Return Of The Hagi

I don’t need a special reason to carry on playing PES2012—but if I did need one, it’d be this guy.

Yep, Hagi is back as a Regen. Let the good times roll (eventually).

Undoubtedly the player of my early seasons on the game, he scored a load of memorable goals, including the best free kick I’ve ever scored in PES.

Back then I got him when he was 29 years old. Sadly he started to decline when he hit 31. I let him go soon afterward. He retired from Inter Milan last season.

On January 1st just gone, I checked the new Regens—and there was Hagi. He’d popped up in Free Agents at the age of 16. I signed him straightaway without any fuss, first time.

His rating right now? A massive 66 OVR…

He’s nowhere near my First XI (visible here to the right), and it may be some time before he is. But he’s made two substitute appearances.

I brought him on late in a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool, a self-indulgent decision that I regretted. He was slow and clumsy and shouldn’t have been on that pitch. I should really have been more focused on getting something out of the game than blooding my trophy Youth. (I really have written off this season—more on that to come.)

And I brought Hagi on late in a 2-0 win at Wolves, where I even crafted a shooting opportunity for him that the keeper batted away. Hagi’s impish skills are still there in embryo.

At 66 OVR, there’s a long road ahead of him, and me. It’s likely I won’t see the real Hagi for 4, maybe 5 or 6 seasons. I’ll still be playing PES2012 by that time, it’s pretty clear now.

I’ve also been busy otherwise. Work is well underway on a long-term project to hopefully build something a bit special.

After my bad start to this season I had to choose which way to take things for the rest of this season and the next. Spend all my cash in a mad splurge (if that would even be possible)? Or stick with what I’ve got (look at the talent already out there in my First XI!) and bring on the youngsters for the future?

I went with the latter. I won’t be going on a shopping spree for the biggest and bestest new players. I’ve already got my fair share of top names and talents, and then some.

Besides, the mechanics of the PES2012 transfer system seem to stipulate that the big players won’t come if they think they won’t play regularly.

So I went Youth hunting. Ribery (age 17) and Schweinsteiger (18) appeared in my Youths. I signed them. Both already on a pretty good OVR.

I’m particularly excited about Schweinsteiger. This lad already handles pretty well as he is now, and cuts an impressive dash out there in centre midfield. I’m looking forward to seeing him bloom, although not looking forward to having to type his name repeatedly in the seasons to come. (Before anyone suggests it: I already have TextExpander.)

Navarro (age 21, so not a proper Youth) has come in as left-back cover, finally replacing Hyam whom I sold at the end of last season.

A nice touch saw Agostini go onto a purple arrow for a few matches after Navarro’s arrival. No doubt not appreciating the competition for that left-back slot.

And then there was Kaka (age 16). A player I last remember playing with in PES2008(PS2/PSP), where he was a superb player. I bought him here from Roma’s Youth team.

I put all four of the youngsters up for loan—yes, Hagi too—but there were no takers, disappointingly. It’ll be awkward and time-consuming if I have to develop them all myself, but you know what, I cannot wait to get cracking.

League form has remained very patchy. As the table shows, I am now 20 points off the lead. The title is long, long gone.

Right now I should be most worried about holding onto a top 7 slot. I should be hauling myself up into 4th if I can. If I miss out on the Champions League next season it’ll be a minor calamity. It would mean my next chance at the fabled Treble would be season 15—probably in bloody June!

Speaking of the Champions League, it is my last chance of silverware this current season. But if I win it, will I qualify for next season’s tournament regardless of where I finish in the domestic league, as in real life? Who knows.

I was doing badly in the group stages, but rallied to win two and draw one of my last three games to squeak into second spot behind AC Milan.

The draw for the first knockout stage came along. I got Barcelona. At the time of writing, I’ve just played the first leg at home. I lost 1-2. Ouch.

It’s been a while since I posted a goal on the blog. In a recent match I scored a decent-ish long-range goal with Farinos.

It’s the first such that he’s got for me. I thought I’d be posting loads of these after Farinos’s arrival, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

I went up to Superstar difficulty for one thing, which always limits long-range opportunites. And Farinos, although he has excellent core shooting stats, has no skill cards whatsoever. When you’re shooting with Farinos, you’re working with his raw unmodified skills.

