Unbelievable belief

My last few posts contained the seeds of insurrection. I’ve been having doubts, dark doubts, about the nature of Master League in PES2011.

I considered Master League in PES2010 to be the best-ever Master League. Konami’s tweaks to the format for this year did not sit well with me. Just two examples: the deflated transfer fees, and the twin Voids of Nothing in mid-season and post-season.

But it’s with relief that I can say I’ve finally settled into the new Master League. It turns out (for now at least) that it’s all in my mind. My successes and failures out on the pitch are determined by attitude. I’ve been experiencing what Paul Merson once referred to as unbelievable belief.

It grabbed me over the weekend. My first season had been pretty disastrous, really, with poor performances and a resoundingly last-place finish in my custom Division 2 league table.

I started the second season with a new set of kits. The home kit is above, as modelled rather camply by Schwarz.

And the season started much as I expected: badly. I lost my opener, 0-1 against Dynamo Kiev, then drew the next few matches, and then lost another one. I was a few places off the bottom of the league. It was looking like another season of treading water until I could get a few more players to help turn the tide at some unspecified and distant point in the future.

Then I met one of the relegated teams, Wolverhampton Wanderers. They came down along with Wigan and Blackpool. Wolves had started the season in good form. They were top of the table and undefeated.

The match kicked off and my patchwork team seemed to be responding really well for once. Many have noted PES2011’s layer of sluggishness underneath the surface gloss of FIFA-style ‘freedom’. This is most pronounced, of course, when using lesser-skilled players—and when being a lesser-skilled player oneself, as I am.

I always start Master League with the Defaults, and lately I always fight my way up from a toughened Division 2, but I don’t necessarily enjoy the process.

But why should that be the case? Other PES players report success with early Default squads, and achieve promotions in their first few seasons. Why shouldn’t I?

There’s quite a lot else I’d like to try in Master League this year. Playing with other teams, for one thing. Why be stuck fast to tradition? Why go on doing something simply because I’ve always done it? Why go on being a slowcoach in PES?

This attitude has been crystallising over the last few weeks. It swam into clear focus during this match against Wolves. I went into an early 2-0 lead—over the league leaders, remember. It was the first time I’d had such a lead over anyone in my ML career so far.

Among the goals was this one—it’s rare for me to laud a ‘team goal’, but this one is interesting for a few reasons. Note the first-time pass at 4 seconds and then the first-time shot at 10 seconds. First-time passes and shots are problematic in PES2011, but they are possible:

Link: Flowing Schwarz Goal

Wolves scored a late goal, a penalty that I was foolish to concede, but I held on for the win.

I was elated. I wasn’t just ‘quite pleased’. It didn’t just make me nod in sastisfaction before continuing on to the next match. I was sitting up, leaning towards the screen, living every moment, intensely absorbed in the action in a way I haven’t been for a long time. I was elated.

In my next game, against Club Brugge, I came from behind to win 2-1. The mood, the magic spell, had not broken.

In my next two games I won hard-fought draws in the face of incredible AI pressure.

And there, sadly, my golden session had to end. Its magic had boosted me up to ninth place in the table.

I now believe. Why should I have to put up with seasons of mediocrity? Why shouldn’t I battle for this league right now? I needed to shake myself out of a sense of routine, and I believe that I have.

These could be exciting times for me in PES2011.


  1. Heraldo—it’s hard to know what to say without having experienced it all as much for myself. When I get to the same stage in ML I’ll get a better idea of your frustrations with the transfer system.

    As for the other gameplay-related issues—I am seeing them, yes. But like ck the proportion to overall gameplay is low enough for them not to be a major issue for me. Yet. Just this evening I played a few quick matches, did really well in all of them, and conceded a crucial goal from a corner in teh 93rd minute of a matche when my players failed to clear an easy ball in the box after a knock-down. That match ended 2-2 when it should have been 2-1 to me. I was bloody furious, but then in my next match the sun shone again and all was fine…

    It’ll come down to how I handle such things happening when I’m in D1 and Europe and etc. Then I’ll see how I like it.

