Tom Cleverley | 2012-14 Performances

Discussion in 'Player Performances Forum' started by Bebe, Jul 7, 2012.

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  1. Dec 9, 2012

    TheHorse'sMouth Full Member

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    It was Wilshere's 2nd game back after 18 months..not a particularly good barometer to use when measuring a player's level.
  2. Dec 9, 2012

    Brightonian Full Member

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    Yeah fair enough, I didn't really clock the second half of his sentence.

    I do think Cleverley's underrated though. People pigeon-hole him a lot. As a result they miss or forget the moments when he does more than his 'neat, tidy football', and also underrate the importance of the qualities for which he is pigeon-holed. Yes, he's neat and tidy and does the basics well. But there aren't many that do the basics as well as him. Whatever you think of possession football, he's an outstanding player of it. And as I've said, I think he is one of the top young midfielders in the country.
  3. Dec 9, 2012

    Brightonian Full Member

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    Nonetheless. Plus Cazorla and Arteta were out there too. That's a strong midfield whichever way you look at it. If you don't like that example, today is another good one.

    It does seem, sometimes, like some people have just decided to be negative about him no matter what. It's strange because he's so obviously the type of player that we were crying out for two or three years ago - an intelligent possession player, excelling at quick one-two passing, playing at a high intensity on and off the ball for 90 minutes. Hard not to feel like he'd get a warmer reception if he had a Spanish name to go with his style of football.
  4. Dec 9, 2012

    Ash_G Full Member

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    I like Clev, I think he's an excellent young player, although I think Wilshere is undoubtedly a better talent.

    I just don't think Clev is a hugely creative player (although I don't think that's a problem either), nor do I think he's particularly suited to playing in a wide team where he has to spend a lot of time in a deeper role. I think he can adapt to that though, and he's showing signs that he is adapting and personally I hope he and Carrick can get a good run together because we need a partnership in there, particularly now we've got a lead in the league and with the knockout stage of the CL coming up.
  5. Dec 10, 2012

    Big-Red can't win titles but can win sweepstakes

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    Love the way he passes the ball, not sure why, there's an ease about it.
  6. Dec 10, 2012

    Pexbo Feels privalidged to be permernant caf member

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    Cleverleys learning arc has been excellent in my opinion. He didn't explode onto the scene or anything he has just gradually and consistently kept improving and if he can continue that arc we have nothing to worry about.


    He's got the basics of being a midfielder nailed already, neat passing, good movement, good positioning and an excellent work rate. When he starts to add the other facets, a stronger tackle, the key passes, more goals and hopefully a more commanding and more vocal role he will become a more imposing figure and start to get a few more plaudits.

    The point is that he is still young and all that will come with time and experience. I think he's going to be a diamond.

    It's a comparison I have brought up a couple of times but Xavi at his age wasn't really getting the plaudits and had a few criticisms about what he actually brought to the team. He wasn't a defensive enough to impose himself in that respect and he didn't create nearly enough but he grew into his role and we know what a player he turned into. Luckily Tom is at the right club to grow and realise his potential. I can't wait to see it.
  7. Dec 10, 2012

    Brightonian Full Member

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    Excellent post. Last time you posted the Xavi comparison (or it might have been me, can't remember), a couple of people went off on one saying he'd been brilliant from a much younger age than Tom. But it was nonsense, a complete rewriting of history. I remember his early appearances for Spain got roundly criticised, and a lot of Spanish supporters didn't want him to get more chances because he was seen as terminally limited.
  8. Dec 10, 2012

    Plechazunga Grammar partisan who sleeps with a real life Ryan

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    Great post.

    He's got it all upstairs, you can tell. I bet you he re-watches all his games and works out what he can do better. If he can avoid the celebrity trap then he's got the mentality to become a very useful player.