Which makes goals like this even more satisfying:

50 Comments

  1. What a way to finish a great post. Nice goal!

    That’s quite a future-team you have there N-G. I just hope you manage to find the chance to give them match time and a chance to develop.

    I just had to reluctantly release a 17-year-old Eto’o due to his lack of opportunities, the lack of loan offers and my own strict 25 man squad rule. 23 if I’m not in Europe.

  2. John—yep, 28 players is too many for me, I’ll be having a clear-out of 2 or 3 players at the end of this season. Brolin is past his best (at 30!). Your mate Rooney will be ready for the big time in a season or two.

    I’ll listen to offers for Nadal, but keep him and release Natali if I get no offers. Nadal is showing that the over-30s can still be a force in PES2012. I really want to prise Regen Puyol from Barca, but he won’t come.

    All in all, I think a squad of 25 or 26 will be fine for the more Youth-centric future that I have in mind. Fortunately the youngsters won’t be moaning for a few seasons so I can pick and choose the matches they come on in.

  3. Great Post, you’ll not win anything with kids !!!! 😉

    Milestone day – Hagi’s Regen, you’ve been blogging for a while about when that day may come, i bet your eyes lit up when you saw him in the free agents.
    Thats quite a squad there!!!! very impressive.

    I will take your advice on board from the last post about CPU Bus parking and whipping long balls in and trying to break down the defence in different ways.

    Maybe my ranking of a lowly 22 !!!(?) is affecting transfers, only way to remedy that – win trophies i guess!!!!
    Onwards and upwards!

  4. Some really good signings that you can look forward to blooding in to your starting eleven over the coming seasons NG.

    By the looks of things the goals scored column seems to be were the top 2 have dominated, hence their gap at the top. The AI is ruthless at times.

  5. Paul—all my heavy-hitters are in the First XI and all but a few of my reserves are weaker. Over the next few seasons they’ll start to replace the First XI as those players retire or leave. (Barnes won’t last much longer.)

    But yes, there’s some truly mouth-watering names in that squad now.

    And HAGI! I had half a plan to rename the blog Hagi Chronicles as a joke, with a one-off header image and everything, just for a few days, but didn’t have time in the end. Too busy playing. If in the future he starts to dominate proceedings anything like he did last time, I might roll out the hilarious jape then.

    Now that he’s finally back it seems anti-climactic with him being 16 yrs old and so low-rated just now. I’d love to ship him out on loan for a season.

    Your transfers situation is very puzzling. It’s only a few seasons ago I was similarly ranked (33 I think) and I was able to attract the players I wanted. Just keep going back with new bids, you never know what’ll happen. I’d all but given up on Farinos and then out of the blue my 10th bid was accepted.

  6. Paul(2)—this is my worst goal-scoring performance for many seasons. About 5 seasons ago I started playing very attacking and going all-out for goals, goals, goals. Getting the first goal in PES2012 is very important. Getting the second goal can kill off a game. That was my entire strategy, and it worked. Going up to Superstar seemed not to affect me so much last season, but this season… well, seasons having different characters over time is one of the reasons I love ML, so I’m not really complaining.

  7. Have you changed that brown away kit yet mate??
    Ive gone for a Green/White halfed shirt with green shorts for my change strip this season.
    Pepsi, bet365, National Express & McDonalds adboards.

  8. Paul—I’ve stuck with the brown kit for 3 seasons now, after initially despising it. I’m still not crazy about it but I have a weird fondness for it. I plan to switch to a traditional solid Sky Blue home kit for next season and will use your excellent Talbot logo and stripes for that, at which point I will probably retire the brown away kit.

  9. I had regen Kaka for a bit, but released him due to the fact I had about 4 young AMFs, and he seemed to be developing slower. But as we know, regen players differ quite a lot between different ML worlds.

    Finished my first season on Superstar in sixth place. I enjoyed it, but am considering moving back down a difficulty level or two, as I’m hungry for Champ league football. I may give it one more season on superstar. I’ve had a bit more success changing from my beloved 4-1-3-2 to a 4-2-3-1 (with an AMF, RMF and LMF pushed right up, and two CMFs behind). Goals seem a lot easier to come by. I’m having major headaches defending corners on superstar though, it’s the primary way the CPU scores against me. Anyone have any suggestions on defending them?

