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The Backpage | NEW FIFA TRICKS!

In this week’s Backpage, football journalist and FIFA gamer Darren Cross talks FIFA 12 skills and reveals his top five moves for beating defenders…

Things have been getting very interesting in the world of football over the last week or so.

We’ve seen a couple of massive transfers go through, like Aguero’s move to City, and rumoured Chelsea target Javier Pastore snubbing The Blues in favour of a £40 million switch to French club PSG. And there should be more to come, with the futures of big names like Fabregas, Tevez and Sneijder seemingly undecided at the time of writing.

We’ve also been treated to a bit more footy on TV as teams ramp up their preparations for the new season in their final friendly games. Then there’s the Community Shield to look forward to this Sunday, when Man. City take on United. Good times.

It’s been a pretty big week in the world of FIFA too, and I don’t just mean because the development team have been scrambling to keep up with the number of signings at PSG. By the way, I reckon the French club could be a good underdog choice for online games in FIFA 12. They, like Malaga in Spain, have signed a lot of top class players so far this summer and look set to carry on spending. Keep an eye on them.

Where was I? Yes… an exciting week for FIFA…

All of the new packshots were revealed and that caused a bit of a buzz in the Community – it always starts to feel like the game launch is closing in once the packs are announced, doesn’t it?

But what I found most interesting was the news that FIFA 12 will include a handful of new skill and freestyle moves.

If you missed this announcement, check out the latest podcast. FIFA skill king Marius Hjerpseth chats about moves that have been improved and mentions some brand new skills that sound great. Actually, once you’re done listening to that on the podcast, why not watch it:http://www.youtube.com/user/Hjerpseth

That guy makes the best FIFA videos I’ve ever seen.

Okay so there are a bunch of changes to the skill moves in FIFA 12, but I’m guessing a lot of you are wondering why I think that’s so interesting? Many FIFA fans don’t bother to really learn any of the skills in the game, except for the rainbow flick and volley which we all do in the Arena, right? I think that’s partly because they can take a fair bit of practising to master, but mostly due to the general feeling that the skills are just for showboating and that they have no real use in game.

That last part is what I’d like to focus on this week, because there are some hugely underused skills in the game that are genuinely useful and have the added bonus of making your opponent look, well, a bit of a donkey.

Here are five tricks or skills that are easy to learn and incredibly effective if you use them at the right times. Have a read, take a look at the video links to see what I’m talking about, then power up the game and give them a go. After all, scoring feels so must better when you’ve just beaten the last defender by popping out a trick…

THE STOP AND TURN
A four star skill move that becomes a Turn and Spin with 5 star players, this is a fantastic trick for beating a defender and creating space, as it not only looks great but is also incredibly hard to stop if the attacker knows what he’s doing.

Try using it to cut inside and make some room for a shot. This works especially well if you play with wingers whose dominant foot is different to the side of the pitch they’re playing on. For example, Ashley Young (four star skills) is a good one for this because you can run at the box from the left side then perform the stop and turn to the right, which will take you past the defender and leave Young running on to the ball with his dominant foot – perfect for a shot at goal.

The five star version – Turn And Spin – is really just a faster way to do the trick. Both work really well, as this tutorial video is demonstrates here:

Just go to My FIFA 11, Settings & Profile, Controls, Button Help, Skill Moves.

THE HEEL FLICK
What I like best about this trick is the change of pace. I love to slow my player down as the defender approaches – more often than not they’ll be rushing towards me on full press, which is great news as that makes this even easier – then perform the trick when I’m almost at a stop. Combine this with holding sprint right after, and you should find this simple switch of momentum has left the defender standing.

You can do the Heel Flick with any three star player. Four star players and above will do the Heel To Heel Flick, which is more or less the same thing, just a bit more showboaty. Is that a word? Maybe not.

Anyway, watch it here (and please excuse the shameless plug for my own video):

THE HEEL CHOP
Simple to do with any five star player, The Heel Chop is great when you’re running head-on towards a defender.

If you perform the move just as you approach the opposition player, you’ll shift the ball slightly to the left or right – depending on which direction you chose – and that should be just enough to take you past them.

Ronaldo and Nani love doing this trick in real life. I tried it once and fell over, so now I stick to doing it in FIFA.

Take a look:

THE SCOOP TURN This fits in well with the Heel Chop above because you press exactly the same buttons to perform a Scoop Turn, but while standing still instead of running at a defender.

Again, this is best used against players who like the press button a bit too much – just let them run in then scoop to the left or right. Keep in mind which foot you want your player to have the ball at after the turn – dominant foot is best if you’re scooping to make space for a shot from distance.

You can even use it to turn past the keeper, look:

THE FAKE SHOT OR PASS
This isn’t really a skill move as such, because any outfield player can do it, but I’ve saved the best until last because I think this is the most effective tool in the game for beating defenders.

Just power up a shot or long pass, then press the short pass button to fake. Hold the direction you want to fake to and you’ll find your player turning at a sharp angle.

This is brilliant against defenders who dive in, and it’s especially good to use in the box as I find I get fouled a lot when doing it.

I’m sure you know what this move looks like, but if not then have a look here:

That’s all for this week. Have fun working on the tricks above and, as always, thanks very much for reading. If you’re into Twitter, you can follow me @Darren_Cross for all things FIFA related.

See you next week,
Darren