Eight points clear

Here is my team joyfully celebrating after winning a penalty shootout at the end of the FA Cup Quarter Final against Chelsea.

I’m now in the semi-final, where I will play Leicester.

This QF was a tortuous match. I was 2-0 up before half-time, which is of course a Bad Move in any Superstar match in PES2019.

I spent the rest of the match unable to keep the ball, until it was 2-2. At that point I was allowed to keep the ball again. I scored again to make it 3-2 to me with mere seconds left – only for Chelsea to do me straight from their kickoff. And yes, I was pressuring and sliding and scything all over the place in a frantic effort to prevent what I knew was in the process of occurring. The old scripted straight from kickoff goal. Sigh.

So when it went to penalties I was annoyed enough for it to strangely help me focus. Cech is quietly the best GK I’ve had in a PES game in a long time. He saved the first two of Chelsea’s penalties, I scored mine, and it was soon over. No aiming reticules were used.

I’m through to the semis of the Europa League again. And so I am still in the hunt to compete for three trophies this season.

I will definitely be competing for the League title. Check out the table after 27 matches. With 11 matches left to play, I will really have to be careless not to be at least in the mix on the final day, and arguably I should be wrapping this up long before then.An 8 point cushion. I am very happy with my goal-scoring and goal-preventing. The ‘walk the ball into the net’ approach is what I needed all along.

I’ve opened up a gap at the top, but I had to meet my nearest challengers to make it happen.

For many seasons now, one of the powerhouses of my Master League world have been… Fulham. They’ve won titles, and I think they’ve won a Champions League. They’ve not gone away. Their players aren’t world-famous names. One of them is my former Youth promotee, Joaquin, whom I sold to them probably 10 seasons ago now. That’s the kind of player they’ve got.

We met in a 6-pointer, and I made damn sure I focused 100%.

Finally today, a replay of a rare team goal from me. I think there are 14 passes between several outfield players in this one. Enough to get the imaginary pundits back in the studio gushing about it.

I did enjoy it though. Note the touch Forlan gets early on, and then how it’s him who pops up at the end of the move, having continued his run.

I tend to dislike the slavering adulation that this sort of goal receives. I know why they’re praised so much in real life, but they do little for me. A century break in snooker is also technically impressive but they likewise don’t much quiver my needle.

By Friday i should have finished the season (and PES2019). I have a couple of days off this week and will definitely get through the remaining 11 league matches, plus however many FA Cup and Europa League fixtures I might have left. A couple of long sessions should do it.

Updated: 4th June 2019 — 10:52


  1. Nice goal, patient build up, work the ball, create space, finish it off. Much more impressive than a hit and hope rasper from 35 yards technically, albeit less of an aesthetic goal.

  2. Paul – I did enjoy it and thought it worthy of a replay posting here, big grin on my face for sure. It’s a footy game mostly devoid of 35 yarders (I’ve scored maybe 3 worth the name). One of PES’s secret advantages was always its wonderful long rangers over the years. But now, online, balancing etc

  3. Definitely seems like Konami have tweaked them mkid-season as I recall early on you bagging R2 curlers from distance almost every other day.

    That’s one thing you’ll like about FIFA, the ability to score from range.

  4. n-G – You’ve showed some resolve to keep playing a PES with little to no fouls AND a distinct lack of howitzers. I’m really pleased to see that your last season with PES 2019 looks like ending with at least the league title.

    Maybe you’ll find FIFA a little more palatable this time having come from a less PESsy like PES.

    In the final weeks of another PES 5 season (I’m really rattling through them) and while it looks like another sixth place finish in the league, I have an FA Cup final to look forward to and a UEFA Cup final, unless I really mess things up in a second leg v Man Utd (3-0 up from away leg). It definitely is the UEFA Cup this time, having reminded myself of the way European tournaments are set up in classic PES.

  5. I did something I haven’t done for what feels like seasons in my refound 2017 – I won a first round first season cup match. I also had to fall back on something else I’ve never done – recruit loanees. Still couldn’t buy anyone, I’ve absolutely no idea why it’s so hard for lens, even with 16 players they wouldn’t shift from their zero interest. I got 3 workmanlike players in cb, mf and cf to give me a chance of rotating castledine, Jarvis et al. It’s real grind, very much like being Stranraer manager.

  6. Paul – only a laces strike is true long-ranger for me, but the R2 ones were a decent consolation in their absence. I cannot remember the last time an R2 curler from 20+ yards went in, and I do try them a couple of times per match. Ah those halcyon days of last September when they were flying in! It’s a bit chilly here today for a June morning, very reminiscent of early September, puts me right in the mood for the next one so it does…

    Shed – still averaging 1.5 fouls per match – which of course means sometimes there are 0, and sometimes there are 3 or 4 – but I understand FIFA19’s average is about 0.2 or something like that. I think how I deal with that might swing it either way. And Viva PES5, needless to say.

    Uncle Turf – I don’t remember anything like that in PES2017 either. Maybe they patched in late after we’d all drifted away?

  7. NG – Laces strikes from distance are in, in FIFA 19.
    Early June always starts off a bit chilly, we get a warm flourish Late May, then a dip early June then starts picking up Mid June.

    It’s my Birthday today too, but the weather is irrelevant as im in work 🙁
    Officially left my 30’s today, time flies.

  8. Paul — many happy returns of this milestone. 40! If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the momentousness of it all, it might help you to know that I wish I was 40 again. My own 40th, almost 10 years ago now, was a bit of an anti-climax. I remember feeling quite pleased at how little of a shit I gave. You don’t melt into a puddle of middle-aged mediocrity on the stroke of midnight. That comes a few years after… The weirdest thing about getting older is seeing how young you really still were when you thought you were old. E.g. I thought I was really ancient after 35 or so, but now a 35 year old seems really young.

