Nobody Remembers Second Best

True Fact. Nobody ever remembers who came second, and that’s exactly how season 3 has panned out, with a second placed league finish.

With 3 matches left to play, we faced Liverpool, and conceded in the 92nd minute to lose 2-1, Chelsea won, again, and clinched the title, as with 2 matches left, it’s mathematically impossible to catch them.
Every season there seems to be a runaway leader who just don’t lose very often, last few seasons it was Man City, this year its Chelsea, a couple of silly defeats came to be our downfall, with Chelsea only losing 3 all season.
You will recall NG saying many times over on the Chronicles, that ML scripting keeps the player involved by massaging AI results, and that was only mildly evident here, as any time i drew or lost, Chelsea seemed to keep on winning.

Our bid to retain the FA Cup came to a halt in the semi’s too, losing out once again to Chelsea in a very tight, tense 4-2 thriller, they now face Man City in the final, a possible double on for them.

In Europe, once again we got knocked out in the quarters, at the hands of Real Madrid, losing the first leg away 2-1, a valuable away goal, we only needed a 1-0 win at home to go through, and all looked well when in the 18th min we got a nice early goal through a class MBappé finish, but lacked game management, and ended up losing 3-1 to crash out.

The UCL final will be contested between Man City and Barcelona, City possibly on for 2 cups despite a poor league season.

So a trophy-less season for us, filled with such promise after the arrival of MBappé, but one man does not make a team, no matter how good they are, Son Heun Min had a quiet season by his own standards, but my little midfield maestro, Lorenzo Insigne was on fire, as can be seen in the goal scoring table below, his set ball skills are superb and his free kick conversion rate phenomenal, notching 17 goals, 12 of which were free kicks, with still 2 games left to play.

MBappé and Aguero scrap it out over the last 2 games for the golden boot.

So season 4 will start soon, I’m going to try a new game play mod for the new season so we will see how that pans out, and also move up to Superstar level for an added challenge.
New kits will be on the way, and will try to secure a couple of new faces pre-season, a right back as a replacement for Aurier, and a utility player to provide cover in several positions would be handy.

Next week’s post should tie up the last 2 matches of this season, show the new kits, and detail any new signings ahead of season four. Will leave you with a few goals from the back end of this season.

40 thoughts on “Nobody Remembers Second Best”

  1. Up to superstar is a ballsy move after a season of no trophies, Paul, good luck with that. I guess if you’re going to need nigh-on 100 points to win the Premier League then it might be an impossible task regardless of level. Look forward to hearing about the new gameplay mod, which one is it this time? That Insigne free kick was puzzling, it bounced before hitting the net so I’m trying to understand physically how it cleared the wall!

    Just got back from summer holidays, we stayed in Scotland to lessen covid disruption risk, just northwest among the lochs, lots of hillwalking, ferry trips to islands, horse riding etc. Thoroughly enjoyed watching the euros too, one of the best tournaments in memory, helped of course by England almost winning it. Liked the look of Skyrim too Turf although the Switch’s fiddly controls and murky screen were not a great match for it so might get PC version and play it properly


  2. Abbeyhill – Just felt I needed that extra challenge to help lift my own game, although i did not win any trophies, some games felt a little too easy.
    I’m currently trying Hollands ‘Final Edition 1.7’ GP mod, decent so far but the number of fouls I get seem to have drastically reduced, so not sure I’ll stick with it.


  3. It’s that time of year when the football season has dragged on, especially with the merging of seasons due to COVID, and then the euro’s, it’s summer, so people are away on holidays, kids are on holidays so they have less time to sit reading a football blog, and that shows with one single comment on the last post.

    So with this in mind, the blog will be taking a break from new weekly posts until the new games are out and the new season is upon us.
    I’m still invested in my PES 21 Spurs ML on PC, so will post vids and goals and updates in the comments here, so feel free to chip in now and then with thoughts, comments, and whatever else.

