How do you do, fellow kids?

It’s fair to say that I am not the greatest player of PES online – at the moment.

4 of these matches were what I would class as heavy defeats. I drew 2, and could have got something from the other 4 but for a touch of online naiveté. I suspect I will adapt and improve.

I must have played about 30 matches online in total now. I have still not seen a single goal scored from outside the box. I myself have not scored a single goal from outside the box (I have barely scored a goal…).

I very rarely see an opponent even attempt to shoot from outside the box. I still attempt loads, but I’m getting the message. The Guardiola Doctrine – don’t shoot from outside the box – is firmly entrenched in online PES2018, and that is a great shame. As we have seen already in the World Cup, goals from outside the box are a wonderful spectacle and they happen. In PES2018, online, they simply don’t happen.

All opponents do the sprint-pressure thing to some extent. Some are worse than others. There is no consequence to doing it. It demonstrably works. So why not do it? I quite agree.

All in all I continue to enjoy myClub despite, rather than because of, online opponents.

Squad management is a joy. The growth of my club in myClub is the principal pleasure of the mode. It’s a very Classic ML-style feel, for me anyway. Many an ML veteran player would take one look at the average pressure-whore online, and run screaming back to ML, or just to the offline single-player options on offer in myClub itself, which are plentiful.

One-off single-player vs COM matches in myClub start off on Regular difficulty, which is slightly disappointing and could discourage playing them, but they’re worth sticking with.

Win a few and the game upgrades you to playing on Professional difficulty, and then to Top Player, and so on all the way up to Legend, with proportional rewards for winning each.

Lose a few and you get ‘relegated’ in difficulty back down the ranks. It’s a decent system and one I’ve spent some time exploring this week – using my Irregular squad.

This 1-star squad is one that I would happily take into Master League itself if I could. (Now there’s an idea for a custom Challenge-style ML.)

I have been playing with the Irregulars in the offline vs COM matches, and getting ‘promotion’ with them through the difficulties as described above, then switching over to my main ‘A’ squad for an online match, and back again. An advantage of Squad-swapping in this way is that the stamina of the other Squad is automatically replenished, and vice versa.

I have got the Irregulars up to Top Player, and the games are very, very tough. This is more enjoyable for me at the moment than the online component.

I’m sure I will eventually ‘get’ online. I think it’ll involve changing my style of play. Most players do indeed ‘ping-pong’ the ball through the middle into the box, or down either wing and then across into the box, for a straightforward finish. They’re not good goals. Online, it doesn’t matter how that ball goes into the net, it just has to.

Since the screenshot at the top of the post was taken, I have started the next season in Division 11. My first opponent was that rarest of unicorns online: a MANUAL passing player. He comprehensively outplayed me and beat me 3-1. He was indeed really good with his passing – I suppose you would have to be, to have the confidence to take a manual passing game online.

The myClub adventure continues, but a fair few savage hidings have given me lots to think about.

Am I cut out for the Quest? Is it even a Quest worth being on? The answer to the latter, at least, still seems to be Yes.

Squad building, player individuality and growth, and an overall pleasing sense of progression: these are all strong elements of myClub, and continue to interest me.

I am bad, and I will simply have to git gud, as we youngsters say online.

Updated: 21st June 2018 — 11:40


  1. NG – even playing Offline on 2018 you rarely got long range goals (I had none) and a only a handful of goals each season were scored from outside the box. Fifa 18 followed suit and nerfed long range goals in one of thier patches.

  2. Abbeyhill – in case you haven’t seen, check out previous thread.

    Broadsword calling Danny boy….broadsword calling Danny boy…..

  3. Turf – apologies, apparently I have to be level 30+ in order to connect with your good self. Truly is an online game mode for the hard core, unlike this myClub shite

  4. Abbeyhill – they’ve updated it to include you there low levellers. I will accept a grunt into the higher rank club but you’re not allowed in the smoking room or dine in the members restaurant on Sundays.

  5. Ever started something you wish you hadn’t?

    The other week I traded in Ashes Cricket which never got any game time from me, for a few games. I played a bit of PES 2017 as I loaded up an OF. Coming back to it was a disappointment on the back of Fifa 18 and still felt like the Zombie style play of PES 2018. I also picked up a copy of Madden 17 for a few quid. I have to confess I know very little about the sport. The options and learning curve on the game is overwhelming. I never knew it was so complex. But I am slowly finding myself quite hooked to the point I was watching an old game from 1969 that was shown on SKY to get some hints. I can easily win on Rookie level but as soon as I go up a level I am getting murdered. Although I have had one game where I lost with a last second field goal. I don’t know if I really want to start of down this path? But is it too late? My head is already hurting…..

  6. I let madden go Darryl, as although I do know the game well, I don’t know it tactically well – when I see the analysis showing defensive moves in particular where they lull quarterbacks into thinking there’s a route that suddenly closes im blown away. Consequently my matches were a bit of a button mash. I was ok on offensive, not all Hail Mary and fourth down going for it, but stopping runs I just sprint clamp smashed, no thought at all really. I guess it’s like knowing how to play cricket and actually knowing how bowling down the leg side to a particular field will yield results.

  7. abbeyhill – earlier I had my first myClub stint for a few days, and played a few offline matches. There is a VERY strong streak of ML’s DNA in the mode.

