ATG Draft - R1: EAP vs Big Dunk (Ancelotti vs Nereo Rocco)

Who will win this match (also considering realisation of the tactical blueprints)?


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Physiocrat

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EAP



Big Dunk



EAP

Peaks -

Gerd Muller 1969-72
Roberto Baggio - 1993-96
Laszlo Kubala - 1957-60
Roy Keane - 1999-02
Paul Scholes - 2006-09
Billy Bremner - 1972-75
Andreas Brehme - 1989-92
Oscar Ruggeri - 1988-91
Velibor Vasovic - 1968-71
Leandro - 1982-85
Oliver Kahn - 1999-02

Formation: 4-3-2-1 Christmas Tree

Inspired by: Ancelotti's AC Milan

An updated version of the formation used by AC MIlan when they made 3 CL finals between 2003-07.

The 2003/04 version was more attacking and free flowing with all of Kaka, Rui Costa and Pirlo in their peak, but they weren't defensively sound. as evidenced by the 2005 loss to scousers and other matches. So Ancelotti dropped a bit of flair by adding Ambrosini's defensive nous to the midfield and moving Seedorf ahead to bridge gap to attack and a bit more dependent on counters and the pace of Kaka/Inzaghi to score.

Personally a blend of both the teams would be the ideal setup in my opinion, which is what I've tried to build here.

&



Tactics:

Personnel / Tactics - Ancelotti's MilanPersonnel / Tactics - Team EAP's Christmas Tree
GoalkeeperDida was a keeper who had moments of brilliance mixed with penchant for lapses in concentrationOliver Kahn is an upgrade in every facet of the role. More commanding, better technique, shot stopping ability, fitness etc.
Centre BacksNesta/Stam | Maldini/Nesta - Top notch world class duo who sets the base of the defence.Velibor Vasovic | Oscar Ruggeri - A more traditional sweeper/stopper combo, defensively stout and with complimentary skills.
Full BacksMaldini/Cafu | Jankulovski/Oddo - Cafu, Jankulovski and Oddo are all very attacking full backs able to provide the width to the narrow formation. Despite perception Maldini did venture forward and contribute to attack regularly.Brehme/Leandro - Balanced top class fullback defensively stout and able to provide width all game. One man flanks.
Deep Lying PlaymakerPirlo - Legendary long passer who liked to play in front of defence.Scholes - In his older version, he's at par with Pirlo in ability to control the pace and dictate the flow of game. A complete world class DLP. Plus having an added advantage of being defensively more solid than Pirlo.
Centre MidfieldersSeedorf/Gattuso | Ambrosini/Gattuso - The team was dependent on the water carrier workrate of Gattuso to do the job of holding that midfield. Seedorf added a bit of workrate and playmaking from the middle too, but it was still defensively not enough as evidence by the inclusion of Ambrosini later on.Bremner/Keane - Bremner is a upgrade on Gattuso in every sense. A spark plug of a player with excellent ball winning skills and a lot of heart. No introduction needed for Keane who reprises his traditional box-to-box role. The iron will and inspirational presence of Keane and Bremner will be the heart of the team.
Attacking MidfieldersRui Costa/Kaka | Seedorf/Kaka - A blend of a traditional #10 in Rui Costa (and then a bit more defensive presence in Seedorf) blended with direct play making of Kaka formed the base of the attacking trio.Baggio/Kubala - With a far stronger midfield, the team has Baggio alternating between a #9.5 and #10 plus the direct trickery and pace of Kubala. Both are quite versatile and can alternate their roles as the game requires.
Centre ForwardShevchenko/Inzaghi - With 2 AMs (Rui Costa and Kaka) Sheva was the complete CF glue that briught them together. With Seedorf being a more defensive presence, the team switched to a proper poacher like Inzaghi to keep the balance.Gerd Muller - A complete CF bringing in the best qualities of both Sheva and Inzaghi. Lethal in front of goal, yet able to bring others into play too, he'd be the tip of the attack.

vs Big Dunk:

Big D will be playing catenaccio tactics and sports a solid Italian defence.

The match up is beneficial to my team
- I have better CMs in Keane and Bremner which will help a lot against Zidane.
- Deschamps will have a hard time sandwiched between Baggio and Kubala.
- My CBs match well to his forwards.

BIg Dunk

Inspiration/blueprint

Nereo Rocco's AC Milan 1st spell (1961-63) and 2nd spell (1967-73).

