Season 16 has ended. From an early stage, I felt I had a great chance of winning the Treble.
There was just something about the way my team clicked this season. I went on an extended unbeaten run in the League. I progressed relatively smoothly in the FA Cup and Champions League. I was defending well and scoring goals. There was magic in my team like never before.
And now the season is over—how did I do? Treble? Double? Single? Nothing?
Single. I won the League, and nothing else. The final table:
Tottenham inflicted a second league defeat of the season in my final match.
After spending most of the season top of the League, usually with a 6-point cushion, it was mine to lose. The game did its best to make me wobble me in the last few matches. I had to put up with a strange and very puzzling 2-2 draw at home to a superpowered West Ham.
Happily, my nearest challengers for the title, Arsenal, drew that week as well—and we were the Champions. Again.
Perrotta happened to be wearing the Captain’s armband when the final whistle went. That’s him pictured at the top, doing the post-match TV interview. Perrotta is 25 now in my ML world, and has slowly—very slowly—turned into arguably a better player than Farinos. And his PES2012 player model, with its hint of a Scouse moustache, always reminds me strongly of the Coventry City goalscoring legend, Micky Quinn (right).
The Best XI featured more players from my team than ever before.
My morale was a bit low by this late stage of the campaign. I’d already crashed out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage. Real Madrid were my executioners.
They led 1-0 after the first leg. I needed a storming second leg performance at my place, but somehow it was all weak and tentative.
In truth, I felt that PES2012 was strangling the life out of my team. I couldn’t get a thing going. Real scored midway through the first half and effectively ended it all right there. The away goal is such a powerul force in European football, and even more so in this digital representation of it.
I got a lucky goal back late in the second half, but I needed another two goals, pronto. I never got a sniff. Gutted.
And then I went and lost the FA Cup Final. Gutted x2.
My opponents, Sunderland, were one of the division’s lesser teams. I could and should have beaten them. But this is how the match happened—see if you recognise the scenario: they kicked off and scored a goal immediately. No matter what I did for the rest of the match, that’s how it ended. 1-0 to the CPU.
I really felt that the magic drained out of my team towards the end of this season. I was still playing the same way, with the same players. Perhaps the difficulty was scaling up and up as the trophies approached. Particularly in the Champions League.
I’ve still only won that competition once, on Professional, many seasons ago now. I wonder if I’ll ever win it on Superstar, or indeed if I’ll ever have a Treble chance as good as this season’s again.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on both Cups, it was a thoroughly enjoyable season. I anticipate more of the same next. As ever, the positive side of failure is that success will taste even sweeter. Bring on season 17.