The Beat

the-back-page-news-article.jpg POSTED BY EA News ON 08/23/2011

The Backpage | JAY SPEARING – MY FIFA

In this week’s Backpage, Liverpool’s Jay Spearing reveals the Reds stars that play FIFA 11, which ones are the best at the game and why he can’t wait for FIFA 12!

Hello and thanks for dropping by to the Backpage. It’s been another massive week or so in FIFA world with all the latest news on the game coming out from GamesCom.

Where to start really? FIFA 12 picked up the Best Console Game award, tons of info about the massively improved online mode came out along with very exciting info on FUT12 and – the big one – the FIFA 12 demo was officially dated for release on September 13. All the games will take place over three minute halves in Man. City’s Etihad Stadium and you’ll be able to choose to play as City, Barça, Arsenal, Marseille, Dortmund or AC Milan. Nice.

There’s a lot to take in, so if you’ve missed anything or want to find out more head to http://www.ea.com/uk/news/fifa12-at-gamescom-02 where you’ll get all the info plus plenty of FIFA 12 videos from Gamescom that are well worth watching.

It’s right about now, with the demo on its way and just a few weeks to go until the final release, that excitement levels for FIFA begin to ramp up as fans like us start counting down the days. But us regular FIFA fans aren’t the only people wishing the time would go a bit quicker… real footballers are too. Over the last couple of years I’ve met more and more real-life footballers with a genuine passion for FIFA as the game rapidly becomes a popular way to fill free time at hotels or training grounds.

I recently caught up with Liverpool star Jay Spearing, who’s an especially big FIFA fan, for a chat about how he likes to play FIFA, who he plays with or against and why he’s looking forward to getting his hands on FIFA 12 just as much as the rest of us…

So I hear you’re a big FIFA fan, Jay?
“Yeah I always have been! I remember right back to the really early versions and each one has got better and more realistic with the technology they have now. I was playing FIFA way back on the first PlayStation and have played it through from there.”

How often do you play FIFA now then?
“Whenever I get a chance really! I get quite a few afternoons free and if some of the lads are about then we’ll have a FIFA night, but we also try to get the PlayStation into the dressing room at Melwood as much as possible and we’ll often have competitions playing doubles and things like that. We have a lot of good banter while we’re playing!”

Who’s the best FIFA player at Liverpool?
“Partnership wise, at the moment I think it’s Lucas and Suarez – they’re looking quite good. We mix the doubles partners up though so we’ll just make teams of two with whoever is around. I like to think I’m half decent at FIFA but then I’ll play someone who’ll probably smash me at some point!

What sort of FIFA player are you?
“I just go for as many goals as possible! I do try to knock it about a bit too though. I haven’t got a clue how to do any of the tricks in the game, but if I’m winning three or four nil then I’ll try a trick just to wind the other person up!”

Do you just play against the other Liverpool lads, or mates from outside the club and online against the community?
“I’ve got a Career Mode going in single player for myself, but I do play against the other lads a lot too and I’ve just sorted out my online, so I’ve been getting the names of the other lads so I can play them on that. I’m just getting into it now really.”

I’m guessing you play as Liverpool when it’s your choice?
“Obviously I like playing as Liverpool and that’s who I use in Career Mode, but when all the lads play against each other we normally do a random selection where we’ll go for the Premier League then take the best four star team that comes up within five presses. It’s good that way. If you keep picking the best teams all of the time then you know it’s going to be a decent game but it can be a lot of fun to do it on random too.”

What do you think of the FIFA version of Jay Spearing? “My player became a lot better when I did the last update, so I’m happy with that but I’ll have to have a word about the initial stats I had – I was second reserve!”

I take it you still pick yourself in that Liverpool midfield?
“You have to, don’t you? You’ve got to use yourself to see how good you are, and I have got myself taking all free-kicks, corners, penalties… everything!”

Which stats would you change for FIFA 12 then?
“My all-round stats – in the game you want to be a generally decent player. Perhaps it would be good to see my tackling, passing and shooting improve a bit more.”

How much are you looking forward to playing FIFA 12 when it comes out soon? “If you’re playing FIFA 11 then you’re itching for more about FIFA 12 so you can see what the graphics and the gameplay is like. Players also look out for how they look in the game too! I’m really looking forward to 12.”

Thanks Jay, and thanks to you for taking the time to read the Backpage. As always, any feedback is appreciated and feel free to add me on Twitter @darren_cross where I’ll attempt to keep you updated with everything FIFA related.

See you next week, Darren