After a decent start to my first Division 1 season—not great, but not bad either—I’ve been braced for disaster to strike. And it has struck. Kind of. I’ve gone on a streak of losing and drawing that’s seen me fall from the relative security of mid-table to fourth from bottom.
There’s no cause for any real alarm just yet. Okay, so I’ve slipped down the league and the table at the moment isn’t particularly good viewing. But I’ve still got 15 games left in which to turn things around. I should do that easily. However, the very sight of the league table is having a psychological effect on how I play PES2009.
It’s all about perception and confidence. I look at the table and see my team down there near the bottom and I just want to get away. So when it comes to the next game I tense up. I tighten up. I play too conservatively. Or I go to the other extreme and play too lackadaisically.
The effect of this consistent inconsistency leads to more defeats, and to more draws that should have been wins. Which leads to more tightening up and carelessness… Real-life football teams at the foot of real-life league tables probably undergo the same kind of viciously spiralling cycle of defeatism.
I think I’m reaping the consequences of favouring Youth over Experience. There’s no harm, as such, in operating a Youth policy. Master League actively encourages it with its endless parade of mouth-watering Regens on offer.
But it’s always wise to combine a Youth policy with enough Experience to carry you through tough times. You need to score bread-and-butter goals, and pick up the bread-and-butter points that they bring. A youthful line-up might do the business occasionally, but not often enough.
In recent negotiation periods I should have exerted myself some more to get a good, solid, late-twenties/early-thirties striker, preferably a target man type. Somebody like Vieri or Schwarz. At the moment I’m playing Kim Cyun Hi in the middle of my front 3. He just isn’t cut out to lead the line at the age of 20, and being about three feet tall. I’m going to move Kim out wide (his best position anyway) and bring in my only experienced striker, Mai Jungi, a true journeyman footballer. Hopefully I can scramble some points together before I end up in a proper relegation battle.