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.