I've been searching. Frantically. Hard. Long. For two CDMs in FIFA 13's Ultimate Team mode.
At the start of my journey to find these two CDMs I began used In-form Lampard and Pirlo. And that's where this story starts...
I play a 4-2-2-2 formation. It's not the best for attacking as the CAM positions aren't that central and drift closer to the wings, meaning that you don't have as much attacking force. Indeed, given the fact that the CAM positions are more on the wing and typically players who play at CAM aren't that pacey, it often feels very awkward. But the thing is that I bought all of my players in the 4-2-2-2 formation and even those who weren't in that formation, I made play it with the use of formation changers.
In other words: I spent a lot of time and money on making sure all my players play 4-2-2-2 and given that the only other formation I'd want to use is 4-1-2-1-2, which is HELLA expensive, I don't think I'll be changing it anytime soon.
Anyway, I just broke a massive writing rule just then by using the word 'formation' about half a trillion times. So let's move on.
The bottom line is my defence sucks. I've got good defenders, don't get me wrong, but those damn pace whores always come and fuck me up the arse.
There isn't anything I can change about my CB's though. They're great players usually. And my RB and LB are awesome too. So how can I up my defence? Well, by filling those two CDM positions with two great defensive players.
So, here go the tryouts.
The first two potential longterm CDMs are In-form Lampard (the 84 rated one) and Andrea Pirlo.
Both are creative players, although there is no doubt that Lampard is a beast attacker too.
However their attributes are relevant only when they're playing.
Typically I like my CDMs to be a bit pacey, have good passing, great defending and good shooting too. Dribbling isn't important.
So how did Pirlo and Lampard's careers fair at my FUT club, 'Messi Situation'?
I gave them three matches to impress me and if they failed, they're out.
This the team they got to work with:
The first match started off well. Lampard seemed to be bossing in almost every area he needed to. He was getting back with surprising pace and making tackles, he was getting forward, he was making some killer paces. He was playing well.
However Pirlo wasn't on the pitch. Where was he? Fuck knows. He wasn't anywhere to be seen.
"Where the fuck is Pirlo?" I heard Chiellini call to Petr Cech after we conceded (the score now 1-1).
Did Cech know? Nope. Did Lampard know where his defensive partner was? Nope.
However in the 33rd minute he appeared. I squinted at the screen in order to check I wasn't hallucinating and realised it was, indeed, the elusive Pirlo who was on the ball and who had just made a pretty damn nice interception.
Where had he been? I have no idea. So I decided to keep an eye on him. I kept him in my line of vision and realised he wasn't leaving the pitch, he was simply doing FUCK. ALL.
Actually he was doing a kind of moonwalk dance. But there's no time for a MJ tribute in the middle of a football match.
Lampard assisted the next goal which was nice and nothing eventful happened after.
At the end, Lampard received a match rating of 7.0 while Pirlo was stuck on an awful 5.0.
With match two fast approaching, I sat the boys down and had a little morale inspiring talk.
"Falcao. You keep doing what you're doing. It's good. You're scoring good goals.
Di Natale. Nice assist last match. Keep it up. Try to score a bit more though.
Ozil. Keep doing that thing with your eyes. It freaks out the opposition players.
Sneijder. Why are your touches so fucking awful? Oh well, score another left foot jaw-dropper and you'll stay in the starting 11.
Lampard. You're fitting in well. So far so good. Keep it up!
Pirlo.... I know you're old, OK. But Lampard's older, and he can still make his way around the pitch. So try to actually make yourself available next time OK? Good.
And defenders, keep defending. I know it's not your fault when EA trolls you.
Let's get to this next match! We need that promotion to Division 1."
So match two began. Unfortunately the guy we were up against had a good team. Can't remember the exact players but he had Mata and Aguero. Actually, I have my own Mata, but he's on the bench these days.
Anyway. It began.
To be honest it was end-to-end in the worst possible way. And by that, I mean I would get to his goal, not shoot, lose the ball, he'd get it and come to my end, get tackled, lose the ball, then I'd get the ball, go to his end, shoot, miss, lose the ball at a goalkick and then we'd start over.
However while the game was lacking in the goals department, the frantic exchanges in possession meant Lampard and Pirlo were having their pace and defensive abilities tested.
Lampard was coping well. His lack of pace was fucking him over in some instances, and when Kompany came forward occasionally to tackle a player, Lamps wasn't quite fast enough to slip into the open CB gap.
