From the moment he was announced as a FIFA 19 ICON I have envisioned Steven Gerrard patrolling the midfield in my squad. I realized that I would never afford him (until I packed Griezmann) but a man can dream. But which one to choose? The “Baby” or base ICON is 86 RATED and is a little on the slow side and with minimal agility I was worried that I would be disappointed. From the reviews I have read it is a mixed bag but the majority seem negative. The Prime ICON Gerrard is 91 RATED and is a bit on the pricey side at 1.7 million coins, and so I settled on the 89 RATED middle version of Stevie G. The extra pace, agility, and balance are also added bonuses and the 500k difference is not bad either. I decided to utilize Gerrard as a CAM and CM throughout the weekend and so I added the pace and shooting boost of the HUNTER chemistry style. With CL LIVE Fabinho and CL Rabiot in the squad it allowed Gerrard the freedom to roam the center of the pitch to great effect all weekend. Gerrard was given the armband for the Weekend League grind in the following squad:
Pace & Physical
Stevie G is the epitome of perpetual motion. It is like he has an unlimited battery and he seems to scoff at his 87 STAMINA. Every time the ball would go forward into Firmino’s feet Gerrard would press forward and bring an extra body into the mix. 83 ACCELERATION & 86 SPRINT SPEED (HAWK) are more than adequate for a CAM but you can always use more. I found that the runs Gerrard makes seem to be the perfect choice for the situation and he even scored breakaway goals by having the jump on the backline. Beyond pace Gerrard also has the physicality to win, protect, and utilize the ball in the midfield area. 6’0 & 87 JUMPING are a nice combination in the air; 79 STRENGTH is good on the ground; and 98 AGGRESSION creates a real fervor to get the ball back in the tackle.
Pace Rating: 8/10
Physical Rating: 9.7/10
Dribbling & Shooting
Dribbling is definitely the biggest downfall with this card but the need for pace trumped my decision in the end. However, I think that an ARTIST or SNIPER chemistry style might be of assistance in this area, but again, I went for speed. Gerrard doesn’t turn as quickly as I would like and this caused a few turnovers throughout the weekend. It is not a big enough issue to condemn this card by any means, but it is an issue none the less. But really, who needs to dribble when you don’t even need a step to bend the ball into the far corner? As you can imagine Gerrard’s shooting is next level and was key to the 18 goals in 20 games that he scored for me. I have not had returns from a midfielder like this since I reviewed Prime Gullit last year. 88 FINISHING, 98 SHOT POWER & 96 VOLLEYS after applying the HAWK chemistry style, and 91 LONG SHOTS just in case you want to let fly from distance. Even better than all of this would be the commentary; hearing “GERRARRRDDDD” every time you let fly, followed by the roar of the crowd, is bliss. 3 STAR WEAK FOOT feels more like a 4 if I am honest, but definitely nowhere near a 5.
Dribbling Rating: 8/10
Shooting Rating: 9.6/10
Defending & Passing
It has been a while since I had a player pass the ball with the accuracy and purpose that Gerrard does. I don’t think this a surprise revelation, but the way he can ping the ball around the field is fantastic. The weight of pass is always spot on and to the location that you intended. 8 assists is not a staggering number, but when you include the goals it shows how involved Gerrard was in everything good from this weekend. Off of the ball Gerrard is just as effective and the tenacity that he hunts down the ball is Kante-esque. Before anyone jumps to the comments to crucify me I am not saying he is anywhere near as effective as Kante as a CDM. I just like the way that they both track down the ball as if their opponent stole their dog. I have read that many FUT Managers use Gerrard as a CM and I can definitely see this being an effective choice.
Defending Rating: 8.5/10
Passing Rating: 9/10
Final Rating: 9.1/10
Let me start by saying that there is definitely some ICON boosts going on with this card. If Gerrard was your regular Gold or Inform card with these statistics he would not even get into my squad. However, Gerrard seems to laugh in the face of the majority of his statistics and plays well beyond these limits. I will inevitably have to sell the Liverpool man to facilitate future reviews, but after I accumulate enough coins I am certain Stevie will find his way back into the squad. Whenever I was down and needed a goal Gerrard was there to save the day and was key to my Weekend League success. In trying to summarize how important this card was in the war that is Weekend League, only Walt Whitman’s words will suffice:
“O Captain, my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won.” – Walt Whitman
Cheers for reading