    You should get hold of one of the classic PES games for your PC. PES3-6 are all available and playable on Windows 7. I’ve got PES5 running like a dream on my laptop and, although it has its own issues that we tend to overlook now, it’s still for me the greatest PES has ever been.

  2. ali—the freedom of passing in PES2011 is indeed brilliant, better than semi-assisted in FIFA IMO (I played a lot of semi-assisted football on FIFA over the past few years).

    I don’t know how charitable I feel towards Konami over the big issues emerging with PES2011. The player switching isn;t affecting me very often either, but it’s affecting many people a hell of a lot as the forums and some commenters here are saying. That’s nothing to do with next-gen development problems and everything to do with basic carelessness IMO.

    I don’t want to wait another year or more for a good PES. I think we’ve got a good PES right now in PES2011. I hope a patch from Konami could fix the player switching thing.

  3. pes 2011 is much better den 2010, i didnt play alot of pes 2010 coz the gameplay was so terrible i turned to fifa world cup but soon gt board as no club teams, pes 2011 is completly different, better gameplay, better control on crosses, passes, shots, best graphics. the little problems dont match up to the amount of posotives in this game, havent played any cup games yet but still think pes 2011 is much better than old pes and much harder den fifa 11 with more freedom.

  4. ck—I’m in the same situation with the game right now. The positives far outweigh the negatives.

    You should play another week on -2 speed on PES2011 and then put FIFA11 in for a quick game. I did this the other night and I was shocked. Not just at what feels like an insanely fast speed, but at the blatant extent to which the secondary pressure button on its own almost plays the game for you.

    Oh, and I found myself waiting for my players to kick off as well…

  5. wow -2 speed, havent people been saying put pro in +1 coz its “too slow” i have never found a problem with the speed and even tried puting it in +1 and found hardly any difference, dnt even no if im playing in +1 or normal speed. does the spped actuly make a big difference, i dnt fink everyone needs to make a fuss over the gameplay speed, i fink they are mainly fifa fans anyway????

  6. Heraldo, are you saying that when a lot of clubs come in for players their transfer fee goes up?
    If so, isn’t that better than having star players available at a snip?

  7. ali—After a week or two on -2 now, I don’t notice it as being slow. It feels natural, the speed a football game should be played at. I don’t really like the fast and furious action—it’s okay occasionally as a natural part of a match, but as the normal condition of the match, no thanks. I don’t really get what you mean by people making a fuss over gameplay speed being FIFA fans—? Which way do you mean, people making a fuss over it being too fast or too slow? And there’s no fuss anymore anyway, because we can change the speed to suit our own preferences.

  8. Chris—I think Heraldo’s angry about the unrealistic, sudden jump, which coming on top of all the gameplay concerns would seem to have ‘Buckarooed’ him out of ML!

  9. I have more grating concerns, will save them for todays post.

  10. Paul—are CPU corners in there somewhere? I’m getting. Very. Upset. About corners…. Grrrr.

  11. not-greg- from what i can remeber when pes 2011 first came out i remeber reading somwhere that many people thought pes 2011, the gameplay was to slow and many people sugested to put speed to +1 to improve the speed, i just though mabey these people saying this mainly paly fifa and are jsut finding something to comment about, thats just my though anyway, i could be wrong, like i sed i found no probelm with gameplay speed on default.
    i just cant wait to play pro on friday, havent played since sunday coz in uni, gt the next week of and will be completing my current ML and than starting again with a rubbish team. 😀 if anyone does need a cheap striker if they starting a crap team i suggest pacheco from liverpool, nt sure how much he cost but am going to try and buy him when i start my master league, used liverpool before and he was always on top of gis game andscored 9 goals for me in roughly 20 games.

  12. ali—ah, I see—well after a few years of very fast PES games we needed the speed adjustment IMO. Like I said though with 5 speed settings there should be something there for everyone.

    I was looking at Pacheco last night! He’s still way out of my price range and league, but he popped up in a search.

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