In two short days, the latest installment of the greatest football video game series ever will be released. FIFA 12 will be released in the United States (no, Winning Eleven is not better, no matter what you guys say).
As a college student, this is a very scary situation, as I have been known to waste hours upon hours in front of FIFA playing game after game after game. I get very easily addicted to FIFA, and once I get addicted, it is very hard to stop playing.
But as a football fan, I'm extremely excited. I preordered my copy earlier this summer, and even though I'll have to wait before I can get my hands on it and start playing, I'm still excited just to mess with the new game mechanics, try out different formations, check out the new game modes, etc. Yes, I am a nerd.
As a Totteham fan, the team I'm most excited to check out is, of course, Tottenham. Sadly, in FIFA 11, the team was too weak to compete with the big boys, and I had to resort to using Real Madrid most of the time, but I'm hoping FIFA 12 will allow me to go back to using my Spurs as my primary team.
Thanks to the help of some leaked files and videos from people who've gotten their hands on the game already, I have been able to see the player ratings for each player in Tottenham's squad on FIFA 12.
Let's see how things stack up.
GK – B. Friedel 81
GK – H. Gomes 80
GK – C. Cudicini 76
EA Sports' FIFA games are notorious for putting experience and reputation over form, and it can clearly be seen here.
Gomes, who has fallen to third-choice goalkeeper at Tottenham and made a number of clumsy and erratic errors last season, still somehow manages to maintain an 80-rating, which is fairly solid for a goalkeeper in FIFA.
Meanwhile, Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, one of the brightest goalkeeping talents in football today, gets only a 78 in the game.
Otherwise, the ratings look fine to me. Friedel probably could've been rating a point or two lower, and Cudicini could've been rating a couple of points higher, but overall, the ratings for those two goalkeepers aren't very controversial.
RB – V. Corluka 76
RB – K. Walker 76
LB – B. Assou-Ekotto 78
CB – W. Gallas 81
CB – M. Dawson 80
CB – L. King 80
CB – Y. Kaboul 76
CB – S. Bassong 75
Both in FIFA and in real life, Tottenham's defense is what holds them back from being a truly fearsome team in the Premier League and on the European stage.
On current form, Ledley King probably deserves to be around 82, but considering these ratings were made before the season started, his 80 is understandable, and maybe a tiny bit generous.
The 80 given to Michael Dawson, however, continues to underrate the work of a solid center back who was practically an impenetrable wall towards the end of last season, and earned four England caps and more call-ups that season for his good work. He deserved an 82 for this edition of FIFA.
I would've liked to have seen Assou-Ekotto maybe a point higher after being a fairly reliable and consistent left back for Tottenham last season, and Kyle Walker should've ideally been given a 77 or 78 after a solid half-season with Aston Villa last season.
Otherwise, I can't complain too much about the ratings. Corluka's 76 seems fair to me, as do Bassong and Kaboul's respective ratings. Gallas' rating may be a tad high, but as we've already said FIFA tends to value experience and reputation highly, and Gallas' is as experienced as they come.
(Players rated below 75 were omitted.)
CM – L. Modric 88
CM – S. Parker 82
CM – T. Huddlestone 80
CDM – Sandro 78
CAM – R. van der Vaart 87
CAM – N. Kranjcar 79
LM – G. Bale 86
LM – S. Pienaar 80
Tottenham are known for their strong midfield weapons, but I don't know if I even rate our weapons this highly.
Luka Modric's 88 puts him two points above Mesut Ozil, a point above Robin Van Persie, only a point below Cesc Fabregas, and only two points below Wayne Rooney. I rate the guy, and I'm really glad that he's staying with Tottenham, but is he THAT good? I personally don't think so, not yet at least.
Rafael van der Vaart's rating is also a tiny bit too high. Personally, I think a one point drop for all three of Tottenham's big guns (VDV, Modric, and Gareth Bale) would put them at just about the right rating.
But hey, I'm not complaining. With 3 midfielders rated well above 85, I don't think I can complain about Tottenham not being able to hang with the "big boys" anymore.
Some other small observations: Tom Huddlestone and Sandro's ratings should be reversed, and if this season's games could be taken into consideration then so should Pienaar and Kranjcar's ratings. All in all though, the midfield ratings look fairly solid to me.
RW – A. Lennon 82
RW – G. dos Santos 78
ST – E. Adebayor 82
ST – J. Defoe 81
ST – R. Pavlyuchenko 78
The big disappointment here is obviously Emmanuel Adebayor. Given his up-and-down summer and the rough first half of the season that he had with Manchester City, his rating is understandable, but still a bit frustrating considering how good he's been this season. I would've liked to have seen it stay at 83.
Otherwise, I can't complain. Jermain Defoe's rating is generous, considering how poor his form was last season, and Pavlyuchenko's rating is right on the money in my opinion, as are dos Santos and Lennon's respective ratings.
Despite my critiques of the individual ratings given to each player, there are no majorly controversial ratings in FIFA 12's Tottenham ratings. Unless you consider Gomes' rating being as high as it is to be "majorly controversial."
A bunch of guys could've been a point or so lower, and a number of other guys could've been a point or so higher, but for the most part it all equals out in the end.
Personally, I'm pleased. Tottenham's defense is for the most part as weak as it was in FIFA 11, but the midfield has gotten significantly stronger, and is now one of the strongest in the game. Adebayor, even if he could've been rated higher, makes Tottenham's striker options better as well.
Here's hoping that Tottenham in real life can be as strong as their ratings suggest on FIFA 12.
What do you guys think of the Tottenham ratings on FIFA 12? Too high? Too low? Which player ratings do you individually agree or disagree with? Make your opinion known in the comments section below.
(In other news, who took this picture of Gomes? Really makes you pity the guy...)