Thursday, I don’t care about you

friday-returnsGot him.

F. FRIDAY became my star striker in the first half of Season 2 – after I’d agreed to sell him, to Rotherham, for about £2.5m.

Naturally gutted, I attempted to buy him back at the first opportunity, which arose only now, at the end of the season.

Rotherham wanted a lot of money…

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I didn’t have £17.8m, as you can see.

I started selling players, shipping them out at a rate of knots. It was like the scene in a sinking ship when everybody starts chucking ballast overboard. All so I could get the Black Schwarz back on board.

Bye-bye NIVET, it was nice knowing you, even if you did next to nothing as first-choice right-sided AMF for most of the season. Still, you brought in £8m when I really needed it, so there’s that.

Bye-bye DOST, I liked the way you sometimes seemed to be the White Friday but somehow never were. Another £8m. Impressive.

Friday is a Coventry City player once more. Lets see if he’s a rare example of a player going back to a club and being a success again…

Season 2 has indeed ended – miserably. My last few sessions were low quality, but still enjoyable. A hell of a lot of costly draws long since put paid to any faint chance of finishing in the top 10, or even in the top 6.

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If just half of those 20 draws had been the wins that they could have been (I love conceding late equalisers), I’d have been in contention.

I’m still in the player-acquisition phase of my post-season 2/pre-season 3 period.

I’ve made some interesting signings that have prompted some very interesting formation thoughts, but I’ll get to all that next time. I’ve played the first match of Season 3 with my squad and formation both still very much a work in progress.

I think the effort required to get Friday back is going to cost me. I have had to resort to the old ‘padding out a threadbare squad with Youths’ stratagem. Which always sounds good in theory, (‘I’m totally going to focus on Youth development!’) but rarely translates to anything by way of success on the pitch.

Here’s what happened 10 minutes into Game 1 of Season 3:

I won that match 2-0 and currently sit 4th in the table.

Season 3 hasn’t yet properly got underway. That won’t happen until the transfer window is completely over and I’ve got my settled squad and formation in mind.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2017_20161024191440

I spent a few matches toward the end of the season experimenting with some alternative formations. This PES seems the most formation-critical PES ever. I rarely bother tinkering as the seasons go by, but I can see myself having several formations stored and brought out whenever the situation demands.

I tried the unthinkable – a 3-5-2, and it didn’t really work out. Also a 4-3-3, something I haven’t played with in PES for many editions – and it likewise didn’t really work out.

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Of course much of the not-working-out will be down to other factors. The players I was using, the fact that I’ve yet to really hit my stride with PES2017 (a puzzle in its own right), and the tendency this game has to just nullify you if it feels like it.

Next time I’ll be well through the transfer window and embarked properly on Season 3.

Which has to be a promotion year, I feel, or things really will be taking a turn for the bizarre.


Updated: 25th October 2016 — 16:06


  1. come off it Darryl, the AI has been responding to the way we play since about PES2!

  2. After my less than enthralling experience on Top Player, and how it throttles the game, I left it on Professional last night, still lost 2-1 to Chelsea but a complete reverse, was fun, enjoyable and the game didn’t feel throttled at all.
    Although I did lose, at times Pro felt a bit easy, like I could do what I wanted, so I tried Superstar, expecting a souped up version of Top Player, I was wrong.

    Left it on SS for 3 matches, lost all of them, its hard, but plays beautifully, I wasn’t constantly harassed or pressured, I could out-run slower defenders, I scored, It was enjoyable and very realistic with Arsenal playing their pass and move elaborate style, and then Palace trying to hit Benteke with crosses and long balls.

    Im not at a level yet where I myself or my team is good enough for SS level, but nice to know that the difficulty and quality of play is there, bypass Top Player, that mode is broke.

  3. Paul – wasn’t that this way with a previous PES as well? Can’t remember which but top player ruined a certain edition as well.

  4. Yes #1 – I’m struggling to remember which one too but certainly remember this being the case in a previous year.

    Its just incredible to see the tactics and realism so apparent in Pro and SS but completely missing from TP level.