  10. Exciting regens NG! I’ve just got Robbie Keane on mine as a 51 ovr 16 year old. Schweinsteiger (cant be arsed even trying) is always awesome, and as a 17 year old regen he’ll be one of the top CMF/AMF in the game. He easily hits mid 80’s by 20/21

    One thing, with your obsession over Hagi, have you not thought about downloading a real face for him etc? I know you’re not anal about things like that like I am though.

  11. Filbert—how did you find the quality of gameplay overall? Parking the bus and so on? I’m still finding that that happens considerably less on Superstar. Earlier this evening I was 1-0 up in a match late on and the CPU team pushed all the way up with its back 4 along the halfway line. Very refreshing.

    Re. corners, all I do is position my tallest CB in the middle of the 6-yard box in the middle of the goal, and try to attack the ball as it comes over. It’s an imperfect solution, as the game seems to just take a goal if it really wants one. Others may have more effective routines to recommend. I need one too.

  12. Mike—you spelt Schweinsteiger totally correctly there—he’s pretty great even at 18 and 71OVR. I have a feeling he’s going to be utterly dominant for me in seasons to come. Neeskens will retire eventually, then Farinos will drop back to DMF and Schweinsteiger can have the regular CMF slot. Rotation is going to be a headache as these youngsters develop and start wanting games.

    I’m happy with Hagi’s face as-is. It’s a close enough imitation for me. I’m not an editing guy at all. It’s only in the past few years that I started doing the club kits and badges and so on. I always used to just change the English teams’ names – West Midlands Village etc. to their proper names – do literally nothing else at all, and play with that for a year.

  13. I really enjoyed the superstar gameplay overall, much less parking the bus, and more realistic I’d say. I noticed, more so than on professional, there are ‘spells’ of play, where I’d lay siege to the CPU goal, and spells where the CPU would besiege my goal. I thought this was very reflective of a real match. All too often though, the CPU would relentlessly attack me from kick off, until they’d get a goal (normally from a corner grrr) and then defend and attack on the break for the rest of the match. A good challenge, but at the moment I think it’s just a bit tough for me, I don’t feel I’m ready for it, I haven’t come close to winning the league yet, even on professional. I’m moving back to professional for a bit, I think, but I will return to superstar at some point. Has anyone had any experience on top player, and how does it play?

  14. I need a rest from PES for a while i think.
    Last few sessions have been more infuriating than joyful.

    Im playing on Professional and just quite plainly, sick to death of playing every single match against a CPU that lines up 10 players along the edge of its box.
    Ive mixed, up play, put crosses in, altered shape and formations, it doesnt matter.
    Then the CPU team will, when it decides, wonder dribble around my entire team and score.

    Or the scripting, like last night when I played a chapions league group match against Inter, pulled back from 201 down to 3-2 up thenstraight from kick off the CPU has a super attack, i finally won the ball back and one of the CPU players runs into my defender (my defender has the ball) and gets awarded a free kick on the edge of my box!!!!!!!!! abysmal.
    So i manually position my keeper centrally in the goal and click control back to auto again, the CPU flights a free kick over the wall, which isgoing straight into my repositioned keepers hands, only for out of nowhere, a stray shoulder in the wall to deflect the ball into the opposite side of the goal for a CPU equaliser.
    Absolutely infuriating.

  15. Mike – I had regen Keane on my long term game and what a pain in the ar£e! I had 6 strikers and at least 4 were better than him but every week he was in the office moaning. It would have been nice to have a ‘squad status’ type category so i could have told him he was a rotation player just to shut him up.

  16. Filbert—after discovering the excellence of Superstar I always meant to give Top Player a good run but only managed about 2 matches in the end. I found it much like Professional, really. Lots of bus-parking and constant pressuring. Give it a go yourself in the Training Matches (or any meaningless match) and see how you get on. With this PES more than any other you’ve got to find the level to play on that gives you the best game possible for you. I’m by no means a hardcore gamer or a macho PES type, but Superstar does weirdly play the most open and realistic for me, and I’m weirdly happy taking punishment on it.