Pirlo had also listened to my advice. He was running more, getting forward and him and Lampard were forming a good partnership. Lamps would get forward while Pirlo stayed back and then Pirlo would get a chance to attack while Lamps defended. It was good.
And then the motherfucker scored. With fucking Aguero too. I mean, the guy's a dick. He stamped on David Luiz. And he has 'Kun' in his name. Kun. KUN. Someone for the love of God just put a 'T' at the end of it on his shirt. Thank you.
So we were down a goal. As it stood on points, we needed to win this and then win again to get promoted.
After half-time I took off Sneijder as he was doing, basically, fuck all. Ozil and Di Natale were close to getting subbed too. And then it happened.
Lampard scored. He scored a fab goal from outside the box. Good work! Good fucking work.
The rest of the match played out dully. No more goals and no red cards or anything.
At the end, Lampard had scored a match rating of 9.0 while Pirlo had a 7.1. Not bad.
However this next match was the decider. If we won, we were promoted. If we lost, we weren't.
I wasn't going to take any chances and benched the mediocre Pirlo for the next match. Lampard stayed on though, and I kept the rest of the team how it was before. In Pirlo's place came Inler. He was being played out of position at CDM instead of CM and hadn't played a game for 19 matches. *Gulp*.
D'you ever get it where you know, you KNOW you should back out of match before it starts? That the player is going to be really good and you shit quit and join another game?
Well this was one of those moments. The guy took forever to ready up and I was about to back out when he did. I was tempted to just leave because I knew something was up. Something was going to go wrong.
I should've done because the bastard was a pace whore. Walcott on the right, Ribery on the left and Remy and Welliton up front.
The match started and instantly the mofo went ultra-attacking on my ass. He was all over me like Remy was that poor woman he assaulted (I mean, accused of assaulting. Nothing certain...YET...). How could they let the bastard out on bail? If they hadn't I wouldn't be up against him. Thanks a bunch, English courts.
He scored. Quickly. A cross from Ribery found Remy COMPLETELY unmarked who volleyed the ball low into the bottom left corner.
"WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU CHIELLINI? DON'T YOU LOOK AT KOMPANY. REMY WAS IN YOUR PART OF THE PITCH. YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE MARKING HIM!"
That's the non-expletive way I went about confronting Chiellini and his dreadful defensive mistake.
However all was not lost. While it looked as if I was going to concede again, good ol' Sneijder sent a brilliant through-ball flying for Di Natale to chase, who outpaced whoever that shit defender was, reached the ball, dribbled it a bit, and then sent in a cross for Falcao to head home.
Now during all this mayhem, Lampard had been subdued. He'd been overwhelmed. As the first half came to a close I realised that I couldn't count on him. It was all too much for him. He is old and the pace of the match, the pace of the other guy's attackers and midfielders, the pace of everything was too much. He couldn't keep up. Throughout the first half his stamina bar had been in the red zone. I'm surprised he hadn't had a stroke. However despite my every FIFA instinct screaming at me to sub him, I didn't.
That was my biggest mistake.
I took Inler off in order to give Pirlo one last chance to prove himself worthy of a longterm contract at the club. And then the next half began.
It was OK for about 5 in-game minutes. And then Remy scored again. Lampard was far too slow to catch up with him and Kompany was out of position. Ashley Cole was doing Jack-shit and Abate was across the other side of the pitch. There was nothing Chiellini could do either, because he was too busy having an orgy with Welliton, who had got tangled with him. And Cech wasn't even close to saving the bottom right corner effort from the convicted rapist.
The match continued and Pirlo was doing nothing. He was a shit sub. A really shit sub. I think he was pissed at being benched, but still, how shit can you get? He hobbled around a bit. Made a decent interception and then decided to stick a leg out inappropriately, which earned him a yellow card.
The match ended 2-1 to the pace abusing asshole.
What happened team?
Lampard's rating of 6.2 was far better than expected and I would've given him a 4.0. Pirlo meanwhile did actually score a 4.0. Well, a 4.4 to be exact. What a disaster.
My conclusion on IF-Lampard and Pirlo, as CDMs, is as follows:
They're OK. But unreliable. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Ultimately, they're just too slow and lack the defensive rating required.
So the journey continues. I'll be trying out some more CDMs and writing about my experience with them shortly so stick around for that.
If you liked this ramble then leave a comment. And yeah, PEACE!