Flying off the Shelveseys

I’m in the middle of the January transfer window in Season 2. Lots of minor activity. The biggest move so far is that I part-exchanged my big signing from this time last season, Besic, for Jonjo Shelvey. Shelvey is a player who never seems to really fit into the modern real-life game. He’s the sort of player who might have been an international star 20-30 years ago, but is probably destined not to be today. Let’s see how he does in my ML fantasyland.

Besic was a DMF and Shelvey is a CMF, so it’s not a straight swap, but I’ve got Hettich and Rice to fill in at DMF if needed.

Besic had to go – he just wasn’t distinctive enough. That’s my new informal House Rule, by the way: all the nuPES, anonymous, Everyman-types of players that just don’t feel like anything, have to go. The Giorza Effect, we might call it. Named after the nuPES Default right-back who handles superbly and develops into a proper star – but never feels like a distinctive player.

I’m from a time when DMFs were called things like Mathieu and Neeskens and Irjescu and Camacho and Prieto. I know PES isn’t what it was, and ML isn’t what it was, and now everything has to be ‘balanced’ for multiplayer, with stats being progressively ‘simplified’ in recent years, and this makes a huge chunk of the player roster feel pretty much the same all over.

But there are still individuals in PES. Not many, but some. My only semi-formal House Rule, then, is that all my players must have that authentic ‘feel’ about them. Each new signing will get at least half a season to a season to impress me. Besic was nothing and he had to go.

The game thinks my formation is more of a 4-4-2 than it is. I’m still playing with a deep DMF and a CMF, and two wide AMFs pushed further up. A definite 4-2-2-2.

All but two or three of these players have, in some way, stood out in the individual sense. Richarlison and Shelvey are too new to cast judgement. Correa, disturbingly, has been with me for half a season now but has so far not stood out. I don’t think he’s going to make it at my club, but I’ll give him another half-season.

All the others – ALL of them – feel enough like proper PES individuals to make me happy. The 17-year-old L BAKER, playing at AMF now, is quietly the story of my ML so far. More on him in posts to come.

I sold Arcas (£9m) and have benched Castledine, who will be sold before the close of the window if there are any takers. The Lennon and McCartney of PES2016 were nothing for me this year.

Veldwijk continues to dominate my forward line. I can count on him netting a goal every other game, on average – a realistic strike rate. The Goal King indeed.Promotion in Season 2 seems not to be on the cards But look at the points difference between me and 6th. Only the 9 points. We veterans of Master League know that much larger deficits can be, and often are, overhauled.I’ll need to turn my on-field performances around, though, and fast. 11 defeats! The AI is still capable of thumping me 3-0 without breaking a sweat. It plays massively unfair to achieve such results at times, but I’ll take it. I love the thought that I’ve still got Superstar and Legend to step up to.

Updated: 20th October 2017 — 11:40


  1. NG: in my January goal of the month, where would my Goal B sit in your bicycle kick/scissor kick/overhead kick classification?

    Ordaz popped up with it on his debut. Was very happy with it!

    Also, feel free to follow and/or vote, everyone 🙂

    More angles if unsure:

  2. Saw that one on your twitter yesterday Jay, liked it almost as much as the Ordazmic headline!

  3. Haha! Thanks abbeyhill. I made it into a banner for the crowd!

  4. Jay – that’s a great goal – it looks like you’re having an amazing ML with the Defaults – and that’s a scissors kick. Not even close to being a bicycle kick. The player’s back is least 45 degrees off the required almost-parallel-to-the-ground status. I’m aware we’re at a stage of the fall of western civilization where any action that looks even vaguely like a bicycle kick is mis-called a bicycle kick, but I remain in my tower, playing my violin. I know that I can go to YouTube and watch some ‘bicycle kick’ compilations, from football games and so-called real life. I also know that most of them won’t be bicycle kicks.

    Uncle Turf – Paul has said a few comments ago he has done exactly that, and I think he’s far too tech-savvy to be somehow mistaken, so I don’t know what to make of it all. Mine is about a week away. The eBay listings for similar products say in the small print that capacity might be as small as 8GB, and those sellers’ negative feedback bears that out.

  5. For now all is well. Long term success with the defaults will be dependent on player growth, if I want to eventually win things on legendary. There will be a point, i imagine, where the user’s quality – ie me – won’t bw able to make up for poor quality players. I’m looking at you 66 rated Dodo.

  6. NG – Hundreds of pounds you say!!!! Frig me I never had any idea that they went for that sort of money, glad to be out of this debate.

    I am really getting back into Red Dead Redemption at the moment. Nothing rivals it in terms of the colourful characters that you meet along the way. I think I would be suited to the Wild West way of life. I am in my own little world clipping away on my horse into the sunset.

  7. NG – err, yes…that was my attempt at humour.

    Paul – me and Abbeyhill meeting up? Highly unlikely that I’d get to share space with the creator of Grendel.

    Saw 2018 today for £30. Not a trade but the brand new game. It will clearly be falling further before I do jump in.