    The Wilshere comparisons are pretty unhelpful. Yeah, they're both young and English. Wilshere has much more talent, sure, but Cleverley's a relentless self-improver. Roy Keane admitted he wasn't the most talented player among his peers.
  9. Dec 10, 2012

    Pexbo Feels privalidged to be permernant caf member

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    I think the reason I enjoy watching him play so much is because his style and ability is very much a product of the decision to bring Meulensteen in as skills development coach for the youngsters over a decade ago. Welbeck is very much the same, you can see the technical side of the game he brought in, the comfort on the ball and quick decision making they both seem to have coupled with Ferguson's never say die ethos. You can see that they both have so much more appreciation for using one touch football to get through opponents than using any physical attribute.
  10. Dec 10, 2012

    Plechazunga Grammar partisan who sleeps with a real life Ryan

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    They work so well together too, as well as with Wayne and Anderson.
  11. Dec 10, 2012

    Brightonian Full Member

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    Agreed. Wilshere's ceiling is almost non-existent. But as you say, the comparison isn't always helpful and I think it's easy to misinterpret statements like the one in bold. It's not like Cleverley's a hard worker without natural talent. I don't think he's far off Wilshere in terms of ability, even if Jack is undoubtedly the better of the two.

    Similarly I don't think Wilshere's far off Tom in terms of his determination and self-improvement. The way he actively selected what he wanted to take from his time at Bolton is obvious, and you can see the influence playing alongside Fabregas has had on his football as clearly as you can see Scholes' influence in Cleverley's game.
  12. Dec 10, 2012

    Pexbo Feels privalidged to be permernant caf member

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    The potential for technical play in this squad is immense. The problem is that unlike pure physical skills it requires a lot of time to build understandings between players. That's very difficult when we are juggling three competitions and various players get injured.


    I'd love to see Anderson, Cleverley, Kagawa, Welbeck, Rooney and Van Persie all clicking together.

    Something like:


    Anderson - Cleverley
    Kagawa

    Welbeck --------- Rooney

    Van Persie​

    I realise its a bit light weight and lacking any real steel or defensive guts but I really do believe that if you put a team of real footballers out there then you'll have them playing real football. That team is capable of possession football and when you have the ball you can't be hurt.
  13. Dec 10, 2012

    Plechazunga Grammar partisan who sleeps with a real life Ryan

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    Oh yeah, Cleverley's got lots of ability. It's just with Wilshere you could see when he was 16, 'yeah, he's got it.' Whereas Cleverley, though very good, didn't ooze class like that.
  14. Dec 10, 2012

    Brightonian Full Member

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    Totally agree. It's so exciting to remember what it felt like watching Wilshere at that age, because it's the exact same feeling I get about a couple of our current U18s, notably Daehli and Pearson. You only have to watch them for 5 minutes and you know it 100%.
  15. Dec 10, 2012

    Pexbo Feels privalidged to be permernant caf member

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    From an England perspective it's exciting to have them both as on paper they will compliment each other brilliantly.

    If only Barry, Gerrard and Lampard would retire.
  16. Dec 10, 2012

    Plechazunga Grammar partisan who sleeps with a real life Ryan

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    Really? I've not watched the Academy for a couple of years. That is exciting.
  17. Dec 10, 2012

    noodlehair "It's like..."

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    Daehli's fantastic, but he's more a Silva/Kagawa type player. Can't say I've noticed Pearson being as impressive. He usually just looks tidy to me. There's the two Belgian lads who look pretty classy but need to be more assertive in terms of influence (both still very young)...and Jack Barmby who's ridiculously good with the ball at his feet but who's just missing that ability to take control of a game.

    I wouldn't put any up there with Wilshere as yet...Pogba was probably the closest thing we had to our own version of him. Morrison obviously oozed class, but he also oozed being a complete fecking moron.
  18. Dec 10, 2012

    Brightonian Full Member

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    Oh sweet Jesus watch them. It's been like the antidote to the first team sometimes over the last month or two. Even when they were uncharacteristically fecking up and getting knocked out of the FAYC it was some of the sexiest football I've seen at Academy level.
  19. Dec 10, 2012

    TheHorse'sMouth Full Member

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    Yeah, he looked a player..shame he lacked the brain cells to really make the most of his undoubted talent, hope he sorts it out soon.
  20. Dec 10, 2012

    Brightonian Full Member

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    Pearson has only stepped it up recently, but in the last five or six matches he's basically been combining technical skills matching the likes of Daehli and Pereira with bossing the midfield like a baby-faced Roy Keane. In style, he's currently the closest to Wilshere, although he's only recently turned on the more attacking aspects of his game, he used to be more limited.