  5. Just downloaded 1.02. The notes say it’s likenesses, boots and hoardings but we all know differently don’t we….

  6. let us know as soon as possible if they have ruined it, Turf, so we can switch off the internet! Had such an enjoyable session last night, even though it was 5 consecutive draws every game was vibrant and full of character

  7. I may have to move up to ss soon i think as top player has become a bit too easy in the main, although i will say the last couple of matches i have found it a bit tougher, mainly comceding goals to silly defencive misktakes (very much like everton last season!).. on top player i either find i win quite easily 3/4-0 or i just about get away with a 1-0 or 2-1 and its not an enjoyable tight win either, its an absolutely frustrating grind againt bottom of the table bournmouth!

  8. Abbeyhill – to some degree yes but not to the level tactically we see now. I have been observing what the opposition does a lot with the advanced tactics and how it changes them throughout the game to respond to what you are doing, just take a bit of time to look out for this. It was probably all thier under the hood and is now more transparent, but interesting nevertheless.

  9. Paul – I was a bit astonished by Turf’s video as there looks a lot more space on Superstar.

  10. Will be posting a link here later (NG permitting) to a kit pack, generically designed kits, that you can load into any GFX editor and easily add your own sponsor, crest and kit brand logo (basic photoshop or similar skills needed).
    Each Kit pack will contain 4 kits, and I plan on releasing kit packs often.

    May even start a little blog site up top host the kit packs along with instructions of how to edit and load into the game, for those that need it.

    Will model the kits up on actual player models later first to show how they look in game.

  11. I found that too Darryl, Top Player is just constant aggression, pressure, closing down, 100mph, its more like murder pinball than footy.
    Whereas on superstar in the 3 games I played, I found I had time to weigh up passes, dribble, plan my attack, but alongside that it was much harder to break through the defence, and to open up chances as easily, also the COM is way more clinical and will play pretty accurately according to that teams real life styles.
    I just found SS a much more realistic, balanced, enjoyable and challenging level. *only based on a set of 3 matches

  12. abbeyhill – just lost 0-2 to Fulham. They’ve ruined it – Melikov was poor in goal, Hettich was slow, Coutinho couldn’t find the banjo never mind the cow’s arse…didn’t notice a thing.

  13. Interesting stuff about Top Player, but I won’t bypass it when my time comes to move up. Firstly because I have to see this for myself, and secondly because skipping TP for SS leaves me nowhere else to graduate to, and one of the pleasures of moving up the gears as time goes by with a PES is the thought of something to look forward to. My plan is still to go to TP next (probably at the end of Season 3, although I don’t rule out before if things majorly click), then SS in the fullness of time.

    Re. the 1.02 update, I’ll be road-testing it myself soon. Not expecting any gameplay changes at all, and indeed none are indicated in the patchnotes. The idea of undisclosed gameplay changes – in contravention of all established business practice! – is a stubborn fantasy IMO. Love the forums after a patch, as ever.

    You watch, now I’ll see reams of gameplay changes and will get a hat-trick of headers in Game 1…

  14. Paul – Even though I’m not currently playing PES, your kit packs sound an excellent idea, and I would love to see a gallery of your creations.

  15. Paul – yep, please do post that link whenever you wish. I’m mostly afk all afternoon & evening again but it shouldn’t get caught up in the filter.

  16. wont be til later this evening anyway as im at work, need to load them into the game and then screenshot them etc.

    1.02 update sees new ad hoardings? more myclub ads no doubt.

  17. This season will be my last on Top Player as I am 16 games into the season, then the leap to Superstar will begin next season. I am looking forward to it.

  18. The irony is that I won’t be installing any future patches that come along as I fear they may nerf the crossing and heading, which I personally love this year and have never said otherwise. An article from Fifa 14 days springs to mind:-

    As for the video evidence it comes down to my next goal as I scored nine goals in my four games last night with the following results. All recorded and am waiting for the outcome of tonights matches.

    2 – crosses
    4 – cross and headers
    3 – open play

    So the outcome depends on the next game tonight.

  19. Just exited the Europa League with a whimper. Was 2-1 down from my home leg against Feyenoord (who are very good I might add, keep an eye out, they thumped Man City in the previous round). Pulled a goal back in Holland early on, cue PES like comeback and win? No. It stayed like that I went out on away goals. Vented my frustration against Bournemouth, scoring 4, 2 of which were headers from crosses, post-patch. Nothing changed there.

  20. Am I the only one still waiting for an injury in ML? Mid way through second season and not one player has been unavailable through injury.

  21. Dice roll at start of your ml mr sifter. I’ve had plenty of injuries over my aborted efforts. It’s why we all see slightly different things, I’m convinced there is a random factor when you start out to cover such things. Or maybe it’s just some statistical thing – X players means one will see this, one will see that, etc etc.

