A new Home version of the classic 1970s CCFC kit for season 14. As modelled above by my 18-year-old Youth team prodigy, Bastian Schweinsteiger.

I also have a new (non-classic) Away kit that I’ve not actually worn in-game yet. The old brown ‘excrement’ kit has been retired. It may return in the future, who knows.

And I have switched to that yellow ball for the moment. I fancied a change from the old black-and-white one that I’d played with since the start.

It’s going to be a very intriguing next few seasons, with all of the youngsters—Schweinsteiger, Hagi, Ribery, Kaka, Rooney, Joe Hart, and Del Piero—starting to come through the ranks.

In the meantime I’ve got to make things happen with my existing veterans, who should be more than good enough to win things in this Master League.

Season 13 was a poor one by my standards. Just a few seasons ago I won the League and the Champions League together (what a season that was!).

The final tale of the tape was a sobering one. 13 league defeats. No trophies. And to compound matters, my revised Club Ranking slipped to 9th:

Interesting to see Schalke moving up there to 6th. I remember playing them in Europe a few seasons ago and they hammered me twice (that was on Professional difficulty).

I brought in no new players at all during the transfer window. I released Brolin and Ribeiro, both past their best.

Slightly inspired by real-life events, I did go after the currently 26-year-old Didier Drogba. I don’t recall ever playing with him in either PES or FIFA, down the years, so he’d bring something new. Sadly, he didn’t want to compete for places.

In this transfer market, persistence pays off eventually. I’ll keep trying and hopefully land Drogba in time for the January window.

I took to the field for my pre-season Training matches with pretty much the XI seen here on the right. That is not anything like the team I’ll be using as the season goes on. Most of the youngsters are only fit to be used as subs in real matches.

Joe Hart, Schweinsteiger, and Rooney are further along than any of them. They’re all at least halfway to being the finished articles. For all Schweinsteiger’s currently lowly OVR rating, he handles well above his stats. I cannot wait to see how he’ll turn out as a fully developed CMF.

Of course, the sooner Hagi gets up to speed the better. I miss my fix of Hagi goal specials.

I’m very concerned about Del Piero. He’s 23 years old now. I found him washed-up and abandoned in the OTHER list. Is it too late now for him to make it? He desperately needs a growth spurt, and soon. I’m going to indulge my curiosity and wait and see. I’ll keep him until he’s 30 if I have to.

Also note the appearance in defence of Cannavaro. 21 years old now. He came up from my Youths four seasons ago, and is blossoming into the player I knew he’d become. Not much height, but he’s got a lot of pace and is very nimble on the edge of the box. Age is on his side, which counts for a lot in this PES.

I’ve played the opening 8 matches. W4, L1, D3. Sitting in 4th spot, 4 points off the top of the table. I’m not scoring anything like enough goals. Just 9 scored so far (with 4 conceded).

I’m starting with Forlan and Caracciolo up front. Both were Youth team promotees from way back. Forlan has eclipsed them all, obviously, but Caracciolo is actually coming along very well.

He’s 24 years old. He’s scored 5 of my 9 league goals in season 2025-2026 so far. He’s a bit of a poacher. No shot power to speak of, really. But he always seems to be in the right place to snaffle up loose balls. He gets his fair share of headers.

I wonder if this is just a flash in the pan, or the start of something big.

I’ve found myself hollering the old PES chant of “Caraccigoalo!” whenever he scores. Quietly, of course…

Here’s a typical Caraccigoalo. This clinched a delicious 2-0 win over Spurs, who were currently the league-leaders:

Standard fare, really, but that’s what you want in this Master League: a striker who can just tuck them away like that, 20 or 30 times a season. Caracciolo at the moment reminds me, vaguely, of how van Basten used to handle at his peak. Hmmm.

I’m amazed and gratified at the emergence of Caracciolo after he spent probably 5 seasons just hanging around to no purpose. I seem to have been trying to sell him for about 3 seasons. I was on the verge of releasing him a few times, but was never quite able to bring myelf to do it. Lucky me.

Stories, eh? Master League is full of them. Caracciolo’s is just one of many.


  1. Paul—I’m not in the market currently for many new players. Maybe a Drogba-type striker to bring a few more goals in. I’ve got plenty of midfielders and defenders. But I’ll remember your Gemiti and now Jarolim if the time comes. I’ve got to get my own starlets up to speed.

    Totally agree that there’s no way there should be an International conflict in PES2012. I had one season where I played the last match and then had a Training match the day after. Something is up there.

  2. uncle turf—I suppose the closest example would be teams playing on Saturday and then on Monday for Sky, which I noticed happened a few times last season. Internationals, though, are always equidistant between league fixtures, or even on a Saturday in-between, with league matches suspended. The managers go mental enough as it is about players being away on International duty, without having fixtures 2 days or 1 day before a league match. I’m sure it’s a deliberate difficulty ploy in PES2012.

