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Are there any proper “hardmen” left?

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by Arbitrium, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. Jan 27, 2018
    #1

    Arbitrium Full Member

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    I remember the mid and late 90s, almost every team had a player that had a very intimidating presence. They weren’t necessarily good in a scrap, but their role definitely had an “enforcer” stigma attached to it. Think David Batty, Paul Ince, Vinnie Jones, Dennis wise etc.

    Are there any players left with that playing style? I can’t really think of one. Is it a style that’s gone for good?
  2. Jan 27, 2018
    #2

    One Night Only Prison Bitch #24604

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    Look at the lower leagues.
  3. Jan 27, 2018
    #3

    van der star newprawn warrior

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    Vidic, Gattuso are the last two I can think of. Out of the currently active players, Vardy, maybe? Can't really think of anyone else who would fit the classic description.
  4. Jan 27, 2018
    #4

    Scroto Baggins Full Member

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    There are definitely those big units that still like to deal out some crunching tackles in the DM roles. Im sure you would know about it if some of them cleaned you out, that DM role has sort of evolved to more mobile ball playing DMs like Fernandinho, Matic or Kante for the clubs situated high in the league. Spurs still have some more traditional DM's in the likes of Dier and Wanyama, Palace have Jedinak, Cork at Burnley, Cameron for Stoke.

    but traditional 'hard men', no not really.
  5. Jan 27, 2018
    #5

    Arbitrium Full Member

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    I never paid much attention to those, though I can imagine that aspect of the game is more important.
  6. Jan 27, 2018
    #6

    tentan New Member

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    Ramos
    Chillieni
  7. Jan 27, 2018
    #7

    Arbitrium Full Member

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    Ramos isn’t intimidating at all, see how he deals with Diego Costa for example.

    One that springs to my mind is Gary Medel
  8. Jan 27, 2018
    #8

    SwansonsTache incontinent sexual deviant & German sausage lover

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    You wouldn't get away with their playing style today, you'd be a card magnet.

    Football has gradually become more protected, when I watch some of the old George Best videos I can't believe the tackles they throw around, and get away with.
  9. Jan 27, 2018
    #9

    Dir Wangem Banned

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    One thing about football that has always confused me: why is it considered "hard" to make rough tackles? Surely that is the softest thing in the world? I've been both a defender and an attacker, and it takes much more balls to deal with tackles than to dish them out...
  10. Jan 27, 2018
    #10

    MyOnlySolskjaer Creator of Player Performance threads

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    Granit Xhaka.

    Not really but please reply I'm desperate.
  11. Jan 27, 2018
    #11

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    There is still players who provide a physical presence.
  12. Jan 27, 2018
    #12

    Kinsella New Member

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    Don't forget Pascal Cygan for Arsenal - that stare he gave Keane in the tunnel whilst the latter was busy putting Vieira in his box was terrifying.
  13. Jan 27, 2018
    #13

    711 Full Member Scout

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    I'm sure Lee Cattermole would like to be thought of in this category. Maybe Barton and Shelvey too. None of them actually hard enough really though, much as they'd like to be.
  14. Jan 27, 2018
    #14

    Oo0AahCantona Full Member

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    refereeing has evolved to the point where you can’t really do it anymore, because you just get blacklisted a bit and because of your rep you just get yellow carded immediately. Look at Fellini’s rep for example and he’s not even on that old school level of “hard”.

    In terms of just intimidating presence though, when Vidal was at juve he held his own. Vidic at United, ceilini isn’t exactly soft.

    I still wouldn’t feck with a lot of the Italian defenders if I’m honest, they still have that vibe.
  15. Jan 27, 2018
    #15

    Irish Jet Full Member

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    Dennis Wise was a proper c*nt. Not a proper hard man.
  16. Jan 27, 2018
    #16

    klayton88 Full Member

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    Me. Since we signed Sanchez.
  17. Jan 27, 2018
    #17

    wurzel-red New Member

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    Mark noble. Proper hard little man he is.
  18. Jan 27, 2018
    #18

    Raoul Admin Staff

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    We're in the PC era now so no.
  19. Jan 27, 2018
    #19

    Rockets Redglare New Member

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    Fellaini. He can be a proper brute.
  20. Jan 27, 2018
    #20

    Dir Wangem Banned

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    :lol:
  21. Jan 27, 2018
    #21

    Snow Somewhere down the lane, a licky boom boom down

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    There are. They are sarcastically referred to as "hardmen" like you put in brackets, people call the stupid usually.