    Only four goals so far – 2 of each, so no proof of anything.

  22. Okay, here’s my last ten games from oldest to newest:

    3-2 3 x headers, Oulare x3
    1-0 header Antwi
    2-1 2xheaders Borja and Oulare
    2-0 header plus side foot Oulare x2
    3-1 all Oulare headers
    3-0 header, tap in from rebounded header, OG from header – all Oulare
    4-0 two headers, two strikes: Oulare and Abelli headers, Abelli and Borja
    3-1 2 headers Oulare and Florit, one edge of box beauty by Florit

    So of my first ten goals 9 out of 10 were headers. Out of the 21 goals in those ten games 15 were headers (and a further two came from headers – one a tap in after a header was saved and another that went down as an OG from a header by Oulare.)

    Scorers: Oulare is CF, Abelli a DM, Borja a CM, Florit a LW.

    Just my findings. I’m four games from the end of the season with guaranteed play offs. I may well record stats for all my goals in first season in the Prem, presuming I get there – I’m two points clear at the top.

    I do purposely set out to play to my striker’s strengths and I appreciate players play differently. Just contributing.

    I AM the killer clown.

  23. Sifter – I dont remember many, if any injuries until season 3, which was my first season in the Prem, now they crop up all the time. Had 3 players out at once one time. Couldn’t field an entire bench at that point, lucky there was no game-brekaing game-over, but I was worried for a brief moment.

  24. Mr Sifter – no injuries for me either, and I am annoyed about it. I see lots of players staying down after a heavy challenge, and one or two instances of them going off for a short time, but no need to replace them and they’re never injured. How can this keep being done wrong? Much like the fouls question, we have to assume that it’s deliberate, in which case, the question is, why? I think I know why: online. Online players not only don’t like the interruptions to their trancegames that replacing an injured player would cause, but they don’t want their oh-so-pwecious Neymars and Ronaldos et al to be lost to them for any period of time. That attitude must have manifested itself in in Master League focus testing, with the outcome that we see before us. Few fouls (or no fouls) apart from the occasional match, and no injuries, keeping the gameplay as smooth and flowing and ‘fun’ as possible. The alternative is to believe that the programmers keep getting a straightforward feature that was in PES for years completely wrong. It’s the fuckers online who have spoiled everything.

  25. Jay – Are you producing the video evidence of this headstravaganza tonight or tomorrow? Just caught up with your Twitter posts this evening – admirable work, and I’m not saying I disbelieve you (if you’ve really been a regular reader you’ll know the layers of ‘inverted commas’ and general unserious register this whole header thing has been swaddled in), but isn’t it peculiar how the ranch-hand on his way home from the bar in the middle of Iowa never has his camera handy when the aliens land in the field next to him?

  26. NG uploading the video now, sadly only 3 of the 5 headed goals made the 1 min cut off but there are also 2 near miss headers in the clip to compensate, all the same match v swansea – note, they didn’t have full backs (3-5-2)…

  27. Pete – thank you, and yours is the first blurry ‘something in the sky’ video we’ve seen in this whole debate, so congrats there. (The title puzzles me. Own-Goal NG?)

    My off-the-cuff criteria the other day was 3-4 headers out of 10 would provide food for thought rather than definitive proof. So really the rest of your 10 have got to feature at least 1 more header. Having seen how you play computer games – expertly – I’ll imagine you did it. Okay. There are headers. Jay, stand down.

    But look at what kind of headers… All weak, glancing, drooping affairs. Where are the Mark Hateley-style, towering, thumping headers from the edge of the box? Whatever happened to bullet headers in Pro Evo? Not since PES5 – maybe even PES3 – have we seen their like.

  28. nG – as I mentioned in an earlier comment, only injury I got during a match was when I took a player off after he was off the pitch. I haven’t had an injury where a player doesn’t return after going off without my intervention, although that would be nice to see, just once! Apart from that one, they’ve all cropped up in training. Two 12 week spells out for T. Henry to name one player. I don’t know what they get up to in training, but I think I need to sack my first-time coach.

  29. Tommy – last year in PES2016 in the later seasons (season 5 and after), I started getting injuries in Training that’d keep players out for months at a time. Not a single one in a match last year, the year before, or this year so far. This never used to be problem in PES. It’s only in recent years that injuries have become rare (and Training-based) for some, completely non-existent for others. There can only be one reason for this as far as I’m concerned, and that’s PES Productions deciding to meet the expectations of the online-oriented player.

