I’ve often labelled myself an average player of PES, but this takes the cake. Or the biscuit, or whatever. It’s my worst ever start to a Master League. I have played 24 matches, in which I have scored 5 goals. That’s FIVE goals. In TWENTY-FOUR matches. It’s the worst record in the division by a long way. And the worst in my whole ML history by some way.
Perhaps I’m really a below-average player. Perhaps I’m the worst player ever to pick up a joypad. I don’t know yet. People are saying PES2010 is a tragically easy PES, but I’m not finding Master League that way—for now.
I’ve just had a 7-match session where I didn’t score a single goal, and created very little opportunity to score one. I suppose this is what Master League is all about—getting through and enduring the tough times at the start, feeling your way towards the tipping-point. I wish that point would hurry up.
The way the CPU plays is a big factor contributing to my non-form. It plays keep-ball sometimes to a ludicrous extent, literally ping-ponging the ball in midfield for 10 or 15 or 20 in-game minutes at a time. I’ve experienced massive frustration at being unable to get the ball.
Putting on the squeeze (i.e., sprint-clamping, or double-pressuring, or the Claw, or whatever you want to call it—its names are Legion) doesn’t help. It just makes the frustration mount, because you automatically feel that it should get the ball back sooner or later (which is why we all do it). Sometimes it does , but more often it doesn’t. The best thing to do is relax, loosen your death-grip on the sprint+tackle buttons, and wait for a natural opportunity to win back the ball as play ebbs and flows around you.
The Defaults are the worst ever. I say this every year, but it’s truer than ever this year. Schwarz, after a promising start, is so far proving to be just another Default-style striker. He’s got a peculiar style of running when he’s tired or out of form that makes him look like a bird with an injured wing. It really winds me up and he’s straight off the pitch when it happens. I also drafted Shimizu from my Youth squad, and he’s been disappointing as well.
I never have a full squad of in-form players. Blue and Purple down-arrows are the norm for most of the squad most of the time. Some players are permanently on purple down-arrows. There’s no more ‘Regulate Condition’ option either. You’re stuck with the arrows you’re given.
In previous PES games I’d never play a blue- or purple-arrowed player under any circumstances. In PES2010, I often take to the field with half a team of blue-arrowed players, and count myself lucky. An alarming amount of the time there’s no choice but to play with a couple of purple-arrowed players. No doubt upgrading my coaches and medical staff at the next opportunity (only at the end of every season) will alleviate the issue. That’s become a high priority now, higher than getting new players.
I sold a lot of players in the mid-season negotiation period. The first thing to note here is that this hallowed period is no longer a set-in-stone chunk in the middle of the season. You can initiate deals and have them accepted at any time of the season.
It felt weird at first to be still negotiating transfers after the first official window had shut. Any players bought or sold don’t actually move until the next transfer window, so the essence of the system is preserved. Still, it saves you a lot of time when the official window does roll around, and it also lets the new Scouting mechanic really work as intended.
Castolo—who has been more of a myth than an actual player for several PESes now—was the first to go. I was delighted to be deluged with offers for him, and for so many others. I could have sold 15 players if I’d wanted to. I got rid of so many so quickly that I can’t remember who they were. El Moubarki. The Van one—what’s-his-name, Van den Berg, yes, him too.
There were more than a few whom I initially baulked at selling. I was offered £600,000 for Jaric. Good old Jaric, one of the best Defaulters without question. His value was only around £50,000. I was being offered more than ten times that. Every player has his price. I thought about how I would start to pay for all my expensive backroom staff upgrades further down the line. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I also sold Zamenhof, Libermann, Stein, Fouque, and Huylens. I only bought one player—a decent AMF called Antonio Hidalgo who, at 31 years of age, is a typical early-stage ‘make-do’ player for me in ML. I stopped it all there, as my squad was now at 24 players and for me that’s the optimum size. I don’t like to drift too far either way.
I’ll finish with today’s Net of the Day. Today’s net (left) is my very own Coventry side’s home-stadium net. I just love these tiger stripes. The colouring at least will likely change, as I plan to go for a very different home kit next season.
All in all, next season—or at least the end of this season—cannot come soon enough. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I’ve never really enjoyed these early stages of a Master League. I think my move to Top Player came too soon. I will definitely drop down to Professional at the end of the season. Or actually,.. why wait? You can now change difficulty level at any time in Master League, not just between seasons. So I have done so, and am now playing on Professional. I wonder if it’ll make any difference to my wretched form.