    Daehli is the standout for me. Januzaj is promising but slips in and out of games. (At this age, so did Pogba.) Pereira is technically exquisite, and a surprisingly tasty tackler. There's not really anything negative I can say about his game, except that when you compare him to Daehli the latter obviously has something more. Barmby's brilliant. Again, I can't put my finger on what it is, but he just doesn't quite have that Wilshere x-factor.

    Daehli does. Has done every time I've ever seen him play, it screams at you within the first thirty seconds. He's got technique and desire to match any of the others, but he just runs games, effortlessly. Sometimes it's like you've dropped the current Paul Scholes into an Academy game, he stands out so blatantly. For me, he's better than either Pogba or Morrison were at the same age.

    Sorry, this is all horribly off topic. If anyone's bothered by it I'll stop.
  21. Dec 10, 2012

    noodlehair "It's like..."

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    Hmmm...I've misse dsome of the more recemt games so I'll take your word on that. We have a lot of technically good players in there at the moment, but as you said, a lot who struggle to really stamp themselves on a game. At their age, that's something that may come a bit later on.

    Even Daehli for me. Last year he looked classy but was on the periphery a lot, and I thought it was Barmby who stood out more. This year Daehli seems to have the confidence to want the game to go through him. He does stand out blatantly every time I watch him in terms of pure ability. He'll take the ball in any situation and even draws players in to him just because he knows he's good enough to make them look foolish.
  22. Dec 10, 2012

    Plechazunga Grammar partisan who sleeps with a real life Ryan

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    :lol:

    Morrison had something even Wilshere doesn't, which is a unique way of moving, kind of gliding with the ball. A bit like Giggs though perhaps not as quick.
  23. Dec 10, 2012

    Brightonian Full Member

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    Well, it's very subjective of course. For me, Daehli's always had it. He was less dominant last season, but he did still win 'player of the season.' And this term he's been right at the centre of every match.

    Watch the next few though. I know a lot of those who comment on the Academy matchday threads think Pearson is actually equalling Daehli in terms of ability and that special something at the moment. As with Wilshere, it's almost even easier to stand out in that way if you have a deeper starting position, because it means that even if every other player on your team is under-performing, you can just win the ball back yourself and physically make things happen. Pearson has had the sort of impact in recent matches that Wilshere had in those games against Barcelona.

    Regardless of whether any of them match Wilshere's promise at that age or not, we genuinely have a Barcelona-quality generation on our hands. I'm desperate that Warren Joyce and the mess that is our U21s at the moment don't do anything to damage that, because with the right guidance we could be looking at not just getting one or two of these kids into the squad, but turning a group of them into the spine of a future team. And it would be a hell of a team too.
  24. Dec 10, 2012

    Plechazunga Grammar partisan who sleeps with a real life Ryan

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    I didn't think Wilshere was particularly deep when he started. I've always been a bit baffled by Wenger playing him so defensively. I mean, he can do it, in the same way that Rooney can play left wing. But it's not his best position.
  25. Dec 10, 2012

    Dargonk Full Member

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    Really happy with his performance today. His pass and move football really adds that movement to our team and makes it easier for us to get out of trouble and bring the ball forward or release it down the other flank.

    Could do some work on his shooting though. His couple of shots were very average. I think he was already living the glory of scoring before he had struck the ball :lol:
  26. Dec 10, 2012

    TheHorse'sMouth Full Member

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    He always played as an attacking midfielder or off the wing in the academy and under-21's. I remember a few games where he did play a lot deeper but I didn't really think Wenger would view that position for him on a long-term basis. In his first full season, his attributes really shone through in that position through getting a lot more time on the ball than he would further forward. His passing range has always been there, but even more impressive is the way he is able to beat men in the middle of the park for fun. What stands out for me particularly in light of those games against Barca was the respect they gave him after that first leg.

    The fact that a 19 year old received that much praise from arguably the best midfielder of his generation shows the level Wilshere was at that season. I'll just be happy if he gets back to that level and then pushes on from there. He's getting there slowly, Wenger needs to manage him properly to make sure we don't start relying on him.
  27. Dec 10, 2012

    Platato Psst!

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    I wish my mates could recognize this!! Say he doesn't add much to our team, but for some of our attacks yesterday, he was the reason they kept going. As important as it is having midfielders who can drive the ball forward, it's just as important having one who appreciates the space and gets open for his teammates regularly.