Team specific: 1969 European Cup Final - AC Milan 4-1 Ajax




Playing style, tactics

Highly disciplined and defensively organised 4-3-3, while still being very potent and direct on the counter attack. Scirea performs the libero role (modern ball playing centreback) whose expert positioning and movement is still effective with the modern offside rules. Bergomi, Gentile and Maldini can be assigned specific man marking duties, while also incorporating the modern catenaccio variation of mixed zonal marking. Deschamps can hold while Maldini or Scirea move forward. Bergomi, Scirea, Gentile and Maldini are all competent on the ball and with the ball, able to initiate attacks.

Our industry is matched by our artistry and prolific threat in attack. Having three in midfield will help to contest against possession-focused opponents, and help to control the game with and without the ball. We can build play though Scirea from deep. Our defence and attack is linked by Deschamps and Bagni. Our creative play will flow through Zidane, and with Del Piero and Conti on the flanks. Conti can change wings or move centrally. Our attack is very dangerous on the counter attack and on well-timed vertical passing transitions. Del Piero will cut in from the left wing, whose runs will create space for Batistuta.

By allowing and encouraging our opponent to attack, I believe I have the ultimate defensive platform to nullify my opponent, then counter with a very potent and clutch attack. We possess defensive strength, all-round team balance, workrate, creativity and goals. We have the tools to adapt to each opponent and exploit their weaknesses.


Player roles

Gianluigi Buffon (Goalkeeper)
- the greatest goalkeeper of all time, Gianluigi Buffon. He will form an impenetrable unit alongside Maldini, Gentile, Bergomi and Scirea. I have not seen a more complete goalkeeper than Super Gigi.

Giuseppe Bergomi (Right back) – you cannot get a superior upgrade for Angelo Anquilletti than Bergomi. Angelo Anquilletti was actually an inspiration for a young Claudio Gentile. Bergomi will be utilised as my defensive right back. Bergomi is one of the greatest man-markers of all time, if not Italy’s best ever stopper. His defending style combined the no-nonsense tough-tackling reminiscent of classic catenaccio, with defensive discipline that set him apart from other tough markers of his era and before. Giuseppe was a tenacious but very efficient tackler, whose awareness for danger and space helped him to break down attacking moves and anticipate counter attacks. A versatile defender, Bergomi was very consistent at both centreback, sweeper and fullback though-out his career.

Claudio Gentile (Stopper) - the very master of the dark arts of defending, Claudio Gentile is one of the toughest man markers of all time. A tenacious and physically dominant stopper who would lockdown the opponent’s key creator, dangerous winger or goalscorer. Like the great Rocco, Gentile meticulously studied pre-game his marking assignment: identifying their strengths, and preying on their weaknesses. As with Bergomi and Maldini, Gentile can work across the back four in a variety of roles, with the tactical intelligence, technical ability and mobility to start a quick counter attack. Like the legendary Roberto Rosato, it is important that Gentile can operate as a centreback, fullback or defensive midfielder when called upon.

Gaetano Scirea (Libero) - il Grande Capitano, Juve’s greatest ever defender. Scirea is technically and tactically a perfect ball-playing central defender. Scirea transformed the limited and defensive interpretation of the sweeper role, and perfected it into the integral creative fulcrum from deep. Scirea possessed an allround game, demonstrating an elegance on the ball and passing skills that set him apart from other libero’s of his era. In this free role, Scirea will roam along his back line, shutting down attacks, closing down any spaces, covering his man-markers and anticipating any threat, then using his vision and playmaking skills to dribble the ball forward or pass to his midfielders and forwards with accurate longballs. Scirea wasn’t an aggressive tackler, but instead made well-timed interceptions and slide tackles. One-on-one against a striker or winger, you could almost always guarantee Scirea coming out with the ball, gracefully gliding forward to initiate another attack.

Paolo Maldini (Left back) - Not only the greatest left back of all time, Maldini is unquestionably one of the best players in football history. Paolo Maldini is the ultimate defender; in the sense he has every quality and skill you need at fullback or centreback. In the 90s you could appreciate him as a true athlete, nearly impossible to run past and powerful charging forward with the ball. Maldini controlled, crossed and passed the ball with great composure and precision. Maldini’s positioning, reading of the game and discipline was world-class. He executed perfectly- timed slide tackles and strong interceptions. When he positioned himself between the ball and attacker, his opponent had no chance in outmuscling and winning back the ball from the strong, agile and towering figure of Maldini. Maldini has more attacking licence down his flank than Bergomi, while also forming a solid 3-man defence with Gentile and Bergomi, when Scirea joins the attack. There is no finer upgrade to Schnellinger or Sabadini than Paolo Maldini.

