Imagine you're Sven Goran Ericcson. Way-hey, I boffed Ulrika Jonson! Right, move on from that thought. Imagine you're picking the England team. Up front you could play Owen and Rooney, both known talents with top-flight experience, or you could take a gamble on some duffer from the third division.
What do you do? If you succumbed to the lure of Codies' Club Football last year, then you're in the third-division duffer camp. It's not that it was THAT bad (and now that This Is Football 2004 has stunk up the park it looks much better). It's just that when you've got the likes of Pro Evo and FIFA on such rich veins of form, Club Football is definitely third choice.
Which brings us to EIF - Club Footie's equivalent of FIFA cash-in Euro 2004. Remember how Club Football had 17 different team-specific versions? This is like the 18th, only it's now wearing an England shirt. It's the one game to have the official England team licence, but we're at a loss to identify what it has that FIFA doesn't. Both games have the official kit and FIFA actually has 15 extra players eligible for the team.
And, since FIFA Euro 2004 has the official European Championship licence, you can only play an imitation of the competition. There are other leagues and cups to play in and 32 European teams to play against, but all the statistics look a bit weak compared to EA's offering.
As far as the footie itself goes, nothing has changed from Club Football other than a few tweaks. The player models still look far too skinny, move jerkily, and the ball physics still feel dodgy.
But this has England running through it's veins. There's loads of memorabilia to unlock, like video clips of some game against Germany in the Sixties, sampled crowd chants cheer on the team, and it's even got that bloody tune from The Great Escape. Note to people with trumpets - stop playing that at football games or you'll be blowing it out your arse.
At the end of the day, you have to think like Sven, and on the basis of EIF's trial, we doubt it'll be walking off with the match day jersey.
If you're English, the official team branding might bring out the bulldog in you, but EIF still can't compete with Pro Evo or FIFA for presentation or pure gameplay.