Like when Lothar Matthaus looked gutted

Slow but steady progress. When you’re in multiple competitions, things move slowly mid-season.

I’ve played another 5 league matches since last time, and I’m still in the FA Cup, and I’ve finished the Europa League group stage – which gave me one of the most disappointing outcomes in my recent PES history.

Regular readers will know what I always say of the Europa League (or its equivalent): you tend to only get 1 shot at it per Master League, because there’s usually only 1 season when you’re in the betwixt-and-between phase of being able to get up the table, but not finishing in a Champions League spot.

Sometimes there is a second chance at the Europa further down the line – such as having an unexpectedly tough season or finishing 3rd in Champions League groups – but it tends to just be the one time only.

I really wanted to do well in this competition.

The table above shows how close I came. In the final fixture, at home to Fenerbahce, it was in my hands. A win would’ve taken me though in top spot. It ended 0-0, and it was a game I had bossed. The ball just would not go in the net.

Even so, if other results had gone my way, I would have made it… At the final whistle I waited to see what my players would do. They all went into the old ‘Bayern Munich flopping around on the pitch in the pits of despair in 1999’ routine.

Rangers had sneaked into the second spot with a win in their last match. The two matches I played against Rangers in this group showed that they’re decent in PES2019. Maybe I’ll run into Celtic in the Champions League in Season 11, if I get there.

Speaking of which, league form has held up well enough for me to still be Seb Coeing the leaders at the moment:With over half the fixtures remaining, I might move down as well as up, or even stay much the same.

The ‘feel’ of this season so far is that it’s going to be a title-challenging season. I now tend to only lose or draw matches that I feel the game doesn’t want me to win.

And I am still in the FA Cup. Manchester United await in the ML equivalent of the 3rd round in January.

I would like some silverware this season. None won on PES2019 yet, remember. Yes, I won the D2 playoff final, back in the day, but it doesn’t really count.

Finally today, I have scored a bona fide long-range cannonball goal. Very pleased with this one:

Especially with the player scoring it: Montolivo, my young DMF, getting a rare start (he’s an understudy for Mascherano these days).

This was a classic DMF run and finish straight from the PES Golden Age. The pitch markings tell me this was 27 yards or so. Not a super-duper long-ranger, but still a long ‘un.

I have a feeling I won’t ever net a 35-yarder on PES2019 again. I will, of course, keep trying…

Updated: 1st February 2019 — 10:16


  1. NICE medium ranger NG (must be 30 yards or over to be considered long range of course). Imagine your gutted being out of the EL like that. I just got the final 8 myself but lost due to some mediocre Portuguese squad simply due to the virtue of it having to happen. you know the kind of games.
    Silverware seems very much in reach for you!

  2. #1 – I think 25+ yarders can be long-rangers, depending very much on the type of strike and placement in net. The 20-30 yarder R2 curlers I was getting for fun just after release, for example, weren’t long-rangers for me, just nice distance goals.

    I’ve quit a few of the impossible games in the past few weeks for time pressure and found them exactly the same when I come back a few days later. They’re hard-coded.

  3. It’s a nice goal but prior to the new generation it would be nothing that special. 2013 pes is wrinkling its nose in disgust.

    Out of interest how many of us are still playing? Me, you, Abbeyhill (only one of those has got any sort of long term game though), Lloyd are you still millwalling?

  4. Love that long ranger. I’ve given up trying, a few seasons back I got a couple of 20 yarders unexpectedly, possibly both were with that black youth team guy, Worthington or whatever he’s called. What annoys me most is I’ll work the ball to someone in space, plenty of chance to stretch the legs, blast it…..and the keeper 9 times out of 10 holds onto it with that sideways fall to the knees animation, infuriating.

    I did however get the knuckleball goal points thing. I don’t remember who scored it, and I certainly didn’t do it on purpose.

  5. NG – fair enough! And the hardcoded games are definitely in. But they have been in as far back as pes 5 as well to be honest. Have quit many a game back in the day on that one only for the game to try to replicate the outcome over and over.

    Uncle Turf – I still play intermittently but have started my relatively trend of flip flopping. Combined with the fucking around with the Konami updates this spells certain doom for me with the game. I do still get some enjoyment out of it when it behaves though. It still has the potential to be really, really good.

  6. Three bad defeats in a row and the open goal howlers that were forecast and I’m back on basic shooting. It’s really fucking annoying as it went right back to vaguely right, left or centre, there’s no subtlety at all just a big five yard hole within which your shot might end up. Still at least I won’t put it ten yards wide from the penalty spot. I’m doing really badly in the early stages of season two and I’m already discounting promotion. The difficulty means this could have been such a great pes had they not lost some of the more positive traits.

  7. Uncle Turf – the secret controllers of PES will always calibrate the game to give the onliners the most balanced experience, and I think online exploiters were exploiting the long-range-friendly/ier environment that PES2019 offered in the first months after release, which leads us to today where the above goal is a rarity.

