ATG Managers Draft - R1 - Fortitude vs harms (SAF vs V. Lobanovskyi)

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


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Synco

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TEAM FORTITUDE (Sir Alex Ferguson)

Inspiration:

Sir Alex Ferguson's United of the '06 - '09 era

Tactical intent: an eclectic mix of tempo football, rapid and aggressive combination play and steady and able counter attacks - both of my central midfield pairing are capable of hitting balls over the top for Ronaldo or out to the channels to exploit space.

Defensive instruction: A very high line intended to compress space and move my midfield higher up the pitch. I have a central bank of 4 through midfield and defense who are mobile, intelligent and able to turn defensive phases into attacking ones with swift passes through the lines or down the channels. Alves and Marcelo will occupy their flanks more with their trickery and offensive threat rather than via dogged, stay-at-home defending, which obviously does not play to their strengths.

Many a more dynamic side had been rolled out during the various iterations of what is perceived to be the great periods and teams of Fegie's reign, none, however, were more tactically and defensively astute than the '06 - '09 vintage. There are variations in personnel that could make for a better mirror, but in light of the opposition and my own strengths, plus the incorporation of Ronaldo, I feel as though there should be a few alterations from a complete mirror whilst attempting to keep the ethos the same where possible. For example, the backline of Fergie's era mirrored would have:

Marcelo----Hierro---------Varane---------Bossis

but because of what I am up against, and the opportunities it presents, it would be remiss of me to go against, what I believe someone with Fergie's attacking impetus would in this particular matchup, which would not be to invite pressure on his side when that opens the game up for the opposition. My intention is to suffocate the opposition and drive them back.

As you can see by all the arrows, the onus is on bringing the game to harms and his merry cohort - with my fullbacks, there is no point in trying to play a flat line that waits on the opposition, plus, by driving them back, I am making the game beneficial to my own team and their strengths. There is no set structure to my attack: left; right; through the middle, over the top; combination play; solo runs (that all 4 across the attacking line are renowned for); overlapping full-backs; overloading flanks - any of these things are possible in phases of attack for my team.

In both Varane and Bossis I have great pace and ability to carry the ball - from defence - a good 20yards+ without issue, with a competent, forward-motioned pass into penetrative areas concluding, but more importantly, into the feet of the midfield ahead of them. Seeler is a dogged, aggressive player who comes alive in the box, and my intention is for him to work and chase my CB's for the reason of keeping him away from my penalty area, on the chase, wherever possible. My defensive line will sit higher than Ferguson's had to as my slowest CB is considerably faster than that sides' with both of the aforementioned being very quick and nimble. I also believe both can stay tight to Seeler in the high line as he won't burn them for pace.


Team harms?

A question for harm's side is whether Cruyff will be his usual self who roams all over the pitch, or whether he'll aim to keep him high, invariably looking to hit my flanks in the space on the counter. The latter is preferred, as in the meantime, I fancy my side to do damage on the offensive end. De Bruyne is highly likely to be playing wide and hitting his gem balls across my CB line, which again is why compressing the space and giving Seeler less windows of opportunity to work in is my intent.

Facing Voronin and Breitner in midfield seems to be my destiny, and once again, Voronin will have a dynamic force to contend with in Mazzola, who will make both players mindful with his clever running, pace, and incisiveness. Wolfgang Overath is my ace card in midfield, however: a player with Scholes' passing range, the mobility and athleticism of the great midfielders and the defensive doggedness, positional and tactical ingenuity that ranks in the top percentile through the heart of midfield - I am very comfortable with him as the heartbeat of my central area running the game for my side. I am certain there is a solid case for him against anyone he will face as he has a plethora of ways to truly turn or affect a game.

As an underrated legend, it is probably more important for his brilliance to be highlighted:


Beside him, there is Schweinsteiger, who for many, ranks as the better player with the higher peak. I wouldn't concur with that view, and I think Overath is underrated because of who his team-mate(!) was who took practically all the glory, even in tandem affairs. I have elected for an Overath at his physical peak to combat the opposition's pace power and stamina, but mostly, I expect it to be they who chase him and try and shut down his sublime passing range, deft movement and penetrative actions. I believe my central core, aided by Mazzola's guile, industry and superfluous combination play, is more than a match for the more industrious personnel marshelling the middle for harms. We can battle and fight if necessary, but our desire is slick passing and the intent, just as with Carrick-Scholes-Rooney is to make the opposition chase shadows and exasperate themselves via how redundant pressing my midfield is. Unlike Ferguson's vintage with Scholes, I don't have the issue of defensive scrambling through midfield when a play breaks down as Overath is an exceptional retriever of the ball and no slouch in intercepting on passing lanes.