  17. Paul—you should definitely take a day or two. You could do me a favour and look in on FIFA12 and tell me how it plays for you now—? I’m interested in how it handles with so much intense PES-ing going on. I haven’t even been ‘keeping it warm’ with FIFA12 since February. I’m scared to break the spell I’m under with PES2012. I remember the lesson of 2010 all too well, when I ruined a great PES year through messing with FIFA10. I’m happy to let you take the risk!

  18. uncle turf-–I bet a fully-grown Robbie Keane would be great in PES2012. He’d be one of the legion of shorter, nippy strikers who can fire off quick snapshots. It woud be nice to attach a label like Hot Prospect to such players to keep them sweet while they grown and mature. I’m not looking forward to when my young whelps start moaning about not playing.

  19. May well have a few games on FIFA and see how it plays after months of constant PES playing.
    Ive still got to finish CoD MW3 too so nows a good a time as any i guess.

    Will keep you posted.

  20. My Keane is a joke, because his stats are so bad and I was involved in important matches contesting the league and FA Cup I didn’t play him and his OVR went down to 39! Dropped 12 points in half a season, ridiculous. Plus in the following transfer window I forgot to put him up for loan so by the end of this season he’ll probably be on a negative OVR :S

  21. Paul—I’ve got the week off work and thought I’d spend it playing PES2012, but I’ve actually been busy with OU work and also made time for other games, and it’s been great. I was one of the chumps waiting naively for the Diablo 3 servers to launch on Monday night (it was Tuesday before I played, needless to say). I’ve been playing with a fantastic new release of Dwarf Fortress, quite possibly the greatest game ever created (bar PES). I’ve played PES2012 a lot but not absolutely leathered it. So a break, or at least a variation, might be in order. And you can let me know how FIFA12 feels after all these months…

  22. Mike—have you gone back to PES2010, then? Or is this PES2011—or PES2012?! I don’t remember you mentioning it specifically.

  23. NG – so far (6 games, w3 l3) the new start is great. Not signing anyone has really taken the frustration out of it as I no longer expect anything useful from the first season. I am also free to select whoever is in form and shuffle my formation (I am really noticing what you said about eg. playing a CMF in the RMF position using his CMF setting). Shimizu is being converted to an SS (his height is such a disadvantage in my RMF setting), I have a diagonal front 3 and my youth signings have all been solid – particularly Schmidt at sweeper and Cooper my goalie. Managed to offload a few as well, partly using ‘the Max’ but also by giving them 30 mins and so making their rating high. Still I’m going to be desperate for something new in the youth team as most of this year were 18 and mid 50s.

  24. uncle turf—is your priority going to be getting the relevant coach(es) maxed out as soon as possible, to get your kids’ skills and fitness up asap? Or raising the Youth team level generally, to get better Youths in the first place? It’s a fascinating conundrum you’re set yourself there.

  25. NG- Yeap, still on 2010, I won’t go back to 2012 now unless I get a copy dirt cheap from work. And yet another new career, this time with my beloved Man United, however I’ve gone to edit one of the made up teams to be them, with the new pcnic blanket kits and everything. Am into my third season and have only signed a couple of youths plus Andreolli (68 ovr CB at 23 but trained up becomes awesome) and a striker who in the last few PES games is always available from PSG- Haoaru(spelling) who is a decent quick buy. I registered the United players but being that underneath the red kit is “TEAM L” or something, I started with zero money and my players monetary value was pitiful so its still a challenge. Plus I had a fire sale, Ferdinand, Berbatov, Valencia, Fletcher and others, Van Der Saar retired and my team ranking is 124 after 2 seasons so signing anyone half decent is very hard which adds to the enjoyment for me.

  26. NG – I’m not really sure what to do – not because I don’t know what I want to do but when I asked that question the other day about coach/trainer role I genuinely don’t know what happens if you have a lvl 3 spend (which I have) and can only afford a 40k coach/trainer. I don’t know where the coach ends and the trainer begins and what the level does. There must be a right balance early doors but just to be safe I put marketing at £1m so I can try and max everything next season.

  27. Managed to pick up Klose (16yrs 80 OVR) and Sibon (16yrs 77OVR) regens in the Jan transfer window, Klose scored a rabona with his first touch in his first game…awesome! Finally got some strike power, I had only managed to line up Chopra on loan prior to spotting these guys – surely the opitome of desperation!

