There’s a new Lincoln in town

Season 11 has ended.

I was in the running for two honours, which would have been my first in PES2019: the domestic Premier League title, and the Champions League. With 35 matches played I was 3rd and just a few points off the top. I was in the semi-final of the Champions League.

I said last time that if I won all 3 of my remaining league matches, I would win the title.

I did not win all 3 of my remaining matches. I did not win the title.

I did win the first of the group of 3 matches, comfortably, beating Huddersfield 3-1 and sending them down. Last season they were title contenders; this season, they were relegated.

I checked the table afterward: Chelsea still top by a point, with me in 2nd, and the 3rd placed team now 4 points behind.

It was the middle one of the 3 matches that I lost: I lost 5-1 away to Manchester City in a disaster of a match. Knowing I needed the win, I went for it a bit too enthusiastically, and conceded a goal. I tried even more enthusiastically to get the equaliser, and conceded another. I tried too hard again, and conceded another… 3-0 down, I finally did get a goal with enough time left to feasibly stage an unlikely comeback. I conceded another goal straight from kickoff: 4-1. Then I conceded another later one to make it a proper 5-1 hammering. Ouch.

Even then, the Master League script was still in operation; Chelsea drew their corresponding fixture, leaving me 2 points behind before the last match.

I would make sure I won my final match against Southampton, and hope for the best. Chelsea faced Newcastle, who were in the bottom 6.

I beat Southampton 2-1 (leaving it late to get my winner), and waited to see what my players would do.

They sank to the ground in abject misery. Chelsea had of course thumped Newcastle 3-0, and won the title. The final table:So this Season’s title winners won the title with 11 defeats (ELEVEN defeats) and 4 draws. Is there anyone who seriously doubts the rubber-banding/scripting in Master League?

Onto the Champions League, the semi-final of which was played among the 3 final league matches.

The semi-final at my place was a tight sort of affair, decided by this sublime moment:

My first R2 curler since before Christmas! I really thought they’d been patched out of the game. I wonder if I will ever score another one in PES2019. And it came from my trusty former Youth LB, Texeira. He doesn’t get many goals, but the ones he does get tend to be important.

That goal proved to be very important indeed. It was the winner, not just on the day, but in the tie overall. I held on in the second leg for the 1-0 aggregate victory.

In the final… Bayern Munich, at Ibrox.

These were the lineups:I’m no longer so attached to PES2019 as a game. It’s probably the best of the nuPES bunch, but that only means it’s the least-worst of PES’s shitty multiplayer era. But I am highly attached to my group of players. Largely thanks to the great start that PES2019 enjoyed, back when Visual Fatigue and long-range goals were still a thing.

The pre-match scenes surprised me with the sighting of an actual trophy.I went 1-0 down to a Bayern team that played like the top teams in PES2019 tend to: hyper-fast and relentlessly chasing me down, online-style. This match ended with the AI fouls count at 0.

I equalised pretty quickly, and then had the cheek to take the lead! It was still 2-1 to me with half of the second half gone, when I slid in recklessly in the box, and conceded a penalty (rightfully so). I failed to save it.

2-2, and the rest of the 90 minutes dribbled out.

Extra time was imminent when I got sloppy in defence and conceded a killer third goal. I had time for one solitary attack that came to nothing. The final whistle went. My players all did a Bayern ’99.Bugger. I would have loved to see if that pre-match trophy was going to be presented too.

And that was that. After all that effort, all that slog, I ended the season with nothing.

…which will only make my triumphs in Season 12 all the sweeter.

It still has the feel of being my last season on PES2019. I feel ready to bank the good things I’ve experienced with this game and move on.

Updated: 12th March 2019 — 11:47


  1. Tragic, but that’s ML this year – ridiculously overloaded with rubber banding and high intensity matches that they somehow think makes it exciting. It’s a far cry from ‘the invincibles’.

  2. n-G – Damn! I really thought I’d be watching your lot lift an invisible trophy or two. That said, it is at least impressive to see the AI hasn’t surrendered to your tried, tested and high Team Spirit-ed team. I’m not playing the game any more so I don’t know if this is still as case of AI-that-we-need or just a scripty, unstoppable AI. Good luck for next season.

