Brain vs Talent.

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by Womp, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Dec 12, 2017
    #1

    Womp idiot

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    I had a discussion with a mate at work about this and thought I'd get the opinion of the caf too. Basically, assuming you were a manager of a big club who obviously had expectations to win major trophies, if you had the option of either a squad of very intelligent (from a footballing perspective) players who weren't as talented, or a squad of extremely talented flair players who were lacking in that regard, which would you choose and why?

    Which squad would be the safer option? Which would be more reliable over a league format, would the flair players fare batter in cup competitions due to it being a one-off?

    I personally think that for a league format I'd go for intelligence, consistency is key when it comes to leagues, whilst you may not get brilliant performances from the intelligent players, you'll get consistent good performances, whereas with the talented players you could get a 10 one week and a 4 the next.

    For cup competitions I'd have to go with talent, they're one off games against other top teams, individual ability is regularly the difference in those games.
  2. Dec 12, 2017
    #2

    LInkash Full Member

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    Could you include some examples of players?
  3. Dec 12, 2017
    #3

    Womp idiot

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    For the flair players: think someone like a Nani. Sky is the limit in regards to talent, but he'd often make you forget due to wrong decision making etc. For players who weren't as talented but were intelligent and reliable think someone like a Young - still very talented but not as mercurial as someone like a Nani who could win games on his own.
  4. Dec 12, 2017
    #4

    Treble Full Member

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    Young is experienced but smart? Not sure. Nani's assists to minutes ratio is second only to KDB. He is not stupid.

    The problem with your debate is that it is very hard to differentiate in a clear manner brain and talent. Every move you do on and off the ball involves decision making and thus is influenced by your brain.
  5. Dec 12, 2017
    #5

    Womp idiot

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    Nani would regularly make the wrong decisions, I was one of his biggest fans and he would drive me nuts. His constant punts into row Z began to become synonymous with him. Whereas with a player like Young, you'd be much more likely to see him make the correct decision. Maybe intelligence isn't the right term, but more so reliable.
  6. Dec 12, 2017
    #6

    LInkash Full Member

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    As a manager, I'd go for the brains in both situations, they'd follow your instructions!

    But as a supporter, I'd prefer watching the beauty...uh I mean talent.
  7. Dec 12, 2017
    #7

    DWelbz19 Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

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    You can teach tactics. You can’t really teach flair or natural talent.
  8. Dec 12, 2017
    #8

    NJM78 Full Member

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    I go for talent over brains and also passion and work rate. I get annoyed when this is aimed at so many players as a reason not to buy them. Talent wins you games 90% of the time, you could have the brainiest and hardest working team in a league but if they are rather limited as footballers who cares. Like the post above tactics can be taught but natural ability cannot.
  9. Dec 12, 2017
    #9

    IhabX7 Full Member

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    You wouldn't see talent if there was no brain behind it. This separation is one of the most annoying things in football talk.
  10. Dec 12, 2017
    #10

    KirkDuyt Full Member

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    Brains. I rather have a squad full of Dirk Kuyt's than a squad full of Mario Balotelli's.
  11. Dec 12, 2017
    #11

    Red Indian Chief Torn Rubber Thus says Kemo

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    Give me Puyols in defence, Beckhams on the flanks, Roy Keanes in midfield and Pedro Rordriguezs and Thomas Muellers upfront any day over talented guys. Its what used to make German teams of the past so hard to beat
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  12. Dec 12, 2017
    #12

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    Decent players have both.
  13. Dec 12, 2017
    #13

    dablem_10 New Member

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    i would say typical player with good brain, but not so much talent is for example thomas muller, but i couldnt find any other good examples of this extreme. I think good balance between is the way, like Mata, only he would be better athlete
  14. Dec 12, 2017
    #14

    luke511 Full Member

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    Isn't it impossible to showcase your brains without the talent?
  15. Dec 12, 2017
    #15

    el3mel Full Member

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    Both.
  16. Dec 12, 2017
    #16

    Moonred Full Member

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    What about a squad full of Rooneys?
  17. Dec 12, 2017
    #17

    do.ob Full Member

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    I don't think you can be a good team if you have to pick either. I'd probably pick brain for my defence and midfield and talent for my attackers. Being well drilled and smart means you are rock solid at the back and can at least create some danger via transitions and counter attacks.

    The way modern coaches like Guardiola or Klopp (high risk approach) for example operate all the talent in the world might not help you if you hamper your teams cohesion because you're out of synch with your team mates.
  18. Dec 12, 2017
    #18

    Zachari New Member

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    Inspired from this thread, I wanted to make a new one, sadly I am not allowed, but if someone thinks it woul be fun, please make one :)

    So basically: which player would you choose to make the strongest 10 (gk is granted)

    Example:

    Pogba Pobga Pogba Pogba
    Pogba Pobga Pogba Pogba
    Pogba Pogba

    You can choose any formation :)
    Ronaldo v messi? (I thinki 10 ronaldos would win bs 10 messis)
    Who is your choice and why?
  19. Dec 12, 2017
    #19

    Zlatattack Full Member

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    You're better off with the intelligent players. You're not going to win anything with Walcott, balotelli, Ben arfa and Ravel Morrison.
  20. Dec 12, 2017
    #20

    padr81 Mr. MoneyBags

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    10 Messi's would keep the ball forever while the 10 Ronaldo's threw their hands up and blamed each other for not doing their job.
  21. Dec 12, 2017
    #21

    Prodigal7 Full Member

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    10 Messis would absolutely destroy 10 ronaldos
  22. Dec 12, 2017
    #22

    Schneckerl Full Member

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    I kind of associate football brains with talent....

