This week, I received my review copy of Fifa 11, which makes me the most popular person in the world among my friends. My house has been invaded over the last couple of days by mates who wish to sample the delights of EA’s latest football sim. This means I’ve played quite a large number of head to head games, but have not yet begun manager mode. With that in mind, here’s my wishlist for Fifa 11. (And Fifa 12, if none of my wishes are fulfilled by this year’s edition.)
1. Diving. Yes, it’s cheating. Yes, there should be stiffer penalties for it. Yes, it’s a horrible part of the game. But it’s a part of the game all of the same and until Fifa includes it a crucial part of the authentic football experience will be missing. (Oh, and I would think that including diving would in no way be indicative of a tacit endorsement of such behaviour by Fifa, just in case this is what’s holding it up).
2. Refs and linesmen making mistakes. How many times have we seen a goal from an offside position? Or a penalty given for hardly any contact at all? Match officials make mistakes, and this is a fact we all have to live with. Once again, omitting this fact from the game robs it of some authenticity. (The option to toggle this on and off might be a way of making everyone happy).
3. Tapping up players. All the big clubs do this and everyone knows it. It’s one of the things that lends club football so much drama. Also, to someone who follows football, the idea that a lower level club could sign an 18-year-old phenom who bangs in most of their goals over a season, and then get to keep him beyond the first transfer window when the bigger clubs come calling, is quite frankly ridiculous. (Once again a toggle option might be the way to go here.)
4. The ability for the manager to move between clubs without having to start all over again. Say I’m fed up with managing Chelsea and want to go to Inter Milan? I’d like to do a Jose Mourinho without using up all my hero points please!
5. The ability to compose short, curt messages to the club’s board and to the press. I’d like to do a different kind of Jose Mourinho please.
6. Crowds which boo players who are unpopular with certain sides (welcome back to the Emirates Stadium, Adebayor; no William Gallas, you don’t automatically win over Tottenham fans just because you’re wearing a Spurs shirt.)
7. A weather system that makes sense. It hasn’t snowed in London in October in over ten years, and I don’t think it will do so this year. Just so’s ya know!
8. The ability to update our own home and away kits after the first couple of seasons. There is money to be milked fr… I mean made by providing the fans with lovely new items.
9. More realism in AI results. (Blackpool beat Chelsea 4-1 at the Bridge? Yeah. Sure they did. And Manchester United finishing tenth at the end of the season? In the Bizarro universe, maybe.)
10. Shorter loading times, if at all possible.
11. More realism in the Be A Pro mode. Erstwhile correspondent Tom Hoggins reported he was getting call-ups to the England first team when he was playing for Brighton & Hove Albion FC.
12. A career mode that doesn’t force retirement on you after 15 seasons. (Have these people never heard of Alex Ferguson?)
PS Since I have yet to plunge into the manager mode, I don’t know if any of these things have been installed – apologies if they have.