    I’m currently sat in 5th after 19 games on professional, defensively I think I’m just about there my goals against is the best in the division but going forward I make tonnes of chances but convert very few so hoping Klose will resolve that side of things.

    Paul – I had a gamne against Bolton where my team could not string a couple of passes together, Zarate had a shot from the edge of the box which was so weak it didn’t reach the goal! I was fuming by the end. Best way of combating the bus is to just go backwards and draw them out before playing it forwards again.

  28. Mike—keep a keen eye out for Sazi in PES2010, he’s a great early-doors striker who could see you through these next few seasons. I think I got him in my 3rd or 4th season too. Mind you, I hardly ever go for anyone else’s recommended players unless I come across them during a search, so don’t mind me 😉 Always best to find your own stars.

  29. uncle turf—unless a Rain Man-type expert on the arcane mysteries of PES2012’s ML mode mechanics turns up, you’ll just have to trial-and-error it like before. Of course, if you make a mistake you can always restart again… *runs*

  30. Pete—I keep hearing about Sibon and finally I see him during my searches… Tempting, but I’ve settled for bringing on the Youths now.

    I’ve always suspected PES of indulging in scoreline management. No matter what, it will not allow you to rack up cricket scorelines. That’s what the wonky shooting phase is all about.

  31. NG, Sazi is a made up player isn’t he? Playing for one of the made up teams? In that case I could NEVER sign him, one of my own golden rules is that I only sign real players and to ensure they have a real face. Thanks for the suggestion though!

  32. Grilled Seabass

    Pete – I have has Sibon since he was 16 too. He is now 103OVR and an absolute beast. He’s immense in the air and so dangerous from corners, has a rocket of a shot and he’s so strong he rarely gets knocked off the ball. He was a bit of a donkey at first but give him regular games and he’ll be amazing. I’m playing Sibon with Del Piero just behind – unstoppable.

  33. Grilled Seabass – Thanks for the info, I’ll make sure he gets a good amount of game time – just picked up Rane, 16yrs 85OVR… I love the negotiation periods!

    Uncle Turf – Aplogies if I’m ‘teaching you to suck eggs’ or have got the wrong end of the stick but as far as I’m aware the spend on the youth team determines the ability of youths that appear in the youth team i.e. regen Ferdinand over regen Bramble and the coach/trainer determines how quickly they develop.

  34. Mike—Sazi is a Konami player as far as I know, yes. These are part of the secret sauce that makes Master League great IMO, but each to his own of course.

  35. Grilled Seabass—I’m starting to think that my Del Piero was left to languish in OTHER for just too long, and he’ll never amount to much now. Still on 66 OVR after nearly a season at my club. He’s played in about 5 matches and been trained of course by my backroom staff—he should have risen a few OVR points by now. Worrying.

  36. I have Sazi in my current PES12 ML team.
    quite nimble and got a good shot on him.

    Re-Gen Gerrard however, signed him as a 17yr old 68OVR – 10 games into his first season, hes now rated 80 OVR and superb, one heck of a shot!!!

  37. Pete—the danger of the negotiations periods in PES2012, once you get enough cash, is that you pick up too many players. Like you though I just find the best youngsters completely irresistible. E.g. I look at Guardiola in my Youths and know that he’d hardly ever play and he’d just make the squad bloated and unmanageable, but I want to get him anyway. (I’ve resisted so far.)

  38. Paul—the Gerrard in my world is retiring this season (aged 43) so you can guess who I’ll be looking out for on January 1st next…

  39. Cant recommend him enough mate, solid in either DMF/CMF or AMF. I play him as an AMF, as soon as he picks the ball up in that hole im looking to crack off a screamer.
    His strength is superb too, rarely will you see him stumble/nudged off the ball.
    His Tenacity stat must also be high,l you can see the way he tackles and plays that theres a will to win there.

    I kept trying and trying and managed to sign 3 of my 6 transfer targets last night, players that were not willing to fight for places previously or are first timers, all signed eventually, patience is the key as you said.
    I still want Riquelme, he’s very elusive.

  40. Pete – no, not at all, I have no idea how each fits into the overall scheme so that’s really helpful thanks.

    Looks like I might get some decent prospects but struggle to get them up to speed quickly. Hopefully my £1m marketing will kick in as scoring is getting really difficult. Ribeiro is hardly getting a sniff of a header – the keeper seems to come out and grab it a lot more in Super Star.

