I have sacrificed Season 14 of Master League to breaking in a new-look young squad, and I am loving it. Plenty of star names, but they’re all Regens, and all on the inconsistent side. With the notable exception of Xavi, who really does feel like something special in PES2019. He also has surprisingly good stamina for a ‘fancy Dan’ type of player. Wanting to see how Xavi develops is one of many stories that keep me pinned here. That’s if I can keep him, of course. He was expensive to begin with – £4m a year – and his next contract renewal will probably pose me a dilemma.
I was knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage after a truly dismal performance over the six matches. Lost 4, won 2. I did well to finish in 3rd place in the group, and qualify for the Europa League — which I am very happy about. This competition is my long-term bogey competition throughout all my PES and Master League history. I’ve won it in all its guises, going all the way back to its WEFA Cup days, maybe twice. I think. Possibly more than twice, but in recent years definitely not at all.
Given the league table situation the Europa League might be my only route back to the Champions League next season. I will be giving it my all. My first proper trophy is yet to come on PES2019, remember. The Community Shield win was a one-off exhibition match with no preceding rounds and therefore doesn’t count.
I’ve progressed to just after mid-season. At the time of writing I’m halfway through February and heading at full speed for Season 15 and whatever it brings.Look at that table – rubber-banding is much in evidence. Last time, I was totally out of the picture, but results above have mysteriously gone my way. I have lost 12 (TWELVE) matches, but all the teams above me have nicely lost and drawn a peculiar amount too. With 10 matches remaining the game is dangling the carrot of top 6 (very doable), top 4 (ditto), or even the title (very remote chance).
I sent out a couple of youngsters on Loan for the first time in this PES. I haven’t had the luxury of a surplus of players before. R JARVIS went on loan for 6 months. I saw T WERNER in my Youths and signed him specifically to send him out on Loan, and he went for a year. I’ll be interested to see how developed they are when they return. Jarvis was already shaping up well but he needs regular games, not occasional ones.
I only bought one player in the window – yet another ‘name’ Regen. I wanted a new young AMF with a booming shot. Xavi and Modric have come a long way but PES shooting is all about being able to wallop the damn ball from 35 yards, and neither can do that yet.
I searched for AMFs, under 25, with a shot power of at least 81. A few results popped up, but the most affordable was a certain N OGILVY. I looked up that joke PES name… and he’s Clint Dempsey. More of a CF to me, but in PES2019 his main role is AMF.
I spent a few minutes on the squad number screen and made all my squad numbers ‘proper’. Castledine is number 7. Forlan is number 10. Xavi is number 8. Cech is number 1. Etc.
In the Europa League my Round of 32 opponents are Basel. I won the first leg, at home, 1-0, spurning numerous opportunities to make the tie safe. Second leg at theirs, with my narrow lead, is my next match.
By Tuesday’s post I may have finished the season – although 10 league matches and a hopeful Europa League run may be just too much. I won’t get to play at all until Monday now, and I can’t wait. I haven’t had this much zest for an ML since at least PES2015, and probably more like PES2012.