    Mike – just keep trying for the long-rangers and inevitably you’ll get the odd one. The % try/succeed ratio is vanishingly small though. nuPES has always been the worst PES era for long-ranger fans and, we now know, it always will. Unless and until PES somehow gets that online monkey off its back, we’re never getting that sublime PES5/PES2011/PES2013 feeling of ‘I cannot believe that went in!’ at least once per session. Once per thirty sessions, at best.

  8. I don’t know Turf, the game is riddled with flaws but still feels like a proper ML experience. On my umpteenth 30th+ restart, this time discarding my full backs for once and copying your 3-4-1-2. Somehow managed to keep Liverpool to 0-0 in a pre-season tournament game using the defaults plus free agent Djilobdji in the centre of the 3, reminded me of PES at its best

  9. abbeyhill – even 10 seasons in the future with all the nuPES shenanigans going on, I still see enough of the ghost of PES to keep moving forward. My annoyance in recent weeks is that that feeling has gone from being present in about 85% of gameplay to about 65%.

  10. must be some sort of a formula not-Greg, %nuPES shenanigans = teamwork stat * (seasons played/10). Even though the gameplay has deteriorated through the patches for me I still get a decent sprinkling of fouls, e.g. 4 in one half during a particularly feisty cup match the other night

  11. A proper ml experience abbeyhill?! – you’ve been on season one for five months!

    I know what you mean but mine has been a stop start experience due to gameplay changes. Previous new pes’s have been a start stop when I’ve hit easy victory street, maybe four seasons at most. This one at least is not easy.

  12. lol fair point Turf, let me rephrase – ‘feels like it could become a proper ML experience if I didn’t suck!’ Not convinced by your 3412 formation so far, just started the season proper with a 5-5 draw against Gazelec

    now that Witcher 3 is complete I’m back onto MGSV, about half way through the campaign, what a game that was!

  13. Ten goals would probably take me ten matches to achieve!

    I’m really struggling already with wages….I simply haven’t had the budget that I’ve had previously. Only got 18 players but I can’t afford to renew some of the veterans (well obviously I can but I’d end up in an NG patisserie valerie scenario). I’m offloading samba as he’s not gained a single point, van der vaart is finally increasing but slowly so I’ll keep him for now, and my keeper Forster is heading downwards so he’s out. Lobato has a stay of execution and I’m only adding the odd defender and hopefully Pepe Reina while trying to tie up those renewals. Far be it from me to say I accept NG’s summary but I do see what he experienced. I will, however, prevail.

  14. I’m so glad I’m not in that ‘space’ with PES, trying to flog a dead horse.
    FIFA is far from perfect, of course, but even the thought of playing PES now just fills me with disappointment and a sense of wasting time.
    And that Konami thing of putting the points column at the beginning of tables, whats that all about !?!! It’s like the american MM/D//YY format, just wrong.

    Commiserations on the EL exit NG – we all know the difficulty is ramped up in ML for cup comps, and you only just narrowly missed out.

  15. abbeyhill – I haven’t had 4 AI fouls in one match for about 5 full seasons now. Quite often these days I don’t even get 4 AI fouls in 4 matches.

    Paul – so glad I’m not in that space either. Imagine where you’d be with FIFA if you were constantly stop-starting in the elusive search for perfection. No, the only true footy gaming way is to start at the beginning and go remorselessly on to the end, and do not stop, ever, until you are dead.

  16. No game will ever be perfect, and i don’t think any of us expect it to be.

    But having to constantly re-start and make provisions for the games shortfalls, thats not something i could put up with.

  17. Paul – from my perspective there are no shortfalls that I can’t deal with simply by moving forward and progressing. Without being too critical of all the restarters, because we can all do what we like, I suspect they’ve created the appetite for dissatisfaction in themselves by restarting all the time. There is a PES equivalent of FIFA Slider Syndrome, and they’ve got it in bucketloads. Darryl used to have it to a massive degree but look what he’s been able to do simply by keeping going.

    p.s. I got logged out of the WordPress account I use to comment on your blog, and somehow can’t seem to log back into it, and have tried to comment this morning but I think it’s gone into your moderation queue as a new commenter.

  18. NG – personally speaking, I only ever restart a ML or CM if something goes drastically wrong. Such as being sacked on Challenge mode, or a ML save becoming corrupt somehow, I could never ditch a multi-season ongoing save no matter what, but its obviously totally up to each individual what they do.

    But I meant from the perspective of multiple restarts because the games design or flaws limits the persons ability to either a) enjoy or b) carry on with that save.
    In either game, not just PES.

    No posts from you, and nothing pending for moderation.

  19. Paul – I had another go at the comment and it worked, but the gravatar looks different. I had the comment copied, always wise when it looks as if it’s going to be trouble.