  41. Paul—with all that passing and shooting ability I’ve always thought Gerrard’s wasted at DMF or even CMF (in PES as in life). AMF, or even SS, is his best position. He was one of my main men in PES5 where I also had him as a Regen.

  42. uncle turf—so could you ever do it—sell Ribeiro, I mean? Superstar has changed the battlefield and he doesn’t seem to be doing it, but might he yet with some development? That’s the question. It’s one I’ll probably be asking myself as my own golden boy—Hagi—starts to mature.

  43. NG – not without a quality replacement and the youth development seems particularly poor on the striker front.

    One thing I am really hacked off with – and I don’t know if this is Super Star or just bad luck – in only half a season I have had 4 red cards, only one of which was a goal scoring opportunity, the others were just random in the middle of the pitch, one didn’t even look a foul. I’ve got loads of yellows as well, now I know default players are slower and I have a kamikaze attitude but I have never had it as bad as this. I’d forgotten as well how much the CPU bulies you early days, with lots of blocking of your strikers and barges that go unpunished.

  44. Uncle Turf – I have personally never tried it but have often considered diving (L1, L2 & right stick(?)) when the cpu is bullying… anyone any experience?

  45. uncle turf—about half of my similar amount of red cards per season have been straight reds for tackles in midfield, some directly from behind but most ‘only’ from three-quarters. I think the CPU ‘knows’ if it was about to have a dangerous attempt on goal and escalates the seriousness of the foul accordingly. Or it could just be bad coding.

    I haven’t noticed an increase of these from Professional to Superstar so far. With you stuck down in Defaultsville, of course, all bets are off. Perhaps the game simulates (by accident or design) referees’ reluctance to dish out big cards to big-name players in big games, but sprinkle them around the lower leagues among the stiffs.

  46. Paul – I have tried, assigned one of the link buttons (down on right stick) like one of the other guys mentioned but it hasn’t actually worked so far. I’m guessing you need perfect timing or maybe a more skillful player?

    NG – yes, it has definitely seemed ‘pick on the crap boys’ hour. So much so I’m wondering if anyone has ever had the problem of only being able to field 10 players? I wouldn’t be amazed if the game knew when you were close and stopped handing out cards. I have got away with one or two as well as being hammered for fairly tame challenges.

  47. uncle turf—I believe the game won’t allow either too few players to field a team/pick a matchday squad, or having all squad GKs injured/suspended. In all my time on ML, 12 years now(!), I don’t recall it ever happening, and it would have if it was possible. It’s obviously a wrinkle that the devs don’t want the headache of dealing with and programming for, so the easiest thing is to make sure it doesn’t ever happen.

  48. 20 games played in season 1 now – 7 red cards! 2 in one game. Not unusual if they were denying shots on goal or cynical from behind efforts but only 2 fall into that category. Never experienced anything like this on any other game setting. It’s like last year’s problem.

  49. uncle turf—probably best to see it as a statistical cluster for now. I hit the post 8 times in two matches just after 1.06 and I was all ‘OMG! 1.06 is to blame for this!’ – but that was just a cluster that hasn’t recurred since.

    If your red cards were a definite thing the Internet would be broken under the weight of all the forum posts. I’d hope I’d have noticed it too after 2 full seasons on Superstar by now. If anything, I’ve had fewer red cards since the switch.

    If it’s not just a statistical cluster, it’ll be your unique playing style that’s generating the red cards. With the Defaults on Superstar, you could be trying too hard to make up for the skill gap between your team and the CPU super-teams. Ease up on the wild challenges and you’re sorted. Yes, you might be 3-0 down by half-time in every match, but you’re sorted

  50. Funnily enough I’d been thinking about doing some statistical analysis of this new – definitely not to be restarted!! – game. I think you’re right it probably is a blip that will even out but it’s that they have been reds rather than the expected yellows that has hacked me off. Anyone want to take a bet on when I get my first penalty? I’ve got a bit of a problem in that Ettori is refusing to renew – no negotiation, just straight off the bat not interested in talks. Going to lose my best player if I can’t win him round before end of the season.

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