    Darryl – Surprised you’re not that knowledgable about American football! There’s a strong argument for it being the greatest team sport in the world. I got into baseball partly via a the late-night Channel 5 games of the late 90s, but also via a MegaDrive video game that really drew me in. I’ve never chimed with any of the Maddens – the bits where you control the wide receivers and running backs isn’t what I valaue in the sport, which is all the big-picture strategising that goes on. I’d play the tits out of an American Football Manager game, but there isn’t one.

    I am currently cautiously re-dipping my toe into our Association Football Manager games. Not going to spoil it by talking about it much though. Going well so far.

    Uncle Turf – that’s it, the playing of a Madden game that I never got either. I’m sure many a fan of the sport finds it exhilarating and intuitive to press the ‘juke’ button at the right moment, but it never gelled with me.

  8. NG – of course Madden can be played as manager mode as you can chose the option to be the owner and there is so much depth in the management side of the game and you can make all the play calls. There is a part of me that would be interested in doing this.

  9. NG- Do you remember which baseball game on the Megadrive that was? I’m a sucker for baseball games and have a functioning Megadrive.

    Baseball stars 2 (Neo Geo) on the wii virtual console is an amazing game.

  10. Blimey nG, you must have fallen off your chair when the ref in the England game gave the second penalty in the first half for wrestling in the penalty area.

  11. Scullkin?

  12. Forget that, I know who that is now. Thought it might be here.

  13. Keith – my usually good memory lets me down on the title. I think it was Hardball 95, looking at a few vids on YouTube just now. I remember that when you hit a home run, the game would show you the swing in slow motion and the commentator would say something like ‘he crushed it!’ I am certain of this part. Hardball 95 does look like the one.

    Chris99 – will other referees follow suit though? We all know they won’t. The core principle of Association Football refereeing is that it’s up to how any individual referee feels in the moment. I’ve read that the Colombian referee in England’s first match was twice advised to do a pitchside review on the grapple incidents there, but chose not to. The implication being that referees in general have decided simply not to give such decisions. In the Serbia-Switzerland game you might have seen two Swiss defenders manhandling Mitrovic to the ground in the box – the ref gave a free kick the other way, absurdly. That’s pretty much how it is and will remain. Refs (and fans and pundits) are all signed up to the ‘if you give them all, we’d have 20 penalties per match’ view.

  14. I was surprised at half time when none of the studio pundits even remarked on the creditable decision by the ref to award the second rather than bottle it.

  15. While i am an undoubted party pooper I’m seeing a lack of realism in the reaction to Englands win. ‘There are no easy games at international level’ is bollocks. Panama were/are very poor, you’d be disappointed if your league two team played like that. We always knew they were on course for the quarter finals but it’s the first good team they play that will reveal anything.

    VAR has been farcically implemented. Mitrovic was mugged and got nothing, lindgaard got a penalty for something Sweden didn’t, it goes on and on, we are still none the wiser as to whether a decision will go one way or not.

  16. Chris99 — yes, there is usually a restraint operating in any ref’s mind after one penalty has already been awarded, due to the unwritten rule — which is a rule — that ‘there can’t be too many penalties’, and any team who’s already had one can’t have another one (especially not so soon), etc. etc. So the Egyptian ref’s decisions were an anomaly in football as a whole and not a cause for any hope. I thought the Switzerland-Serbia incident with Mitrovic was the most shocking example of a ref deciding he doesn’t want to award a straightforward, obvious decision that I’ve ever seen. I’ve been looking for a snippet of it somewhere in case somebody reading this hasn’t seen it, but it’s in the middle of general highlights.

    Uncle Turf — I found the match a bit uncomfortable to watch after the first three goals. Strange how so many of the groups are so uncompetitive. I suppose it’s a side-effect of expanding the number of teams.

  17. NG – the uncompetitive nature of the groups is the biggest disappointment. So we have now a few nights of dead rubber games. As for the grappling the TV companies are also complicit in this as the interesting thing was what happened afterwards. No way was there going to be another one. After that the TV shots zoomed out on corners to help take the pressure off the referee.They are all in on the conspiracy.

  18. Darryl – yes the matches between the teams to see who can finish first or second will have some life in them, but will still be of the nature of glorified friendlies. There’s sometimes one group that goes this way at a World Cup, but in this tournament there are two full-on ‘dead rubber’ groups, and three or four others that are almost the same.

  19. I hope this works, link to a clip of the assault on Mitrovic in the Serbia v Switzerland game below. Plenty of conspiracy on this one due to politics but probably just down to the subjective decision making.

  20. Cook – thanks, and plainly one of the most astonishing things you will ever see in football. The referee, remember, gave a free kick against Mitrovic.

  21. I think the jury has now returned with its verdict on VAR…(or at least the current use thereof).

    I’ve had a message from Paul though. In between airing the guns on the beach and doing the Floss in his diamante speedos he said he will send his Pokemon Go trainer code soon and that he was loving Fortnite. Big Lols.

  22. Uncle Turf – I love VAR. Adore it. Watching matches where it ignites huge confusion and controversy is making this World Cup. Long may it reign. Not even kidding – if it lowers the bar for what is a penalty to the level of the handball last night (which not even I would have given), it will fundamentally change football for the better. Ronaldo was definitely let off because he was Ronaldo.

    ‘I hope something weird happens with VAR in this match’ is the extra spice our jaded game needed.

    I’ve been looking for a Pokemon on the phone myself – no joke. I can’t be doing with that Go thing, so I need a straightforward collect and battle thing. Suggestions?

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