    Also, in cased you missed it this week, EA announced FIFA 22 with new rebuilt gameplay, a new Hypermotion system, and an overhauled Career mode, but the most important announcement ….
    Create a Club within career Mode. Big News, EA have finally caved in, in FIFA 22 we can now create our own unique club, kit, etc and take them from nobodies to world beaters, as per PES ML.

    here’s a good video going over the new FIFA 22 news: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX5dR63n7jo


  4. Understandable Paul, makes sense to take a break until everyone’s engagement picks up with the new footy games releases. Could be a really interesting time, with some of the FIFA 22 developments looking promising as you highlight above and Konami likely to come up with something either amazing or embarrassing, who knows. Personally I’m still on my FIFA 20 Ipswich career mode season 5, it’s been ok but not really matching the incredible 15 season campaign on 19. Might wrap it up soon and give 21 some time, plus PES. Unfortunately back down in London half my week again, so a bit of a shift back to Switch/mobile gaming.

    Still keen to hear how your PES2021 plays out, interesting whether the gameplay difference with FIFA compensates for ML shortcomings long term


  5. Yes, it’s not quite there for me yet but academic year end is July so been a bit hectic with stuffing work in before all the permanent staff bugger off for weeks. I’ve played nothing except ESO. I thought I’d tire of the endless missions but just when I think I have it gives me another small boost. It really helps not being in competition with the other onliners,instead often needing their help.

    After the farce of last years non token late fifa purchase I will be an early adopter benefitting from the full bonuses stuff. So remain interested in such news thanks Paul.


  6. Abbeyhill – No point in posting stuff that people aren’t that engaged with yet, so as I said, will still post bits and pieces in the comments here but want to try some new formats for the blog for the new season, more video based posts and something different from the usual “here’s my league position, this is who ive signed, here’s some goals” type posts that i find myself repeating over and over.


  7. Forgot to mention Abbeyhill – am trying a new GP mod, eSim 2022 mod, jurys out at present.
    it changes the powering up of shots, so you have to power up longer, and same for through balls, makes through balls harder and takes some getting used to as Im conditioned to powering up shots in the normal way, the idea is to be able to pull off more low shots and a greater variety.
    Crosses and long balls have been changed to make them more driven and flatter, AI takes more long shots etc.
    Having mixed results with it so far.


  8. Turf – Don’t know if you read watched the video above but EA’s new Hypermotion tech means it uses deep machine learning and is able to write totally new animations on the fly in-game, quite a colossal programming achievement really.
    Means that say you are defending and an AI player takes a shot and you lunge a foot out to block it and the ball deflects off your players foot and loops into your own goal, the AI will recognise this was a negative outcome, and next time a similar situation occurs, instead of lunging a foot out, your player may throw himself in front of the ball, or tackle the shooter, or try something else to stop the shot, but all linked to player traits and stats.

    Unfortunately though the Hypermotion is only available on PS5 and XBOX Series X next gen consoles, not on PS4 or PC.
    So you’ll have to hunt down a PS5 if you this and all the other nifty FIFA 22 features.

    Sill concerned about what PES22 will end up as, if even 1 bld of grass looks or feels like that shithole they released as a network demo a few weeks back, then it will be a disgrace.
    And with a totally new engine, the PC modding scene could be rendered null and void, which would kill a large part of the PES community.


  9. Hey Paul – Enjoy your break, and come back refreshed. Interesting news about Create A Club, hopefully it isn’t just next-gen.


  10. Ok, not sure if anybody has seen the “PES 22” reveal trailer today?
    I say PES 22 with speech marks as there is no longer a PES 22, or any PES of any description, today, ladies and gents, is the day that Konami destroyed 22 years of memories and killed the series off for good.

    2 years plus in development for this:

    So come Autumn, the game, now just called eFootball, will release as a free to play title, with just friendly matches available, come Winter, they’ll add in Online Team building (once known as MyClub), cross platform play so you can play people on a mobile phone, and eSports tournaments.