Didier Deschamps (Defensive midfielder) - The highly disciplined Didier Deschamps will break down my opponent’s attacks, screen my back four and distribute the ball with accuracy. His tactical and positional intelligence in the enforcer role is very important. Deschamps has a massive match engine too, demonstrating his tenacity and pressing in areas across the midfield, both deep, central and high up the pitch. For the sheer balance he brings, vision and leadership he possesses, Deschamps is a key cog here. Giovanni Trapattoni was Nereo Rocco’s anchor, linking the Rossoneri’s defence and attack. Deschamps is the clinical master of this.

Salvatore Bagni (Box to box midfielder) - A combative midfielder who allows his playmaker the freedom to express himself is invaluable. ‘The Warrior’: Bagni was a complete midfielder, a tenacious workhorse in midfield, who would win the ball aggressively then build the next attack. Bagni was composed on the ball, an astute reader of the game, able to bring the ball forward, while also showing the tactical ability to operate out-wide too. Bagni is also a fierce man-marker, offering great protection for his back four. Salvatore represents the engine room of my team, as both Benetti and Lodetti so perfectly served under Rocco.

Zinedine Zidane (Attacking midfielder) - The artist amongst all the industry, Zizou is my fantasista. Not only one of the best playmakers of all time, but one of the all-time greatest footballers. A creative midfielder possessing pure technique: whether it be his elegant ball control and dribbling, accurate passing or highly technical shooting, Zidane moved with the ball with balance and grace like no other. Excellent vision, football IQ and an ability to shine the brightest in the biggest games. Zidane has the perfect defensive cover and workrate in Deschamps and Bagni, and the ideal attacking partners in Del Piero, Conti and Batistuta. As Gianni Rivera before him, Zidane is the dream artist to complement the ruthlessness of Catenaccio.

Bruno Conti (Right winger) - Italy’s greatest ever winger, The Mayor of Rome. The diminutive winger was a dynamic attacking and creative force on the wing for Roma and Italy in the 80s. His worldclass ball control, feints, vision and dribbling skills earned him the nickname ‘MaraZico’. Bruno Conti was effective on both wings, or roaming centrally, an excellent counter-attacking threat. To ease the creative responsibility on Zidane, I will make use of Bruno Conti’s high workrate on the right wing - Batistuta will no doubt benefit from Conti’s accurate crosses from the flanks, through-balls and drilled cut-backs. As a playmaking pure winger, very few #7’s have had such a clutch impact at the World Cup stage too.

Gabriel Batistuta (Centre forward) - I needed a clinical finisher, lethal with both feet, in the air, in the box and from long range. A complete striker who was arguably the most consistent and finest striker in Serie A in the 90s, and regarded as one of the greatest centre forwards of all time. ‘Batigol’ is both a prolific goalscorer and a creative team player (excellent link-up play with his secondary strike partner/playmaker). His sheer power and shooting technique was world-class, adding to his predatory instinct and intelligent positioning. Batistuta represents all the qualities of José Altafini and Angelo Sormani wrapped in one offensive package.

Alessandro Del Piero (Supporting striker) – there is no forward in football history who can encapsulate Pierino Prati’s role more wonderfully than Del Piero: a secondary striker who can play anywhere along the front-line, but primarily here off the left wing, employed as both a creative and goalscoring threat. A highly skilled technician whose dribbling, set-piece, crossing and shooting technique were worldclass. Del Piero fits perfectly here as he works seamlessly in an attacking triumvirate: his creativity, link-up play and support for a centre-forward (Batistuta) and his fluid movement and quick-passing partnership with my playmaker (Zidane) is tactically vital. Operating in his famous ‘Del Piero Zone’, we’ll take advantage of his assists, sharp turns, curling shots and direct penetration cutting inside. His workrate on the wing, also adds cover and helps to create space for his teammates. A consistent goalscorer, Alex will ease the scoring burden on Batistuta.


Alterations from the original

Nereo Rocco’s system evolved though the eras, and he was open to make the necessary tactical adjustments. Here, we apply the modern adaption of the offside rule and positional discipline in the back four. Including an update to the mixed man/zonal-marking duties, in order to keep shape and not allowing any spaces for our opponent to work in. Rocco’s expectation of hard-work and adaptive organisation is thus maintained.
 

Raees

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This is tough... genuinely love both teams as they truly represent the relevant managers. Great job lads.. will decide based on the in game debate.
 

