Mid-season negotiations 2011

For the first time in five seasons, I completed the four-week mid-season negotiation period without signing any new players. That’s how it has to be sometimes.

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It wasn’t for the want of trying. I need new players. My squad is a little top-heavy. I have a good First XI, with several established stars and stars-in-the-making (such as Marcos, pictured left). There are some good players in the rest of the squad; a few of them are great players, who I leave out of the First XI for other reasons.

Shaw, with his dodgy Stamina and Body Balance, is a case in point. He’s come on a lot in the past season, as I’ve spent two pre-seasons training him on nothing but Stamina and Body Balance. He’s only a season or so away from being an automatic first choice again.

But looking at players such as Boyd, Folan, Frutos (all three are big, lumbering kinds of strikers, long past their best); Weir and Cafu (Cafu in particular has been somewhat disappointing; he has a shallow development curve that doesn’t peak for about eight more years yet); and even my old warhorse Donadel (despite his excellence in my Division 2 struggles) – all of these have to go, I think, and be replaced by players who can perform reliably week in, week out, if I’m to have the kind of squad that can challenge for trophies in Division 1.

So I’m not buying new players any more just for the sake of buying them. That’s a routine you get into when you start out with the Default players in Master League. They’re so rubbish that you become focused on getting any new players – doesn’t matter who, just anyone – to replace them. Anyone else is better than the Defaults. It takes a few seasons to shake the feeling during Negotiation periods that you must, must, MUST buy new players no matter what.

Armed with my new Team Ranking – ‘C’ – I hoped to at least get past first base in my usual attempt to buy Mathieu. (If and when I finally do get Mathieu, I will speak at length about why this player is so important – even talismanic – to me in PES.) His club has so far blocked all efforts to negotiate directly with the player. This time, however… This time, permission was granted. I was talking to Mathieu!

I slapped in a hefty bid straightaway. I looked down my list of players and decided that Mathieu’s club should find Frutos+7000 points completely irresistible. Mathieu himself should be unable to resist a three-year contract worth 1300 salary points.

I always bring the length of the contract down when I think a player might be difficult to sign for the full five years. After a shorter contract, the player gets a chance to negotiate with you for a higher salary a lot sooner.

Some tipsters in the wider PES community recommend offering key players one-year contracts at ridiculously high wages. They report success using this method, but how crippled is their wages budget afterward? If they’ve offered Thierry Henry, say, a one-year deal at 3000 salary points, after the year is up he’s never going to agree to take anything less than 3000. You’d have to offer 3100 or more to keep him. Then you’re stuck with that ridiculous figure (the salary, not Henry…) for good. Unless you ship him off. In which case, why the fuss to get him in the first place?

So as much as I value Mathieu (and any other great players I’ll be going for in the future) I’m not going to threaten the stability of my entire Master League career by offering them silly wages. No player is worth sending your budget all out of whack for. It’s Master League, not Mathieu League.

I went to the next week, all excited. I hadn’t even looked at any other players. I thought: this is it! I’ve got Mathieu. Bwahaha, as they say.

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I was disappointed to see a notification message saying ‘Negotiations broken down’ instead of the hoped-for ‘SUCCESS’. However I was cheered to see an encouraging message in the main menu window. It looked as if I was on the right road, in the ball-park, and so on. I just had to make the right bid, evidently.

I went back into negotiations, and this time offered the club Braafheid+7000 points, and Mathieu himself a two-year deal worth 1350 points. It was a wrench to contemplate getting rid of Braafheid – he’s been a great SB for me so far. But I figured that the prospect of getting a really good, rising star might tip Mathieu’s club’s hand. I thought the two-year deal on offer to Mathieu would clinch it.

Again to the next week, and again no joy. There were two weeks left. I started to think I’d better look at a few other players. It might not be the time for Mathieu after all. My Team Ranking was probably the culprit. Mathieu just didn’t want to come to me right now. His current club was ranked ‘B’. Mathieu himself was an ‘A’-ranked player.

I made bids for Mathieu, and again for Micah Richards. Just the two of them. (I checked my List again and tried to negotiate for Maldini (a 20-year-old youth at this stage of my ML), who is at Manchester United and not really playing for them. Man Utd refused to negotiate.)

Went to the next week, and the Mathieu and Richards deals had both broken down. I concluded that it was the players themselves who didn’t want to come to me right now. I got the message. I gave up for now. I didn’t want any other players. I wanted to hold onto the excess points and try for Mathieu and Richards again in the off-season. I went past the final negotiation week and into Week 19 of the season without placing any new bids.

Despite knowing that I don’t have to buy new players in every single negotiation period, I did feel that I’d wasted this one. I could and probably should have looked for another top-drawer striker. A superb CB would also have come in handy. The dead wood in my squad is still there, gathering dust. They only play when there is absolutely no one else available, which isn’t very often.

I also feel that I have a few too many players in the squad. 32 players is the maximum size allowed, and having 32 players limits my opportunities to get new players from the Youth and Unbelonging lists. At the end of the season I’ll be looking to get the squad down from 32 players to about 26 players. Make room for the next generation.

