Xavi is savvy, Vardy is hardy, Jarvis is marvellous

Master League: My Traditional Early Summer Resumption... continues. I genuinely believe I could play 20+ seasons here.

One of the best things about playing this far into an ML game world, is seeing how things take shape when all the previous-era Regens start popping up in your own and other teams.

I’ve got my own crop of Regens now (more on them later), but the rest of the made-up world is also busy recruiting. Cristiano Ronaldo is a born-again 18-year-old. I came up against him with his new team, Spurs, and he cheerfully tore me apart, with one of his goals being eerily lifelike. PES can still do the individuality thing, for you and against you.

My Season 14 squad:

Honda, Romagnoli and Boualem are Loanees that I brought in purely as cover. They’ve barely played while I focus on my new youngsters. This season accordingly is something of a sacrifice to development.

And the First XI seen above isn’t my customary starting First XI. This was a pre-match screenshot, with players picked by form and fitness. Castledine when fit starts every match as Captain where Xavi currently is.

I have a whole new-look team, and my results reflect that. I cannot seem to put together a run of results. 3 wins and 6 defeats tells a tale indeed.

Qualification from the Champions League group is in the balance (I’ll do well to finish 3rd and qualify for the Europa League).

The league title is certainly gone:No way am I coming back from that. I can dream about a top 4 finish maybe, if I pick up form.

These are all the players I got rid of in the close season: ADURIZ, BENAT, GIORZA, RICE, MONTOLIVO, CESAR NAVAS, and Y PELE.

Clearing out these 7 players freed up about £30,000,000 (THIRTY MILLION) in wages between them. I’d persisted with the high-wage, zero-player-turnover model for so many seasons because a) it was a novelty for me in recent PESes, and b) I’d grown attached to each one of the above named players in ways that made a difference.

That’s what always makes the difference in PES, and is part of what keeps me playing: close player identification.

Hopefully all my new signings will deliver the same sort of identification – and a few trophies.

So how are all my new young players doing? Patchily, it has to be said, with most of them mostly anonymous much of the time. I’m not too worried as I would have said the same of Forlan after a season, and look at him now – one of the most potent individuals I’ve ever played with in any PES.

XAVI: already quite developed at 23, he has moments where he threads the eye of a needle with long raking passes that other players couldn’t deliver. Shows huge promise and will stay.

MODRIC: Very little right now at age 24. Physically weak and anonymous. EDIT: literally minutes after I wrote the preceding, I brought on Modric in a tight game and he delivered a lovely pass that produced a good goal from Forlan. Is the goal a volley or half-volley – or both? You decide…

DRAXLER: Anonymous at age 19, and with a weak shot. I’ve decided not to persist with this one, and have set up a trade-in swap for a sturdy DMF with a big booming shot named FRARA –  who was a real player in his time, and had a decent-but-minor career in Serie A. Let’s see how he fares as a Regen with me.

VARDY: started superbly with three goals in two games, but has since swung to the anonymous side of the meter. I’ve seen enough to persist with him for another season at least. Is the only outfield youngster who can play for the entire match.

PETR CECH: plucked from my own Youth squad, he’s conceded a fair few goals that I’m sure Pele wouldn’t have let in last season. This is the price of going for a Youth GK.

NALDO: high hopes for this towering CB from my Youth squad.

JARVIS: I picked up this 16-year-old Default Regen from the ‘Other’ list, more out of sentiment than sense. He’s 61OPR so it’s an investment in the far future. If I do make it to Season 20 and beyond, he’ll be mature and developed in my squad and I’ll expect his legendary Finishing to translate to at least 15 goals a season.

This season will really have to yield a Cup of some description for Castledine to hold aloft. He’s in decline and might retire soon, but I hope to get at least this season and next out of him before that happens. Then I’ll be watching for his Regen.

Here’s another 90-seconds-long video of ‘interesting moments’ from my most recent clutch of matches. Watch for another lovely floating header own-goal from the AI, and some footage of Robben being anointed as a Bandiera.


Updated: 3rd May 2019 — 11:13


  1. Half Volley, it touches the ground before being struck, just, but it did.

    Bandiera!?! those nicknames are so pointless, they have absolutely zero impact on anything, and often make no sense, in this example, Robben is being nicknamed ‘Flag’ !!! WTF !?!?

    20+ seasons? Need any kits? 😉

  2. Paul – I’ve just done a frame-by-frame (comma and full stop keys on keyboard) and I think it’s debatable. There’s a moment where the ball undergoes a change in direction and to me it seems to be caused by Forlan’s foot at the exact moment he hits it – which is also the moment the ball touches the ground (or does it?). And even if it touches the ground, it doesn’t bounce, which would technically rule out half-volley. This one could run and run.

    Very kind offer for the kits Paul thank you. I have so many kits now and am using a few but anything creative you could come up with would be welcomed. The brown kit you made me (that Forlan is wearing in the clip) is the best kit I’ve ever played with in any PES. A sky blue version of that exact kit would be great and I can make it myself in Photoshop I assume just by doing a colour replace? That is just within my Photoshop-fu skills.

