FUTTIES Winner SBC 86 Butland player review: Broken

Today we'll be reviewing the new FUTTIES Winner Jack Butland.

Surely to everyone's suprise, the Stoke City and England keeper managed to beat PSG's Kevin Trapp and fellow BPL goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, and has secured this 86-rated FUTTIES Winner SBC item.

The SBC is relatively easy to complete, so don't be shocked to see him in 28 of the 30 Weekend League games you play next weekend.


I used Butland in the following squad:


I used Butland for 12 games in the WL, and here are the stats after these games:

Games: 12

Goals/Assists: 0/0 (TBH he did play as goal keeper, so it's not a bad return)

Goals conceded: 15

Clean sheets: 5


I think my experience with FUTTIES Winner Butland can be summed up with his performance in the first game I used him in. He struggled to catch my opponents first shot on target, and celebrated catching it by taking a huge step back into his own net. He then attempted to punch the ball clear, but only hit it as far as the back of Chris Smalling's head, and then lay hopelessly on the ground as the ball rolled into the back of my net.

Finally, he decided that the best course of action in the 90th minute, when I was 3-2 up, was to come charging out at an on-rusing Heung-Min Son, and then throw himself at his feet, only for Son to coolly step past him, and try to dribble the ball into the net (Smalling came up big and tackled him from behind to make the clearance, and secure me the win).

The first thing you should notice in his stats is that in the 12 games he played, he kept 5 clean sheets, but still conceded 15 goals. This equates to him conceding 15 goals in just 7 games, including one game where he let in 5 goals (I won that game 7-5 in extra time, but if it had not been for a lot luck, I would have conceded at least 5 more). That is a shocking statistic, especially for a goalkeeper of Butland's notoriety. He would somehow scrape a cleansheet in one game, and then let in two in the next.

In real-life football, most saves go something like this: the keeper sees the opponent lining up for the shot, anticipates where it will go, decides on the best way to save it, and then executes that save.

This 86-rated Butland did things a little differently.

He added an extra step to the process -- right after he saw the shot, he took a moment to make a crucial decision. He decided whether he's going to play like the Jack Butland we all know and love, or if he was going to forget everything he ever learned about being a keeper. If he chose the latter, he'd stick out the wrong arm, or dive the wrong way, or just drop to the pitch and pretend he's somewhere else.

I'm not saying this is something that Butland is alone in doing. Goalkeeping was pretty broken this year; the mechanics, decision-making and animations are inconsistent and unreliable, with keepers pulling off unbelievable reflex saves while being unable to get down to stop a pea-roller. This is why there are so many differing opinions on goalkeepers this year -- I know people who swear by Alex McCarthy from Southampton, as well as those who have found TOTS David De Gea to be useless.

There are a handful of keepers who are less prone to these bouts of stupidty, with the rest of them being virtually unusable. Butland's 82-rated item was one of those handful of keepers. That's the reason he was (and still is) a mainstay of Weekend League teams, and the reason why he holds his goalkeeping spot against so many higher-rated keepers.

This 86-rated item, at least in the games I used him, was a completely different story. He was awful. I'm not going to sugarcoat it: there are no words for how disappointed I was.

One of the only good things I can say about this item was that he was consistent in his performances -- consistently awful, that is. Even the games in which he kept clean sheets, he was lucky to not concede; off-the-line clearances, shots coming off the woodwork, and some of the least clinical finishing I've seen this year were some of the reasons he didn't concede twice as many as he did.

He did make some impressive saves, but they were few and far between. What really got to me was these super saves often came in the back end of games where he had already conceded many goals, or in games where I was so many goals ahead that it didn't matter. However, when the chips were down, he rarely delivered.

I would go through his item stats, by there is no point in doing that, because we all know keepers rarely perform to their stats. His diving was especially bad, with this item being completely incapable of stopping low shots. He was also incapable of stopping shots that went close to his body, preferring to flap his arms and go to ground. His reflexes were still very good, allowing him to pull off some wonder saves from close range, and he was pretty much unbeatable from outside the box. His handling was garbage, and he spilled more shots than he caught. His positioning was equally trash; there were times when he was so far away from the ball that he wouldn't have been able to reach it even if he dived. His kicking was solid, probably because of all that practice from kicking the ball out of his own net.

I'm fully aware that this review doesn't make a lot of sense. How can an 86-rated version be worse than an 82-rated version? Personally, I think it comes down to two factors: The first was that I was expecting so much from him; Butland's 82-rated item may be the best keeper I've used this year (besides Van der Sar), and this 86-rated item has received a significant boost, so I was expecting him to be a game-changer. Second, I have always viewed the 82-rated item with rose-tinted glasses, often overlooking his mistakes because he was so darn good. But with this item, I just didn't experience that magic, and so I couldn't sweep his issues under the rug. Maybe if I went back to his 82-rated, I'd notice these deficiencies, but after this experience, I'm not using Butland again this year.

I'm sure that other people will have different experiences with him, which is why I wish EA released an option to try him out on loan. But based on my experience, I would suggest you save those coins and items for another FUTTIES SBC.


Overall: 2/10

Value for Coins: 4/10 (It's an 86-rated special item that might be useful for SBCs)

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