Took my time, took my chances

season-6-going-gudExciting times in Season 6, on a number of fronts.

Before I get into that, one bit of business from the mid-season transfer window that I forgot to mention in my previous post.

On deadline day, I made one big signing: James Rodriguez.

I haven’t mentioned him since then because he’s turned out to be just another very good nuPES AMF/SS. Nothing remarkable about him at all. Nothing truly individual. I could have bought any of hundreds of other AMF/SS types and they’d have been just the same.

Five years ago a player like Rodriguez would have been a jewel in the crown of any ML side. Player individuality in PES is in the worst state it has ever been in, no question about it.

Anyway. Take a look at the league table after 32 matches:

pes2017-season-6-after-32My excitement levels are off the scale.

I have hauled myself up to this level with my hardest-working performances in any PES, ever. Player individuality might be in the toilet, Master League itself might be a shadow of its former greatness, but the game has still got that indefinable something.

With 6 matches of the season remaining I have a great chance of winning the Premier League title at the second time of asking. It didn’t look on the cards for most of the first third of the season, when goals and results were extremely hard to come by, but things abruptly picked up towards halfway.

The key to this new upswing in fortunes has been having the patience to create optimum chances. Meaning, short-range chances. Rather than always blazing away from medium and long-range.

This is a bit of a departure for me. I’m a cheerfully unsophisticated football gamer. A 30-yard piledriver is a hundred times more valuable than any tippy-tappy ‘team goal’.

The football gaming (and general football-watching) cognoscenti value those so-called ‘team goals’ above all else. Theo Walcott sidefooting the ball into the net from 1 yard at the end of 90 passes, or whatever, has the mysterious power to send football pundits into mystical raptures. I barely rate such goals at all, never mind above all else.

So there are no long-range goals in PES2017. Walking the ball into the net is the new rock ‘n’ roll.

Except, very occasionally…

Part of my swashbuckling run to 2nd place saw me take on Bournemouth, away. A tight game that I ended up winning 2-0, with a goal in each half. Here are those two goals:

Ah, yes indeed. You wait ages for one…

I really, really needed that. A football game without long-range goals is like an FPS without headshots.

Needless to say I enjoyed the moment of the Carrick strike almost as much as I’ve enjoyed PES2017 as a whole so far.

Getting the Lobato strike in the same match was an amazing surprise. I have never known any PES to ‘allow’ two long-range goals in the same match.

Granted, by the time Lobato knocks it ahead of him and then sprints onto it and hits it, he’s only about 23 yards out. But still. A remarkable double. I doubt this will ever be repeated for me in this game.

Friday’s post will see the end of Season 6 and the denouement of the most unexpected league-title challenge I have ever known.

Updated: 10th January 2017 — 10:31


  1. Cracking goals NG.

  2. Feeling chuffed with myself over Christmas as I snipped a potential technical issue in the bud before it reared it’s ugly head (mixing my metaphors I know). With Santa bringing a PS4 we had that, the Sky box and the XBox 360 to connect, but only two HDMI sockets on the telly. I picked up one of these×1-3-way-input-1-ou/1505586453 on ebay for £8 (cables not included) and ran the PS4 and XBox 360 into it. Now the little one doesn’t have to try and fiddle with HDMI cables when switching between consoles. Just thought I’d share in case anyone else finds themselves in this predicament.

    PS Nice goals nG

  3. Nice goals NG!
    Would you actually class the 2nd as a true long ranger?
    I’ve scored about 30 goals from that range across my 6 seasons. The first goal was a definite LR !

    starting season 7 and the hunt for the fabled treble/quadruple tonight.
    new kits loaded in first though.

    going with these 2 designs for home and away:

    View post on

  4. Those long-rangers are a sight for sore eyes. They’re both a variation of a first-time shot I notice which seems to be the key in scoring from long range. I too have started to hold off on letting rip from long range in this PES but it’s good to know those goals are possible.

    I’m currently back on a run of 1-0, 2-0, 0-0 results after my nasty run of form. Three points off seventh but with the FA Cup still to go for.

  5. Chris99 – when my PES5 month get going I’ll be playing with a PC hooked up to a TV and using something similar, good find.

    Paul – I also see goals like the second one on Lloyd’s compilations. I don’t score many of them either. They’re definitely mid-rangers, but still rare enough for me that I have come to think of them as long-rangers when true long-rangers are lacking.

    Shed – the first-time-shot nature of long-rangers in PES2017 is pretty much a certainty. Our Walace correspondent James has shown that. You’ll see from both of mine in this post that the keeper is slow to react (or doesn’t) and slightly out of position both times. That’s fair enough, really. A properly positioned, agile keeper should never be beaten from greater than 20 yards or so IMO. In PES down the years the long-rangers have misrepresented how a professional keeper covers the angles, concentrates all the time, and positions himself in order to stop opportunistic distance strikes. There have been two exceptions to this: PES2014 (vanilla) and PES2017. The keepers in vanilla PES2014 were terrible at everything except stopping long-range strikes. The keepers in PES2017 are the best we’ve ever seen in PES, arguably in any footy game.

