Quantum Leap

A first for my Master League life and for the blog:

For the first time since the feature was introduced however-long-ago, I have accepted a job offer and moved clubs at the end of Season 11. I am now the manager of AS Saint Etienne in the French Ligue 1.

As a man who was twenty-something throughout the 1990s, when I hear the name ‘Saint Etienne’ I think of this rather than of a real place or a football club.

I’d have preferred to move to a no-name lower tier club somewhere, but the offers were all in keeping with my existing club’s stature and my manager-character’s notional achievements.

My newly adopted policy of playing PES2017 with Youths, Regens, and knackered old Veterans.will continue at Saint Etienne.

Before I left Coventry City I put R JARVIS on the transfer list. My first action at Saint Etienne was to buy him. I’ll probably be re-acquiring Friday and James Wilson before the transfer window is out. I need to scope out my new squad before deciding.

You can see me looking through the rest of the squad in the video. A satisfying mix of ageing clunkers and promising youngsters.

I only had time to play a single match with them – the French Supercup. (Saint Etienne are the reigning champions of Ligue 1.)

No names have sunk in yet, but Saint Etienne have a pleasing array of heavy, clumsy-feeling players whose turning circles are nothing like the ballet-like pirouettes of my Coventry super-squad.

When did Pro Evo become all about flowing fluidity and superstar tricks? There must have been an actual day when whoever was in charge of PES at the time said ‘Right, team. Enough of the gritty cult status. From this moment on, Pro Evo is going to be about flowing fluidity and superstar tricks. Get that responsiveness dial turned up to 11!’

There had to be an actual day when something like that really was stated and decided. Whenever that point was, somebody needs to get in a time machine, go back to that day, and embark on an amusing caper to put right what once went wrong.

In one other startling departure, I have taken an International job.

I am the new manager of New Zealand.

Regular readers of the blog at this time of year might wonder whether all of this will stick. I have a track record of embarking on various harebrained schemes and drifting away after a week or two.

Will I persevere with life at Saint Etienne and with New Zealand?

I think I will, as the aim is to play PES2017 with lesser players, which makes everything better. Also, this is actually the first time I have ever dabbled in these waters. So there is no actual precedent for what’ll happen next. I think it’s got a great chance of being my setup for the rest of the summer.

Updated: 2nd June 2017 — 10:06


  1. NG did the game show any kind of acknowledgement about your previous managing of Jarvis? No “R JARVIS is delighted to be reunited with not Greg” type deal?

    And no I’m not Donald Trump but prior to last night my experiences with 2015 were more uncomfortable than Theresa May gurning. And thanks to a combination of playing it till 01.30 and my daughter waking up at 6 I’m particularly grumpy today. Wow, I used to live on 4/5 hours sleep in my 20’s (and the Pro Evo heyday)

  2. Mike – I can tell you from experience that the game does not nothing to acknowledge anything of that sort. not even when you play against your former team / teammates.

    NG – I suspect you’ll enjoy your current “harebrained scheme”. gone for national management myself as well.

  3. Mike – PES2015 is a solid edition and will repay time invested. Starting out on too high a difficulty was an error but it sounds like you’re on the right track now if you were playing that late last night.

  4. #1 – I dabbled with International management very briefly on PES2014 (post-release) and it annoyed me by getting in the way of my ML progress. I.e., just when I was getting into the story of my ML, there’d be an International break – just like real life really. I think New Zealand will prove interesting though, so we’ll see.

  5. NG I’ll certainly intend on playing on with it. After dropping down a level I really enjoyed last night’s session. Fifa has come today though and I want to give that a run out. Just watched a Facebook live video of the PES world championship final between 2 kids, both were Barca, didn’t see a single foul…..felt sick.

  6. Hmm, I fear for you. The club change I think is sound, but accepting an international job and all the rigmarole around it plus extra games could kill the pace of things. I’ve never successfully seen out a career involving a national team post (but then again I haven’t anyway since 2013).

    St etienne conjures up two images for me – that one of yours, megalomania being a rare ‘single’ disc purchase in that era (I was a 12 inch man of course), and David fairclough in hitachi red.

  7. Mike – that news doesn’t surprise me at all. What shocks me isn’t that there are no fouls in modern-day football games, but that hardly anyone seems to notice or care. The kind of gameplay we see in no-fouls footy gaming is against everything PES used to stand for.