    I’ve fallen for the charms of PES 5 again having had an excellent few seasons on PS2 PES 2008. Going back amid my PES 2008 ML really showed how PES 5 shines in ways I perhaps hadn’t fully appreciated before, despite loving the game.

    I’m currently midway in season 2 of a 6-star ML with the defaults, a challenge I never tried back in the day. I’ve already shipped out a lot of the old names and my goal-shy but defensively rock solid team is currently top of Div 2.

  3. Ouch!!!
    Would you say a lack of discipline cost you both trophies? Certainly sounds like a bit more composure was needed to a) Not go gung-ho against City and grind out a 1-0 win and b) not to slide in carelessly in the box.

    SO one final season, one final attempt at a trophy, or could it be the only PES ever where you have failed to win anything!?

    PS. Nova launcher is superb, thanks for the heads up.

  4. Uncle Turf – the two teams that cost me – Man City and Bayern – were ridiculously high-powered. Imagine the most insane pressurising x100 and that’s what it was like. I wasn’t too bothered about missing out on the League, strangely, because I’d simply lost too many games and it wasn’t deserved. Ridiculous lengths the game went to to keep me in the hunt. Look at that Chelsea WDL record. About as transparent as it gets.

    Shed – that reminds me, I’m due my monthly PES5 visit. The greatest football game ever made.

    PES2019’s AI seems to me a mix of the annoying and the necessary. PES2018s was much more the AI That We Need. This one is often that, but also often just clearly modelled on how the lowest common denominator play online. 1000mph ping-pongy etc.

    Paul – your comment on previous post is accurate, the launcher apps really are Cydia environment tweaks for Android without the fuss of having to jailbreak a device that you own.

    And I think I definitely lost composure and concentration in the middle league match vs Man City. Not so much in the Bayern one, where I was simply careless at the end. I will have to win something on PES2019 in order to be able to move on. I know myself too well – if I skipped out on PES2019 without winning one of the big two, I’d be drawn back like a moth to a flame. So I won’t pretend I can walk away without either the title or the CL.

    I’ve already started Season 12 – with your custom kits, looking mighty fine – and things are going well so far. Two wins out of two, with early signs that I will have a faithful pack of rubber-banders on my heels.

  5. Look forward to seeing the kits NG, especially the Turd brown one 😉

  6. My overiding memory from this post…… Jonathan Walters being Bayern Munich’s first choice striker.

  7. indeed Mike, at Ipswich he was our first choice RMF. Hopefully a Champions League winning goal will compensate him for being played out of position

  8. Mike/abbeyhill – Walters was a beast in this match. The days are gone where that kind of anomaly never really happened in PES. Reason being, in nuPES, a Jonathan Walters really is as useful in his own way as a Mario Gomez. Online balancing of course.

  9. Apart from Walters and Vermalen, I didn’t recognise one single name in that Bayern team, I guess after 11+ seasons the regular crowd have all moved on or regen’ed.

  10. Unlucky, NG. Had a similar experience coming up one point shy in my Danish Superliga title tilt with AAB AAlborg. On to the next season!

    To be defeated by Jon Walters in the CL final is astonishing, is he a regen or about 40 years old? Bournemouth’s Simon Francis at left back is almost as remarkable. Cornet is a good player though, he will be taking on Barcelona tonight in the real CL.

  11. Paul – only the youngest players of our current real-life world are still present in the future ML world now.

    The Rumour Mill – Walters is definitely a Regen. You’d occasionally see such things happen in classic ML too, but rarely, as the coding for stats and abilities was such that lesser players were lesser and the COM sides rarely took them on or promoted them past a certain level. We do now live in a football gaming environment where Walters can be as useful as a Muller. PES and FIFA are like those ubiquitous online shooters where there might be different classes of character to play, but they’re balanced in such a way that there’s no essential advantage of one over the other.

  12. comments and activity, both here and on FX, seem to be very quiet and sparse lately.
    Is it the point of the year when people have oversaturated on footy gaming and no longer have an interest ?

