After reading Mohamed Al-Hendy's series of slideshows showing how teams stack up in the new release of the FIFA series, I was desperate to know how my team, Newcastle United stack up in the game.
Unfortunately, as I can't buy the game for a few weeks (I'm currently not in the UK, there's no point in buying it until I go back) I couldn't wait to find out how good or bad my team is.
Me and my friends love FIFA. Some of them even book the day of release off work so they can play it all day as soon as they get their hands on it. It's a bit of an annual event. Better than Christmas in my opinion.
After last season's performance, it will be interesting to see how EA Sports has rated Newcastle's nouveaux légionnaires.
Please note that players rated under 70 points have not been included.
GK Steve Harper: 75
GK Tim Krul: 74
So far this season Krul has been fantastic. He is one of the best young keepers in the game and well deserves his Man Of The Match award for the game against Wolverhampton. I think EA have got Krul's rating wrong here—he should be 76 or 77.
Steve Harper is a cult hero at Newcastle, having signed for the club back in 1066 by manager William the Conqueror. Of course I am joking, but is his rating fair? Nearing the end of his career, I think 75 is maybe just a tiny bit too generous. He should maybe be a 73.
RB Danny Simpson: 75
LB Davide Santon: 75
LB Ryan Taylor: 73
CB Fabricio Coloccini: 79
CB Steven Taylor: 76
CB Mike Williamson: 75
So far this season Newcastle have the least goals conceded of any team in England. Is this fairly represented by the ratings?
In my opinion Simpson could maybe be a 76. Santon is supposed to be a hot prospect—is it fair to have him as a 75? Maybe he should be a 77? I think Ryan Taylor's rating is fair—not a natural left back but doing a great job so far.
Williamson's rating is probably fair as well, although I feel Coloccini should probably be an 80 and Steven Taylor a 77 or 78.
RM Gabriel Obertan: 71
LM Jonas Gutierrez: 79
LM Sylvain Marveaux: 75
CM Yohan Cabaye: 80
CM Cheik Tiote: 78
CM Dan Gosling: 73
CM Danny Guthrie: 72
CM Alan Smith: 70
I think Gutierrez and Marveaux are fair ratings, but I feel Obertan's is not.
So far this season he has had mixed performances for Newcastle, but I think the potential is fair. Bear in mind that he's sat on the bench at Manchester United for two years, and I think he will need to play a bit more to retain his sharpness. I think a fairer rating is 74.
Cabaye and Tiote's are fair, so is Smith's. I feel that as a youngster with promise, Gosling should maybe be a 75. I always feel sorry for Guthrie—he never seems to be able to show his true potential, but maybe he should be a 73?
LW Hatem Ben Arfa: 79
ST Demba Ba: 79
ST Leon Best: 72
ST Shola Ameobi: 71
LF Peter Lovenkrands: 71
Ba is probably a fair rating—he has proved so far this season that he is a capable striker. I think everyone else is unfairly rated. Ben Arfa should be an 80 or 81, and Best is in good form and should maybe be a 75.
As for Ameobi and Lovenkrands, I always feel sorry for them. On his day, Ameobi is a decent striker, but years of injuries and bad performances have left him with not a great reputation. I feel he and Lovenkrands should be a 73 as they can both rise to the occasion.
Overall, I think Newcastle have been rated badly. Yes, I know I am probably biased, but I do feel that apart from the big teams, EA never really do their research—maybe just watch one or two matches and decide from there.
Hopefully when EA do their update in a few months it will give them better scope to rate the players. I seem to remember last season Tiote was 73 when the game came out, but after the update he moved up to a 78.
I don't think this issue is exclusive to Newcastle—I think it occurs in a lot of teams. But you have to bear in mind the time constraints on EA to complete their game and create ratings for thousands of players.
I'd like to thank Mohamed Al-Hendy for letting me spin off of his great articles—be sure to check them out!