As can probably be gathered, this team is geared towards attack, which is where things come alive and a myriad of problems present themselves for harms and his better-than-average-but-not-the-greatest defensive partnership. There's a lot to rate in both McGrath and Ferrera, indeed, McGrath's WC 94' is the stuff of legend, but this is something different, this is Ronaldo at his peak having balls slotted through, left, right and centre with a supporting cast who can all dribble brilliantly, are fast, mobile and serious threats in their own right. Ronaldo has no problem occupying both centrebacks before playing anyone around him in, or using them as a foil in a give-and-go, and in Mazzola and Dzajic, I have two players who will be in their element working with the phenomenon; Finney's ability to run directly at the opposition and toward goal is custom-made for a Ronaldo lay-off. This is a quartet who will be thrusting forward in the manner of the Fergie sides they've been remade in the image of.

I've said Ronaldo should be on the block list - let's be real here, he's a game-breaking striker, no, he is the game-breaking striker, and outside of less than a handful of CB's, the reality is, killing supply is the realistic hope of stopping him.

Obligatory Video:


Whilst attention is put on him, there should be ample opportunity for the remainder of the aforementioned quartet to work their magic. If that was not enough, in Daniel Alves, there is a matchwinner in his own right. A full-back who is perfectly comfortable as a pseudo: midfielder, winger or wing-forward. I feel my right flank brings a lot to the table, enough that it should be planned for, and rarely the flank under the cosh from the opposition - Cruyff has to track Alves; a midfielder would be remiss not to aid the full-back and wide-man facing my guys 1-on-1, which frees space for Mazzola to run into and stretches the centre-back on that side at a time when they really shouldn't be having their eyes off a far superior athlete in Ronaldo. Both Finney and Alves can go inside or out, and Alves is perfectly comfortable on the overlap, and most uniquely (or better to say in really elite company for full-backs who can be a true threat on the inside), Alves can cut towards goal whilst Finney takes the play wide. It's a case of pick your poison in terms of what you plan for in dealing with such a multi-faceted attacking flank, and it is with this, I hope to suppress harm's ideas of getting at my backline, or making for a 50-50 contest down this side of the pitch.

Dzajic and Marcelo are the more traditional flank-pairing; Marcelo is a legendary overlapper, and Dzajic, a legendary dribbler and user of the ball renowned for his decision making, timing and give and goes. Again, to contain Ronaldo, particularly with the armada coming in and around him in support is massive challenge.

In harms' team there are no doubt multiple threat in their own right; I should be facing a dynamic, interchanging 4-3-3, but what I don't believe can happen is a game where the play is back and forth, as in, where my team is not the one doing the attacking, and his isn't the one looking to hit on the counter - an open game is definitely not to his benefit. Pace, dribbling that is proven to occupy two, and even three men is proven in my attack; in an open game, my side is going to find more ways to score than harms' who, when broken down to the most most basic elements, is more likely to have a side hitting flash balls across my CB's and attacking down the channels to then attempt a cross or cutback than it is to run at the heart of my side or work numerous players into goalscoring positions. I have 5 players on the pitch who can turn a game in an instant, whilst harms' side is more balanced and able in terms of taking a sock in the mouth and then giving one back, but again, I go back to Ronaldo who sort of short circuits this line of thought via his one-man-juggernautiness thing that you cannot legislate for in the same way as a typical striker that gives me a lot more room to play in (as the other gamebreakers, imo, do) and with - through the occupied concern of containing Ronaldo, the game should open up for my other players, who are obviously no slouches in their own right.

I feel a paragraph should be reserved for Cruyff who should be planned for as he is a beast in his own right, but what I do envisage for him in this game is having to drop deeper and deeper to both aid his team and get in on the action. This is better for me than him being able to focus almost solely on the final third and attack - as I've stated, there will be spaces behind my full-backs, but the opportunity to slide into them and disconnect from the game going on around him, will not be there for Cruyff whose pace, mobility and combination play is essential for harms' side to unsettle my side and have my players scramble in the manner I've described for my players verses his defence. harms' side lacks in the dribbling and solo-running department, which further gives credence to Cruyff having to do a lot of ball-carrying work for the team, which, I think lends itself to the notion he has to come to the ball rather than run away from it and into space.

