Smells Like Team Spirit

Apologies for the missing post last week, i planned to post it up Friday, but after rewiring all my gaming/cinema room tech due to fitting a new surge protected socket, I then went to fire up the gaming PC and couldn’t get a signal out of it, spent 45 mins turning it on, off, etc but no good, and due to other things I had to do, I had to leave it.

Turns out where Id moved stuff about, the HDMI cable had pulled out of the back of the AV receiver that the PC runs into, that was all, Schoolboy !

Been a busy week so not that much to report on the ML front, I removed the game play patch I was using, it does some good things, but also introduces other issues which were agitating me, so back on Konami Vanilla GP.

Team Spirit (TS) is slowly increasing, and it really is a ball ache to play ML with a TS rating under 75, even there its a bit shoddy still, it affects runs, positioning, passes, tackles, everything, and not surprisingly, as my TS has increased, results have started picking up a bit, including a 3-0 away demolition of Chelsea, who were sat in 3rd place.

Europa League Spots are going to be our best hope this season I feel use it as a springboard, sign some better quality and give it a go next season.
We need some better quality out wide on both flanks, as I prefer to play Saint-Maximin as a Support Striker, using his pace to get in behind.
We’ve had a bid for Rafinha of Leeds Utd accepted, he will join in January, which will give us more pace on the right side.

It is still such a joy to play PES21 with its slower more considered game play, after the frantic rush and attack of FIFA 22, but I’m still getting caught out by the FIFA muscle memory, and the way you need to play PES is vastly different.
Its a nice thing to have a PES modded up ML on the burner though to pick up and play when the urge arises.

I also downloaded Madden 22, I got it free as a subscriber to EA play, the presentation is superb, so detailed, and I enjoyed the few games I play, I just have absolutely no clue which play to pick and when so mainly play a passing game, going for the hollywood touchdown pass everytime.

A small handful of goals, nothing special but a nice variation from my last couple of games:

218 thoughts on “Smells Like Team Spirit”

  1. I know what you’re thinking, and there’s no one more disappointed in me than me. The lure of the big money, cheque book management, seven points clear in Ligue 1 (its dec 1 in the crossover Asia/Europe season 2/3). But it’s a very badly run squad – some huge ageing earners and a salary budget worse than Thailand! I can afford two name players – not even one star (Harry Kane is on double my budget). It’s an old squad, bottom heavy in the full backs I don’t use. They have seven keepers ffs! It’s a project, and yes I have mbappe but when his contract comes up I doubt I’ll be able to keep him. So don’t hate me, I will make this right by going back to my ml roots one day but give me this one chance…


  2. wel done uncle turf a title in pes 2021 is an achievement wherever its. if i get attached to a club an squad of players i keep that on its own save file and play it sometimes, not often tho as the story continues wherever i head to. will be interested to hear how the psg adventure turns out, you will want to take brandt with you but will he get a game! whatever happens you still habe a proper default starting game to play yet?

    i have given up legend difficulty for now but will be going back to try it. im trying to like manual passing in an old superstar save and its hard to like much, when it works it feels great but when it doesn’t work out it feels so horrible. if theres no master league efootball 23 news soon i will be doing a south american defaults career for the 3rd time in pes 2021 lol


  3. Think I might have shot myself in the foot. Ligue 1 has been unplayable. Ridiculously fast, keepers that can’t be beaten, teams way below me suddenly playing like 1970s Brazil. I’ve been knocked out of the cup on penalties and lost every league match since – one of them to two ludicrously scripted own goals. It’s the old boiling a frog thing – I think had I nurtured a team to Ligue 1, gradually improving it then the reaction might not have been as insane, but to come in and inherit mbappe, neymar, di maria, and a seven point league lead seems to have sent it into overload. I’m going to give it a few weeks but might call it a day with the intention of being a one club man and trying to survive a season in a division two somewhere. Thailand gave me confidence I can compete in 2021 but this is not what it should be about.


  4. Played another 3 matches then pulled the trigger on a restart. It settled down but I found there was no enjoyment at all – where’s the reward from Mbappe scoring against Metz? – it was so like a Fifa online match, sprint, through ball, score then watch helplessly as the AI went for similar. Newcastle again, Championship again, unfinished business.