  30. no injuries here either, in fact I play the same 11 every week which is useful as my remaining defaults are hopeless

    my next 5 goals:
    a) 1-1 v Lens, Giorza cross, Coutinho stoops to nod home, might have come off his chin
    b) 2-1 v Lens, nice through ball from Castledine, Coutinho finishes across the keeper
    c) 1-0 v Brest, fantastic goal! One touch passing Giorza to Arcas to Coutinho, chipped through ball to Sahnoune who volleys a reverse pass back to Arcas, left foot finish slammed home
    d) 2-0 v Brest, wicked outswinging free kick from Vasilj, Arcas half volleys in at far post
    e) 1-0 v Metz, last minute winner, through ball from Yankov, Arcas surprises the keeper at his near post

    so only 4 headers out of 10, and none of them bullets, although 6 goals did come from crosses

  31. Well the 10 goals produced 4 headers but just before bed I played Leicester and there was 5 headers in one match and waiting for it to upload to youtube.

  32. Darryl – looking forward to seeing the mothership.

    abbeyhill – do I take it from those scorelines that you’re doing well on SS, 0-bar?

  33. NG – sadly it hasn’t recorded the first goal but does still leave me with four consecutive headers in one match. Still waiting for it to appear but have the footage on my Kindle as well.

  34. not-Greg – well that’s 10 league games undefeated now, albeit 7 of them draws, which takes me up to 7th in the table so I am starting to wonder if promotion with the defaults on superstar might be possible. Only on 1-bar though, manual crossing on 0-bar is too awkward on such a header-licious PES!

  35. Miles ahead of me, I’m doing better on effort three with my new formation but goals are still scarce. Crucially I have a million in the wage budget as January approaches, previously I’ve got to the regens with 16 players and no cash. I would still have been playing my first ml had it not turned into the horrendous quagmire Paul described for top player, I don’t think you will find the answer to your concerns in this level either Paul, it can be just as messy, foul free and scripted.

  36. don’t forget I’m in a less tough league than you Turf! PES2017 seems to be going easy on me at present as I’ve still got the defaults and is a joy to play, with not much scripting or horrendous quagmires. This is partly why I’m not signing anyone, don’t want to get out of this sweet spot

  37. Turf – you are on SS? The 3 matches I played on SS were very enjoyable and nothing like the quagmire that TP was, but as I said, was only 3 matches, would need a much bigger sample set to assess SS level properly.

    I see the header fiasco is still going on, and just to add, I’ve not scored one ‘floaty looping’ type header, all my headed goals, and there are quite a few, have been good powerful headers, some down at the keepers feet, some top corner, some diving headers, some from the 6 yard box, some from deeper into the area, what I haven’t ever scored, is a floaty looping header.

    As for injuries, in my first season I had 2, a 4 week and a 5 week, to 2 differing players, since then, nothing.
    Poor old Arcas has played every minute of every game for 3.3 seasons now, I even pick him when his form arrows are red. He’s never been injured.

    Oh, and here’s another instalment of ‘This game will never give me a f^&%ng penalty, raped in the box yet again’ ….

  38. Short comment on the header stuff – about 1 in 10 for me. Also, wasn’t pes 10 the last one with true bullet headers?

  39. Yes, I am on SS and abbeyhill I wasn’t going to say that France was the easy option…

    My first season on SS was great. I was losing every week, I think it was game 28 or so before I got a win yet the losses were enjoyable – different styles, no obvious goal against every time, no feeling of nerf just poor players and handler. Season 2 was looking good, with Crouch I felt like promotion was likely, then I started getting 9 and 10 game streaks of rubbish. Turning off didn’t help, mixing things up didn’t help, it was just a feeling of the game saying your time is now. Season 3 was just the same game every week, a world away from season 1. So I restarted to see if a different approach and different types of players might change that ie. dropped speed to -1, no more hoof it up to Crouch, I no longer use any of the ‘advanced’ tactics and my formation is very last third heavy. So far I’m not scoring many but the games have been good and I get much more of the ball. Whether season 3/4 AI team stat increases will kill that I don’t know but I noted the comments that the Premier League doesn’t play like that bogged down middle stuff I saw.

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