Manchester United: How Do the Red Devils Stack Up in FIFA 12?
Welcome to my seventh FIFA 12 player ratings review article. So far, I've reviewed Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Bayern Munich. I plan on reviewing Manchester City later this week, most likely concluding the series there (save for any individual requests).
The 2010-11 season was a fairly successful one for Manchester United. The Red Devils comfortably won the Premier League by a nine-point margin and made it to the Champions League final, dispatching Marseille, Chelsea and Schalke along the way.
By Manchester United's high standards though, the season wasn't amazing. Sir Alex Ferguson's boys were badly outclassed in the Champions League final against Barcelona and were disappointingly knocked out of the FA Cup by cross-town rivals Manchester City.
The 4-0 loss to West Ham in the Carling Cup was also rather painful, even if the United lineup for that game included a number of backup players, as the competition isn't highly regarded by SAF.
So, taking into everything into consideration, how did Manchester United's overall season affect the ratings of its individual players in FIFA 12? Was league glory enough to offset the failures in other competitions?
Let's find out.
Note: Players rated below 70 are excluded.
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GK David De Gea, 80
GK Anders Lindegaard, 76
GK Tomasz Kuszczak, 75
This may attract controversy, but I think David de Gea is rated a bit too low. I know Atletico Madrid struggled last season, but that was not due to de Gea's goalkeeping, and we need to remember that de Gea was instrumental in the team's Europa League title. An 81 would've been a fair rating.
Similarly, Anders Lindegaard has looked pretty good when given playing time for Manchester United, and the Dane was named Goalkeeper of the Year in both Norway and Denmark prior to his move to Manchester United. I believe a 77 would've been a fair rating for Lindegaard.
Tomasz Kuszczak looks likely to be firmly rooted to the Manchester United bench this season with Lindegaard and de Gea competing impressively for playing time. 75 is a fair rating here.
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RB Chris Smalling, 77
RB Rafael, 76
CB Nemanja Vidic, 89
CB Rio Ferdinand, 87
CB Phil Jones, 76
CB Jonny Evans, 75
LB Patrice Evra, 85
LB Fabio, 75
Most of the rating issues with defenders on FIFA 12 seem to arise with central defenders, and Manchester United is no exception.
Nemanja Vidic's rating is arguably too low. Vidic had a rating of 90 in the demo, and considering he is easily the world's best center-back, that rating seemed fair.
Rio Ferdinand's rating, on the other hand, is considerably higher than it should be. It's ridiculous that he was rated 88 in the demo, and 87 isn't nearly a sufficient drop.
Considering how injury-prone he's been over the last couple of seasons, the highest I would've rated him would've been 86, which would've (ridiculously) put him on par with John Terry. An 85 would've been the most appropriate rating for Ferdinand.
For Phil Jones, his rating is fair considering its based on the 2010-11 season. As with Chris Smalling, I would rate both players significantly higher now, and hopefully EA Sports will slowly increase their ratings in their updates as the season progresses.
Fabio, Rafael and Jonny Evans' ratings all look pretty fair to me, as does Patrice Evra's.
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CM Michael Carrick, 82
CM Darren Fletcher, 81
CM Anderson, 77
CM Darren Gibson, 74
CM Tom Cleverley, 73
LM Ryan Giggs, 83
RM Ji-Sung Park, 82
Who would've thought that Michael Carrick would be Manchester United's highest rated central midfielder in FIFA 12?
It seems like Manchester United will have to wait until FIFA 13 to have the base ratings of all its new talents improved. Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Tom Cleverley and Anderson are all much better now than their FIFA 12 ratings suggest.
In the case of Cleverley and Anderson though, I think both deserve a plus-1 based on last season's form. Anderson was frustrating for most of the season, but put in an excellent performance against Schalke in the Champions League semifinal and Blackpool in the final league game of the season.
As for Cleverley, the youngster was a contributing regular for Wigan in 2010-11 and had a very successful season with Watford in 2009-10. Seventy-three is just too low of a rating after two successful seasons, and a plus-2 or 3 would not be asking too much, even if his form this season was not taken into account.
I expect to hear many complaints about Gibson being rated too high and Carrick being a poor midfielder, or Darren Fletcher being much better than 81, but I believe the ratings for all three midfielders are fair.
I don't have anything to really say about Gibson, other than he isn't Manchester United quality. With regards to Carrick though, he is truly an underrated member of the Manchester United squad, and does way more than he receives credit for.
Fletcher, on the other hand, is good, but often receives more credit than warranted. He has his moments and was particularly impressive in 2009-10, but the 2010-11 season did not feature too many moments of genius from the Scotsman.
He probably deserves an 82 to be equal to Carrick, but I definitely would not give him anything higher.
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RW Nani, 85
RW Antonio Valencia, 83
LW Ashley Young, 85
CF Wayne Rooney, 90
ST Javier Hernandez, 82
ST Dimitar Berbatov, 82
ST Danny Welbeck, 76
ST Michael Owen, 75
ST Mame Diouf, 74
ST Federico Macheda, 73
Manchester United have become known for the incredible—some might say insane—depth at forward. Looking at all the players listed here, I'm inclined to agree. Still, some of the ratings don't sit right with me.
First, Nani deserves an 87, without a doubt—not an 86, but an 87. As nearly every Manchester United fan on the website will tell you, if Gareth Bale gets an 86 in FIFA 12, that's the least Nani deserves. But even if Bale got an 85, I'd still say Nani was deserving of an 87.
Secondly, I would raise Javier Hernandez an extra point, since he did score 17 goals in 36 league and Champions League appearances, many of them as a substitute. Dimitar Berbatov could arguably be raised a point too, since these ratings are supposed to be based solely on the 2010-11 season.
I would raise Danny Welbeck at least two points after a successful loan spell at Sunderland, and Michael Owen a point for doing reasonably well with very limited playing time. Mame Diouf and Federico Macheda's ratings look fine.
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Overall, Manchester United's rating seem pretty fair in FIFA 12. Going off United's play in 2010-11, there aren't many contentious ratings here. The most contentious was Rio Ferdinand's, and the contention was that he was overrated, not underrated.
It's a real shame that Manchester United's base rating in FIFA 12 doesn't take 2011-12 form into consideration.
If they did, right now, Phil Jones would deserve a rating of 83-84, Chris Smalling 82-83, Tom Cleverley 79-81, Anderson 80-82, Danny Welbeck 80-83, and most importantly, Rooney a deserved 91. But unfortunately for United fans, they don't.
Those with Xbox Live (or Playstation Network) will luckily be able to update Manchester United's ratings throughout the season, and thus should see a gradual improvement in the ratings of the aforementioned.
But those stuck without online connectivity may find themselves slightly frustrated.
What do you think of Manchester United'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 Manchester City later on as well, so make sure to check back on my profile for when those articles are released!