No, it’s not over yet. I still haven’t finished season 15. I had an unexpectedly busy weekend for work and other things. It limited my footy gaming to a few quick matches on Saturday night.
Season 15 could be the one. This has been my most serious tilt yet at silverware on Superstar. It’s a tension-riddled, exhausting affair, playing PES2012 at this level. I’ll need a break after this season whatever happens.
With two league matches to go, I’m two points clear at the top of the table. Albeit with an inferior goal difference:
I’m loving my defensive record this season, though. Perhaps that, more than anything else, is why I’m poised to win the league now.
Here’s the schedule for what remains of the season:
Yep, look at that International just before what may be the crunch game at home to Sunderland. Bugger.
And that IS the FA Cup Final sandwiched between the two important League matches.
If I don’t win something this season I’ll be seriously kicking myself. To tell the truth, if I don’t do the Double from this position I’ll be disappointed.
Last time, I was worried and angry about the game scheduling an International the day before the crunch semi-final against Man Utd. My players were knackered, but I picked them anyway. I usually only rest them if they specifically request it, which usually means the game after the game after an International.
So I took to the field in the semi-final with nine of my eleven players half-dead with fatigue. But the game was wonderful. My gameplan was to keep the ball and deny Man Utd any space to run into and attack. It would be late in the first half before I’d even start thinking about attacking in numbers.
I stayed on 2-bar of attacking, making sure I never pressed L1+pass with either of my deep-lying DMFs. They spent most of the first half sitting just in front of the back 4. Many were the miracle dribble attempts from Man Utd, but with two layers of veteran stoppers waiting to stop them, they couldn’t get through.
And then I hit the jackpot just before half-time with a headed goal from Sibon from a corner. Just after half-time, Sibon struck again, this time with a poacher’s goal from a clearance inside the box.
2-0, then, and I shut up shop. I didn’t resort to passing it around at the back. I still attacked, but didn’t send up any support.
It was quite a feeling at the end of that semi-final. A tie that I’d truly feared beforehand, won quite easily with the right personnel, the right formation, the right tactics, and the right attitude. It’s a lesson that I should really take to heart and carry on into every other match as well. But I probably won’t.
In the league, I’m a winning machine. Superstar requires focus, and I’m bringing that.
I keep coming up against lesser teams who play more aggressively and skilfully than they have any right to. Earlier this season I beat Brighton & Hove Albion 5-0 at their ground. In the return fixture, they were like some Jose Mourinho/anti-football/catennacio superteam par excellence.
Brighton had the cheek to take the lead 1-0 from a free kick that I thought was too far out to trouble my keeper, so I didn’t move him.
I left it until very late to mount my comeback. Sibon kept getting chances from crosses and corners that screamed certain goal, but kept heading the ball down and just wide of the post. Very suspicious, after a while. Ahhhh, we see the dread hand of The Management in every negative fall of the dice, don’t we?
One cross in the 70th minute overshot all the strikers and fell to Navarro on the left side of the box. I shot the ball like an arrow into the far corner of the net. Fist-pumping time. Now all I needed was the winner, and a few minutes later I found Rooney in some space, and fired a daisycutter from 20 yards for the 2-1 win.
At the final whistle Brighton’s players sank to the ground. I checked the table afterwards, and yes indeed, they had just been relegated. That’s why they were so supercharged and tough to break down for so long.
Anyway, anyway. I’m in pole position in the league and I’ve got a Cup Final to play. On Superstar. By Wednesday’s post I will have definitely played season 15 to its conclusion.