FIFA 19

87 Okocha Swap Review

FIFA19 6 - 87 Okocha Swap Review
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Background: I liked to build skill squads and mess around with skill moves. When the first set of icon swaps was announced, my attention immediately went to Ferdinand, Pirlo, and Okocha. Rio looks like the best value in the whole set to me for pure tryhard teams, but as I don't often mess with WL and primarily play for FUN, I wanted a card that would have a bigger fun factor than a CB. Pirlo's small player model and lack of pace look problematic at CM and there are many better 5 star icon CAMs, so I opted for Okocha even though he's one of the cheapest tradeable icons on the market (also, I didn't want to have to grind SBs). He's one of only two RW 5 star SM icons in the game, and with Garrincha being expensive, adding Okocha gives me a lot of flexibility to link players out of that spot for the rest of the game cycle.

I put a deadeye on him and have been alternating him between RW and CAM in 433-4. Sometimes I play him on the wing for the whole match, but recently I have been bumping him over to CAM at the first whistle and subbing Dembele into the RW spot. Here are my thoughts:

PACE: It's fine for a CAM. I don't think you need 90+ pace on a CAM, so his 83 is quite good. His high agility and dribbling give him a responsive and nippy feel, though he's not really the sprinter type. If you plan on deploying him in a wide formation and your play style involves a lot of through balls, you'll probably want to put a hunter on him for the extra pace. I would give him an 8/10 in this category.

SHOOTING: I've mainly been scoring line drives inside the box with him. My play style doesn't involve a lot of longshots or curlers, so I haven't tested him in those areas as much as I probably should have. However, he has a relatively powerful shot with the deadeye chem style and seems especially proficient at no-nonsense power shots. I find that he has the best success when I just rip it, rather than trying to finesse. Absent a chem style, he has only 73 finishing, and I have noticed him missing the occasional close range chance. He is not wasteful, but not an elite finisher either. It should be noted that he has elite FK stats with a deadeye, and he's one of the only two players I've scored a FK with this year (I haven't studied how to hit them yet in the new system). This is quite a nice bonus if you don't have a good FK taker in your squad, as it can give you another potential way to score. Overall, I would give his shooting an 8.5/10. It's not up there with the elite icons or the cards we'll see around TOTS time, but if you get him into dangerous positions then he will score plenty for you.

PASSING: I'll be honest, passing is not a stat that matters much to me. I rarely notice a difference here, regardless of which player I'm using. Okocha has set up some goals for me and seems competent in this department. I'll say 9/10 because I have no complaints here. As crossing for headers is pretty dead this year, I haven't attempted many with him and can't comment on that.

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DRIBBLING: This is probably the main reason why you get Okocha. Even with a deadeye chem style that doesn't touch his dribbling stats, he is slick and responsive on the ball. The 5 star skill moves are one of his main selling points and he executes everything crisply. If you put a sniper or engine on him, he will be even more insane on the ball. The only complaint I might have here is that his slight stature and low strength don't give him that Pogba or Rashford-like ability to bounce off tackles and maintain possession. He can be bullied. I'll still give him a 9/10 here.

DEFENDING: I would say it's irrelevant, but the truth is that when I deploy him at CAM, I do occasionally rely on him to track back and break up play. His pace and overall mobility give him a good ability to get into passing lanes and harass dribblers, but he's obviously not going to be a brick wall for you. I'll say 6/10 here, mainly because he can catch up to people well.

PHYSICAL: Much will be made of his 70 stamina and if you're using him at RW/RM and running into channels then it will probably be an issue come the ~70th minute or so, but as a CAM I actually haven't had to sub him out. Unless you're playing constant pressure and sprinting with him all the time, I find that he's able to go the full 90 and still be relatively effective. However, as I noted in the dribbling review, he has a small player model (5'8") and low strength (60), so he can easily be pushed around and bullied off the ball. I can only give him a 6.5/10 in this category. He is more of a race car than a bulldozer and you should use him accordingly.

OVERALL: There are certainly better icons in set 1 if you are purely looking to maximize your WL and DR rank. Okocha is not a very "meta" pick, but if you are a skiller who wants a fun card that you can use throughout the year then I would argue that he's a solid choice. In many ways he reminds me of a cheap alternative to Ronaldinho. He isn't quite as good, but the difference isn't as big as the price gap would suggest (I had prime R10 in FUT 18 and FUT 19). I really have no regrets about spending 8 tokens on him and he's been very fun to use. He's a wizard on the ball and they updated his player model to give him braids, so he'll look pretty fly as he's weaving through your opponent's defense. The main drawbacks are the low physicality and the lack of elite top end pace, the latter of which may turn off certain play styles, as people like Gelson Martins and Allan St. Maximin have more raw pace as 5 star SM wingers if you just want somebody to run the channels. Okocha may not be "end game" in the sense of stacking up with the best TOTS cards and prime icons in May, but unless you are playing at an elite level, he will be useful all year as a rotational option or sub. 8/10 overall rating as a RW and 8.5/10 as a CAM, but 9/10 for the fun factor.

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