With the full TOTY squad released and soon to be all together in packs we salute those of you that have saved your packs for months and have had to wait that little bit longer before opening. You have self-control on a level that would make you unfit for any political position, and I hope you have the luck that warrants your sacrifice.
While others were waiting, we have been rolling through TOTY options and testing just how juiced they feel in the game. This time around it was the defenders, with a little twist, as we look to outline a little bit about each one in this review.
Let's start off with the basics and then dive into each one individually. VVD > Theo > Hakimi > Militao. Argue amongst yourselves in the comments. The one outlier here is Hakimi, who certainly has the potential to play midfield and that versatility may just take him above Theo here. But it is TOTY DEFENDERS and so the emphasis was placed on defending for the tiebreaker.
96 Team of the Year Virgil van Dijk Review
Colossus, Man-Mountain, Behemoth… you take your pick, none truly define how this card operates in the game. The NIF stood up as one of the best defenders for a long period of time before being slowly replaced. The World Cup Stories offered an improvement… But this TOTY card is just on a different planet from the majority of defenders in the game.
Good vs. Bad
With each defender, we will quickly discuss one/two key strengths and a weakness they possess for better reference. With VVD, the strength of this card is exactly that… 97 STRENGTH… but there was more.
+ 88 ACCELERATION & 99 SPRINT SPEED with the LENGTHY AcceleRATE. It was key to get the big man moving in anticipation of attacks or through balls… But after about two steps the locomotive is moving and there is nothing stopping him from steamrolling attackers down the tracks.
+ The jockeying with this card is outrageous and was the key standout among all of the other crazy in-game moments. The card size, 80 AGILITY & 75 BALANCE do not seem to weigh in on this card's movement in the slightest as will be highlighted in his video on multiple occasions.
The one negative I can think of, and it relates little to the reason you are buying the big man.
- This card wins every defensive header… like EVERY. So you would expect the same prowess offensively on corners… and he did that too. He just never scored, not one. Minor issue, but could have been a review for the ages with a view banging headers.
94 Team of the Year Theo Hernandez Review
I have used WCH Capdevila for 230 matches. Tried Wildcard Robo, tried 91 Roberto Carlos & tried Wildcard Mendy to name a few. None of these options even remotely tempted me to change Capdevila. Theo Hernandez outperformed Capdevila in every tangible area and in 8 matches has completely ruined me to every other LB I am sure. The card is so good defensively, chipped in with a few assists, & randomly fired a right-footed rocket far post and in from distance. Incredible
Good vs. Bad
This card is like all Theo editions with the top-end pace… but this version takes care of business after getting into the correct positions every time.
+ Went with the GUARDIAN chemistry style for this one and he simply did not miss a tackle. I can not remember a single broken tackle as the 99 STANDING TACKLE never let me down. This is improved from other Theo versions I have tried and makes Theo a rock at the back… a very fast-moving rock… like a boulder down a hill… you get the picture.
Theo’s pace was also a massive asset moving forward and the ability to simply outstrip midfielders for pace was staggering. The crossing then led to some amazing results, but one issue did arise.
- Getting Theo into key attacking areas did expose a bit of a dribbling issue. He is not poor in this department, but at times the turns felt sluggish as the 87 AGILITY & 93 BALANCE did not always fire correctly.
94 Team of the Year Hakimi Review
I have only had one red card in my entire four years of reviewing cards, and it was two yellows, and the second yellow was a complete scandal. In total, I have had 2 red cards in my entire FIFA career… Well, that total is up to three now. I had thought Hakimi would be first to the ball and clear it, and the next thing I know he was trimming my opponent from behind and in for an early shower.
Beyond the reckless abandon tackling, Hakimi is a solid operator in the back, but he is honestly too fun of a card to be playing there. However, there were times when he was caught out of position (sometimes my fault for bombing him on down the wing constantly), and he missed quite a few tackles he should have easily dealt with.
After the 7 matches, I moved him to midfield for a 3 match stint and he was seriously fantastic. 6 goals and 3 assists. Truthfully, I think he is wasted at right back and didn’t exactly shine defensively, the conversation for Hakimi is more in terms of where he stacks up against the best midfielders… and I am not exaggerating when I say he is up there in the top 3 I have used this year.
Good vs. Bad
This card is all-action and performed as such during the review.
+ The look of this card with a FINISHER is one scary midfielder and he performed this way in the game. This change was huge for my squad's success and a lot of fun to use. Shooting is not always on point… but he managed a few in his short spell.
He is all-action and a lot of fun, yes. But could be a bit of a liability defensively… and again this was partially down to my fault.
- With a GUARDIAN this card should not be missing tackles, but as I said, he did. The lack of size seemed to play a big part in this and overall I wasn't as confident defensively in Hakimi compared to the other three.
94 Team of the Year Eder Militao Review
Militão brought up the rear in this rat race for a few reasons, the main one being more of an EA issue where I feel like they didn’t do Militão justice overall. Sure, you can add a SHADOW to up his pace… but you shouldn’t have to. The +10 Shooting also seems a waste and the dispersal of those statistics elsewhere would have been an insane result. Don’t get me wrong, he is great… but he wasn’t as dominant defensively as VVD and Theo… and could never deliver offensively like Hakimi.
Good vs. Bad
The biggest difference between the VVD and Militão experience is their presence. You know VVD is out there and he inflicts himself on the game defensively. Militão is more of a sneaky operator and makes a ton of interceptions and key challenges utilizing that same pace.
+ Worth noting that Militão scored a header off a corner and VVD never, but there are better things to discuss. Primarily the 99 INTERCEPTIONS & 95 ACCELERATION. While I wasn’t always 100% happy with Militão defensively, it is undeniable that he cuts out a lot of chances before they ever take shape.
The defensive quality in this card is fantastic, but there were a few brief moments of frustration.
- Losing headers and losing marks… I can see the headers given his size, even with the 99 JUMPING he was dunked on twice in the 7 matches… but the marks with 99 DEFENSIVE AWARENESS just didn’t make sense. It was only a few times against really good opponents… but was a few times more than I experienced using VVD.