I’m not changing my kits for season 16. I loaded up the relevant Edit menu, but couldn’t decide which way to go. I backed out in the end and decided to stick with what I’ve got—plain sky blue for the home kit, and maroon-and-yellow halved shirts for the away kit.
My squad for the coming season is a very healthy one. Maybe I lack one or two more dedicated AMFs, but overall I’m happy with it. I decided to get rid of one of my young strikers, Chilnat. I first acquired him as a Youth player. He had a starting role for most of last season but never really deserved it. He was always decidedly average, permanently in the mid-70s OVR, which was reflected in the eventual price he fetched on the market: £600k. Better than nothing.
Money’s still a bit tight, and so for the first time I have brought in some loan players. Ronaldinho is a 20-year-old Regen, and goes straight into my starting lineup. The loan deal cost just £2m. And I also brought in an 18-year-old Chevanton as cover for my main strikeforce—that loan deal only cost me £1.5m. My notorious lack of attention to certain wider details means that, as I sit here typing this, I realise I have no idea what clubs I’ve loaned them from. Isn’t that shocking?
In ‘proper’ transfer news, I made a bid for the 20-year-old Regen Pirlo that was accepted. However the transfer fee would have been £28m, about £10m more than I could comfortably afford. I tried to renegotiate but the deal was abruptly cancelled. At least I know now that Pirlo will potentially come to my club. Winning two Cups last season is already paying dividends.
At the risk of possibly overloading myself with DMFs, I couldn’t resist finally buying the Regen Mathieu. He looks a lot different in PES2010, or is it me? Younger and leaner. And I didn’t really have to worry about getting too many DMFs. In a real shocker, DMF is no longer one of Mathieu’s positions. I might train him up in that role myself. Or I might not.
For some reason my Youth squad keeps generating brilliant left-backs. Capuano,of course, for one. My new Youth signing Ignjatijevic is another handy-looking SB. The born-again Ceciu is coming along as a very decent CB too.
I still had £12m left, but kept it back as a cushion. I hated having to scrape through last season financially. I prefer the feeling that I can pick up a player or two mid-season if I have to, and not worry about it.
The start of the league campaign has been brilliant. Ronaldinho scored a neat headed goal on his debut in my first attack in my first game. Zaki is firing them in at the rate of nearly a goal a game. I can’t believe I considered selling him a few seasons ago. He’s almost become one of my all-time PES great strikers. He’s not (yet) up there with the very first rank of my former ML legends—i.e., the likes of Vieri, Stoichkov, Bergkamp, plus a few others—but if he continues to put away the goals as he moves through his early 30s, he could be. If I do win the Treble this season, Zaki will play a big part I’m sure.
I’m second in the league table after 9 league matches, just behind Arsenal on goal difference. But for a frustrating trio of goalless games, I’d be top. I got through the first round of the D1 cup, beating Boca Juniors home and away. In Europe my Champs League group consists of Nancy St Lorraine, Besiktas, and FC Kholugavinsk. I have played the first fixture against Nancy and won 2-0. FC Kholugavinsk beat me 2-0 in the second tie. It was another game where I felt I was being artificially prevented from scoring. Still work to do in Europe, then.
All in all, things are set for another season of going for the Treble, and this year it feels very much ON. I’ve got the squad. I’ve got the experience. And most importantly of all, I’ve got a pretty good start.