    For some strange reason, as a team we have an issue with this. We created attacks well yesterday but it would have been easier if some of the players had shown for the ball. There was one incident where Rafael picked up the ball and our attackers were too far forward to provide him any assistance. Instead of showing for the ball, they just waited there somehow expecting the ball to find them. Luckily we came out of that situation unscathed, but I hope it's something the management works on. It ties in with why we struggle to create fluidity throughout the team.
  28. Dec 10, 2012

    Platato Psst!

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    Spot on! Rene has done some good work over the years. hopefully, it pays off more for the both of them. Big reason why I have a soft spot for the two.

    This page has been littered with wonderful comments about players. Quite refreshing. Always nice to hear about the young ones. Oh the days at the playground....
  29. Dec 10, 2012

    Platato Psst!

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    Those who keep dismissing Tom's impact with this "neat and tidy" bullshit need to open their eyes. It may not be on the level of getting an assist or scoring a goal but it has a general effect on how team plays. That counts for something and you should be thankful we have a midfielder like him in our ranks. How we laud other players for doing the exact same thing yet underrate Tom is just ridiculous.

    He had a good game. Nothing more. Using "neat and tidy" as justification for an average game just doesn't make sense. Is it negative or what?
  30. Dec 10, 2012

    Red Indian Chief Torn Rubber Thus says Kemo

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    Good performance
  31. Dec 10, 2012

    M160RA Full Member

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    :drool:

    Depending on form, I would consider swapping Welbeck for Valencia or Young.
  32. Dec 10, 2012

    SharkyMcShark Horrified

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    I thought he was excellent yesterday.
  33. Dec 10, 2012

    Freak Born a freak always a freak.

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    He was fantastic. Sacrificed a lot of his creative game to put in a hard shift with his running and closing down. Really good team performance yesterday, and certainly provided the energy needed in midfield.
  34. Dec 10, 2012

    Brightonian Full Member

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    I don't think Wenger's exactly made him play defensively, just deeper than he did when he was younger, and I actually think he's really benefited from it. Like I say, for the really top-level players, a deeper starting position gives them the chance to have more influence on the game. It's especially effective when you have someone like Cazorla, such an 'edge of the box' specialist, ahead of him.
  35. Dec 10, 2012

    Pexbo Feels privalidged to be permernant caf member

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    It's the same thing we did with Anderson which is a lesser extent of what we do with our youngsters. With the youngsters we occasionally play a striker on the wing or at right back to give them a bit more appreciation of the position, develop their skills in a certain area and become a more rounded player.

    Anderson we initially played deeper, I suspect because Ferguson wanted him to be more than an explosive attacking midfielder. He was forcing discipline into him and trying to make him understand the position more. When he learnt his responsibilities as a deeper midfielder he could then start to use his judgement on when to get forward which I think he does very well now.

    I think it's the same with Wilshire to an extent but I think Wengers reason is that he wants Wilshire to realise that when the game is ahead of him, he can see more and with his passing ability, architect more.
  36. Dec 10, 2012

    marjen Desperately wants to be like Noodle

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    He's the midfielder who's our best at relieving pressure off the team. He'll play a quick give and go to when we're under the kosh to get us out of defence, and that's invaluable.

    I think that's partly why we look more cohesive when he plays. He's got the dynamism to move forward after playing the initial pass, so our midfield two and our front four doesn't get separated by 40 yards. It makes us much more threatening in terms of getting our attackers on the ball in dangerous positions. In short, he simply provides a better link to our danger men than Scholes through sheer mobility.

    Carrick enjoys playing with him as well as Cleverley always wants the ball and always provides an option.
  37. Dec 10, 2012

    pablotatt Full Member

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    Basically plays like a Barcelona player.
  38. Dec 10, 2012

    Red Indian Chief Torn Rubber Thus says Kemo

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    the lad has a very good football brain
  39. Dec 10, 2012

    bbest The Caf's worst songwriter

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    the way Tom passes the ball & the manner he swings his leg remind me of Mr. D. Beckham.
  40. Dec 10, 2012

    amolbhatia50k Sneaky bum time

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    Played well but I still think he looks more at home to a short quick, one touch passing style of football than one with a great emphasis on width and wideplay that we usually adopt.
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