    No mention whatsoever of any OFFLINE modes, no cups, no ML, nothing, any additional modes will be sold as DLC.

    So over 2 years, cancelling last years release, to develop in a new engine, a free mobile game, which you can also play on console, that i what konami have ‘delivered’.

    The total disrespect and betrayal of fans is unbelievable.

    RIP PES.


  11. #1 – I am still speechless. We should have seen it coming I guess in 2020 with the name changing to eFootball, was only a matter of time before they dropped the PES part.
    But it’s the lies, and betrayal to a massively loyal fanbase that hurts most, just last year Konami are quoted, when explaining whey they skipped PES 21 release, as saying they wanted to focus on building a truly next-gen, photo realistic PES that would take football to a whole new level.

    They certainly did the last part alright.


  12. I was wondering earlier if NG ever looks in on the blog, whether he’s still playing PES in some capacity?
    And if so, what he thought of todays announcement, never again shall we see a day before release thumbshot of the new PES game.


  13. Don’t know if any of you remember me, I used to be a regular poster 10+ years ago on nG’s site. Since that’s gone, didn’t know where else to come. Good to see the spirit is still alive here, it certainly isn’t at Konami.
    Massively disappointing, really feel us Master League players are relics now.
    The writing has been on the wall for Pro Evo. I live in Japan now and it’s sadly the case that practically all teenagers and young guys play Pro Evo mobile these days. Many have a Switch, and there is almost zero interest in playing Pro Evo on a console or PC.
    Cross play between console and mobile? Outrageous.


  14. Welcome Socrates!
    It really is sad, and i still struggle to understand how people play pro evo on mobile? no R1/R2 & L1/L2 buttons, and fiddly controls.

    I guess we all knew the time would come, just didnt think it would be in this manner.


  15. Paul – the thumb shot! Didn’t even realize that. What a crying shame. Retro PES it is then…


  16. Sad to see Pro Evo go this way, but as you said earlier it’s been on the cards for a while now. Glad I jump over to fifa tbh. I’ll always have Sibon and proevo 12 to remind me how good it used to be.


  17. That is an absolute fucking disaster, what a disappointment. Always felt that FIFA over-emphasises 1 on 1 battles with usually just one defender trying to dispossess your player while PES was more realistic so a retrograde step alongside the sacrifice of ML

    Socrates – welcome back to our community, I remember you from way back. Sad thing is that if Konami just released a classic version of PES/Winning Eleven on Switch they would absolutely clean up regardless of price

    Lloyd, indeed, one of my favourite games ever, it was all about Sibon v Ribeiro that year


  18. If they’re going to have crossplay between console and mobile, surely they’ll have to downgrade the gameplay on console to make that feasible?
    Reading around it seems that the main (online) game will be free and other features will be like DLC. So Master League DLC. Of course we are in a minority now, so less and less time devoted to it.


  19. Whichever way you try to cut it, its a disaster. Konami, during multiple magazine interviews and press statements have stated they are developing the game for 1 vs 1 as it offers a more thrilling experience than Player vs Computer, so right off the bat, gameplay will be focused to online, not offline, so any ML DLC will be totally bare bones.
    They are not going to develop an offline mode to any degree that doesn’t fit within their online focused gameplay framework.

    As for the cross play, Konami also stated they develop for consoles first and make mobiles more like consoles, and that the graphics and animations are adjusted accordingly depending on what device you use, but due to the lack of buttons on a mobile phone, the game will surely have to be dumbed right down to accommodate this mass mobile market, which had over 400 million downloads for pes 20/21 on mobile.

    Secondary player press, send player on runs, skills, player selection, finesse dribbling etc are all done with the RS, which doesn’t exist on mobile, I just cant see how the game is playable on mobile devices without getting rid of half the controls.

    its a complete clusterfuck and totally a 180 from what they stated they were going to do when they told us why they were skipping last years release.