  9. Thanks NG!
    40 is meant to be a big deal but its just another year in the grand scheme of things.
    Im at work, so will have dinner with family tonight, then a meal at weekend, and celebrate properly in the sun on holiday next week.

    I felt old once I turned 30, I still consider myself to be young at heart and fit, its just the extra aches and stiffness when climbing out of bed and the falling asleep before films finish that are more noticeable.

  10. Happy Birthday Paul! As with NG I’ve no idea why people view certain years as major milestones, I genuinely forget at times how old I am (and that’s not because I’m really really old) as I’m fitter now than I was 5 years ago thanks to the Korean pyjama workouts.

    Stranraer finished 5th in League 1 at the end of season 1. Just outside the playoffs but all round content as the media had predicted relegation. Consistency and goals for were the issues. And of course Rangers blitzing all before them. I optimistically applied for the Gillingham and Portsmouth jobs but was mightily hacked off for them to become public as it really hurts your current club status and then mortified when they both were reported to be ‘laughing off my application’. So you appear to have to risk burning your bridges while not knowing if you will even stand a shot at interview – I can’t go lower in England than 2014 Portsmouth/Gillingham. Hopefully I’ll still have a job to do in Stranraer.

  11. Hmm, I’m on a £975 week contract and Stranraer have just offered me £400 with a zero transfer budget. I’m tempted to tell them to do one and see what the game throws out. Previous experience suggests I might miss months waiting though.

  12. Paul – I’ve seen quite a few people turning 30 in recent years and they’re all so surprised and pleased to discover that they don’t feel too different from when they were 29… I think we age in chunks of years rather than years. I.e. every 5-7 years or so is when we notice that we feel older. Not every 12 months.

    Uncle Turf – remember my CCFC ‘sacked by Christmas’ career in FM12 that you were in such disbelief of? In that FM world I hung around most of the season applying for jobs and rightly got nothing.

  13. Congrats Paul! Agree with all the views on getting older but then again I’m a spring chicken at 36. I only started feeling old or perhaps I should say older when I started getting serious training injuries and my body started protesting. You have to be so much smarter in terms of moving heavy weight around, taking recuperation time into account and whatnot. That used to be an afterthought.

    Also things that make me feel older or less young; youngsters and the slang they use. I work in online marketing so we have a lot of young’uns around. At times I have NO clue what they are talking about.

  14. Paul – Happy birthday!

  15. Happy Birthday Paul! Hope you get to enjoy some of it, friend. 🙂

    It’s mine tomorrow .. when I can officially start playing FIFA 19. Been holding of as it was an early present.

  16. Happy birthday SockWulf!

    Any more?

  17. I have definitely started feeling it since I turned 45. The last few years has seen me constantly having minor ailments. Tomorrow I have to have surgery to drain an abscess on my bum. This will be the second time in the last few years. I was watching the Normandy celebrations earlier and had so much admiration for a fella at 96 who was doing a parachute jump in France. I couldn’t do that now.

  18. Cheers fellas.
    Happy Birthday Sockwulf.

    I train with heavy weight 5 times a week, am fine with that, its more the other stuff, little ailments, general aches, etc.

    Thats a nice image Darryl !!!! haha

  19. Oh the joys of working from home with a bit of PES 5 for lunch.

    And what a session it was. I put a reserve side out against Man Utd in the second leg of the Uefa Cup semi (I was 3-0 up from the away leg) which was enough to get me through to the final.

    Then, with the first team fully rested, it was time for the FA Cup final (or Div 1 Cup as it is in ML). Final score: Chelsea 0 Brighton 1 AET. Jean Pierre Papin scoring the winner in the 111th minute in a very close match. Joe Cole hit the inside of a post for Chelsea in normal time.

    That’s the European Cup and the FA Cup in the bag now on this return to PES 5. Hopefully the Uefa next. Arsenal await in the final.

    View post on imgur.com

  20. Happy birthday sockwulf! And let’s hope Darryl’s procedure never makes it to dr pimple popper…

    holding out on Stranraer worked as they caved the week before the new season and offered me the wage I was on – 975/week rather than their derisory 400. The die is cast now though, I need a good show this season to put myself in the shop window.

  21. Thanks guys. 🙂

  22. All went well.

    Paul – you can just think of me in my Tartan PJ’s with a lanced Absess.

  23. I’m thinking of the poor sod who spent years in medical school only to be confronted by that. Where did it all go wrong…

  24. Shed – what a glorious picture, and is that a Cup I spy in the middle of it all?! In a game getting on for 15 years old now, an actual made-up Cup…

    You’ve done a very good job of making me pick up PES5 for longer each week recently. I.e. I normally play 1-2 matches in my weekly session, but have been playing 4-5 the last few weeks. What’s hardest for the muscle memory is adjusting to that fouling environment, which requires easing up on the aggression. Modern football games encourage and perit that charging, barging, hyper-aggressive style in defence. PES5 had it exactly right. Exactly right.

    Darryl – er, thanks for that…

  25. n-G – It is indeed a nice shiny virtual cup. And here’s another I won last night to end season 7. What a whopper it is too!

    View post on imgur.com

  26. Shed – what the hell is that ‘cup’?! I don’t remember that from PES5 at all. It looks more like the kind of thing the hero digs up at the start of a sci-fi movie.

  27. n-G – It’s PES5’s equivalent of the UEFA Cup. I don’t think ever won it first time around so it was a surprise to me too. I think it looks like that Ra headpiece thing the Nazi has burnt into his hand in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  28. Shed — I was thinking it looks more like something the Goa’uld would deploy in Stargate SG-1. What a crazy design. Like a sort of Warhammer Community Shield.

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