So I got promoted to the Premier League in my PES2012 Master League career. It took me 4 seasons, mostly playing on Regular difficulty. I’ve enjoyed PES2012 so far, but now comes a test both for the game and for myself: Professional difficulty, in the top flight.
I will see how it goes. I’m not above dropping back down to Regular if it all proves too hard for me. I’ve also set aside a fallback gamesave in case of the sack.
First of all, I created a couple of new kits with which to grace the Premier League. There they are on the right—the Home kit on the left is modelled by my stalwart front man, Doyle; and one of my new players, a Malinese striker named Samassa, sports the Away kit on the right.
The striped Home kit is one of my favourite types of kit over the years. I think I’ll hold onto it for 2 seasons, and just change the Away kit next season. I’ll see how I feel when the time comes.
Next up, transfers, transfers, transfers. I wanted new players and considerably better players, and as many as possible. Team harmony be damned. There is no player currently on my books whom I wouldn’t sell for tuppence in exchange for an 80 OVR striker with a hint of awesome about him. My existing players are good, but none are really great. Not even Irjescu.
But I couldn’t operate properly in the transfer market until August 1st. The game didn’t recognise me as a Premier League team until that date. It’s a perennial issue with the logic behind Master League. You get promoted, but the game world doesn’t ‘know’ you’re no longer in Division 2 until the actual start of the next season, which is August. So, for the few months after winning promotion, you have to put up with players not wanting to sign because they “don’t want to drop down a level”.
So I was handicapped in the transfer market, unable to sign many players because they thought the club was still a Division 2 outfit. Piss.
What I did have was plenty of money. After all the sums were recknoed up, I had something like £5.5m to spend. That’s after existing wages. Wow.
Before I started hunting, I decided I wanted a CB, an AMF, and a top CF, plus two or three others as cover. I got the three players, but they weren’t as good as I wanted them to be. They’ll do for now. Sadly, though, I just didn’t have time to get anyone else. Time ran out, thanks to that problem I mentioned a few paragraphs ago. Not good, Konami, not good at all.
These are the three new players:
J. FUNES MORI (CB/SB, 73OVR)—a worthy addition to stand alongside Bikey in the heart of defence. Cotsload and Jaric will understudy for them both.
J . COOK (SMF/WF, 70OVR)—a two-footed versatile midfidler, no relation to the Cook I had in season 1 who left on a free
SAMASSA (CF, 74OVR)—a Mali international, with a good turn of pace to offset his disappointingly weak shot.
Only one of them, SAMASSA, was a transfer in. I paid £600,000 for him. The others were Frees.
I’ve yet to land a front man with a truly lethal bullet of a shot. I find myself looking hard at two stats: shot accuracy and power. If either are below 70, I’m not looking at that player any longer (unless they’re a Youth). Ideally I want one of them above 80.
I had many transfer near-misses, of which a couple were worthy of discussion.
I nearly signed Regen Frank Lampard, currently 17 years old and just 56 OVR. I found him while searching for players with the Long Ranger skill card. I made him an offer, which he accepted, and I got all excited. Then I saw his wage demand. He wanted £800,000 a year. I couldn’t believe it. I made a counter-offer of £350,000. That was still extortion, but at least I could afford it. He broke it off.
Next was some great AMF off the Free Agent list. I forget his name. He wanted a salary of—I almost had to lie down when I saw—£3,845,000 per year. Three million, eight hundred and forty-five thousand pounds per year. This was after the calendar had ticked over to Season 5, by the way. The game-world ‘knew’ I was now in the Premier League, and I think it had scaled things up accordingly.
So I didn’t sign him either.
I put a load of players on the transfer/loan market, and got no offers for them. Not even an enquiry to take my young CB, Mandelli, on loan, which was disappointing.
I had 27 players in my squad and had to release a few. Well, I didn’t have to—the finances were still very healthy—but I didn’t want too large a squad with players moaning every week about not playing.
I released Ruskin and Do Prado. Ruthless of me, I know, and I should even have released a few more. Jaric and Clarke will be next to go in mid-season, I think.
And I hate to say it, but Irjescu’s best days may be behind him. So far in the Premier League, on Professional, he’s not the same player he was in Division 2 on regular. He’s even lost a point of OVR, down to 69 now. He’s the only Default player left in my First XI, which is as seen in the image above. (Except for Jacobs in goal. Ahmet has taken over as my permanent no. 1 keeper.)
It was the eve of September and I still had £4m in the kitty.
I upgraded my Athletic Coach to Level 3, and the Doctor to Level 2. I upgraded the Fan Club and Marketing budget to levels 2.
I kept a million in reserve to spend in mid-season. I might be able to line up a really big player by then.
After all the fun of pre-season it was onto the matches themselves. When I saw the opening fixtures I thought it could have been worse:
Two tricky away games and a single home match.
I lost the first two matches, away to Blackburn and Newcastle respectively. The games weren’t bad. I more than held my own most of the time. I had feared being overrun on Professional. I went down to odd goals, losing both 1-0.
But I beat Wolves at my place 2-0. All in all, not the worst start to the season.
The real test will come when I start playing the big boys. Then I’ll get some idea of how life on Professional difficulty in the top flight is going to treat me. And also how PES2012 will shape up as we get closer to the year 2012.