  6. run on-to first time shots have a much higher conversion rate in PES 2017.
    and its definitely all about not overcooking that narrow aiming lozenge!!!!

  7. Chris 99 – Had a similar prob a few months back. I now have my HD Recorder, Wii U and PS4 happily linked up.

    I also charged my PS4 controller from the mains last night. Seemed to work alright and the house didnt burn down.

  8. Thanks for the email NG.

  9. 35/12?? Dear lord there have been some grinds then. Makes abbeyhill look gung-ho.

    Snowy f’kin sabrecat for me. Halfway up the poxy greybeard mountain. The sense of ‘bollocks’ is on a par with a season of ml ending with defeat in the last match costing the title or promotion. So I restarted….and for the first time ever took a follower immediately, before even the fair Lydia – one of those idiots arguing over that girl. Tempted to come back and marry her myself out of spite. Still he did his diversionary deed and I’m now dragoned up.

    Btw I took a part time, convenient job at the little fellas school just before Christmas, simply because I have time with my research and was spending way too many hours in the house. They give it a fancy title now but the old school would call it ‘dinner lady’. A couple of weeks in and I’ve been elevated to full guild member, if anyone has seen that film about the weavers with angelina jolie and Morgan freeman – never assume they are simply dinner ladies

  10. turf – Requiem had me gnashing my teeth on more than one occasion…can’t imagine what a DiD run would do to me.

    in other events; I’ve scored a long ranger (first time shot of course) as well. The first one – very nice indeed NG – i’ve yet to score any from that distance.
    Also; on a completely unrelated note: my wordpress site got hacked by russians today. took me four hours to fix. on my day off. damn it!

    Finally; for anyone feeling nostalgic I can happily recommend the DOOM remake. good old carnage. no open world, no looking for clues or extra items, not even reloading your guns. Strangely, quite refreshing after skyrim and a good inbetween for when I start WItcher 3 again.

  11. Paul – my muscle memory often definitely still thinks it’s old-school PES aiming. Probably why I’ve not scored many mid-rangers.

    Uncle Turf – there have been many grinds, and of course many that frustratingly end 0-0 or 0-1. All Master League careers tend towards stasis eventually, but recent years have been poor for this. Everything in Konami’s strategy now is geared towards curtailing single-player and promoting multiplayer (the big on-pitch ads for shiteClub tend to support this).

  12. Werd – I set the PS4 to sleep for 3 hours when switched off which seems long enough to recharge a controller.

  13. great strikes not-Greg, although I’m not sure about the Bournemouth keeper’s technique of ducking out the way! I got the impression in the last post your title challenge had been nerfed by a sequence of those horrible impossible to score matches, so good to hear it is back on track. Lower mid-table for me with the defaults so far half way through season 6, pretty happy with that

    Really intrigued by Witcher 3, especially after reading the Edge magazine article last month, it sounds like the characters and story writing have tremendous depth compared to most open world titles. No chance of it displacing MGS5 from my laptop for now though

  14. Another crappy run of matches saw me crash out of the cup 1-0 to Palace. Gutted and rather frustrated, I played the next match and won 4-1 in a game that felt like the nerfing had fallen away again. Eight games to go and five points of seventh/Euro qualification.

    Paul – Did you get my email address via n-G okay? Rather looking forward to a game change after last night’s session.

  15. Morning Shed, I did mate, will take a trip to Sainsburys at lunchtime and grab some stamps and a jiffy bag and get it posted tonight to you.

    Still haven’t started my final season, season 7 yet, got busy watching Silent Witness last night then it was after 11pm so just couldn’t be bothered.

  16. Abbeyhill – all of the raving reviews rfor witcher 3 are True. Keep in mind that it is not as “open” as an elder scrolls game but it comes close. It is however, miles deeper in almost any aspect.

  17. I’ve not read anything to suggest they added new lines of dialogue but I swear the npc’s are saying things I’ve never heard in skyrim before – ulfberth warbear suggesting we go for a pint sometime? Nearly fell over, is it a come on or a two guys together bonding invitation? I’m probably just triggering different things when I’m in certain positions but it’s really deepening my feelings about some of these characters. I’ll be devastated if any vampire attacks take out certain ones.

  18. Turf – that is interesting. I read somewhere that bethesda added some minor content here and there so could be that extra dialogue is part of it.

  19. #1 – it’s also crashing loads, so much so that I’m saving every time I do something significant.

