Last time I was reminiscing about Hagi the First and his best-ever free kick in PES. It’s still the best free kick I’ve ever scored in PES—but this new 35-yard effort from a semi-forgotten man, John Barnes, runs it very close indeed:
That moment, and a few other stellar performances, have put John Barnes firmly back on my radar.
Could the ageing Barnes (32) be responding to the competition of Vicente, Hagi, Ribery, and Reyes? One of them will take his place in the seasons to come. But not just yet.
That came in a 4-2 away victory over Norwich. It was 0-0 at the time and they were parking the bus. This goal from nowhere, just before half-time, drew them out and set up a Barnes-storming (sorry) second half with lots of open play and goals. It was a game-changing strike indeed.
I’m very generous with the power on these long free kicks—80-90%, which always seems wrong but is actually right—and then I hold Triangle for even more power, or extra curl (or extra placebo*, or whatever).
[*nb: I know that holding Triangle during free kicks isn’t a placebo, that it’s in the manual and everything. It’s just a joke.]
I’m probably going to finish outside the top 4 in the table for the first time in many seasons. I was making up ground and had got within 4 points of 4th place. Then a run of bad results knocked me back again.
The Champions-elect, Arsenal, came to play me at home. I lost 1-2, in a game that I could and should have got something out of. It’s these marginal defeats that have cost me dear this season, not the occasional thumpings.
And I’m out of the Champions League at the first knockout stage.
I was 2-1 down to Barcelona after the first leg at my place. I gave it my best shot at Barca in the second leg, but lost by the same scoreline: 2-1. They played exactly as you would think Barca on top difficulty should play. Simply irresistible.
I did well to get that one goal, really. I was 2-0 down (4-1 on aggregate) at the time, so it really was just a consolation. I brought some of the youngsters on for the experience.
Everybody’s favourite hair-transplantee, 18-year-old Wayne Rooney, got a blaster from 25 yards to score his first ever goal for my club:
Defeat was still bitter. My thirteenth season in total, and my second playing on Superstar difficulty, will now definitely end without any silverware.
With the players I’ve got I would have had a Treble by now on Professional difficulty, I’m pretty certain. I can’t speak for Top Player.
All that remains is to play as well as possible in the last stretch of the League and aim to finish as high as possible. Hopefully I can benefit from the game’s generosity and sneak into a Champions League pre-tournament qualifier. I’d really like that. And I’ll have to tighten up at the back next season if I’m ever going to get that coveted first trophy on Superstar.