  13. Just a seasonal thing Paul – with spring here everyone’s over at Turf’s cricket gaming blog and my croquet equivalent

  14. ‘So we finished in the top 9 in the league, just like I asked. You have made this owner very happy indeed’. At last, after about 30 restarts I have survived a season on Challenge mode!!

    It was a pretty decent effort from Red Star, 7th place, 16-10-12 with goal difference +10. R.Abila, on loan from Boca Juniors, finished league top scorer with 17 and both he and Karlsen made it into team of the season. A few nervous moments towards the end as RC Lens closed in on 9th place but a 32 yard free kick from Llorente in the penultimate game was decisive. Switched between a 4-2-2-2 and 5-3-2 depending on how many strikers the opposition were playing and this seemed to be the key improvement versus previous failures. Hettich, Castledine, Giorza, Teixeira and Karlsen were ever present from the defaults/starting youths. Actually quite excited to see how some of my young players, notably monumental young centre back and captain Niakhate, turn out now that the first hurdle has been overcome

  15. Paul – very much the doldrums of the footy game year on the blog from Feb to April/May-ish, both for oneself and commenters. Everyone has used up most or all of their September energies. You’re probably noticing it more this year because you’re doing a footy game blog. Things tend to pick up again come the end of the real-life football season or just before as I get my second or third wind and start messing about with other things, and that seems to pique people’s interest again. You might notice this yourself on FIFAFX when your own ‘main cycle’ comes to a close and you take up something else. It’ll certainly be fascinating to see you having a tilt at a PES game now.

    And in regard to the odd parallels between our careers, in your post today you mention scoring from distance for the first time in a while. I, too, have a goal to show off tomorrow. More than one actually…

    abbeyhill – that’s fantastic! Quietly your PES2019 story has been the true epic of the ones discussed here over the months. Talk about a Sisyphean task you set yourself – except you finally did it. And now you have to go on…

    I think you’re more than justified in making a separate save of your ML at the start of season 2 and treating that as your next starting point, should you get sacked again.

    I’m quite jealous of the epic story you’ve had and the deep investment you must have in that club now.

  16. Paul – after not playing any ps4 for a few months I’m back in the pes saddle.

    NG – I’ve score quite a few long goals recently, 25 yards plus. Will upload next week when I get time.

  17. Good shout Abbeyhill, although there’s a new kid on the block. Mini turf started tennis last year and as he will want to play in the summer I took up the club’s offer of a coaching course for parents. Never played before, tennis courts in my youth were places to ride bikes, avoid dog shit and broken glass. I lived in one of those kind of places that Paul would drive hurriedly through with all the doors locked. Really challenging, the coach said I’m trying to play a forward defensive on my backhand, I’m holding the racket like a golf club and I hit the thing way too hard. Consequently I’ll be documenting my route to Wimbledon alongside the usual cricket chat.

    You’re right though Paul – I’m really stalled on any kind of gaming, just about to post a comment on fifafx now about something I tried.

  18. I will probably play one more season (next season) on FIFA then be done, not because the game has stagnated for me, I could easily play on to the 15 season limit, but the nights are getting lighter, the Cinema room is nearing completion, and I have a few other games (RDR2, Detroit, The Division 2) that I want to play, plus its always good to have a few proper good months rest from the churn of footy gaming before the next iteration arrives.

    There will not be any PES after FIFA NG, I just couldn’t get invested in it, the far inferior presentation, abysmal commentary, lacklustre dull looking graphics, the menus, the hollow ML itself, it would just turn me off immediately and I wouldn’t bother with it.

    Instead i’m looking forward to some gaming, TV Series and movies on a near 100″ screen.

    Have another little video I took of the projector, will post up later.

  19. not-Greg – thanks! Will probably just turn Challenge Mode off during the managerial ‘sacking window’ from now on, that’s quite enough stress for one year. Season one team was a bit too dependent on loanees, notably Abila and Llorente, but transfer kitty is now depleted so we will shift to a slower burn strategy of youth development.

  20. abbeyhill – one of the ‘unfinished business’ angles to my ML that will be hard to walk away from will be my youngsters, one of whom – Buonanotte – really is the Shimizu of PES2019 for me, and is putting in sterling performances and getting great goals, as will be seen in today’s post later.