Relative to my team, creativity is at more of a premium for harms as it is funneled through fewer players who then have to stick to remits in the team, which don't lend themselves to working on the backfoot as I intend for them to do - Breitner's forte is long passes sprayed to players holding position and waiting on the ball. With how much work they have to do on the defensive end in this game, it will be harder for Breitner to hit his trademark passes, and over the top balls for Seeler to run on to, aren't the smartest use of the ball, so my idea with the attack I have is in it preventing the natural and organic game for his attackers. Between Lerby and Brady there is a choice to be made that adds strengths to one department and sacrifices to the other - Brady fielding gives more creativity, but he is not your man in a condensed midfield battling tooth and nail in a high octane game - Brady is your man in a game where your side is the one in control and dominant in possession, where his creativity and awareness has outlets ahead of him able to forage for space. That is not possible verses my side, which is why I feel Lerby is the better option to help out defensively, but also to then use his power and pace on turnovers of the ball. In Lerby, you get the industry and graft, but the deftness and finesse is reduced. I don't fear industry and hard running or pressing in this game as it shouldn't be a particular issue for my side; providing openings between the lines isn't the best course of action when faced with so many runners who can carry the ball from deep and turn the innocuous into the genuinely threatening.

As a Ferguson side, I don't have a system or locked set of rules to play within - with the personnel I have out there, I can switch formations rather effortlessly. The football should be: direct when needed; patient when required; dogged in defensive phases; supremely able on the counter; pacey on the flanks; enumerable threats in attacking phases with a will that refuses to be beaten. The team assembled ticks some of the tenets better than others, but ultimately, they will go out on their shield come what may.


TEAM HARMS (Valeriy Lobanovskyi)

Inspiration/blueprint

Valeriy Lobanovsky's Dinamo Kiyv 1974-1977

Here's a good video on Lobanovsky's tactics, albeit most of the examples are from his 80's team, but the key principles are the same


Formation

4-4-2/4-1-3-2



This is their generic set up, although sometimes Leonid Buryak played either instead of one of Veremeev/Muntyan or even as an additional midfielder in the place of one of the center backs.

Playing style, tactics

It's really Dutch totaalvoetbal combined with Soviet efficiency and discipline. While Michels gave his players more creative freedom (since he had better players, duh) and it was more of a controlled chaos situation, Lobanovsky actually created a template that was taking the automatisation on another level. Like Pep does now, he had divided different zones in attack, which always should contain one player — no less and no more; but he had encouraged positional interchanges and at their best Dinamo was just a marvel to watch. Considering the level of players that I bring in, it should add even more flair to this idea, although you've had enough beautiful one-twos, backheels, tricks and feints in the original version as well. Defensively it's a collective pressing all the way and a relative high line — which may look like a suicide against peak Ronaldo, but I'll link up the game where Ferrara does exactly that. You're not going to stop Ronaldo comlepetely anyway, so you may as well limit the amount of times that he'll get the ball.

Player roles

GK - Sepp Maier.
Pretty straightforward role for one of the positional GOATs.
RB - Manuel Amoros. He's going to be responsible for the whole wing, as he doesn't have a line-hugging player in front of him, but he'll get a lot of support from De Bruyne & Seeler who had often operated in that right wing inside/outside channels.
CB - Ciro Ferrara. An excellent fit for my aggressive defensive set up — he was very adapt at playing in a high line and was very good with the ball, which is always a bonus. Plus he has enough experience outwide and on the right of a back three, so he'll be a perfect cover man for Amoros. To highlight what I expect of him, here's Ciro Ferrara's brilliant performance against Inter Milan with the peak version of El Fenomeno on the pitch. Sadly, it's not my vid, so it only shows good bits, but considering the enormous level of threat (I consider that season's Ronaldo as arguably the second most devastating player of all-time), they did quite good, limiting him to "only" an assist.

