And with that, the 12th man rounds out this year's TOTY and there is probably no better candidate than Erling Haaland. The Norwegian Tank has absolutely set the Premier League on fire and looks poised to break multiple records in the near future.
Despite some massive boosts they have done just enough to keep the big man as the LENGTHY AcceleRATE type and one can only imagine how insane he would be without the meta shift to start the year...
Yet it is worth noting that Haaland’s NIF and later his IF were largely dominant after the changes, and the TOTY had every statistic to do the same.
Playing as the Striker in our 4-3-2-1 it was a Maestro chemistry application that worked a treat… but really I think any would work. The reasoning for those interested, we have had our Striker dropping back a bit of late to link play… and the passing boost looked needed, and worked perfectly.
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Haaland looked to carry his real-world dominance in the pixelated universe all weekend long in the following squad:
20 goals in 10 matches of Weekend League is up there with the best returns from any review. The reasons are multiple… but it is the power of this card that is most impressive.
The linkup play with this card was sublime as well and mixed with the end product, you really can’t do much better. There were moments when everything was not perfect, but you always felt like a goal was just around the corner.
There was only a select few defenders that could match Haaland, and in situations where they were absent, this card simply imposed its will upon the game.
Main Statistics – Shooting
Shooting Rating: 9/10
Weak Foot: ★★★★
It is interesting. Haaland is virtually flawless when finishing on his left. The 99 FINISHING & 99 SHOT POWER ensured that from the outset. But on the right side, it was a bit more hit-and-miss. Additionally, the lack of any traits left some concerns.
On the left, from a finesse standpoint, I didn’t notice any let-off. He slings them in with ease and was lights out … the Outside Foot was a different story and not nearly as effective.
Again, on the right, this changed. The finesse shots went away but you could still 100% rely on the laces shots with power. Even the 99 LONG SHOTS were ripping the back of the net more often than not.
Regardless of shooting skill, this card was always going to score goals… the 94 POSITIONING is one of the best I have used. Every turnover in possession you could guarantee Haaland was somewhere in space, and an open shot would result, with the only surprises coming when he missed.
Value/Coins Rating: 4.5/5
I just don’t know here. 4.7 million is astronomical to pay for a card that is borderline perfect… and as I said, Haaland still had his flaws.
The 20 goals and 6 assists en route to a 9-1 Weekend League start, maybe begins to justify the massive investments. But I just can’t overlook the similar price tag to TOTY Messi, who I am taking over Haaland if offered the two.
Good vs. Bad
Good vs Bad Rating: 5/5
Too big, too strong
+ The size and LENGTHY Accelerate had this card feeling like a Harrier Jet at full clip, never mind 99 SPRINT SPEED… he feels like 110.. You gain a step past defenders… and before they know it he has gained five. This space only allowed for more time when selecting finishes or passes when through on goal… an area I normally struggle with and was made easy by this card.
+ The physical size and statistics of this card are like a man playing in the youth ranks. There were times, including the headed goal, when there just wasn’t any stopping this giant.
+ In a weird way it was the passing that surprised, excited, and intrigued me the most. The size is a factor… you get those extra seconds to pick a pass when defenders can’t get a step or arm into your player. Then the 95 SHORT PASSING proved pinpoint and led directly to the 6 assists… and even the 73 LONG PASSING was strangely accurate, perhaps benefitting from the 95 VISION?
Size giveth, and size taketh away
- There would be at least 5-10 moments in a game where Haaland felt awful when leaving the dribble. Going nowhere, and if I wasn’t prepared to shield the ball… losing possession. The left-stick dribbling was surprisingly responsive and enjoyable to use… but making space out of the dribble, was not always so fun.
Goals, goals, and more goals. I wanted to see the big man deliver his real-life form… and he did, in spades. You can excuse a loss of possession or two when you are scoring a hat trick every match.
The price tag is hard to swallow though and does shine a spotlight on any mistakes that a “normal” card can get away with.
I loved this review. In the end... The wins… the goals… and just the confidence of having Haaland in the squad was worth the 250k tax hit to sell… well, maybe not quite, but you know what I mean.
Hoping you are well. Cheers for reading.