The Famous Five-Four-One

Pro Evolution Soccer 2017_20160923170041

I’ve zoomed through to the end of the January transfer window in Season 1 of my PES2017 Master League.

This year, I’m lagging behind a great many blog commenters, and behind PES players in general from what I can tell looking around the PESverse.

A sign, if a sign was needed, that there’s something unusual about this edition of the game, something that sets it apart from every PES since… since PES2013, probably. (We don’t count PES2014 when it comes to things like this, with PES2014 being something of an anomaly, as ever.)


I’ve settled in now, to the extent that I’ve set up my alt-formations accessible via D-pad. There they are visible on the right in the blog’s very first gif.

I spend most of my time, probably 98%, sitting on my starting 4-2-2-2 formation, which is really a 4-4-2 with a deep-lying DMF/CMF combo, and  two AMFs pushed forward. I switch to the alternative all-out attack and all-out defence formations only when there’s a critical need for either.

Some might not have realised that the ability to change formation on the fly still exists in PES2017. Now you have to press and hold the up/down buttons on the d-pad. I think this hasn’t been thought through, as it’s too easy to change formations accidentally whilst moving the ATT/DEF levels, and not notice you’ve done it.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2017_20160924165902There’s all sorts of management information concealed in sub-menus this year. In years past it was often difficult remembering who’s stayed and who’s gone. Now every season has individual in-depth records of transfers in and out. At last it’ll be possible to mentally reconstruct the entire story of a Master League career just by consulting a menu.

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I sold Arcas and also my ‘My Favourite Player’, Hettich. I did call him ‘the poor man’s Irjescu’, but he wasn’t doing anything. Not even the poor man’s Dodo. I picked up a certain CAMACHO on loan from a South American team. Is it the Camacho of late PS2-era fame? He’s got one goal so far, visible on the clip below.

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Here’s my current First XI and squad after the January window has closed. ZOZULYA is a vaguely John Hartson-like loanee. One goal so far, which is at the start of the clip below.

I am a slowcoach this year. Or is it that everyone else is playing with the kind of enthusiasm that hasn’t been seen in many a year? PES2017 is going down well.

It’s going down well with me too. I  can hardly dare to believe that this is all really true. When I played PES2014 earlier this year, I made a great fuss of saying that we’d never see its like again. Well, a few wrinkles aside, there’s a chance that it’s here. PES2017. Who’d have thought it?

Oh, I haven’t picked up this player yet:

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If he’s still in my Youth team at season’s end, I probably will.

I’ll end with a short video showing that ZOZULYA fellow getting his debut goal thanks to a snatch-and-breakaway. PES2017 is the sort of game where that kind of goal is a highlights-worthy one. I love it.

There’s also my first penalty kick in open play in over two editions of PES. PES2015 and PES2016 didn’t give me a single penalty in about 1400+ Master League matches between them. I’ve finally got one in 20 matches on PES2017.

No, I don’t like the way I win the ball back just before the penalty at 1:12 with a cheap sliding tackle. That’s pure arcade action, pure PES2016, right there. The fewer echoes of PES2016 there are in this game, the better. I’ve been cringing at the many reviews of PES2017 that start out by saying what a leap forward for the series PES2016 was. No, it wasn’t.

6th from bottom. The worst goal-scoring record in the division. Love it.

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Updated: 27th September 2016 — 10:35


  1. running with the ball and keeping close control are even more difficult than in PES2014, particularly with the exaggerated 5 yard ‘touches’ you get when running with poor players. In a way it reminds me of 2011, when you had to get rid of the ball before getting anywhere near the opponent

  2. Its interesting to try to forensically reconstruct what Paul’s life must be like going by his many autocomplete mishaps. ‘Div 2’ was changed to ‘dub 2′. Hmmmm.

    I use R2 close control when I feel the game getting a bit too fast and furious, and it helps me slow things down and take a breath.

    Pete – very nice goal, that’s why I say you’re a highly skilled player, that’s the kind of shimmying move I would never even attempt to pull off.

  3. going down to zero bar passing and manual through balls tonight, as Turf points out the one bar passing is suspiciously laser-guided even with defaults

  4. Word on the grapevine is they’ve issued a load of fixes for the online part of the game. Hopefully this hasn’t affected the offline element. I think it’s just server stability stuff.

  5. Super-sub!

    On closer inspection of my fingering habits, I don’t press R2 that much at all. In fact hardly ever.

  6. There’s one thing that cannot be disputed. Online multiplayer has all but ruined football gaming. Every major problem that’s affected every football game since approximately 2010 can be laid at the door of attempting to appease the button-mashing, ping-ponging, sprint-clamping, drooling, instant-gratification-seeking, online multiplayers. Crumbs are all that’s left to us single-players, scratting around every year trying to make the best of it. Enough to make a grown man weep.

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