  5. fair play Turf – I had a bad feeling about your PSG move but admire your spirit in giving it a go! There is still an underlying suspicion I have that PES is only good in lower leagues these days; once you have great players it degenerates into a shit-fest. That certainly was my PES2019 experience. Adriano and not-Greg’s never-ending careers on PES2021 give more cause for optimism.

    In Italy I lost meekly in the playoffs season 3 after that horrendous late season slump. I went for a big overhaul of squad, formation, tactics for season 4. However, after a mixed W2 D1 L3 start (exactly the same as you at Millwall Turf?) out of nowhere I got the ‘win next game or sacked’ summons. A panicky 3-3 draw later and that was that.

    So an umpteenth restart with the defaults. In search of inspiration I have kept the default Lecce tactics – 4-3-1-2 with short passing and possession, in contrast to my usual counter attack long ball style. Usual difficult first season so far, although Goios and Mihailov are a decent front pairing


  6. It’s hard to know based on my experience Abbeyhill but it certainly went from enjoyable contest (although probably a little too easy), to 100mph nonsense. The comment on NGs video about the AI scaling based on your team overall sounds plausible – if NG is keeping players below 80 then he would be getting fairer matches. PSG was ridiculous – Mbappe simply wasn’t worth having.

    Glad you were sacked in so far as it proved my Millwall wasn’t an aberration – although commisserations, it’s ridiculously unfair. Newcastle is going ok but I’m losing too many I should be drawing. I wonder if the potential for sacking is linked to the club, or whether they don’t recognise irl likelihood (i.e would I fair better in terms of patience if I was at Luton?) I have managed to get hold of my boy Brandt for January – I wonder if he will be just as useful in the Championship, I suspect nowhere near that freedom.


  7. yeah I was reading that interchange on AI scaling with interest although am undecided either way. It’s always a nightmare with the defaults and the first few decent signings make such a difference in easing the difficulty. Although, as you say, too many star players and the gameplay can become horrendous. Personally I think the AI scales up at a constant rate every season in expectation your team is developing but then there is a pile of other checks and balances that can kick in if your team is too good or bad, plus a big dollop of randomness on top

    you would hope that starting with the defaults should ‘reset’ any club expectations meaning %chance of sacking would be the same at Coventry or Man City? Hopefully Brandt and Piatek together should be potent combination, although a shame to see Castledine sacrificed….


  8. Filthy session for me tonight – six games where there was never a chance of me winning. Lost the lot to hit bottom of the league again, two goals scored all night. I’m now on 30 games and have got 16 goals, aside from Piatek doing the turn and shoot thing it’s proving almost impossible to score – Brandt doesn’t add anything Arcas can’t provide, he just doesn’t run off the ball like in Thailand. I suspect it’s the tight marking. I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t win another match and get the boot. If so I’m going to have to look at every aspect of my game – formation, players, tactics, even the camera as dear old NG was by his own admission never the best player among us yet he seems to have cracked it. I very much haven’t. How he avoids being sacked is a real mystery.


  9. Overnight I considered my options and have just had a couple of lunchtime matches where I moved the spine of the team one place forward – DMF became CMF, CMF to AMF and AMF went in between my two strikers as an SS. The idea was to overwhelm the AI because I can’t stop conceding at the best of times. I got a 1-1 draw with Norwich and a 1-0 win against Sheff Wed. May just be session balancing but I was pleased with the options and Rice in the CMF hole can do all the work needed to cover. It does mean needing three forwards though so an old friend dropped by to help out (now on the Uncle Turf you tube channel – you can get him for less than 4k in wages). No longer bottom but I suspect the 21st spot is going to rely on some generosity.


  10. unlce turf, you are still in your early pes 2021 careers, it takes age to setle down in this game. I got sacked on all of my first careers all the way back when it came out in 2020, dont thing I got any momentum for months,

    I did have a break on pes 6 on the 360, played a seson in my old save.

    in pes 21 I have picked it up again this week and just been sack on legend career. it is like starting again!

    the great thing about pes 21 is that it never gets replaced!. we allways used to move on when the next one came out but thats over

    efootball master league is the only thing that could replace and ther is no sign its ever coming & thats ok with 21


  11. Thanks Adriano2 – and maybe things are turning a corner? Absolutely rank season for me, I really don’t understand how I can recruit quality players in piatek, Brandt and a couple of others, yet matches progress in exactly the same way, with similar misses, bad passes and a lack of anything new. It’s almost like the players don’t matter until your team spirit or whatever the number is has increased sufficiently. I scored 25 goals all season! 8 wins, 11 draws and lost every cut scene (they counted two derbies in my schedule which meant a number of ‘let’s build momentum before the derby’ encounters). I finished second off bottom and feel like I would have done just as well with Hervey, Redmond and the like. And yet…and yet… they didn’t sack me! I’ve been binned for much better than this. My video highlights have very little to show but into season two with Newcastle.


