Last week EA announced they would be adding to the ratings refresh to this year’s FIFA 17. This means they will be upgrading the FIFA Ultimate Team cards of players, and also downgrading them for the first time. With all the players they have to upgrade and downgrade surely they have to miss some, right? Let’s take a look at the hits and misses of FIFA 17’s EPL Ratings Refresh.
Let’s start with upgrades. Even though some players get upgraded, fans and players may feel that some don’t get upgraded enough. Marcos Alonso, for example, may feel a little hard-done only increasing by 2, especially when players like Kelichi Iheanacho (2), Mohamed Elnenhy (3), and Jordon Pickford (3) have all been upgraded by 2 or 3 as well. These players haven’t played the minutes Alonso has played all season combined, and haven’t played anywhere near the level Alonso has been playing at. Jordan Pickford is an exception, but he still hasn’t played many minutes due to injury.
Now let’s take a look at two upgrades I think EA got horribly wrong. Danny Simpson – Danny Simpson is part of one of the worst defenses in the league. I heard many good things about Simpson last season – you couldn’t go a week without hearing praise for him. But it’s like he’s gone invisible this season, with one poor performance after another. Also, there is a Manchester United goalkeeper that goes by the name of Joel Castro Periera that has been upgraded by a whopping 10. If you were to ask any fan of a Premier League club – even United fans – they wouldn’t be able to tell you this guy is. He kept 4 clean sheets in 10 appearances for Rochdale, but to upgrade him by 10 when Tom Davies and Harry Winks are only upgraded by 6, leaves EA open to lots of questions.
Now let’s look at some of the downgrades EA got horribly wrong. A lot of EA’s downgrades are justified by awful form during the season, but some of the ones EA does are just due to lack of playing time and injury which in my opinion is unjustified. Also, I think to downgrade players like Lazar Markovic and Oumar Niasse isn’t correct from EA, especially when the reasoning is likely due to the fact that they’ve had their rejuvenations on loan at Hull City (which is a major contributing factor Hull are playing better recently). But to downgrade Bakary Sako, a player who has only played 7 games this season, by 3 is absolutely crazy.
Now we’ll look at the upgrades EA missed: James Milner, Romelu Lukaku, and Seamus Coleman. Lukaku even took this to twitter:
Lukaku is currently top scorer in the Premier League and has played out of this world for Everton this season, as well as in previous seasons. His 84 is decent for a player of his ability, but shouldn’t be the rating of the Premier League top-scorer. Especially when fellow strikers Jermaine Defoe, Roberto Firmino, Harry Kane, Diego Costa, and Alexis Sanchez have all been upgraded. James Milner has been one of the best Left-backs in the league this season, and he isn’t even a Left-back. A wide midfielder by trade, Milner has adapted to the position with ease. Seamus Coleman is arguably one of the best Right-Backs in the league. He can defend, he can cross, he can even get on the end of crosses, as he showed vs Arsenal in December. And he has definitely played better than fellow right-back Danny Simpson (upgraded).
A downgrade I think EA missed is John Stones. It seems Stones just hasn’t been at the races this Premier League season, as he has often been dominated by many Premier League strikers, and most recently by Radamel Falcao of Monaco. He just doesn’t match the physical presence some strikers bring to the table. He can’t defend, often lunges into challenges, gets bullied, and can’t defend. It’s amazing how a player like Wes Morgan can get downgraded and Stones can’t.
Finally, we’ll look at one upgrade EA got 100% correct. This was hard to choose from because there are so many to choose from. Adam Lallana, Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez, Eden Hazard, Sadio Mané, Ngolo Kante, Christian Eriksen, and Dele all deserved upgrades given by EA, but the one upgrade I feel EA got correct indefinitely is the +1 given to Nordin Amrabat. This may sound weird to some of you, but no Amrabat means no solid season for Watford so far. Amrabat may not have the stats to prove his worth this season only having 3 assist in 16 games with Watford, but you have to take into account he’s often been playing at wing-back due to Walter Mazzari’s 3-4-3 formation. His creativeness and ability on the ball make Watford look fluid and very pleasing to the eye. He may not get the goals and assists to prove his worth but he’s like Ngolo Kante in a sense, where his presence in the team is more important than goals and assists.
One downgrade I feel EA got completely correct is very hard to choose. EA definitely got a lot of their downgrades spot-on with their -2 downgrades of Claudio Bravo, Robert Huth, and Wes Morgan, as well as the -1 downgrades of Steve Mandanda and Bastian Schweinsteiger. But for me, their -1 downgrade of Nicolas Otamendi takes the cake. In my opinion, Otamendi is in the worst backline the top 6 has to offer. He has played some good games this season, but the truth is that he just can’t defend. Often lunging into challenges and getting easily beat by a long-ball makes you wonder how he is even on a Real Madrid shortlist. EA’s -1 downgrade is fine for now, but you may see Otamendi’s rating drop drastically as early as FIFA 18.
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