    Uncle Turf – if the International management becomes too much of an irritation, I’ll do what I did before when I’ve dabbled – just sim every International match and then quit the scene at the end of the season.

  8. NG correct. I stupidly made a comment on a konami PES post asking what we’d like to see in PES 2018 a few weeks back, along the lines of “I’d like to see fouls reintroduced since they seem to have been removed from 2017” and I got pounced on by neanderthals giving me a ton of abuse! You can’t argue with idiots though.

  9. NG, you can request a transfer to any team of your choosing from the manager section.

    I’m planning to potentially try and get back to forest if I play long enough and if they’ll have me… They won the charity shield, super cup and are top of the league after 6 games… Apparently my PES skillz weren’t the key factor in their success!

  10. Just uploading a little beaut of a goal by Van wolfswinkel…

  11. Pete – Welbeck’s shimmy was great too, not bad for a player surely in decline in your ML world as in mine.

    I didn’t realise that I could request a move to any team – ? I did park a save file in case I had to fall back, if I can be bothered to change again I might investigate.

  12. NG – checked before switching off last night, its in the screen where you view offers from other clubs there is an option ‘transfer request’ that lets you choose.

    Welbeck has started coming good, bagged a brace in the following game.

    Not sure whether it is because my team is poorer and can’t handle the pace or that I’m in the eredivisie but the opposition seem to use tiki taka as the main route to goal, something I don’t recall in the prem where it was often long ball

  13. Indeed you can request a transfer. It’s how I got to Ajax after three seasons with arsenal myself. You can just keep reloading until you get the result you want. It may take some time though.

  14. first international match was a nice change of pace. literally. you really appreciate the difference in quality when playing a club match after an international match. felt great. also requested a transfer to liverpool; never did win proper premiership gold during my first prem stint with arsenal after all and have won everything there is to win with ajax. early doors but the game feels rejuvenated to me.

  15. morning all – chronicles as technical forum for a stone age man again…

    I’d been hoping to watch a live stream of a conference from Canada on Thursday but this sodding election and it closing the school means I’m entertaining the small fella instead. Has anyone ever recorded a live stream event or if it can be done/best way/can the host archive it, etc etc? This feels like that moment when someone said ‘and this box can stop the telly while you’re watching it’!

    Been in Glasgow last week so no gaming for me, and the CL final hasn’t encouraged me – recent MLs have felt like becoming Madrid and their groaning bench of stars by season 4

  16. Uncle Turf – I switched on the CL final not long after kick-off. All the players were standing looking at another player walking along with the ball at his feet. This went on for several seconds. I thought I’d turned on at a moment just after the award of a free kick. But no, this was modern ‘technical’ European football in action, the sort that gets commentators and pundits purring. I’d really rather watch a kickabout at the local park. I’m already depressed about the World Cup this time next year.

    Assuming you’re on Windows, you need something like Camtasia or the wonderfully named Free Screen Recorder. Never used either, and never done what you’re attempting.

    #1/Pete – after a long working weekend of no gaming, I am about to see if I can roll back and wangle a move to somewhere grubbier than the glitzy Saint Etienne.

  17. Can’t get on with international management, takes precious time away from the bread and butter. But it was interesting when I dabbled with it last season to basically field a squad of regens that was basically the England squad from 12 years ago.

    The Italian Job is going well, and very interesting with my house rules so far, which I’m sticking to. It was proving quite difficult to find any players, however I’ve just got Immobile and Okaka on loan. Unlikely they’d drop to Serie B in real life, and even with transfer options so limited now, it still feels like a bit of a cheat.

    On a similar note I’ve been watching this guy on youtube who has made a few series using house rules (see below) even more strict than mine. Interesting stuff, I may adopt a few on his ideas next time.

    -OVR limit starts at 72. Increases by 2 each season.
    -1x loan transfer per season max
    -1x free transfer per season max
    -Can only scout within league country in 1st season
    -One new scouting area can be added per season

  18. Ok, cheers NG – I’ll have a look at those two but suspect I might resort to asking for the slides afterwards.

    I had a conversation with my borther in law prior to the game where we both bemoaned how we couldn’t even remember the winners of many of the CL and how matches were now judged as ‘great’ by different standards to what they used to be. Since the thing stopped being the European Cup and bigger clubs had umpteen ways to stay in the tournament I can recall maybe 4 finals I’ve watched and remembered – the Man U last minute effort and the Liverpool comeback of course, the one when McManaman scored and the John Terry post match kit farce. I hadn’t even realised Man U had lost two in recent times.