CB - Paul McGrath. When he was fit, it was quite hard to find a better and more natural defender. I'd also say that athletically and physically he's one of the most gifted center backs of all-time, but you should probably include his breaking knees in there, which takes it down a notch.
LB - Hans-Peter Briegel. Another absolute unit that could've easily compete in professional decathlon if not for football. His instructions are pretty much the same as the one that I gave to Amoros.
DM - Valeriy Voronin. Konkov was pretty crucial to the whole system, as he was the foundation on which the whole midfield structure was based. Calm, composed and yet also aggressive and physical, he rarely made attacking runs (although his unexpected runs often led to dangerous situations) and was more involved in moving the ball forward, simply and efficiently. It's hard to find a better upgrade than Voronin for this role.
RM - Kevin De Bruyne. His role here a bit overlaps with his role at City. I'd say a central midfielder with tendency to lean towards the right side. Here's an interesting video about him by Tifo:

CM - Paul Breitner. Viktor Kolotov's role is one of the most interesting in that system. He was very different from your normal attacking midfielder or even a number 10 — but rather a box-to-box who often took advantage of Blokhin and Onyshchenko moving out of the way to clear the space for his runs. I needed a proper goalscoring center mid and there aren't many better than Paul Breitner himself. Their interplay with Cruyff and Seeler should be magnificent — both of my forwards had similar partnership over the years: Cruyff with Neeskens and Seeler, most notably, with young Franz Beckenbauer in 1966.
LM - Søren Lerby. A player with 3 lungs, who had literally played in 2 different games throughout the same day, insanely hard-working ball-winner, but also someone who had often acted as the main midfield playmaker in his teams (most notably for Denmark, with young Laudrup playing as a free-roaming forward).
FW - Johan Cruyff. The numbers are a bit different, but essentially it's still a totaalvoetbal system, and there's no one better than Johan Cruyff to led that side. He may not have Blokhin's blistering pace, but he well compensates for it with his other talents.
FW - Uwe Seeler. I needed a striker who can act not only as a striker, and there's hardly anyone better than Seeler for this weird task. Someone had even called this system a "formation with 2 false 9's", which sometimes was the case — but in different stages of the game Seeler can also act as a focus point of my attacks and his link up play with De Bruyne should be simply amazing.


Alterations from the original
  1. I'd say that De Bruyne is more alike Veremeev and Lerby is somewhat closer Muntyan, so technically I had switched their flanks, but in reality they all roamed all around. I also tried to make sure that my midfield unit had all the required qualities combined, creatively and defensively, and I wasn't as focused on finding perfect replicas for individual players per se
  2. Blokhin/Cruyff switch will slightly differ the way that this team would play, but ultimately this is an upgrade that gives me way more options than it takes.
 
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harms

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I think the key issue with Fortitude's team is quite evident. His wingers aren't going to work as hard as Giggs and Beckham did and his fullbacks are uber-offensive. And while I trust Alves to do a decent-enough job defensively if he choses to focus on it more, I don't trust Marcelo at all (in fact, if he was as good defensively as, at least, Dani Alves or Roberto Carlos were, he'd be in consideration for a positional GOAT status) — especially with Dzajic ahead of him and no Davids-esque presence in midfield to help him out on a permanent basis. Bossis is a great cover, but you can't allow to have your center back to cover for him full-time.

Some excerpts from the Sky Sport article (linked below) about De Bruyne — they go as far as to name that inside-right channel "the De Bruyne zone", and rightly so. And all of my attack is so smart at exploiting those spaces — I mean Cruyff is, I think, the best of all-time at this particular component, and Seeler & Breitner are no slouches either.

...
And yet, remarkable as it might seem given their absurdly-high standards, De Bruyne still offers something more. That has been apparent already. With him back doing his thing in that right-inside channel - an area that might reasonably now be known as the De Bruyne zone - City have once again added to their formidable range of ways they can hurt teams. Against Tottenham, De Bruyne delivered the cross from this zone for Raheem Sterling's opening goal. Spurs might have been able to get away with standing off any other player in that position but he punished them, whipping in a ball that cut the defenders out of the game and sparking a debate about where he ranks among the game's greatest crossers.

"He was unplayable," Gary Neville told Sky Sports. "It took me back to playing with the best crosser of the ball I played with, David Beckham. De Bruyne is repeating the level of quality and precision from that inside-right channel that Beckham produced for United and that is not something I thought I would see again in the Premier League for a long time."


