Season 2 is well underway. I spent pre-season and the month of August wheeler-dealering.
My concerns about my settings – Fairly Hard for Negotiations; Small for Transfer budget – were that they’d be too hard. Now I’m concerned they’re too easy. So far I have not failed to sign a single player I’ve gone after, with Free Agents in particular being the proverbial piece of piss to sign up. I got Free Agent Flamini, for example, aged 36 but still good for a year or two in the Championship, for a third of his asking price.
I have fleshed out my squad in most areas, and trimmed down in others. My Season 2 First XI, Formation, and Squad:
My most important player right now? MATTHEUS. He’s a 30-something journeyman who won’t last long past Season 3 or 4, I think, but for now he’s very much my Kante.
Mattheus is emerging as one much greater than his modest stats, controlling matches, and popping up with the odd goal. Mattheus is playing on the left side of centre-mid in the screenshot above but I think I need him square in the middle, in front of Flamini, so Castledine might have to move back out wide. I’m fiddling with things.
I have had lots of offers for Castledine, but so far not taken them, and so far none have triggered his release clause. Realistic picture on the right of my avatar, looking like Jeremy Clarkson in the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? hotseat, thinking over the latest Casteldine offer. ‘Hmmm, shall I? Nah.’
My other transfer highlight for a different reason is Pjaca, the striker currently holding down a starting berth. Drury calls his name as Piazza. He was also a Free and he also wanted over a million in salary to sign. Last year I’d have bumped that down to about £800k and massaged his feelings with scoring and appearance bonuses, and that would have made about an 80% chance of signing, and chances were I’d have got him.
This year, suspecting that something is screwy with the ‘Fairly Hard’ setup, I bumped his wage all the way down to £400k and offered NO bonuses. And he signed.
There are plenty of other stories of my squad – aren’t there always? Canning at left-back is the reincarnation of Ruskin – I’m going to keep him and develop him, and I plan to see him running the line in a Champions League Final.
Vitor Hugo at CB will inspire many a punning post title in the weeks to come.
Karlsen at SS has so far done little to justify my decision to hang onto him this year (check today’s compilation vid for a hilarious ‘miss-kick’ of his).
Begovic at GK is as solid and dependable as I wanted him to be when I snapped him up on another cheap Free. But his understudy, Youth promotee Beto, should be my club goalie long-term.
The table after 11 matches of Season 2:
A short compilation vid today, with goals and some amusing highlights. All action on Top Player difficulty.
It starts with the AI failing to score from a shooting-range free kick (0 conceded in all of PES2020 so far).
Then there’s a sequence from about the 20-second mark onwards that shows the end of a match versus Leeds when it was 0-0 and 1) I scored, 2) they equalised almost straight from kickoff, and 3) I scored the winner straight from my kickoff (in alarmingly easy style, it should be noted).
There are a couple of goals in the mix from the aforementioned Mattheus. Mid-rangers. (Still no laces long-ranger in PES2020 for me.)
And the video ends with me creating a team goal that I actually liked – because the finish was from mid-range and in off the post.