    A proper European game needs to be played at night, when it’s dark, against an opponent we know limited things about – possibly a famous striker such as Oleg Blokhin or a mercurial manager – it has to be a knockout tie and there needs to be at least one purple flare held aloft in the away end. Bonus points if they have the prefix ‘Dynamo’.

  19. Turf, agreed 100%! I watched YouTube highlights yesterday of Real beating Leverkusen 2-1 in the (I think) 2002 final when Zidane scored that sweet left foot volley. I’d forgotten everything else about the match and have only sketchy memories of finals since then other than those featuring my beloved United. However I can remember the 94 final (Milan smashing Barca) 95 (Ajax beating Milan 1-0) and the 97 (Juve beating Dortmund but Lars Ricken scoring from 40 yards for the Germans.

    In a lot of ways it’s the same as my PES memories, I have NOTHING that stands in my mind from the last 8 editions or so, yet distinctly recall great goals scored in older ones with Van Der Vaart, Claudio Lopez and er…Stan Lazaridis!

  20. Turf/Mike – is it us getting older or a sign of the times. I can remember every detail of scores/goal scorers of the cup finals from 81 to 2001 but it becomes a blur after that. It is the same with the elections as I remember them in detail from 83 to 97 but on the bus earlier I couldn’t remember the coalition year. To me the 70s, 80s and 90s all had thier own indivuality in terms of music, fashion and culture changes but the past two decades just blur into each other. Bit like the footy games of late.

  21. Tommy – I’ve played as far as my first International matches and enjoyed them – the average OPR for New Zealand is around the late-50s mark, so I’m having hugely enjoyable uphill battles. Playing with lesser teams and players is how PES was meant to be be played, at least nowadays. The matches (with Saint Etienne too) all seem to have that old-school PES feel to them.

    House Rules might be my new rock and roll.

    Uncle Turf – and the commentator commentating down a crackly telephone line, complete with the live feed cutting out occasionally.

  22. The beginning of the end was when matches moved from radio 2 and highlights on sportsnight to live coverage and radio 5. Peter jones was the voice of my formative years.

    Darryl – agreed, I couldn’t get my head round the fact we had a general election in 2015, I’d have sworn it was much earlier. I’m not sure I could even say how many Tony Blair fought as leader – 3? Did he go on longer than thatcher? I’ve got a degree in this stuff and at one time could name all the cabinet and shadow cabinet, I’m not having it that it’s just my memory though, I reckon it’s the watering down of news and turning everything into social media sound bites, bombarding you with completely meaningless bollocks. If you’ve seen the BBC website recently you’ll notice how much magaziney shit there is compared to actual news. Anyway, at least I voted last week so I get to complain when my lot lose.

  23. Turf – me neither. Well he won in 1997 so will hazard a guess without looking. He was in a strong position so the next election will have been 2001? Then again 2005? But then followed the coalition result in 2009 or 2010. See it is now getting blurry.

  24. Yes, I’m going for 3 Darryl and I’d guess that he was longer than Thatcher’s 12 years but not by much – but a quick search shows me I’d be wrong. (There is a bit of an elephant in the room over his reasons but that’s one to google).

    Anyhow, getting a little tired of Minecraft and frustrated at the lack of off the ball move in 2009 I had a go at 2015 last night. It’s a definite flip flop but then again I only ever squeezed a handful of seasons out of it as it got so easy so quickly. Attempting to remedy that I’ve cut off all support and promptly got whacked by Charlton as I sprayed the ball hopelessly wide of the intended recipient. Couple of games later though and I was thinking there is definite promise in this approach, especially in being able to overcome the modern style. I’m needing to hold onto the ball longer, consider passes much more carefully and really control the power. I’m bored of Gateshead though and as its such an edit lite year I’m going for Hartlepools United.

  25. Uncle Turf – I recommend playing with an ability cap, i.e. an upper OPR rating that you will not go past. Today’s post at 12 details my current new lease of life with PES2017. It improves the feel of the game and the nature of the challenge a thousandfold. It feels like classic PES again. Superstar players and the whole latter-day run-and-gun approach are things to be discarded.

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