Season 7 rolls on and the Dog & Duck AFC were fighting on three fronts, the Premier League, FA Cup and the Uefa Champions League.
I say were as a torrid, turdery induced performance saw us dumped out of the FA cup as holders in the quarter finals against Wolves, in a dismal game that once again boosted Wolves into a Barca-Brazil 70's hybrid, with the physicality and finishing of 80's Liverpool, a 4-2 defeat probably flattered us, we won't be retaining the FA Cup.
Although the game preceding the Wolves match was a rare Golden Unicorn of the PES world, a game with fouls:
We were drawn in a tough UCL group, with Athletico Madrid and AC Milan the favourites for qualification, our first season in the competition so expectations were low, but hopes high.
We drew our first 4 matches, then lost to Milan, leaving us bottom of the group after 5 matches, but still able to qualify if other results went our way, we needed Athletico to beat Milan, and we needed to win at least 3-0 to go through as runners up on goal difference, a tall order.
We did our bit, a resounding 3-0 thumping of Anderlecht, it could have been double that, no wonder they left the pitch hanging their heads in shame, but unfortunately, the ML scripting gods were not playing ball that night, as Milan and Athletico drew 1-1, we missed out by a point, and drop down into the KO stages of the Europa League.
Those 4 draws really killed us, one more win and we'd have been through, but we get another tilt at the Europa league, a competition often bunny hopped when playing a ML campaign, hoping to go one better than last seasons Europa Quarter finals, and things started well after dispatching Ajax in the last 32, 3-1 on aggregate, next up in the last 16 is Spurs.
It's been a strange ol' season so far for star striker, Maolida, who has only played a handful of games due to picking up 3 separate injuries, each keeping him out 2-4 weeks, so he's missed a fair few games, and with the signing pre-season of youth re-gen Jamie Vardy, Maolida's instant return to the team hasn't always been guaranteed due to the form of Vardy, who's player ID in PES is very Vardy-esque, the way he runs, shapes his body etc, you can instantly tell when he's on the ball.
He's a great backup to have, as shown last in the clip below where he holds off the defender to finesse place the shot into the far corner, the clip below also contains a couple of other PES gems, a Penalty FOR ME!!!! And a 35 yard Free Kick, plus another standard goal against Milan that I liked just for the pure randomness of goals you can score where you see the keeper completely wrong footed and rooted to the spot.
As I've mentioned previously, my team is setup to counter attack, this means we are usually out-possessed but when we do get the ball, the aim is to make that possession count, far too many COM teams get the ball, and pass around at the back aimlessly for 10 in-game minutes without actually creating anything, our brand of football is cut-throat, emphasised clearly in this following clip where Arsenal hit the post then we hit them on the break and within 10 passes the ball is in their net:
My current starting XI is shown below, a good Avg rating in each position and a very high TS, essential in this game, anything below 85 and your team plays like Sunday pub players, lack of runs, cohesion, everything really, TS is a great idea and I hope it stays but I'd like to see it levelled out and refined, you shouldn't need a level of 95+ to see your team playing as they should, on the flip side, I don't feel new signings have a big enough impact on TS, it may take a little hit the first 2 or 3 games but after that its all back to normal.
I'd like to see the TS affected depending on not just whether the player is a good fit for your team instructions and tactics, but if he's from another country, his age etc all should play a factor, as should his personality traits which are shown in the player stats page, but I'm not sure what actual purpose they serve currently.
8 Matches left of the season, we are still in with a fighting chance of the title, being only 4 pts adrift, but Liverpool just keep on winning and are notoriously hard to score against, the board objective is to finish 6th, which we should definitely achieve, the realistic target is guaranteed Champions League football again next season and a push at the Europa League.