  3. Exclusive – new ‘meet the press’ video/feature leaked from Konami!

    “Dennis Wise never played under me!”

  4. Arthur Young—afraid I just watched the first 15 seconds, didn’t really get it, turned off, sorry. Was that the Siri voice though? I suppose I could read the YouTube comments and find out, but I’d rather not…

  5. Greg it was the ‘notorious’ Joe Kinnear press conference at Newcastle from a couple of years ago reimagined via xtranormal.

    Please tell me you know about it? It was a foul mouthed rant full of bitter exchanges between Kinnear and the tabloid hacks. At one point Kinnear exclaims “you’re all c***s and can f*** off!”

    I think the original and the cartoon version a both hilarious. I love the ‘morbo’ and surreal ‘Hampden Babylon’ underbelly of footie.

    Yes it was what has become know as the Siri voice.

  6. Arthur Young—I’d forgotten all about it really. I’d forgotten all about Joe Kinnear. Harry Redknapp is my new rants-at-journos crazy manager (the wheeler-dealer thing a while back).

  7. JFK as he became known at St James’.

    The second most bizarre managerial appointment in North east history – after Howard Wilkinson at the mackems.

  8. NG/Paul – Internationals; I’m not so sure it’s deliberate – seems more like a loophole they didn’t close; ‘pick a day mid week to schedule’ (oops didn’t mean you to choose a friday), but I can see you’re thinking about difficulty and making you manage a blended squad of youth/mature. I’m trying to counter it early days by not having players from outside the main countries (Eng, Spa, Ita, Braz, etc). Ribeiro didn’t get a sniff of internationals for me after 8 seasons and topping the scoring charts. Sure by the time they hit 100 they will likely disappear but I never saw an entire squad go off. Another reason I’d like to see Shimizu but he’s the best I’ve got for the moment.

    Picked up 5 frees at end season 1. Got Remy Riou 74ovr gk for a low wage – anyone know if useful? I’ve never had any of the 5 but I noticed messrs Jig and Rane retired.

  9. You should look up the Harry Redknapp vid on youtube where he gets hit with a ball during an interview – hilarious!!!

    Started season 15 on my ML last night with my overhauled squad.
    First game of the season was against West Brom, was all over them, went 1-0 down late on though but managed to claw BACK A 1-1 Through Sub Postiga, then he bagged a last min winner – was one of those classic PES fist-pumping moments.
    SO 8 games in, im 6th in the league but only 3pts off the top spot. Won my FA Cup first round match 3-0 and am top of my Champions league group stage with 2 wins from 2 including a thrilling 2-1 win over Inter at the San Siro.
    All looking good so far.

  10. Too funny!

    And does anyone else finds these xtra-normal cartoons of Woy Hodgson amazingly funny?

    I am King of the LMA and winner of the John West tuna trophy!

  11. uncle turf—even in the most eccentric of eccentric Japanese moments, I doubt anyone there would regard Friday as midweek. They have seven-day weeks just like the Western world. It’s a trap, I tell you!

    How about a Master League without Ribeiro…?! Unthinkable, probably, but it sounds like you’ve learned how to make him into a super-weapon.

  12. Paul—as long as you can stay in touch past January, you’re in with a chance of the league. Get to the Champs League knockouts and over a two-legged fixture you’ve got a great chance of making it to the final. Still no trophies for you in this ML? That’s actually pretty decent, as it means you’ve got it all still to come.

  13. Arthur Young—I’ve just remembered that I only read about the Joe Kinnear rant at the time, and never managed to listen to the actual audio, which must be why it’s not fixed in my brain. (It’s okay, I’ve already found a link.)

  14. NG – Nope. Trophyless. after 14 seasons.
    My most ‘successful’ season came last season after a 4th place finish (as is the norm) and an FA Cup Semi final.
    I am the Arsenal of the PES ML world – play lovely football but dont always get the results, and a dusty trophy cabinet – a Nearly team.

    Hoping to change that this season. And if i can do it with 3/4 of the team being new and youths, then all the better.

  15. Greg – Kinnear’s rant reminds of ‘Derek and Clive’.

  16. Paul—what I’ve found these past few sessions is that a return to basic footy tactics is a great boon. Get a good early feel of the ball. Calm things down when the opposition looks dangerous. Speed things up when they seem lethargic. Settle for 0-0 at half time if you have to. If you go behind, go at them with everything you have. That first trophy will be so sweet for you when it comes. As it stands, my first trophy on Superstar will feel a bit like the first one all over again. This is the season.

    Oh, I have been following the PES2013 news. Not happy, for the usual reason, same as every year. No single-player = no actual playtest, in my eyes.

  17. Arthur Young—Derek and Clive, Chubby Brown, et al… I remember the days when such things were passed around the playground on illicit cassette tapes. Now look at us!

  18. Greg – yes I recall those days but Peter Cook is about a million times above the level of frightful oiks like Chubby Brown.

    Speaking of which I hear Tim Lovejoy is a massive PES fan

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