    I'd call the 2nd type skills, technique, freestyling...
  23. Dec 12, 2017
    #23

    bpet15 Full Member

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    You need a proper balance of both. The intelligent footballers that will provide consistent performances, while being the foundation of the squad + the talented, flair players that can make moments of magic out of nothing by turning 0 or 1 points into 3.
  24. Dec 13, 2017
    #24

    WackyWengerWorld Banned

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    It depends on the level of intelligence of the flair players and how bad their decision making is. You'd struggle in any game if you had a squad full of Oxlade Chamberlain's who has bagloads of talent, tons of pace, good dribbling, decent technique but nearly always makes a poor decision so isn't very good.
  25. Dec 13, 2017
    #25

    KirkDuyt Full Member

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    10 Messi's would utterly destroy 10 Ronaldo's. Imagine ten people with the passing / vision / technical ability of Messi setting up an attack. 10 Ronaldo's would just be 1 of the 10 shooting from 50 yards out.

    Though hoofing it to the deepest Ronaldo would probably work against a defense consisting of Messi's.
  26. Dec 13, 2017
    #26

    MJJ Full Member

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    Give me maradonas, ronaldos and ronaldinhos in attack and they will destroy that side.
  27. Dec 13, 2017
    #27

    Physiocrat Full Member

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    Interesting question. Obviously there's a minimum level of talent and brains required to be a pro footballer so the question is really in a given player would you want a bit more brains or a bit more talent. I think I tend to brains as watching talented players being entirely stupid is really annoying. That said it depends on the level of talent relative to the brains.

    I would say with regards Nani his decision making wasn't perfect but was much better when played on the right as he didn't dilly daddle like he did on the left.
  28. Dec 13, 2017
    #28

    RooneyLegend Full Member

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    Would be better if you made a brainy but no talent 11 vs a talent but no brains 11.
  29. Dec 13, 2017
    #29

    RooneyLegend Full Member

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    Those players have some of the greatest football brains we've ever seen. They are the combination of the two qualities hence they are/were superstars.
  30. Dec 13, 2017
    #30

    Raees Legal Guardian of the Football forums

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    Don't really agree with the concept as 'talent' for me takes into account footballing IQ too, but nevertheless.. you in an 11 aside context would always go for intelligence IMO as it isn't 5 aside, where talent can just win you games.. its a big pitch and unless you're organised, a half decent coached team with half the talent can easily win.

    Funnily enough when you look at United v City, the talent gap between the sides wasn't really the factor behind the loss, it was the lack of intelligence on the ball which really proved to be the differentiating factor in terms of performance levels.
  31. Dec 13, 2017
    #31

    DannyCAFC Full Member

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    As a manager, I'd probably take brains over talent. Having a squad full of hugely talented players who weren't able to fully instructions or apply themselves would take years off my life I think. Brains would be less frustrating, safer and you would get a more consistent and committed performance. I'd take that as a base and back my tactics to get enough out of them to win games, rather than the free for all of letting a bunch of good technical players do what they want. You would feel you have no control over games, results and therefore your own job which would not be good.
  32. Dec 13, 2017
    #32

    MJJ Full Member

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    Not in the sense of the post i quoted where players with tactical intelligence were favoured over those with flair. Its actually hard to think of top players who had flair but not intelligence.
  33. Dec 13, 2017
    #33

    VeevaVee despite the protests, wears Ugg boots

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    Decision making is very important. You could see that with Pogba last season..he'd often mess up because of it which meant his talent wasn't coming off. You can see it with Martial often too...when he's good it's almost like the right decisions have come naturally without thinking, but when he's off he's cutting the wrong way or running into players. The decisions have to come instantly and almost without effort otherwise you miss an opportunity for the pass or hesitate with the shot (remember all those 'worldy keeper peformances' against us?). That's without even mentioning the importance of positioning and runs, and I suppose grit and determination falls into it too. So brains for me.
  34. Dec 13, 2017
    #34

    VorZakone What would Kenny G do?

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    Brain is part of talent if you ask me.
  35. Dec 13, 2017
    #35

    MyOnlySolskjaer Creator of Player Performance threads

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    For sure, it's hard to separate it.
  36. Dec 13, 2017
    #36

    Ronaldo's ego Full Member

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    I think a lack of footballing intelligence on the pitch is holding us back at the moment. Taking 3/4 extra unnecessary touches, not crossing when in good positions, running into a crowd when you got a good runner on the outside, nobody hanging back for a drop down from long balls and I'm sure I've missed a few. The great players have both but people hardly talk about their footballing IQ because it all comes so naturally to them.

    I'd take 11 very good players all with a good tactical understanding and a good football brain over a team of 9 very good and two world class players with rash decision making and the tendency to make a mess of basics.
  37. Dec 13, 2017
    #37

    MyOnlySolskjaer Creator of Player Performance threads

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    Ashley Young > Di Maria.
  38. Dec 13, 2017
    #38

    Lord SInister Full Member

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    Ashley Young himself is not a great brain player IMO. Not really better than Di Maria in that regard, and when it comes to talent, he is tier below.
  39. Dec 13, 2017
    #39

    devilish Juventus fan who used to support United

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    Kuyt is similar to the likes of Philip Neville and Rino Gattuso ie they possess plenty of heart + workrate but very little talent. If I had to choose someone with plenty of brains but not so much talent or workrate then Id go for the likes of Teddy Sheringham
  40. Dec 13, 2017
    #40

    Skills Snitch

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    Being intelligent is a talent. Probably the most useful trait in everyday life.