  12. interesting comment Turf and it certainly got me reflecting on my PES2021 efforts so far. Now you mention it, every single one of my many ML attempts/restarts has played out the same way, with dismal performances and results for the first two seasons, desperately struggling to hit the chairman’s downgraded target. And this has been regardless of whether the squad has been stuffed full of expensive loanees or basically just the defaults. And also regardless of my increasing ‘skill’ after several hundred hours of gameplay. Does add credence to the theory that PES ML is a JRPG with little scope to diverge from the pre-ordained path


  13. It is very odd Abbeyhill. I have always wavered on the scripting – in a game like Championship Manager we know you can reload the same match 20 times and lose all 20, but in PES where your input can surely influence the path of the ball, etc – even allowing for the known cheating, dodgy ball physics, etc etc you would expect a bit of variation from bringing in a couple of top players, or packing the team with young developing guys, or sinking it all into a great keeper. It seems to make no difference whatsoever. And I can also say I’ve never been walloped on a regular basis either – no 5-0s, it’s always 2-0, 2-1, lots of draws. Almost makes me feel like simming the entire season.


  14. coincidentally I did get walloped 5-0 last night by Ascoli, experimenting with tactics after a wretched sequence of results. But usually it’s long sequences of 0-0, 0-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1, entire sessions when goal scoring is impossible. Season 1 of Lecce restart was miserable, scraping 17th place thanks to the 18th placed team failing to beat 19th final day of the season. At least that gave €8m to salary budget for reinforcements.

    Signed a new striker called Ponce and reverting back to 4-3-3 long ball counter attack tactics after the boring ineffectiveness of tippy-tappy football. Arcas and Castledine either side of him; Rice, Hettich and new signing Kraev scuttling around behind like demented spiders. Giorza, new CBs, new LB and Melikov and we’re good to go for season 2.


  15. My season 2 Newcastle is 3-4-3; Reina, Morgan (regen), Pongracic, Collocini (regen), Rice, Torres, Capaldo, Brandt, Arcas, Piatek, Nino (regen). In other words it’s a big overhaul with few players I’ve had before (Pong, Brandt and the defaults – and Brandt is on borrowed time for his wage). And maybe because it’s ingrained in me or the game is locked onto a certain path it seems so hard to generate different matches/scores.

    As Bob Paisley said though – it’s not about the long ball or the short ball, but the right ball.


  16. the scripts is a fact in pes and all editions and anyone saying diffrent hasnt played it. not just matches but big scale scripts for league tables and for form too.

    gotta say that my careers start have been different since the early days, you are both still finding your feet with the game! I used to have same starts out too

    current save is a default challenge, superstar, la liga, 75% thru the season 1 and am 3rd. it does pay off in the end

    still waiting for efootball master liga, I am starting to think itll never happen,

    might be pes 2021 for ever. good!


  17. wow, I can’t even imagine taking the defaults to 3rd place in La Liga Adriano, some serious skills there – no wonder you sometimes flirt with the impossible Legend difficulty!

    With regard to me (and Turf) still finding our feet with the game I have just checked my cumulative stats on PES2021. Played 917, won 258, drawn 268, lost 391, scored 635, conceded 925. Oh dear.


  18. abbeyhill,. I remember the greg on peschronicles had a strat that I adopted which is to play for 0-0 and just steal a goal if you can, the way a lot of spanish n italian teams do. it does work but you have to be disipline about it. when you hav a few of them matches you start working out the ai, it almost always hits on the break, answer is simple, don’t let them have breaks! I slide in and take them out if I have to. rather get a 0-0 with 9 men than lose 0-1 with 10 or 11! I’m a dirty player and I dont care lol


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