  3. Either way NG it was a cracking goal, but if the ball was struck at the exact, down the the nanomillimeter, time it touched the ground, that would constitute a half volley, there has to be clair air between ball and ground for a volley and I don’t think that shot was.

    Happy to knock up whatever you want kit wise, Haven’t made any for quite a while so would quite enjoy the task.

    You could use a colour replace or colourize function in PS but without separating the colour channels first you’d get mixed results, some bleeding between colour probably.

    Choose a kit make, sponsor and i’ll knock up a few ideas.

  4. Paul – just a sky blue version of the brown away kit you did would be absolutely ideal please, the sponsor Jaguar Land Rover.

    Re. the volley/half-volley debate, if we grant that the ball touched the pitch, it was struck immediately, and if we take one of the definitions of the half volley (‘a ball struck after it has bounced’), then we’re left with defining what constitutes a ‘bounce’. I’d support the view that there has to be a noticeable ‘boing’ factor where the object in question also moved in an upward direction after coming into contact with the surface. I.e. a bounce is a three-part affair: the motion towards the surface, the collision with the surface, and then the upward motion. It’s debatable whether the ball came into contact with the pitch at all, but even if it did, there is certainly no movement away from the pitch – so could it be said to have bounced before being struck by Forlan? Either way I’m happy with the goal – goals like this, scored by player combos like this, in contexts like this, are the reason I’m still here playing this game.

  5. NG – the absolute definition of a volley is that ball is struck airborne before the ball touches the ground,in any fashion, if your shot did just minutely make contact with the ground, then its irrelevant if it travelled in an upward motion or not, its still by definition not an airborne strike, therefore not a volley.

    Of course we are debating this purely for the fun of it, its still a damn good strike either way.

    Leave it with me re the kit.

  6. Paul – that is perfect many thanks, going to slap that on the team this very evening. I now have about 10 or 12 kits from you in total that I can chop and change between at will, but that sky blue version of your brown away kit completes the set.

  7. Good stuff NG, the sleeve varies slightly from the brown kit, as the brown kit had a solid thick band down the sleeve with the Umbro logo in it, but I thought the contrasting blue / white cuff on this one looked better.

  8. Lovely through ball and strike there NG!

    What’s your opinion on the regens thus far? Their Overall ratings seem to be on the high side to me.

    That ‘Bandiera’ tag isn’t a nickname, it’s one of the top team roles that can be earned by players. Iirc, you get boosts to Salary Budget, Condition levels, Training for players that play in that same registered position, and Team Spirit increases too. There are further benefits if the player is captain.

    But God, you’re spot on about the horrific nicknames ..

    Nice work on those kits as ever Paul.

  9. SockWulf – my crop of Regens have nearly all sat in the Other list for a few seasons. Modric and Xavi are 24. Cech is from my own Youths and is 20. There are tons of great players just sitting in Other, including a 25-year-old Aguero with mouth-watering stats, but a starting wage demand of £4m a year, which is too much for me for now. How have all their stats developed without playing any games? Why haven’t the AI clubs raided the lists for them? All good questions and of course the answer is always ‘This is PES’. Scruffy as hell. It wouldn’t happen in Football Manager I think.

    Xavi is the pick of them all so far, but I have hopes for Modric and Vardy.

  10. A herd of wildebeest! Oops, wrong post.

    You’d imagine (hope!) the game would sim experience for players sat in the Other section, so that would seem to be reasonable enough. The AI transfer system has always been extremely weak in PES, sadly. I’m drooling at your squad at the moment. So much (future?) quality. Unfortunately, my Forest side don’t really have stand out players in the EPL, but we’re a solid side. Pushing for Europe no less.

    As for Football Manager? I’ll stick to ye olde CM01/02 for now thanks.

  11. glad the game still has legs for you not-Greg, look forward to seeing how this season develops. Was wondering if, perversely, the hit to team spirit from signing so many players contributed to freshening up the gameplay? I’ve been playing pretty constantly and did not notice any changes from patches etc

    Bandiera is my favourite team role! Signing Luisao on loan in season 1 and making him captain led to team spirit rocketing, crucial for getting early momentum. Season 4 has just finished and was a bit of a nightmare. It felt like PES was trying to force a relegation battle as we suffered a severe and protracted period of scripting, 15 games without a win saw a slump to second bottom. Fortunately the scripting relented just in time to scrape a couple of wins in the final games, finished 17th. Onwards to season 5 with a healthy wage surplus, eyeing up an 18 year old Forlan….

  12. SockWulf – my installation of CM0102 with 2017 squads and a transfer window, says hello. I play it every so often – a bit like PES5 – and am always struck (in both games) by how less really was more.

    abbeyhill – you’ve probably played as many seasons as me, if not more, by this stage. I really think PES2019 holds up well overall and am revelling in that long-term ML feeling. Forlan takes a few seasons to warm up and I’ve probably poisoned the well for you anyway. The only time I can ever remember enjoying a player whom somebody else had got and recommended, was in PES2008 (PS2), I think it was, when a then-regular commenter, Adriano from Brazil (probably not the real one), urged me to try out Kim Cyun Hi, and he was pretty good eventually. Here he is scoring a first-time strike in that PES2008 (PS2/PSP) career. Filmed on my Motorola Razr:

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