Physiocrat

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@Edgar Allan Pillow Can you explain the Baggio and Kubala picks I a bit more detail? They seem much more of an attacking pair than Rui Costa and Kaka especially when you said defensive solidity was the problem with the earlier side. Or is you argument that Keane and Bremner in place of Seedorf and Gattuso remedies that?
 

Gio

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Really good teams. I thought Big Dunk was unassailable after the drafting process but EAP's remake is very accurate and nails a lot of the Christmas Tree principles. Will have a proper look later.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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@Edgar Allan Pillow Can you explain the Baggio and Kubala picks I a bit more detail? They seem much more of an attacking pair than Rui Costa and Kaka especially when you said defensive solidity was the problem with the earlier side. Or is you argument that Keane and Bremner in place of Seedorf and Gattuso remedies that?
Yeah. They were defensively suspect when they had Seedorf/Rui Costa and more workman like with Ambrosini/Seedorf. A blend of both was the right balance. Both Keane and Bremner offer huge boosts to defence compared to either of Milan pairs. Plus Scholes himself was defensively but better than Pirlo.

Rui Costa operated deeper when necessary but didn't really have more defensive work rate than Baggio. Kubala and Kaka are comparable though I rate Kubala bit more.

My team is basically the attacking Milan but with a more solid midfield which eliminates their defensive fragilities.
 

Himannv

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I think these are both great sides. I like the excellent Italian defense and the nice working system that matches the coaches ideals, but I'm a bit partial to a well-made Christmas Tree. Really like that formation and I think the selections fit the system very well although they aren't an exact like-for-like replacement.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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although they aren't an exact like-for-like replacement.
Honestly, that wasn't my intention at all. The focus was more on tactics and who can make that work better rather than just upgrading individual players....which in my opinion rarely works because the individuals bring a lot of uniqueness to the team. Better to tackle holistically than individually.
 

Synco

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sign up, they said. it's a fun draft, they said.
Honestly, that wasn't my intention at all. The focus was more on tactics and who can make that work better rather than just upgrading individual players....which in my opinion rarely works because the individuals bring a lot of uniqueness to the team. Better to tackle holistically than individually.
Yeah, that's exactly what this draft is meant to be. (But I read Himann's remark as complimentary in the first place.)
 

Synco

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sign up, they said. it's a fun draft, they said.
Can't decide, both teams are very well designed, none really being ahead at first sight. I didn't know Bagni so far, but Dunk's description reads like he may be spot on.

The matchup is also good to imagine, one side being more attacking, the other playing more on the counter. I'll have to look deeper into the details to see if I can make out an edge somewhere, or if I'll just call it a draw. Or maybe the discussion unearths something.
 

Physiocrat

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@BIG DUNK

Have you any articles or vids on Bagni?

Also any reason why Scriea is at LCB rather than RCB? It seemed to me to make more sense to put him between the two most defensive defenders rather than next to the most attacking full-back
 

BIG DUNK

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@BIG DUNK

Have you any articles or vids on Bagni?

Also any reason why Scriea is at LCB rather than RCB? It seemed to me to make more sense to put him between the two most defensive defenders rather than next to the most attacking full-back
I will try to dig out some match reports or articles on Bagni later - most are in Italian... :S or see if YouTube has any footage.

...perhaps something to highlight his value to Maradona in the Napoli team, and his complete workrate and all-round game. He’s perhaps the 3rd or 4th most important player in my XI.

Scirea is positioned on the left on the picture but that won’t be his fixed side. He will operate across the back four, picking up the ball from Buffon on the right, centre and left, bring the ball forward on both sides, taking throwings on both sides... covering and sweeping where Maldini / Gentile / Bergomi need help. That is water tight.

Deschamps plays the Trapattoni holding man/water carrier role for when Maldini / Scirea / Bergomi do venture forward (but obviously not at the same time).
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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Also any reason why Scriea is at LCB rather than RCB? It seemed to me to make more sense to put him between the two most defensive defenders rather than next to the most attacking full-back
You need to watch Harms' last Scirea compilation. One could confuse him for a left winger multiple times in that compilation. (From what I remember, Cabrini was on the pitch as well)
 

harms

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Also any reason why Scriea is at LCB rather than RCB? It seemed to me to make more sense to put him between the two most defensive defenders rather than next to the most attacking full-back
To be fair I think it's going to be more like the formation that in the 60's and 70's they usually put on TV before the game with:

Maldini - Gentile - Bergomi
Scirea
Scirea, of course, has the license to go forward — and since Gentile is going to be shadowing Müller (probably), Scirea would find the best position for himself in each individual episode better than any manager would.
 

