A superb hat-trick from Regen van Persie – away to AC Milan! – helped to see me safely through the first knock-out round of the Europa League.
I’d lost the first leg 0-2 at home. Naturally I thought I was out. Superstar is a beast this year. I would need to score two goals without reply, away, just to take it to extra time.
I went ahead relatively early (the best goal of RVP’s three), but didn’t get the second until the last second of the 93rd minute. And then van Persie scored twice in extra time. A great match.
I don’t recall ever scoring four goals on Superstar before this. And I certainly haven’t done so since.
Here are RVP’s three:
Next up in the Europa League, I face Esbjerg – a Danish port town that I weirdly once visited as part of a works ‘mini-cruise’ jolly back in 1988. I had a good time there. With Esbjerg being one of my memorable places, it feels a bit like playing Skegness, or West Midlands Safari Park.
I’d got through the January window only doing one main piece of business. I shipped out my first-choice GK, Beto, who had been decent enough. But I could do better.
I decided a 20-year-old Casillas was the man, and was pleased to get him for £38m. I turned down another £147m offer for Lobato. I cashed in on the long-faded Lincoln and sold him for £30m.
And I picked up Felipe Melo from my Youths as cover for the DMF position in the final hour of deadline day.
I’ve been playing a bit of Football Manager recently, and one of the great features they have there is being able to let your Director of Football handle all transfers and find players. So part of the fun is making do with the players that he sends your way, some of them good, some of them bad, and some hilariously terrible. I don’t think this would really work in PES, as there’s no way it’d be programmed correctly. Imagine the players the game would give you.
My squad for the second half of the 7th season:
This year’s Vardy handles like the best Vardy, for me, in a few years of PES. I’ve had him every year recently, and this is the only year where I think I’ll keep him.I’m not going to do anything with that goal-scoring, am I? 26 goals in 30 matches might be my worst-ever return at this stage of a season and this stage of an ML.
The eternal question – whither PES2020? What kind of PES am I finding it to be? Is it living up to the promise of its first few days and weeks? How does it compare to the other editions of the PS4 era – to nuPES, as I pejoratively call it – and in particular to the best PES of this era so far, PES2019?
At this stage of Season 7, I have to say that I don’t like PES2020 nearly as much as I liked PES2019 at this stage. Looking back a year, I see myself saying things like this of PES2019:
At least once per session there’ll be a match that I can honestly say has the true taste of classic PES. This is not something I’ve seen in PES for a few years.
It’s a magic spell that I don’t want to break.
That magic spell held strong for pretty much all of PES2019. I could not say the same of PES2020. The magic spell is a much-flickering flame. Maybe once per real-time week, yes, there’s a great match, but even then they’re only great relative to the low standard that PES2020 has set for itself.
A huge part of why PES2020 feels like a step too far towards the multiplayer-balancing side of the scale, is its sheer lack of great goals. Balancing, dear boy, balancing!
In PES2019, this time last year, I was scoring goals like this more or less for fun:
Those three came along in just one session on PES2019. And those are the goals that thrill me and please me. I am always trying to score them.
If three goals like that came along in one session on PES2020, I believe I would genuinely faint from shock.
There are good goals in PES2020, but a good goal on PES2020 tends to be one that’s contextually important. They’re the goals that continue a player’s story, or the goal that wins a tight match. Goals that make you yell out loud because of the sheer visual outrageousness of them – are absent from PES2020. I’ve scored a few, of course I have, but they’re so painfully few…
I like PES2020 – ‘don’t get me wrong’, as Americans online are fond of saying.
But it’s high time to say I don’t love it.