Football fans can often start an argument in an empty room, it doesn’t take much – not much at all really. There really is that much passion in football, passion that drips down to fans.

Team selections, who is considered a terrace/club legend and whether Player A’s goal Y is better than Player B’s goal Z – the list of flare points is really quite wide-ranging. Now you can add another one in to it – FIFA18.

The release of the popular console game is just around the corner and already the player stats and cards have been announced and are available on sites such as Futhead. However, with their release come the oft-raised arguments about one player being robbed in how he is rated too lowly and another’s stats and ratings being way too inflated.

Those arguments are starting already, fans will be falling out all over Twitter and across other social media sites.

Here’s some fuel to that fire of argument: FIFA18 rates Rotherham United’s Lee Frecklington is now an in-form card and rated higher than Leeds United’s Samu Saiz. Kindling placed, flame introduced and all that is left is for the firestorm to gather and spread.

Saiz vs Frecklington – is FIFA18 right or wrong?

The Case for Lee Frecklington

FIFA 18

Rotherham United’s Frecklington has been given a 76 in-form Gold card by the bods at EA Sports, citing his Attacker Rating as a 72, his Creator Rating as a 77 and his Defender Rating as a 70; all this alongside a Beast Rating of 82.

Delving a little further into these stats shows an overall Shooting rating of 70 with a Finishing stat of 66, backed by a Shot Power stat of 73; he is also rated as a 74 for Long Shots. Creatively, Frecklington has an overall Passing rating of 78 with a Vision of 81, Short Passing of 79, Long Passing of 76 and Crossing of 75.

Defensively the FIFA18 guys have Frecklington with an overall rating of 70, this coming with Interceptions rated 75, Marking rated 71 and Heading at 76. Take into account stopping opponents chances and the Lincoln-born midfielder is given a Standing Tackle stat of 64 and a Sliding Tackle of 68.

Away from the FIFA18 stats side of the affair, Frecklington has played 407 career games with 63 goals for Lincoln City (131 appearances – 21 goals), Peterborough United (101 appearances – 10 goals) and latterly Rotherham United (175 appearances – 32 goals). 155 of his appearances have been in the Sky Bet Championship with a 78/77 split between Rotherham and Peterborough with a similar 8/7 split when it comes to goals scored in England’s second-tier competition.

The Case for Samu Saiz

FIFA 18

Leeds United’s Saiz has been given a 75 Gold card by the guys at EA Sports, citing his Attacker Rating as a 70, his Creator Rating as a 73 and his Defender Rating as a lowly 28; all this alongside a Beast Rating of 79.

Delving a little further into these stats shows an overall Shooting rating of 70 with a Finishing stat of 70, backed by a Shot Power stat of 67; he is also rated as a 74 for Long Shots. Creatively, Saiz has an overall Passing rating of 74 with a Vision of 78, Short Passing of 78, Long Passing of 69 and Crossing of 66.

Defensively the FIFA18 guys have Saiz with an overall rating of just 28, this coming with Interceptions rated a measly 16, Marking rated a meagre 20 and Heading at a 41. Take into account stopping opponents chances and the Spaniard is given a Standing Tackle stat of just 30 and a Sliding Tackle of an even less impressive 14.

Away from the pixels and stats, Saiz has played 143 career games and has been involved in the footballing set-ups at both Real and Atletico Madrid, featuring 46 times for Atletico’s second-string for whom he scored 14 goals. He’s been a man on fire at Elland Road with tricks, flicks and six goals in only nine appearances.

So, who’s right and who’s wrong?

Classic case of swings and round-a-bouts when trying to decide this one. Yes Lee Frecklington is a better defender than Samu Saiz, the Spaniard isn’t that kind of player, but is he a better creator than the Leeds United man? Do Saiz’s 15 assists in 143 career games, or an assist per 9.5 career games really make him a worse provider that Frecklington’s  31 assists in 408 games, a rate of an assist per 13.2 games?

Does it come down to goals, Frecklington’s 63 career goals vs Saiz’s 36? Or is it all down to games per goal, with Saiz hitting a goal nearly every 4 games whilst Frecklington scores at a rate of a goal every 6½ games?

Is it a case of more games means better player with Frecklington’s 408 career games easily trumping the 143 career appearances of Saiz? Or is it something totally different that sets them apart?

As EA Sports are fond of saying, maybe it’s a case of it being “in the game!”


About Author

Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.