    Paul – footy gaming is ingrained in our day-to-day and I think you’ll need something after that one more season – what’ll it be? A past PES or FIFA?

    After your post the other day, and seeing somebody on my bus with one, and seeing my 2014 Note Edge start to slow down over the past year, I have also taken the plunge on an S10 and I’m amazed at the feeling. As everyone says and thinks when they upgrade their phone, ‘why did I wait so long?’ Day 1 home screen after a fiddle with Nova Launcher and the Whicons icon pack (the distortion down the left is from me swiping the screen as I took the shot):

    View post on

    I love how the holepunch cutout really is part of the furniture almost immediately. A couple of people with notch phones have seen it and been impressed.

  21. (footy) gaming doldrums indeed. Struggle to really get into anything myself now. PLaying FIFA and Dark Souls 3 as these fit the “bite-sized” bill quite nicely.

    BTW on the topic of tech / mobile phones; I am a Galaxy S8 user and long-time android user and like the current crop of samsung phones and the direction they’re taking. Very Apple-esque in that updates are mostly iterative year-on-year and not groundbreaking revolutions anymore.
    However I struggle to justify paying a minimum 900 euros for a phone that is so similar to mine so I’m holding out at the moment. Samsung phones drop pretty quickly in price, bound to be some good deals in a few months…otherwise thinking of going the Honor / midrange route. Owned a OnePlus One at one time. Best value for money ever. Shame I broke the screen otherwise I’d still be on that.

  22. #1 – I only upgrade my phone every 4-5 years or so, so it’s always a significant leap for me.

    I think I’m as keen on gaming in theory as ever, but in practice restricted time makes footy gaming still the way to go. XCOM2 missions can occupy unpredictable amounts of TIME and are reserved for days off work, but a 10-minute PES match is always the same.

  23. Congrats NG – That Looks Lovely.
    Ive installed Nova and had a fiddle, but haven’t had time to set up icon packs and wallpaper yet.

    As an Apple and iPhone man, I was fearing the leap to Android, but the S10 is a gorgeous bit of kit, even nicer feeling than the iphone X and with a ton more customisation options.

    Im well and truly converted.

    What colour did you get? Im guessing straight up black.

  24. Paul – I did go for straight black yes, but I now think I should have got the green or blue-blacked one, but considering how seldom I ever look at the back of the phone it’s not a biggy for me. You going case or no case? I’ve never put my phones in cases but the S10 is so smooth and thin…

    I’m also impressed by the pricing of this phone. I buy my phones outright, never a contract (hence their 4-5 year lifespan for me), so pricing is a big consideration, and 800 feels like a bargain in the current climate.

    Really impressed with the holepunch. And check out all the icon packs in the store. If you’re as minimalist as you say you are, there’s a line drawing icon pack that might just float your boat.

  25. Nice!! I went for the prism Green, which actually is more of a turquoise Blue, it looks gorgeous.

    I dont have a case at the moment but will be getting the SAMSUNG LED case which looks cool.

    Here’s a pic of my custom designed lockscreen, and home screen with Nova Activated, bare at the moment as I haven’t added much yet, but notice i’ve changed the shape and appearance of the folders and icons.

    View post on

    That other projector vid too, shone on to a silver wallpapered wall, from 8 feet giving an 83″ screen.

  26. Paul – yes… I tried for an S10 in town on Tuesday but the only ones they had were prism greens, and like a fool I didn’t ask to see one or I’d have seen what I subsequently saw on a YouTube vid, that they’re not green, as such, but a metallic-y shade that’s almost blue like you say. I’ve always had black phones and played it safe, waiting the extra day for one to come.

    Nova Launcher rewards patiently going through all the menus and sub-menus one by one. You do need a good hour of focused time though.

    Slightly delayed post today, 10 mins or so, lots of replays to show and YouTube is slow for me today, moving vids from Private to Public etc.

  27. Paul – and just to add: how high can you go with the projector? Not just physically in the room (I assume you’re not limited to floor-level), but in terms of your physical space(s) to project it on. If I know the psychology of these things well (and I hope I do), you’ll be eyeing up the biggest wall in your house and thinking deep, dark thoughts….

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