  8. Uncle Turf – I do get it now. Do we think Paul had a chuckle?

  9. Awesome goals. Sadly I am pretty busy at work so no time to play. I purchased F1 2012 on steam ($5) and played the Australian GP. That game is hard…

    darryl6464, enjoy Red Dead Redemption. One of my favorite games for sure!

  10. JS Hutt – you can just call me Darryl. I am enjoying the game much more now the second time around. It has made me realise how differently I played games back then. I am now quite pleased the PS4 broke as there is a lot of big games I have never played. For example I have only ever played one of the early GTA games and did not play that for long.

  11. Evening All,

    Can’t contribute much to the great USB debate. What I can say is that I’ve just finished my first master league season on 2018 on xbox one. Top player, challenge mode. I’m fairly sure my challenge was to finish 9th. I duly finished 9th. I can put to one side the fact that I wasn’t allowed to win for the the final 4 games of the season (all draws). However I was/am pretty naffed off to be greeted with a screen saying I’ve been sacked……

    Is everyones first challenge to finish 9th?

    Angry of Coventry.

  12. Sorry, I should say to finish in the top 9. I just assumed that if you meet that requirement you can’t get sacked. Either it’s a massive bug which has just wasted a significant amount of my time or my chairman really didn’t like me. Massive blow, as if I want to manage Derby County or Havre AC.

    Still angry, just less so. Thanks for listening. Good night.

  13. Darryl you must be stoked for RDR2 then !!!

    Keith – sounds about right. Yet another thing that doesn’t work properly. PES 18 is a clusterfuck of similar annoyances.

    Just about to play my 5th game tonight. Haven’t enjoyed one of them.
    Total bullshit most of them.

    Repetitive one dimensional AI play. Super powered. Fouling. Over the top through ball spamming bollocks. Every team Plays mega gegenpress and are all over my players like flies round shit the second the ball is on the way towards my player. It encourages fast frantic one touch play because if you don’t you just get tackled and lose the ball.
    I lose the ball anyway butbtry to gegenpress the AI and it will one touch and backheel it’s way around you with ease no matter what the team is.


  14. Paul – what’s your TS, formation and advance ves tactics? And the difficulty – TP yeah?

  15. Paul -I would have been had the PS4 not given up the ghost on me.

  16. Congrats Keith. Let us know what is your objective for the next season.

    I didn’t want to buy a new console, but when I heard about RDR2, I had to…

  17. Good Morning,

    Paul – Thanks for your outburst last night. I think it helped me project some of my rage. The thing is, despite all the (generally true) points you make, I absolutely loved the season. Really had to battle each match and had just started to put my side together for next year.

    Despite repeated trawling around the interweb I can’t find anything saying you can get sacked for other reasons, my finances were fine, I had the divisions top scorer (Hervey) I’d been in the playoffs on occasions and I’d finished in the top 9. The only thing I can think is that I dont think I won any of my ‘Derby’ games.

    In a significantly smaller way than NG, Master League for me has always been about creating a Cov team and going through the seasons. Would be difficult to start again, especially if the challenge mode is broken. Thing is, in principal it is a great idea because it gave me something else to aim for.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. It’s almost out of my system.

  18. Keith, I had something similar whereby the game didn’t recognise the last 16 as the knock-out phase of the tournament. I didn’t get the sack but lost 50 owner satisfaction percentage points.

    I’ve managed to keep my job for another season after winning the domestic cup. My gk was player of the tournament. A last minute own goal in the semi final to keep me in it, something fishy going on maybe.

    I now have Bergkamp and Mpabbe up top which makes life a bit easier but I finished 20 points off the league winners and got thrashed 6-0 by Marseille in the CL quarter finals. Next seasons objective could be one step beyond.

    Still loving the game but the ‘flow’ is wearisome.

  19. JAY – TS is 82 at max when my first 11 is ‘in form’. and yes – Top Player difficulty.
    I play a 4-2-3-1 wit 2 DMF’s, 2 wide midfielders, a SS and a CF.

    I’ve recently turned advanced tactics off, i now only have deep back line and Gegenpress available, and dont always use them,depends.

    Last game of the session last night, another infuriating match.
    FA Cup 2nd round vs Everton, was looking forward to playing premiership opposition, thought it may be something different and give me something to eventually look forward to, but nope.

    Everton were the same as every other totally overpowered Championship side, totally pack their own box, then a through ball, either straight or lofted, to the lone CF from CB position, only difference was they were faster and more powerful then even the overpowered championship sides, which made it virtually impossible to dribble anywhere, again being forced to play ping pong one touch passing.

    It was 0-0 until the 76th minute, I had tracked their constant through balls well, and was giving a good account of myself, then resulting from their corner, came a mellée in my box, the ball rolled to my LB, all i had to do was press square and hammer it clear, but in true fashion, the game would not let me switch to that player.
    It decided that as there were 4 or 5 players in close proximity, that the actual player with his foot 2 inches from the ball wasnt needed and frantic L1 pressing and flicking at the RS made no difference, I was not able to select the player needed to clear the ball.

    Needless to say, the player just watched it roll by him and Everton’s CF smashed in from 4 yards.