  20. Although in fairness crossplay will only be with mobiles connected to a proper controller. Not saying it will be any good mind!


  21. Abbeyhill – where did you hear that? 90% of people play mobile games purely for the mobile aspect, they don’t carry controllers around with them, so kind of renders the whole mobile element pointless if that’s true.

    I see the roadmap says winter: support for mobile controllers, but nothing i have seen states that crossplay is only for mobile devices that use a controller?


  22. Sourced from Reddit:

    Hi, I wanted to jump on this r/ using this dead account to clear a couple things up.

    Although I can’t say exactly where, I work for Konami in a contractual nature. You’re probably sceptical about this and that’s fine, I would be too. You don’t have to believe me.. I probably wouldn’t if I was reading this to be honest.

    Anyway, due to the way Konami games are developed, there are a lot of things I can’t answer, purely because I don’t know. Their ability to stifle information is amazing and should be commended. Our department work in a specific capacity for Konami (and one other game company) so I do have some insights. (We are long term contracted – not “outsourced”)

    There are also a couple of things I’d like to reveal but can’t, as it would make it easy to identify my team and possibly me… and I could lose my job. (That a f*cking love by the way).

    The main reason I’m sharing this info is because I hate the way the reveal was handled and I’m worried (maybe selfishly) that people might be turned off eFootball before the next reveal (allegedly 25th August) and the games success could suffer.

    Spoiler There’s nothing mind blowing here mind, sorry if you were hoping for more juicy stuff than I can provide. (Also I’m on my iPad so apologies for the formatting)

    Ok, I’ll jump right in and cover the main concerns I’ve seen on social media:


    Well, the lords at Konami realise that match making is a real issue. They want to improve matchmaking for 2 reasons.

    They want more matches to take place and keep more players in MyClub in order to generate more revenue from the mode

    They want players to have a better experience and not wait 10 minutes for a match.

    They’re very worried that this would be even longer on next-gen. Having cross play enabled means we (the players) will be matched with an opponent much quicker.


    Yes and no.

    So… if you play offline you will get the full next-gen experience on Xbox Series X & PS5. The visuals and animations are incredible, however they’re not as good as our next generation reveal last year (I bet you’re shocked right??).

    Don’t get me wrong though, they’re far superior to the fox engine and also the Frostbite engine visual EA have demonstrated for Fifa 22. When cross play is released, you will also get the next gen experience if you do online cross play from PS5 to Xbox X and vice verse.

    There will also be “regular” graphical patches for next-gen to further utilise the power of the unreal engine, however I don’t believe these will be free. We’ve not been given any further info on how this rollout will occur.


    Well, for online matches you will have an option to play “cross-gen” or not. If you select no, you will be warned that matchmaking could take longer than normal. If you select yes, you will be matched with someone using either next-gen, current-gen or mobile but you will also be warned that the game play will be “scaled to match your opponents device”.

    Scaling is a huge word here. What it essentially means is that your game will be scaled to match the max potential of the user with the “worst” device. If you match a mobile user, you will essentially be playing a mobile game.

    Restricted visuals & animation cycles. This is apparently quite noticeable however I’ve not had the opportunity to do this yet so I can comment personally.


    Yes, however it won’t be called master league. It’s getting re-branded and I’ll be honest, it’s not getting a lot of “resource” so don’t expect anything amazing if you’re a fan of the mode. Also, it’ll more than likely be January/February when it launches (no price clarification yet)


    I’m not sure, we’ve heard literally nothing in our department about it. It doesn’t mean it’s not there but as we’ve got a list of modes it’s worrying that it’s not on that list.

    6. EDIT MODE????

    Yea there is an edit mode, it’s virtually identical to the current one. No there is no stadium creator and as far as we’ve been told, there are no plans to implement one.

    My final message is to just stick it out until our next reveal. From what I’ve been told, the backlash online has been noted and the next “drop” will clear a lot of things up.


