In this supplementary post on becoming successful in PES Club Manager, I am bringing in a friend of mine, AlwayzAGamer, to share his insights. He is a fellow two-time Managers Cup champion like myself, having won both online cups in the Regular Division.
Even in online cups, he regularly fields a starting lineup containing at least five 5-star players because he relishes the challenge of bringing the best out of 5-star players. His most impressive accomplishment to date has to be winning the Regular Managers Cup using only one 6-star and one 7-star player in his starting lineup.
AlwayzAGamer has a peculiar approach when it comes to signing players because everyone in his starting lineup is the same age. He is also methodical and detail-oriented when analysing the opponent’s lineup before an important match.
I want to share a different perspective on team management in PES Club Manager; that is, the thought process behind AlwayzAGamer’s unique approach as well as how he strategises against his opponents.
Creating a starting lineup of the same age
You can send up to three players on loan every season in PES Club Manager. AlwayzAGamer begins his recruitment strategy by signing three players at the age of 19, and then send them out on loan. Players of age 18 are quite rare, so he doesn’t focus on them.
In every season, he signs one player from each of these three groups: Goalkeeper/Defender, Midfielder and Forward. This provides balance when developing the team as a whole as there are new faces playing in the defensive, middle and final thirds of the pitch.
In the next season, AlwayzAGamer signs three players at the age of 20. Then in the third season, he signs three players at the age of 21. And finally, another three players at the age of 22 in the fourth season. By the time all players have come back from loan, AlwayzAGamer is able to put together a starting eleven of 23-year-old players.
The rationale behind having a starting eleven of the same age is stamina management. It’s obvious that older players in the team will lose stamina at a faster rate. However, if everyone is of the same age, then the entire starting eleven loses stamina at approximately the same rate. This improves the consistency of the overall team performance.
When the rating of players declines on a consistent basis, he doesn’t immediately release them even if he has already brought in replacements. He keeps them on the bench for as long as he feels that they are still a valuable contribution as a substitute; sometimes even until their late thirties. This can be useful if you find yourself exhausting your scouting list too quickly.
Training players to high overall ratings
Whenever I look at his team, I notice that AlwayzAGamer is able to train his 6-7 star players to high overall ratings with much ado. By high overall rating, I mean 101-103 for 6-star players and 106+ for 7-star players WITHOUT limit breaks.
To achieve this, AlwayzAGamer suggests only signing 6-7 star players that are age 18-21. Because the younger the players you acquire, the more time you have to develop these players before they reach their peak age, which is around 29-30.
He then focuses on providing regular training sessions to these players using 6-7 star trainers until they reach their peak age. Keep in mind that 6-7 star trainers are significantly more difficult to acquire than 6-7 star players. Ideally, you should prioritise these trainers on your 6-7 star players, and not your 5-star players.
With consistent training, along with good performances on a regular basis (hopefully), it is not a tall order for your star players to reach high overall ratings. However, you want to avoid signing early developers because their peak age is around 26, which doesn’t give you as much time to train them before they start declining.
Preparing for a match
AlwayzAGamer does a comprehensive analysis of his opponent’s first team and tactics before any crucial match, especially when participating in online cups.
The first thing he does is compare the opponent’s attack and defence ratings with his own team. Another thing he looks out for is which areas of the pitch does his opponent have more well-developed 6 or 7-star players.
If the opponent’s attack is stronger than his, he’ll make adjustments to improve his team’s defensive capabilities like play a deep defensive line, more players in defence and loose compactness (spread players out to increase the likelihood of intercepting attacks).
If the opponent’s defence is stronger than his, he’ll make adjustments to improve his team’s offensive capabilities like play a higher defensive line, more players in attack and flexible formation (enabling more creative plays in offence).
Next, he looks at the overall strategy of the opponent. Here’s the important part: If the opponent plays the same strategy but has stronger attack AND defence than you, change your strategy. Because if two teams face off using the same strategy but one team has better players, the other team is at a major disadvantage.
AlwayzAGamer has a few suggestions on countering common overall strategies in PES Club Manager. If he faces an opponent playing Out Wide, he would play Down Middle since there is a possibility that his opponent places less emphasis on the centre part of the formation as compared to the flanks. If his opponent is playing Balanced, he would play counter attacking because he wants to channel his focus on getting the ball from the defence to the forwards reliably, and not compete for possession with his stronger opponent.
Note that he doesn’t recommend changing formation against stronger opponents, especially not during online cups because there won’t be enough time to analyse whether the changes were impactful.
However, he mentions a good indicator that it is time to tweak both your primary tactics and formation is when you’re regularly losing to or drawing with teams that are 10+ overall rating lower than you, especially if you are struggling to score.