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We need to free Aston Villa’s players from the virtual prison that FIFA 18 has built for them

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Villa Park isn’t exactly a theatre of dreams, but in FIFA 18 it’s nothing more than a prison

Help him
@Ngbakoto on Twitter

EA Sports, if you’re reading, or listening to this article, I’m on my knees begging you. Please set Aston Villa free from this jail you have created for them. It’s just not fair anymore.

I think we should rewind just a little bit. Sorry for getting so emotional, but the point needs to be made DIRECTLY to these animals who call themselves EA Sports.

What has got my goat? Why am I so angry? Who’s put a Bacuna in my midfield? Well - you’re about to find out, and if you are of a sensitive disposition (i.e, you are fond of Arsenal) please avert your gaze and read something by Elis and the 7500 bunch, or watch something from those nice lads over at the Villa View. I, however, am on the warpath.

Every year EA Sports subjects us to a new release of their mega-hit FIFA series, in which you can bungle up your real life by virtually bungling up the Arsenal/Chelsea/insertteamhere job. You might even get a real job out of FIFA by screaming into your camera because you got a in-form Carlos Sanchez in a feat that can only be achieved by spending precisely £750,000 on so-called ‘FIFA POINTS’. However, this year they have gone too far. Aston Villa’s squad in FIFA 18 are haunted and very much like Ghost In The Shell, I’m ready to believe that these AI constructs of misery are in need of rescue. In fact, I’ve seen direct evidence of the torture they are undergoing in this latest edition. It’s not a laughing matter. Stop laughing.

My attention was flared up by so-called Beta testers. These people have got their copy of FIFA a bit early, in exchange for their ‘feedback’ which probably amounts to ‘Coutinho doesn’t do a shoot good’ and ‘Neymar hasn’t got his right hair’ or ‘Messi isn’t dodging tax as well’ - but let’s be real, what is this beta and why are they testing it? A story for another time.

These brave whistleblowers have uncovered something disgusting. A number of requested leaks via Twitter were posted online. I saw familiar names. Jack Grealish. John Terry. Jonathan Kodjia. My heart dropped when I saw what these sick bastards at ‘EA Sports’ had done to the Villa. In a cruel effort to mock up a faux ‘Aston Villa’ they have caused pain. Take a look for yourself.

This. This is Jack Grealish. I’ve got it on good word that his virtual counterpart is locked into a dungeon while some kids with remarkably accurate 1980’s stylings search for treasure. Hey, you guys - that’s not all, there’s a lot more. There’s a clear cry for help and we can see it on the right (his left) side of his head. Tufts and broken patches of hair clearly show the poor bastard tearing his hair out over and over, begging for his time confined to a green pitch to end. He’ll be on that pitch for millions of minutes, playing out the same draws. I thought it was the hair that disturbed me the most, but that’s when it hit me. The horror in his eyes. The sorrow lurking beneath those ashy pools. He’s seen too much. He’s seen 18-0 defeats, he has seen his team relegated forcefully by a vicious child Bluenose. There’s nothing left, except to roam the wing of fake Villa for centuries. The man in claret fled across the pitch and Steve Bruce followed. The thing is, the real Jack Grealish is currently in hospital, and I fear for his health if he ever turns his eyes onto this poor idol. This virtual Jack Grealish is wearing his face sewn over his face. That’s not f**king cricket, let alone football.

John Terry should have fared better - and in a sense, he did. Maybe he put up more of a fight than Jack. The scars still show, and he’s a ghost.

This John Terry is man purely kept alive and kicking by constant injection of opioids. After every game, he is carted back and injected, ready for the next round. His eyes are dead, there’s nothing there. The same injuries are clear in his hair, he’s been burnt to a bastard crisp (probably for fighting back). He looks like a man who is allergic to bees, yet full of bees - stinging him from the inside out forever.

That’s not all. The entire Villa team is locked in this virtual prison, and for what? Because EA Sports can’t free them by doing some facial scans? They keep rolling the same demented meat puppets out year after year, to live out a tormented existence. Virtual Micah Richards shivers. He has been relegated once in real life and forty-seven thousand times in the digital world. Each time breaks him more and more.

This isn’t acceptable. EA Sports and their torture chamber decided to do Forest Green Rovers a solid (who?) by heading down to Nailsworth (where?) to give FGR the full ‘Premier League’ treatment (why?), but have ignored the poor souls of the heavily supported EFL Championship, who are subjected to purgatory again, and again and again.

There’s nothing we can do either. It’s not like Pro Evolution Soccer who rather timidly named Villa ‘West Midlands Village’ before handing you the keys to the kingdom so you might fix the place - no. These players are locked here. Helpless.

Free the Aston Villa 11.