  23. Paul – the good news is that my new phone, Oppo Find X3 Pro, is actually more powerful than your PC so when we crossplay eFootball together you won’t see a performance hit!

    I saw the claim that it only works with a mobile controller in an article on pcgamer.com, may not actually be true I guess if you’ve not seen it elsewhere


  24. Abbeyhill – Since been clarified that you only need a mobile controller if you want to crossplay from Mobile to console… because of the amount of button combos needed, mobile to mobile is normal, its only mobile to console.

    And are you sure about that claim?

    Oppo Phone RAM – 8/16GB UFS 3.1
    My PC RAM – 32Gb DDR 4 RAM

    Oppo Phone memory (HD) – 256GB/512GB
    My PC Storage – 1 x 256GB SuperFast M.2 HD, 1 x 1TB Samsung Evo SSD, 1 x 1TB QualComm SSD

    Oppo Phone GPU – Adreno 660 Mobile Tablet Chipset
    My PC GPU – Geforce 1660 ti Max

    Oppo CPU – Snapdragon Mobile chipset up to 2.8Ghz
    My PC CPU – AMD Ryzen 7 Octacore 4.2Ghz

    I think my PC would still be dumbed down to match against your phone 😉


  25. Haha not sure about that claim at all Paul, just a bit of banter. Impressed by the detail of your reply though! Still struggle to get into mobile gaming, although the graphics are pretty good these days I can’t cope without physical buttons


  26. Late to the party (or is it a wake?) as I’ve only just seen the news – white flag coming out from Konami. PES is clearly stepping back from the fight having been thrashed for years. Clearly I’m not the demographic for this new effort so that’s the end of that for me. Every year since the beginning I’ve owned it, but to be fair it’s been the beginning of the end since 2014. They never recovered from that disaster in my eyes, and frankly haven’t seemed like they’ve cared.

    Mind I wasn’t impressed with FIFA’s pricing. 89.99 used to get you the best part of the console.

    ESO continues to be the thing for me but I intend to wind it down once we approach September. Hopefully will be sharing stories of furious irritation with a rare foray online and a decent punt at career mode.

    Abbeyhill – heading to the borders soon, any suggestions? We know Edinburgh pretty well, I wondered if leith was worth a look, been at least 15 years since we went. Headed up to the kelpies last year, anything similar sort of Peebles and upwards?


  27. All good fun Abbeyhill 😉 – My Mobile gaming is limited to ‘disposable games’ for when im on the toilet, such as snooker, or pool or anything simple, couldn’t play a proper game for the exact same reason, lack of buttons and fiddlyness.


  28. Turf – Shocking news eh!
    It has since been confirmed that master league will be coming, as a separate paid for mode as DLC, but probably not until next year, Jan/feb time, when there is only 2 months left of the current season!!! Only Konami !!
    I can see me playing PES 21 modded on PC for quite some time, installed 250Gb of extra mods over the weekend, easily the best PES to date with all those tweaks.

    FIFA 22 has potential, the hypermotion tech should be interesting and theyve overhauled career mode so will deffo pick that up on PS5.


  29. really sad state of affairs gents, I have a photo of myself holding pes 3 o bought from woolworths in Whitby. My fears of an online orientated PES have come true. In the words of Monty from Withnail and I ” all I have are vintage wine and memories”


  30. Yep Werd, don’t have any vintage wine but still have vintage memories of PES3, what a year that was. From what Paul says I suspect PES’s final single player form will be endlessly modded versions of 21

    Turf – definitely, just back from Kelso, we spend time in the borders every summer. Not many specific ‘activities’ there as such just rolling hills and lots of nice castles, stately homes and gardens to visit. Would recommend staying near Jedburgh or Melrose, our favourite places to visit include Floors Castle, Abbotsford, Coldingham beach, Mellerstain, Dawyck gardens, Jedburgh Abbey & jail etc. Also a fan of Leith, in fact we lived there for 7 years, more lively and multicultural than most Edinburgh suburbs


  31. PES 3, my very first one.
    Abbeyhill – Was “Jedburgh Abbey & jail” all one place to visit, or did you visit Jedburgh Abbey and then end up in jail?


