Pre-season 2021 & other stories

Things are changing here on PES Chronicles—hopefully for the better. For the past several months I have chronicled faithfully my day-to-day experiences of playing Pro Evolution Soccer. I could very easily continue in that vein indefinitely, but I feel that things need freshening up. An altered posting schedule will allow me more time to compose (hopefully) better articles.

I’ll still be relating what I’m up to on PES2008 (and on FIFA08). But I’ll be doing it in a different way. After so many seasons of detailed recaps of my progress, complete with diagrams, screenshots, etc., I don’t think there’s any real need or point in doing it all over again. I’ve covered a lot of ground over the past several months. I don’t want to cover it all again and simply end up repeating myself ad infinitum. So I’ll be summarising a lot more than I used to. I’ll just be covering the big highlights.

The new style of posting will also allow me more scope to talk about PES2009 and FIFA09. Over the next two months there’s going to be an increasing amount of rumour, speculation, and hard news emerging from both camps. I’ll be ‘covering’ it all in detail (huh, listen to me, talking as if I’m a proper pseudo-journalistic blogger all of a sudden).

I’m one of the many football game fans who expects both games to be great this year. I have no means of knowing for certain, of course, but I suspect that come September/October, we’re going to be the happiest we’ve ever been with the choice of football games on offer. FIFA09 is going to be a superb evolution of the all-new FIFA franchise—I’d put a very large amount of money on that. And PES2009 should be a triumphant return to form for the tarnished series. Although I do agree with the conventional wisdom which says that it’ll be another year or two before we see what Seabass & co. are really capable of on the new generation of consoles.

On Friday I’ll be looking at all of the rumours and confirmed news about PES2009. I’ll try to sift through it all and reach some kind of conclusion. On Sunday I will do the same for FIFA09. Naturally, in neither case will I forget to mention how I’m doing in the current games of football that currently inhabit my console…


After completing two Trebles in consecutive seasons—2019 and 2020—it would seem there’s little else to play for in this Master League career. It would seem natural to abandon it and start again with a new team in a new league with a new career path using different players. I have played Master League that way in the past. Around about PES4, I got into the habit of not abandoning ‘completed’ Master League careers. I started playing them indefinitely, all year round—in one case, PES5, literally until the night before PES6 was released.

I’m going to do the same right now. My Coventry City team marches on. There’s lots to do yet. I want to get hold of some of these mouth-wateringly talented Regens that have started cropping up. I’m talking Ronaldo (the Brazilian one), Ronaldinho, Lampard, and many others.

But not Gerrard. Unbelievably, Steven Gerrard has signed up to play another year for Barcelona. His age? 41.

Surely this is wrong. It has to be a bug, or an oversight, or something. I can only hope that whatever it is, it doesn’t stop Gerrard finally retiring at the end of the coming season. I need to get him as early as possible so I can develop him and play with him at his peak before FIFA09 and PES2009 are released. It’s a lesser PES year without having Gerrard in my ML team. Middle Shooting is his, uh, middle name. Would he be better than Bradley? That’s what I want to know…

My actual transfer action was pretty poor. I tried for, and failed, to get Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Lampard. I made pretty hefty bids worth a lot of the in-game money. All declined my offer—although, as ever in PES, you never know if the problem lies with the club or the player.

After a couple of weeks of pre-season I still hadn’t bought anybody. My one and only pre-season friendly was against a South American selection—an All-Stars team, in effect. They’re probably the toughest opponents to face in a pre-season friendly, and so it proved again. They thumped me 3-1. A 23-year-old midfielder called Veron had a superb game for them…

I snapped him up in the next week. I’ve always liked Veron in PES. He was one of my star men in my unforgettable PES5 career. I have a feeling he’ll be great for me in this one too. If nothing else, he could be a perfect replacement for Camacho in the right-sided AMF role. Camacho is 32 now and only a couple of years away from having to be retired to the bench. I did get Scholes to act as his replacement but Scholes’ development is coming along very slowly.

Veron turned out to be my only pre-season signing. I did keep trying for Ronaldo & co., but they all steadfastly refused. I think I may have a solution. I don’t like it, but if I really want to get these players I’m going to have to start offering silly money for them. Silly money for me is anything above 20,000 for the transfer, and anything above 2500 for the salary. But I’ve got the cash—I could easily afford it. So why not? I think I will go for it in the mid-season window. Money is no object.


  1. I’d worry about the state of the new PES, following the tradition of the other PES games of the past, graphics are never at the top of their agenda it seems, normally a ‘tweaked’ version of the year before is the best we’ll see imo. Would certainly follow the trend. I hope I’m wrong though!

  2. I’ve officially had enough. I’m not playing PES EVER again until I have confirmation from a reliable source that the scripting issues have been sorted (meaning, there is NO MORE scripting). And I mean it.

  3. Paww – I’m keeping my general expectations for PES2009 pretty low as regards the gameplay. I’d actually settle for PES2008-style graphics so long as the gameplay is finally up to scratch.

    Adriano – I’ve got a video clip that I’ve been sitting on for a few days now, waiting for the right moment to post it and talk about it. It’s from a recent game when I was ahead 1-0 and coming under fierce pressure. I finally got the ball back and tried to breakaway (or at least keep the ball for a bit), and I passed it out wide to my winger – only for the ball to go through his leg and roll into touch, gifting possession back to the CPU, which was why it happened. This is the reality of scripting in Pro Evolution Soccer, and you’re right, it has got to stop.

  4. I’ve known that scripting exists for a fact for a long time, and I’ve had many moments of doubt as to whether I should really keep playing, but I started (yet another) alternate ML, and while playing the second leg of the D1 Cup (I had beaten Chelsea 3-1 at home), there were so many crazy annoying unreal occurrences that I instantly knew I had to stop playing this sad excuse for a football simulation, and go do something more worthwhile with my time, like watching paint dry.

    I lost that game 3-0, btw. The AI tried to score straight from kick-off, but I kept it at bay. It was the longest and most unashamed stint of superman-playing that I’ve ever experienced, and yet I managed to surprisingly finish the first half with a clean sheet.

    Come second half I still managed to shut Chelsky out for another half hour, and then in the last few minutes, two of my players were sent off for the tamest fouls you’d ever imagine. And then for some reason my keeper fouled their striker inside my box to concede a pen. They scored. I was still through to the next round then. But then they managed to score right from kick off, even though I tried to KILL their damn striker with a series of vicious tackles that miraculously went THROUGH the guy’s legs, even though my players attacked him from very close.

    Needless to say he walked the ball into the net without my being able to do anything to prevent it. I was just watching the game at that point, as far as I’m concerned.

    And then guess what, the same thing happened again from the next kick off. What a joke.

    If Seabass wants to see any of my money in the future, this has got to stop. Or at least there should be an option to turn the damn thing off.

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