    Ramos is probably the biggest name.
  22. Jan 27, 2018
    #22

    ninjaskill New Member

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    Jedinak left them about 18 months ago now, also wouldn't really describe any of them as hard men really
  23. Jan 27, 2018
    #23

    Hawks2008 Full Member

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    In the top leagues? No not really. You get the occasional nutter or horror tackle from petulant players like Alli for example but no old school 'hardmen'. At any rate it's for the best, thuggish behaviour isn't in the spirit of the game and someone feeling the need to show how hard they are by hacking and studding players is pretty cringey to me.
  24. Jan 27, 2018
    #24

    antohan gets aroused by tagline boobs

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    When you have Wise as one, Barton is about level. Not either really being hard, just little shitbags.
  25. Jan 27, 2018
    #25

    VancouverUtdFan Banned

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    Jesse
  26. Jan 27, 2018
    #26

    Arbitrium Full Member

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    Thats why the brackets are there, its more about the role they bring i.e. first and foremost right in the oppositions face, dirty tackles and generally players get a little bit intimidated by it or at the very least change their approach when around that player. Barton fits that description
  27. Jan 27, 2018
    #27

    Henrik Larsson Still logged in at RAWK (help!)

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    Zlatan on his day
  28. Jan 27, 2018
    #28

    Natener Full Member

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    Does Zlatan count? He doesn't tackle much, but I always feel a kungfu kick coming from him that knocks somebody out cold.
  29. Jan 27, 2018
    #29

    duffer Sensible and not a complete jerk like most oppo's Scout

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    Yep. He was a winger most of his career. The idea of him as some kind of enforcer is hilarious.
  30. Jan 27, 2018
    #30

    Arbitrium Full Member

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    was he? I'm certain he was a centre mid for more than half of his career at the very least
  31. Jan 27, 2018
    #31

    Arbitrium Full Member

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    Na he doesn't count. being good at Karate doesn't mean you can hold your own against some of the animals the PL has seen. Plus, since his book is heavily embellished, its hard to know just how hard he actually is. i'd have had stam before him any day in a fight.
  32. Jan 27, 2018
    #32

    duffer Sensible and not a complete jerk like most oppo's Scout

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    He played until he was about 40 at a shit level but the best years of his career (Wimbledon and Chelsea) were out wide. He moved into the middle toward the end of his Chelsea career.

    I certainly think of him as a wide player.
  33. Jan 27, 2018
    #33

    Arbitrium Full Member

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    Are you sure you haven't got this mixed up? Ive only checked wiki, transfermarket and pESstats and all mention him as a central/defensive midfielder.
  34. Jan 27, 2018
    #34

    duffer Sensible and not a complete jerk like most oppo's Scout

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    Heh, yeah, I was there for most of those games in the early 90s. When we switched to a 3 5 3 in the late 90s he moved into a midfield 3 (he didn't have the legs to at wing back). If you check the teamsheets for the 1988 and 1994 cup finals, he was out wide. From about 97 (the arse end of his career) he played in the middle.
  35. Jan 27, 2018
    #35

    Arbitrium Full Member

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    I was 10 in 1997, thats probably why I only remember him centrally.
  36. Jan 27, 2018
    #36

    duffer Sensible and not a complete jerk like most oppo's Scout

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    I was 19 and he was one of my favourite players as a kid. I always preferred him out wide for his crossing ability. He did a decent enough job in the middle as he got older but it was out wide where he won England caps.

    To class him as defensive midfielder is not really accurate. The first (and best) 10 years of his career were out wide. The next 5 years were in the middle and the final 5 were as a defensive midfielder who used the dark arts.

    I remember an interview with Wise, saying that when Zola came in and asked him if he could take free kicks (wise took them at that point), he challenged him to competition in training, who.ever scored the most out of ten free kicks in training would get to take them in games. Zola went first, scored 10 and Dennis didn't even bother taking his! He knew he was not going to get in the team unless he changed his game


    He was always a little cnut!
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  37. Jan 27, 2018
    #37

    automaticflare Full Member

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    Can’t play football like this anymore so not really no
  38. Jan 27, 2018
    #38

    RooneyLegend Full Member

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    Due to football being as soft as it is and the overreacting from tackled players, players can't really do that anymore. Imagine Keane in these days, we'd struggle to keep him on the pitch on a match to match basis. Anyways the ball is won systematically in the modern game by creating pressure systems that suffocate players for space. Back then the offensive players would be protected by the defensive one's where as now everyone seems to work hard to eliminate space. It works better really, you only have to look at what city does. Despite us having the likes of Keane and Ince who would launch into any opposition player that looked like doing anything with a football, teams like city win the ball back easier than that United side.
  39. Jan 27, 2018
    #39

    MrPooni Full Member

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    Dewy eyed, revisionary bollocks like this does my head in. I swear all the Proper Football Men™ who bemoan how soft football has gotten are almost always the first to (quite rightly) jump down the throats of cowardly nutters like Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Suarez and Diego Costa et al, like the stupid shite they're always trying to pull is so different to what The Crazy Gang and others of their ilk used to get away with in their day. There was nothing hard or romantic about getting away with reducer tackles or grabbing people's testicles and the quicker people realise that, the better.
    Shit like this for example just does a disservice to Keane the footballer. That's not to say he wasn't an irresponsible headcase at times, it's just idiotic to put so much stock into this "hardman" mythos like he brought nothing else to the table.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  40. Jan 27, 2018
    #40

    One Night Only Prison Bitch #24604

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    Would you guys class Puyol as a "hard man"? He was a proper gent really but could put himself about and get in the mix when needed.