    Out of the FA Cup, currently 17th, last 6 games have finished 0-0,0-1,-0-0,0-2,0-1,0-2
    1 goal scored in 6 games, not sure I can take another 2 seasons in the one dimensional, 46 game slog of the championship.

  20. Paul – my opposite-to-you experience with PES2018 continues as I had a pretty good session last night, helped I think by having played a match on a beloved old PES just before and found it a curiously poor experience. No fouls either. Which edition was this? More in today’s post…

    Cook –

    Still loving the game but the ‘flow’ is wearisome

    This is the PES-killer. The ‘flow’ is the most un-PES concept ever – and it’s been with us for longer than we think. I never kick the ball out of play just to get my subs on, and more often than not if I line up my subs around the 70 minute mark, they never get on until maybe 30 seconds before the end.

    Keith – in your circumstances I’d have no qualms about loading an old save (assuming you have one) and swapping the mode from Challenge to Classic, and playing on. These seasons are too much of a slog to be restarting.

  21. NG – No old save i’m afraid. I was operating on Xcom style auto-save Ironman…….Lesson learned.

    The twat in me means I don’t think I’ll be able to resist taking the reigns at Derby and seeing where that takes me.

  22. Jay – scissors, definitely scissors.

  23. NG – so do you not see opposition AI teams constantly harass you insane amounts before you’ve even received the ball, packed penalty boxes, constant reliance on through balls?

    As we have the exact same version of the game, there is only one, with the same updates and data packs installed, even using the exact same option file, I’m pretty confident the games are identical in how they play.

  24. Paul – I do see those things, but as you know experience waxes and wanes. My opposite-to-you thing means that when you have a bad few days, I seem to have good sessions, and when you have good, I have bad ones, etc. It’s just an amusing quirk of fate I’m pointing out, not contradicting your experience with the game.

  25. Oh I certainly wasn’t insinuating that NG – It was more of a posed question of sorts…. Do you not see that type of AI behaviour, you said you do, which begs the question … do you actually enjoy it? if not, then your tolerance levels must be much better than mine.
    Its awful to play against, it isn’t football, its football themed pinball.

    I went into edit mode and checked and every single team in the championship has the pressure tactic set to aggressive.
    I doubt very much the PESUniverse OF changed this, it was just kits and player/team names, badges etc, so looks like yet another lazy gesture from Konami to setup every single team to play in the exact same way, only differential being the formations.

    How many more things do we have to ignore, put up with, tolerate, use workarounds for, in order to accomodate this game?
    I’m so so close to ripping the cellophane off FIFA 18.

    That PES ‘Click’ that always happens at some point during a ML career, where things fall into place and your team reaches a level where you compete and win things, doesn’t even remotely look like ever happening this year, so unbalanced and overpowered is the AI.

    And Finances, way way over powered too, they are this years player growth turd!
    2 seasons in, as a championship side, finishing 9th and 21st, and I have a 65 million Transfer fund and 8 million salary budget.
    The actual payments for EFL Championship teams is £2mil per team regardless of position you finish and a further £4.3mil ‘solidarity’ payment, so £6.5mil maximum.

  26. Paul – my game is nearly all pass-and-move, so my exposure to the negative effects of AI pressure will be vastly less than a dribbler’s would be. It’d be useful to find out if the PES Universe OF did set all teams to Aggressive. I wouldn’t be surprised as it’s the kind of hokey thing the forums are always recommending we do to combat a passive AI.

  27. NG – passing game or dribbling game, irrelevant. My game is very much styled on pass and move, Liverpool 80’s, Barcelona 00’s, River Plate 90’s style. but it doesn’t matter, even if you pass and move, the way the AI homes in on you insanely gives you absolutely no time to receive the ball to feet, pick out a strategic pass and move the ball forward, its literally L1 + pass, 1-2 first time give and go all the way up the pitch. Every game.

    It seems the more you put into this game, the better you make your team, the more overpowered the AI becomes to combat it.
    Seriously, there was absolutely no difference in Playing Everton vs a Championship side, Championship sides were as strong, could use all thew same skills, could laser-guided shoot, and used the exact same style of play.

    everything other than the core 22 players animated on a grass pitch in PES 18, has been a total after thought for Konami this year.

  28. Paul – in today’s post, up soon, there’s a clip of a dodgy offside decision (with the free kick taken from the wrong position) that shows 20 seconds or so of build-up prior to the dodgy decision(s). The way I play in that build-up is the way I most often play, and how the AI responds. See what you think.

    Re. AI team differences in PES (and FIFA), they’ve always been minimal at best, and arguably only ever in our imaginations. The time has long since come for AI team styles to be the next Holy Grail for football games, but I don’t see any imperative taking hold of either Konami or EA in that regard, as it involves paying a degree of attention to the single-player game that just won’t ever happen again. Multiplayer, multiplayer, multiplayer.

  29. Be very interested to see that clip NG. Admittedly there are short bursts of matches whereby you can play some build up stuff, but its probably 10% or less of every match, the other 90% is the aforementioned insane hornet style pressure tactics.

    I have to say, during my 4 seasons on CM in FIFA 17, playing premiership sides and european sides, I saw a load of different styles, it was very varied, and as a result most enjoyable.

Comments are closed.