Chelsea FC: How Do The Blues Stack Up in FIFA 12?
Welcome to my fourth FIFA 12 player ratings review article. So far, I've reviewed Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, and plan to review Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Manchester United if time permits later this week.
Historically, Chelsea have always been one of the strongest teams in the EA Sports FIFA games. Guys like Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, John Terry, etc, have boasted big ratings for years now and have made Chelsea one of the toughest teams to play against on FIFA.
But as the big-name players have grown older, their form has dropped and Chelsea as a whole is now seen as a team in transition, trying to ween itself off its reliance on its "golden oldies" and shift more of its reliance on its younger generation of players, like Daniel Sturridge, Fernando Torres, Juan Mata, etc.
So what effect has this transition had on the Chelsea's individual player ratings?
Let's find out.
Note: Players rated below 70 are excluded.
GK Petr Cech, 85
GK Henrique Hilario, 74
GK Ross Turnbull, 73
In my article on the best goalkeepers in the world, I gave Petr Cech the No. 2 spot behind Iker Casillas, and I still stand by that decision (though I would probably move Neuer into a tie with Cech for that spot now).
As such, I believe 85 is too low for Cech. I think 86 would be a fair representation of his ability at the moment.
As for Hilario and Turnbull's ratings, I don't have much to say on either one. Neither goalkeeper has been impressive as Cech's replacement, and until that happens, neither one should go beyond 75.
RB Jose Bosingwa, 80
RB Paolo Ferreira, 74
LB Ashley Cole, 85
CB John Terry, 86
CB Branislav Ivanovic, 83
CB Alex, 83
CB David Luiz, 82
Chelsea's squad is one short of the normal eight defenders, but there are still a couple of debatable ratings.
First, Jose Bosingwa's rating of 80 is arguably a bit harsh. He can be error-prone at times, but at his best, he can be an excellent attacking fullback. I would've given him an 81.
Next, John Terry is at least a point or two lower than what he should be, especially since Rio Ferdinand has an 87 rating with Manchester United. I would've given him an 87.
Finally, I would probably raise Ivanovic a point, as he's actually a very capable attacking and defending center back and would also drop Alex a point, as he definitely has not looked top quality this season and hasn't been a first choice CB at Chelsea for some time now.
CDM John Obi Mikel, 82
CM Michael Essien, 84
CM Raul Meireles, 82
CM Josh McEachran, 71
CAM Frank Lampard, 87
RM Ramires, 79
Again, despite the small size of Chelsea's midfield, there are also a couple of questionable ratings here.
First, John Obi Mikel has been pretty poor for at least a season now and hasn't looked much better this season. He likely would not be anywhere near the starting lineup if Michael Essien were fit, but continues to get games because of Essien's repeated injury troubles.
For me, Mikel deserves an 80, or an 81 if the raters are feeling generous.
On the other hand, if Mikel is deserving of an 82, Ramires should be at least 80 or 81. The Brazilian may not be the best shooter or dribbler, but he is definitely a hard worker who passes well and has the stamina to keep running throughout an entire game, unlike Mikel, who tends to fade out of games very easily.
Finally, Frank Lampard should be dropped a point down to 86. His output in the 2010-11 season was significantly lower than his output in 2009-10 (which was the best year in his entire career), and was his lowest since 2003-04.
After Lampard's hat-trick this weekend, I expect that many Chelsea fans will disagree with me on this, but one game does not change the facts, and FIFA 12 ratings are based on the previous season anyway, which was not a good one for Lampard.
LW Juan Mata, 85
LW Florent Malouda, 84
RW Solomon Kalou, 81
ST Didier Drogba, 86
ST Fernando Torres, 86
ST Nicholas Anelka, 83
ST Daniel Sturridge, 80
ST Romelu Lukaku, 78
When it comes to forwards, Chelsea are one of the most stacked teams in the world, boasting at least six natural strikers (Solomon Kalou has played at striker for most of his career, but has been recently converted to a right winger) and two left wingers.
Rating-wise, EA Sports did a pretty solid job here. Aside from Drogba and Torres' ratings, most of the ratings here look fairly spot on. Sturridge will eventually prove himself worthy of a much higher rating, but for his work in 2010-11, an 80 is a fair rating.
With Drogba and Torres, its very hard to rate the two. When FIFA 11 came out last year, Drogba and Torres were rated 88 and 86 respectively. Drogba was coming off his best season for Chelsea, with 37 goals in all competitions, while Torres was coming off another injury-plagued but impressive season with Liverpool in which he scored 22 goals in just 32 appearances.
This may be a tad harsh, but honestly, I would've given Drogba an 85 and Torres an 84 going into this season. Torres scored 10 goals in 44 appearances last season, and only one goal in the second half of the season. That's an incredibly poor strike rate.
As for Drogba, he's gotten old, and its plainly evident. I wish I could blame injuries for Drogba's loss of form, but he actually played in 36-of-38 league games for Chelsea last season and was much less effective than he was in 2009-10.
Some might say that even 85 for Drogba and 84 for Torres is too high. Just think of the other strikers at those ratings in FIFA 12: Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema, Edin Dzeko, Alexander Pato and Luis Suarez all come to mind. Would you put Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres, on their current form, in that kind of company? I wouldn't.
I can't say that I have any major issues with the player ratings given to Chelsea in FIFA 12.
It's clear that they benefited greatly from the "veteran's boost" that FIFA likes to give out, but even then, that boost didn't create any hugely controversial ratings.
The biggest issue I have with Chelsea is the inflated nature of Drogba and Torres' rating, which will allow Chelsea to continue to boast one of the world's most fearsome striker partnership on FIFA 12.
On the other hand, though, Torres and Drogba's ratings should allow Chelsea to continue to compete with the best teams in FIFA 12, which will be essential considering the very high ratings of players at Barcelona and Real Madrid.
What do you guys think of Chelsea's ratings on FIFA 12? Too high? Too low? Which player ratings do you specifically agree or disagree with? Make your opinion known in the comments section below.
Also, make sure to check out my other FIFA 12 player ratings articles:
I plan on writing articles to cover the player ratings for Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Manchester United later on as well, so make sure to check back on my profile for when those articles are released!