  32. Very cold and spooky place Chris, had a very bad feel to it, would not want to end up imprisoned there

    Still trying to make up my mind about FIFA22. The AI hyper motion tech sounds very clever, but there is a risk, and footage suggests this, that it just means a few extra animations on top of the same gameplay engine. I mean I do like the gameplay, but after several years unchanged it would be nice for it to feel a bit different on next gen


  33. Paul-just finished beazer home Premier league 1988-89 season 😊 I have 21 on the ps5 aching to be edited, back on fallout 4 at the mo, loading times mega quick with the ps5 stable 30fps, no judder.


  34. I will continue playing PES 21 on PC, heavily Modded, until i get bored, as good asthe game with mods is, its still the same shit ML, so its longevity is limited.

    FIFA 22 on PS5 will be where the career mode is this year, so many new additions, that it’s definitely worth a go.
    Apart from the Hypermotion animation system (PS5.XBOX X Only) theres the new ‘master league’ style Create a club mode, will even be able to design your own stadium.
    new press conferences, media stories, revamped board objectives, new match day atmosphere, with crowds getting louder when you play better and quieter when you don’t, boos coming from the crowd when they’re not happy, and crowds will even leave early if you are losing badly.


  35. Howdy fellas, been some time since I last stick some comment here, but still stalling and following your posts anyway :).
    Being bored with PS5 version of PES21 I decided to try how PES will work on my old gaming laptop dell 7559, expecting I won’t be able to play…
    And now I’m installing VirtuaRED cos after tests game plays as same as on PlayStation, no lag, no stuttering, I was shocked really.
    And after watching on yt modded game… god almighty… it’s a masterpiece!
    My only dilemma now is which gameplay mod to use with it, any suggestions fellas? I’ve seen you Paul using Holland on some older posts, maybe ima try that one – even so, there is like couple of versions. Have anyone tried pes2014 version of Holland? Apparently it’s beautiful in it’s chaotic unpredictability. Decisions decisions.


  36. Abbeyhill – thanks, you’ve mentioned a few places I’ve been to but plenty of others I haven’t. Jedburgh and Melrose I know – Jedburgh is a handy coaching stop for us – but Kelso is one of those I seem to skirt round, without ever having stopped in. There used to be an office trip to the races which I declined as veterans told me most of the bus was hammered by the time they got there. In this strangest of 12 months Mrs Turf has decided we are going to do one of the strangest things she’s come up with and go for a walk with some Alpacas near Kelso. I’ll mention Leith and google the other places as some of them are potentially day trippable for us even if we don’t make it this time round.

    Time was I would have been all over an Olympics tie in game right now – loved them back in the day – but the spark isn’t there for me this time round. Hypersports and it’s slightly bizarre selection pipped Daley Thompson and it’s joystick breaking potential for me.


  37. Hi Abbes, good to see you again!
    Remarkably, PES 21 will run on older PC’s no problem, might have to adjust the game settings so that not everything is on high, such as depth of field, net physics etc, but it will run quite smooth.

    I have mine all set to ultra high and have installed a LOD (level of detail) mod, that bumps up the res to 4k, it looks superb!

    VirtuaRed v3 is the best AIO mod out there, hands down, it transforms the game!

    As for game play mods – I have tested them all and i don’t bother with any of them.
    Most if not all of them, might tweak some things for the better but all introduce other crazy elements i dont like such as erratic GK’s, player positionings all messed up, players not being aware of the ball when its next to them, stamina draining easily etc.

    I found that Vanilla DP7 game play is the best, most balanced GP available, in my opinion.


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