Physiocrat

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You need to watch Harms' last Scirea compilation. One could confuse him for a left winger multiple times in that compilation. (From what I remember, Cabrini was on the pitch as well)
Ah, yes he does pop up a lot on the left in that compilation.
 

Physiocrat

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To be fair I think it's going to be more like the formation that in the 60's and 70's they usually put on TV before the game with:

Maldini - Gentile - Bergomi
Scirea
Scirea, of course, has the license to go forward — and since Gentile is going to be shadowing Müller (probably), Scirea would find the best position for himself in each individual episode better than any manager would.
That makes sense
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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4-3-2-1 always gets the short stick :lol:

Anyway no comments on BigD's tactical setup or personnel as I believe they are accurate representation of the manager he has chosen.

Now coming to the actual vs match, I think I have an edge in both midfield and offence as Muller/Kubala is better than Batigol/AdP and my midfield is clearly better. Brehme also is a stylistic good fit vs Conti. My back 7 is especially a good fit vs the counter tactics of his system.

Plus with multiple playmakers, man making tactics will only have negligible effect.
 
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GodShaveTheQueen

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I wasn't a fan of Scholes with Baggio/Kubala during drafting but go to admit, it looks really good. Probably the best christmas tree I have seen from Edgar till date.

What lost my vote was the Scholes/Vasovic part of the field.

Both overlap a lot and don't cover for each other.

With a DLP dictating from deep, I'd prefer a no nonsense CB pair (like Nesta-Stam in Ancelotti team). And while Vasovic was no nut at defending, I don't think he is the right choice here.

And if one does have Vasovic, then its good to have a DM rather than a DLP who can fill the holes when Vasovic makes forays forward.

A different CB to Vasovic and my vote would have been the other way.
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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And if one does have Vasovic, then its good to have a DM rather than a DLP who can fill the holes when Vasovic makes forays forward.
Vasovic played in teams which had multiple playmakers and free flowing football. He played with Cruyff, Neeskens, Muhren in midfield, so having a DM before him isn't really a necessity. He has played with other playmakers without lessening his impact.

Perhaps I don't need his sweeping much, but that doesn't make any difference. I mean Nesta was a complete player behind Pirlo and Vasovic can play a similar role with ease.

Key is Scholes. He's a consummate team player and can easily run this game and having Vasovic behind would really have no impact on him compared to having Rio.
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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Vasovic played in teams which had multiple playmakers and free flowing football. He played with Cruyff, Neeskens, Muhren in midfield, so having a DM before him isn't really a necessity. He has played with other playmakers without lessening his impact.
Yea, I thought that is the first argument that would be made but -

1. Haan was the DM and would drop in defense when Vasovic went forward.
2. There is very less similarity between the Ancelotti team and that Ajax team for me.

Perhaps I don't need his sweeping much, but that doesn't make any difference. I mean Nesta was a complete player behind Pirlo and Vasovic can play a similar role with ease.

Key is Scholes. He's a consummate team player and can easily run this game and having Vasovic behind would really have no impact on him compared to having Rio.
Perhaps we rate their playmaking capability very differently. For me the order is -

1. Vasovic
2. Daylight
3. Rio/Nesta

Nesta/Rio could never impose that much on a game like Vasovic could.

Also as pure no nonsense defenders, the order for me would be -

1. Nesta/Rio
2. Daylight
3. Vasovic
 

Enigma_87

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Missed the game as I didn't have much time over the weekend, but what a Christmas tree by @Edgar Allan Pillow - kudos for that.

That Leandro pick makes a lot of sense now and dovetails nicely in the overall theme. Kubala/Baggio also seems spot on, whilst that Scholes pick is as good as it gets in his older version to replace Pirlo.

On the other side BD has one of the most precise representation of the team I've seen so far in the draft and if we're to nitpick the only player that seems a bit off in comparison is Hamrin/Conti. Apart from that you can't ask for more.
 

Pat_Mustard

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A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.
Really harsh first round draw here. Neither team deserved to be eliminated but Dunk just got things picture-perfect here as far as I can see. The all-Serie A theme was a nice touch, the defence-first picking order deserves some recognition for once, and huge kudos for picking a relative unknown in Bagni rather than some safer, 'draft forum approved' type.

Very little wrong with Edgar's Xmas Tree either, but a pure attacking libero with Scholes as DLP did seem an unnecessary distraction. I think Lucio and Mozer, both unpicked and both well-versed in modern back four zonal defences, would have provided any necessary on-the-ball tekkers while remaining truer to the template.