    The only time in living memory I have ever restarted ML was in PES2011, when the Advanced Start glitch gave me an Advanced Start – Defaults-with-riches, when I’d wanted the regular Defaults-with-poverty start – and so I restarted. I’ve also in recent years done 1 or 2 sample MLs in the first days after release, just to take a look at the mode and get a feel for it, but they were never more than that. Other than these exceptions, to restart ML is the death of ML. We have to care about what’s happening, and care a lot, or it’s never going to work out. Restarting is pretty much just telling the part of us that feels things about a footy game’s career mode, that it doesn’t matter very much. Abbeyhill’s case study this year might seem to be an exception, but it’s one of those that proves the rule, as he cares very much about the mode in the way he’s chosen to play it. He’s not rinsing and repeating after the first dodgy session. Not saying others are doing that of course. (They totally are…)

  20. NG – got the comment. Of course PES11’s restart was forced upon you though and was almost immediate, i meant after several seasons, restarting because fixtures dont go your way, or because you dont like aspects of what the game does etc, thats the ‘making allowances for a games shortfalls’

  21. Paul – well, taking ‘several’ to mean ‘three or more’ seasons, at that point somebody who doesn’t like the game is wasting their time restarting.

  22. I’d suggest it’s the other way round – multiple restarts because it disatisfies. Low cross syndrome (it was so totally a thing) completely arsed up every ml I tried. Challenge is quite clearly broken. Updates that have changed the play quite significantly. My tolerance for a journey that embraces all these failures is just lower than yours. I’m already expecting to get to season four and find it becomes ridiculously easy (again) and I hurl the game out of the window. Things haven’t been the same since the world hated 2014. Everything in my view can be traced back to that initial monstrosity. It’s like coke responding to the outcry over their new formula by saying ‘ok, back to the old stuff’ (Smithers, turn the hose on and water down their brew). Or when Jed Bartlett tells god ‘you get hoynes’.

  23. P.s anyone who says last nights superbowl was dull is a misguided fool.

  24. Uncle Turf – one of the best Superbowls ever really. Akin to the fabled frame of snooker with extended bouts of safety play and small breaks and lots of errors. Two years ago was a great game for different reasons. My only gripe is that pre-match I put a fiver on Rams to score the first touchdown. Waiting until Q4 for the first touchdown added a lot of spice to proceedings. Lost my money of course, but the added value was worth every penny and then some.

    Speaking of bets, my bookmaker wasn’t offering a ‘Liverpool to be awarded a penalty’ for tonight’s fixture at West Ham. Otherwise I’d have stuck another fiver on that. The % chance of any ref pointing to the spot, given reasonable excuse, is very high. Last week’s non-decision performed a ‘reset’ of the psychology thereof. So instead of putting the fiver on a penalty I’ve put a fiver on Salah to score in the first half. (When they get the pen, he’ll take it.)

    Re. PES2019, when has it ever been ‘ridiculously easy’ for you??

  25. 2019 hasn’t. But 2015-18 weigh heavy on my mind. 2019 is evolving with every update into just another one of that quartet. All of which were bust within a handful of seasons.

    Clearly not on legendary difficulty though.

  26. Uncle Turf – I’ll stick my neck out and say you’ll never see the difficulty collapse on PES2019. Mostly of course because the game massages outcomes to suit.

    On a related note, I’ve just seen this on the Reddit PES forum. Easily the worst example of its kind I have ever seen. Clipping fans, get some popcorn:

    WTF Konami decided this will be a goal, I’m done with this game ! from WEPES

  27. Turf – That’s what I meant, the games massive flaws ruining the user experience so much that you are forced to restart, seeking some kind of ‘better playing field’ – I dont have the time or patience for that hence why I lasted 2 seasons on PES 19 before ditching it.

    Sunday’s Superbowl was a defensive masterclass by the Patriots, very akin to a snooker frame as NG said, it was all about the tiniest margins.

    That is possibly the worst evidence of clipping I’ve ever seen.

  28. Paul – it’s terribly wonderful isn’t it? After each single instance of it, you think that’s it, but no, there’s more. In the thread itself as you may have seen they’re taking it as evidence that the goal was ‘pre-loaded’ in the game’s coded innards, and nothing was allowed to get in the way. I’ve often remarked here that we’d be shocked if we knew how little agency we actually exert over football games, with the prime evidence being when you step out having paused the game, but don’t press Pause properly, and come back to find the game playing itself, and usually not scoring.

  29. NG – It was either a serious case of clipping, multiple times that happened to lead to a goal, or as you say, a pre-determined action that was trying to force through a goal.

    If a game is ‘pre-scripted’ to be a defeat for the player, and its 0-0, and you just play the ball about in defense, not close enough to your goal to cause any such event, and do that for the whole match, I wonder if the game would just finish 0-0 or whether some kind of weird skullduggery would happen to force the goal ??

    Clipping issues happen on FIFA too, and just about every other game ive ever played, but that’s the worst case I’ve seen.

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