Real life has intervened since my last post, to the extent that I have only managed one (1) solitary session on the game. Last night, very late. I’m talking a 1:30am start kind of late.
It was a decent session of 6 or so matches that advanced progress in the Europa League. I overcame Basel in the second leg of the Round of 32, and then faced Everton in the Round of 16.
In PES as in real life, all-English encounters in European competition tend to be peculiar, stale matches, and so these two proved. But I came through the tie quite easily, 3-1 on aggregate. I finished the second match at 3am this morning and switched the console straight off without checking who’s next in the Quarter Final.
Whoever it is, I will be fielding my A Team and devoting maximum focus and commitment to the cause. The Europa League is a chance not just of my first proper trophy on PES2019 after 14 seasons, but probably my only way back into Europe next season. (I’m assuming PES2019 will mirror real life on that front.)
It’s highly unlikely I’ll get back into Europe via the league. The table after 32 matches reflects the squad-rebuilding approach I’ve taken this season:My form has been patchy. Last night I kept taking strong leads only to be pegged back for defeats and draws. I’ve lost 14 (FOURTEEN) matches, but still sit in 12th, only 7 points off the top 6, with 6 matches left to play. A top 6 finish might be doable, if I win literally all remaining matches. But the top 4 is, I think, out of reach.
I’ll keep going until the end, trying for maximum points, but the priority has to be the Europa League.
In general terms PES2019 is holding up – more than holding up. It feels rich and full-bodied like a fine wine. My feeling and attitude to the game is in stark contrast to much of the rest of the PES-playing and football-gaming community that still exists out there.
I feel ready to declare this the best PES since PES2012 for sure, and perhaps the best since the PS2 era as a whole. A massive claim to make, and a nonsensical one on the face of it, considering everything that we have lost or never had to begin with. For the first time in the post-PS2 era my end of year review in August might follow on from active involvement in the current year’s game.
One strand of the many that have gone into weaving a greater whole this year – player individuality and development. For example this man:I picked him up as a Youth about 8 seasons ago, and he is now a regular starter in the left-sided AMF slot. I only play with one advanced AMF these days, so there’s a huge amount on him. I call him the new Shimizu.
The reason I’m still here playing PES2019 when there’s so much else I might be doing, is just this. I want to see what happens with Buonanotte, and with so many others too. Forlan,Vardy, Modric, Xavi. I want to see if Castledine can hold aloft an actual trophy, invisible or not, before retirement (and then come back as a Regen). I want to see if my new Jarvis can fulfil his potential better than last time. I’ve just picked up a strapping Youth CB, Naldo, who shows great potential. Etc.
Keeping my players would be a good start. I’ll have another financial headache at the start of Season 15, in the form of another wages deficit. I won’t allow that situation to drag on for many seasons again. So I’m looking at which of my ageing high-earners might have played their last for me, and might have to move on. I’m looking at Gomez, once my star man but now in decline, and wondering if I can do it…
I will definitely have finished Season 14 by Friday’s post. Europa League final highlights if I get there.