For now, it’s back to the ups and downs of my season. I took a look at the Calendar before Week 19, and was shocked to see two games per week for the next several weeks. Of course, when I won the Division 1 Cup last season, I automatically qualified for the PES equivalent of the UEFA Cup – the European Masters Cup. Caught up in a tense relegation battle at the time, I hadn’t realised.

So. Two games per week forever, eh? No problem…

Updated: 27th November 2007 — 13:49

10 Comments

  1. Great post! Talismanic, eh?

    My thinking is that if you offer Henry 3000p for a season, you can negotiate him down to his expected wage the next. I’m totally going to try something like this the next ML I start.

    I’m playing FIFA 08 on a 360 as of yesterday, and so far so good. My lowly Wrexham just got trounced by the mighty Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup and I felt the quality.

    My players are in the 60s and 70s — good enough to compete and win against other League 2 sides, but put them against a side from the Championship, and it’s Take A Beating Time.

    That’s the kind of granularity I wish PES did a better job with.

  2. ^ Although I must say that one of the drawbacks to FIFA is that the online community seems to be made up of children and functioning disabled. Typical forum exchange:

    Q: hay how do i get make player better in mnager mod?

    A: get messi or pato lol it is harder 2 play this yr dnt no why beat manu 12-0 tho lol

    Every time I have a question, I go to google, and 3 pages later, give up looking for the answer. The manual is useless, there’s no guide that I can find, and no forum where intelligent people discuss the game.

    For PES there are a good half-dozen quality forums, and that right there tells me something. Come on you Konami, don’t eff it up!

  3. ck – None of my players in any PES have ever accepted less than the salary they’re already on when it comes time to re-negotiate, so I don’t even try any more. Maybe they will accept less if the offered figure, although less than current, is greater than whatever ‘threshold figure’ is hidden deep within the game, who knows?

    Ahhh… FIFA08. Glad you finally got to see what some PESers have been raving about, and others condemning just as vociferously as is usually the case… I’m in the pro-FIFA08 camp as you know (or should that be the PRO-FIFA08 camp?).

    FIFA08 is a *muscular* game, isn’t it? And isn’t the shooting, well, just *weird*?! And that’s one heavy ball you get given to play with. I bet you’re trying all your PES moves and finding they don’t work. I did, and still do (hence my exciting plan to take a week off PES and just play FIFA08 quite soon). If you haven’t already worked it out, you can’t press shoot while the ball is still yards away and expect the striker to unleash the shot a la PES. He’ll just trap the ball, ignoring your button-press, and you’ll think the game’s broken. That’s caught out many a PES player who’s used to having a football game ‘remember’ his button-presses.

    And next time you get a corner, try the double-tap cross… Great first-time volleys may result! (Just don’t press shoot until the ball is *right there* in front of the striker. Otherwise, again, he’ll just trap it, and the PES homunculus inside your head will shout *WTF?!*)

    It’s sadly true about FIFA forums being relatively more immature and uninformative than PES ones. The official EA one is probably the best, but even that’s pretty poor. I think it’s a reflection of the userbase for both franchises. PES was always the simulation football game and attracted (generally) a more mature audience, and FIFA was the arcade football game that brought in the kids. How times have changed. We’re all out there mixing it up together. The football computer games world is in total ferment. And it’s all PES2008’s fault. Curse you Seabass!

  4. omg all the fifa plrs look like hnchbacks!!!!! lol lol when i set it on amater i beet every1 4-0 but on semi pro i cant even scr a gol!!!! omg!!1

  5. my thru balls dont go thru!!11 lol they shud just call them ‘balls.’

  6. … and have you experimented with Manual settings yet? Comedy scenes usually follow, but you strangely get used to it. I had to go back to semi-assisted on everything, though. I couldn’t shoot straight on Manual. When I do go back to FIFA08 for a week or so (probably at the end of season 2012 on PES) I’ll have to give Manual another shot.

  7. I played FIFA on manual, and I shot many balls out of the stadium trying to cross. I’m used to just pressing circle, and when I’d come to cross, I’d punt the ball straight ahead for a goal kick. Hilarious.

  8. The most comical moments using Manual crossing are when you automatically pull the left stick to the right, thinking you’ll aiming the cross at the relevant attacker in the box – and then you boot the ball behind you all the way back to your own keeper….

  9. I’m scared of manual. My results look like this:

    amateur setting:

    3-0
    4-0
    2-0
    5-1
    3-1

    semi-pro setting:

    0-0
    0-0
    0-0
    0-0
    0-0

    They really are taking their cues from PES! What is the scoring formula? Through balls are useless– either the engine hates them or my players aren’t good enough, but my boys make the runs, and their teammates put the balls right to the opponent every time.

    Do I have to use wingers?

  10. I’d say get Halil which is a pretty good striker and put up a combo with Barnetta and Verón, Verón is old but he’s rather good in crosses and corner kicks plus he’s not too bad for scoring too, i just sold Verón and i do miss him but i’m trying to work out a different combo, Takahara does the trick as well for a replacement of Verón, but yeah Verón has like 95 passing accuracy so you cant mess with that.

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