sending me those invites dude!
    Think I’ll give the wizards game a miss too !

  43. Paul – what invites? When you go on the game you see who is online but also who is actually playing the game, you never are so we have never done anything. Mini turf has a friend who plays but to invite you we would have to scroll to your name, click a button, click another button and send. It doesn’t happen by accident and he is not so cack handed as to do that, he knows you are not his buddy. What is showing up? I’ve tried googling it but get no answers, could it be some automatic spam shit? Apologies if so, feel free to unfriend/block etc to remove it. I’m genuinely at a loss to know what it is.

    Abbeyhill – you get buses?? Oh dear god, were people on them coughing and eating sausage rolls? Hopefully it was more of a charabanc and you were suitably attired to take the country air.

    I’ve cracked on with franceand after three defeats and no goals it’s come good with a tough draw and a comfortable 2-0 win. On -2 it’s a very slow affair, particularly given the lack of flow from low team spirit. I don’t see many of these players staying, regardless of the NG wage bet, outside of the back 3 they are simply identikit fodder, I suspect you will be right about plea – another anonymous high stat striker.

  44. Turf – I’ve had numerous notifications pop up in the top corner of the screen at various times stating that you are playing fortnite and underneath it said ‘itsdoctorok has invited you to play fortnite’.

    It’s not a problem as it disappears after a few seconds, just didn’t want you think I was being ignorant, knocking for me to come out and play and me just ignoring you, but as I said, i don’t play Fortnite or even own it.

  45. Weird. Sorry about that mate, I’ve had a word with mini, he has had a friend round playing games so maybe they’ve done it not knowing but if it has been he now knows not to. Let me know if it happens again as the alternative is some odd spam thing. I get dozens of invites myself and reject them all. I even have a follower which I find unbelievably creepy. I can only imagine the proposals, abuse and things through the post that NG must get…

  46. Uncle Turf/Paul – all my PSN notifications are turned off and I always ‘appear offline’. The only times this has changed in 12 years of PSN is when I have de-lurked to play Rocket League and PES against specific people.

  47. Turf – really isn’t an issue mate, as I said, I only mentioned it in the hope that if it was you, you didn’t think I was being ignorant.

    NG lies, he has a psuedo PSN account for online gaming, I saw it pop up one day ‘TheBaldAssassin’ is online.

  48. Well I now look younger than the balding, aged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (is he now a weird OAP Andy Serkis or what?).

    There’s a couple of people at work who know my PSN name and there was a time before ‘always offline’ when they’d butt into my Master Leagueing with a ‘wotcher doing?’ message. To say I disliked it would be understatement.

  49. No worries Paul, thanks for not being miffed.

    NG – mrs turf has no idea of football outside of ‘I know beckham’ and ‘I’ve heard of Lampard, isn’t he married to..’ yet the other day she saw solksjaer’s press conference and said ‘he looks like he has a really young face but he’s clearly not young’ which blew my mind. Firstly, I wasn’t even sure what she was saying, but also how had she picked that up, she had no idea of the whole baby faced myth, he looks more like an ageing elf to me.

    Reason I’m not on things like Facebook is having had students. It’s really uncomfortable having stuff you wrote ages ago uncovered from the bottom of google searches and splattered back at you….eh, Grendel!!

  50. Been off the grid a bit due to a hospitalised wife so I’m yet to have my Christmas gaming break. Glad to see all still going strong. All I’ve been able to do is some FM 2019 on the IPAD. It is user-friendly but still unfair. As an experiment, I replayed the first league match of the season and had Grealish suffer an ACL, then a dislocated shoulder and finally a broken leg.

Comments are closed.