By now, I’m sure you’ll all be aware of what Pokémon Go is. If not, this article may not be for you.
Right now, I have 18 Pokémon, through judicious and ruthless use of the ‘transfer’ option, getting rid of the little guys that you don’t want in return for a candy. 18. That’s a starting XI and 7 subs.
Here are my options. Now let’s see what we can do with them.
It’s important to come up with a coherent strategy when you’re picking a team from scratch. Just thing Football Manager; if you throw all of your best players on the pitch you end up with 2 right-backs, 3 forwards set to ‘target man’, only 1 central midfielder, and no-one on the left side.
It’s also important though to quickly establish dead weight. Caterpie, Kakuna, and Paras can be sent to the bench straight away – they’re all likely to get squished by the ball the first time they try and control it and, well, Kakuna’s just a cocoon that’ll lie on the ground.
Koffing looks like a good choice in goal. I’m worried about putting Rhyhorn or either Pidgeotto in there in case their beaks/horns puncture the ball. Krabby’s an option, but at only 42cm tall it’d be lobbed too easily. Koffing’s pungent gases are also likely to put off opposition forwards.
Rhyhorn is a dead cert for centre-back though, the Pokémonification of the traditional bruiser. I’ll partner it with Jigglypuff. Smaller, but with a better turning circle, and the ability to put the opposition to sleep is a big plus.
Zubat and Spearow have gotta be my wing-backs.
I’ll also stick one of the Pidgeotto’s on the wing as a winger/inside forward. The other I’ll put on the bench so that I have a useful option there and not just tiny little bugs.
So, what type of system do I play? I’m seeing Eevee as a kind of Griezmann/Okazaki hybrid, a player who can close down opposition tirelessly in a second striker role, but is also capable of some decent skill. That’ll put me in a ‘4-4-2 on the ball, 4-5-1 off the ball’ kind of thing. My more powerful Drowzee can be the main striker, the other going to the bench as back-up. The Pidgeotto on the right can bomb forward and (Air) Cut(ter) inside to give another option.
So now there’s Dratini, Bulbasaur, Krabby, Psyduck, and Rattata fighting for two central midfield places and the left-wing spot. Dratini, clearly, is our magical midfield playmaker who can both see the killer pass and make it. Honestly, I’m a bit worried about Krabby’s claws and long legs giving away fouls, so it goes to the bench.
Bulbasaur has Power Whip, which could be very useful in making recovery tackles to stop opposition breakaways, so it can partner Dratini in the middle – an under the radar but impressive pairing if I do say so myself.
Rattata, though probably smaller than the ball, can work up and down the left flank all day; and truth be told Psyduck would probably just be a liability if it was ever on the pitch. Rattata left-wing, Psyduck on the bench.
Like my team? Think you can do better? What would your Pokémon Go XI be?