  20. Uncle Turf — you’ve updated the game (from XMB, press Start>Check for updates)? And there’s nothing wrong with your online connection? If you’ve updated, try disabling Internet before starting play. The game might be trying to upload/receive data and getting itself in a tizzy.

  21. abbeyhill – my take on that keeper animation is of wrong-footedness, and then slipping when trying too late to react, rather than ducking out of the way. Look again!

  22. Yep, on the latest patch but seemingly it’s a thing with this edition for all formats, they’ve been trying to,plug holes from day one apparently. Not tried t’interweb thingy though so will give it a go, cheers.

  23. Turf – that is annoying. It ran smooth as butter for me on PC but only played for about an hour..

  24. Father in laws funeral yesterday. Loads of his Welding buddies turned up. Our 3 year old Niece kicks off and has to be taken out of the church. She returns just in time to see the curtains go around the coffin. With expert timing she says in a clear voice “Bye Bye Gandadd” cue blubbing and laughter from the audience.

    Turf – I heard Vampires do less damage and townsfolk will defend themselves from Vampire attack. This relates mainly to the Vampire DLC.

  25. werd – funerals are 99% for the sake of the living and only 1% for the dead IMO. I bet there’s a body of literature about the positive cathartic effect of funerals but I’ve never found anything good in them, really. I’ve already done my grieving by the time the funeral rolls round and the funeral is about dealing with other people, which just stresses me out. It’s always better when people abandon the solemn armour and relax a bit.

  26. NG Nice to see you finally getting a taste of your long range fix! I have to say though the STATE of that Bournemouth keeper!

    I’m genuinely surprised to hear James Rodriguez is yet another generic AMF. I thought for sure he’d have a different feel. Have you come across ANYONE yet who has an individual feel?

  27. Bale and Ronaldo, 2 of the games biggest names both with distinct play styles, felt absolutely generic to me when i played against them.
    Neither of them had a sniff, or did anything of note, on Superstar level. Worrying.

  28. My James Rodriguez type disappointment is Xabi Alonso. Got him on a six month loan thinking he might provide a little extra something – even at 39 – but he’s utterly ordinary. PES used to be so good at capturing the feel of big name players – even some not-so-big-name.

    ML is letting me have a run of form at the end of season 4, tantalising me with the prospect of catching Liverpool in 7th spot. Whether I do or not, I’m facing a radical changing of the old guard ahead of season 5.

  29. Mike – the short answer is yes, there are pleasingly individual players in PES2017 who ‘feel like themselves’ and no other. Friday was an individual-feeling Championship-level goalscorer in the time I had him (right down to the realistic inability to step up to Premier League goalscoring levels). Lobato too. Rice, of course. Jarvis. My big CB, Sokratis. Hand on heart, I cannot say anyone else does. That’s four or five players from around 40 that I’ve had since the start of this ML. Even these are probably more representatives of their set ‘types’, i.e. I could probably get many CBs just like Sokratis and so on. The AMF/SS hybrids are the most common letdowns in my experience. They are all exactly the same. In short, we have FIFA-style individuality in PES now and have done since PES2015.

    Or… is PES individuality nothing more than a nostalgia-fuelled delusion? Was it really as refined as we all remember in years gone by? I say YES, it certainly was. Shimizu. Castello. Schwarz. Mathieu. In PES4 I had a Platini who felt like Platini. Guaranteed if I get Platini in PES2017 he’ll feel much like Halilovic or any other of my generic AMF types. They’re all too silky-skilled and lithe in the turn, with such minor differences that they’re barely noticeable.

    One of the big themes of my looming PES5 months will be a close investigation of just what individuality in a football game means, why it is critical to PES, and why its seeming abandonment (in the name of online ‘balancing’) is such a scandal.

  30. Werd/#1 – crash seems resolved after knocking off some of the automatic settings, it defaults to save after every entry, character view, etc etc and I think it was just overwhelming it.

    I saw numerous vampire attacks on the PS3 as I had dawnguard installed but they usually get mashed by the town guards. The one time they didn’t they took out some key people in whiterun, some of the really big names that I thought would be unkillable. It’s an odd mix of who can live and who is allowed to die. The saddest of all was the time I found (drunk guy) who told me about his runaway woman (who….) and just as I was back in the town to give him the news he was slaughtered. He died never knowing.

    Dead means dead also has a new interpretation, it’s dead means dead except if a 7 year old comes and interrupts as you’re being attacked by a bandit chief in full heavy armour in a tight space. I’m giving myself that as I really don’t want to restart AGAIN for something I shouldn’t have tried during the hours of daylight but wasn’t entirely a playing failure. Next time it is though. And I’d like to think those playing MGS will be adopting the same real life approach.

  31. Shed – GTA V is in the post 1st class signed for, keep your eyes peeled.

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