De Bruyne's shot assist map for Manchester City so far this season

De Bruyne is not an obvious candidate given that he is not a natural winger. As can be seen from his shot-assist map so far this season, not one of his deliveries into the box have come from the touch-line or even close to it. Instead, De Bruyne crosses - or, to be more accurate, passes - the ball in from a much more dangerous area. He is the master of the half space. The half space has long been a staple of coaching courses with Guardiola regarded as one of its greatest exponents. The City coach is even known to divide the pitch into zones on the training ground and place huge emphasis on this area of the field. The half spaces offer greater possibilities than the flanks but more freedom than the congested central zones.


The half spaces are an important zone for Premier League coaches to exploit

Getting his team on the ball in this area is one of Guardiola's key ideas. "Firstly, we look wide," he has explained. "It is impossible when teams are defending deep to be narrow." But this width often comes from the wide forwards, opening up space between the full-back and the centre-back to be exploited by underlapping full-backs or advanced midfielders.
Nobody does this as well as De Bruyne. Crucially, he does it in more ways than one. The second goal against Tottenham saw him dart in behind to set up Sergio Aguero. Against Brighton, he made a run off his team-mate to break free of the back line before picking out Aguero with a square pass - the striker doing the rest inside the box to score.

De Bruyne has the running ability of a full-back but greater quality when he gets in these positions. He has the playmaking ability of David Silva but greater pace with which to get there. Guardiola has even cited this as one of the reasons for a slight change of approach since his Barcelona days. "When we have players like … Kevin De Bruyne we attack more the spaces."
...
De Bruyne has created 16 chances so far this season, the most by any player in the Premier League. He has five assists in the competition so far. Silva has four. Nobody else in the Premier League has more than two. It owes much to the quality of the team in which they are playing in, of course, and also to the finishing ability of Manchester City's forwards. But it also reflects how they have mastered what would once have been seen as a peculiar position - that role as 'free eights' within Guardiola's system. Not quite forwards but able to find space behind the opposition midfield nevertheless. "The intention is to play from the back and then scroll it to me and David, so we can be five against four," says De Bruyne.

"I think it's getting to a point now where you cannot allow De Bruyne into this space on the right," said Neville. "You have to deal with the threat, which is De Bruyne. He is that good from that position. Teams have to stop him by defending a bit unconventionally." The problem of De Bruyne and the half space is now well known. The search for a solution continues.
https://www.skysports.com/football/...nd-the-half-space-manchester-citys-key-weapon
 

Fortitude

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Definitely disagree about Finney, but agree regarding Dzajic, which is why we're taking the game to you and not relying on defensive nous.

Attacking my flanks is to be expected, but to do so, there's an element of risk as the men doing so either stay high and in the space, or they track all the way back with my men, which is exhausting and a thankless task.

Anyway, good look to ya @harms :)
 

Fortitude

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I've also got to say stopping Ronaldo with Mazzola running behind him either for combinations, or gladly to go ahead of him to be slotted in, plus the threat of Finney, in particular, is just a massive, massive ask, really.

Even in putting all the energy into Ronaldo, and somehow managing to succeed, Finney and Mazzola have to have a say on the game - Finney isolated 1-on-1 is a bad idea, but how will he not be considering the need to shepherd Ronaldo from as many conceivable angles as possible? There is going to be space and opportunities to score for my attack by one [Ronaldo] means or another, imo.
 

harms

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I've also got to say stopping Ronaldo with Mazzola running behind him either for combinations, or gladly to go ahead of him to be slotted in, plus the threat of Finney, in particular, is just a massive, massive ask, really.

Even in putting all the energy into Ronaldo, and somehow managing to succeed, Finney and Mazzola have to have a say on the game - Finney isolated 1-on-1 is a bad idea, but how will he not be considering the need to shepherd Ronaldo from as many conceivable angles as possible? There is going to be space and opportunities to score for my attack by one [Ronaldo] means or another, imo.
Of course it is. I even stated in my OP that there's no fully stopping Ronaldo at his peak — but I do think that tactically and personnel-wise I'm well suited to outscore you.

Ferrara's video that was linked in the OP was a great example of how a team can limit Ronaldo's influence — not fully (he had made a delightful assist to Djorkaeff), but significantly. I also have all 10 of my outfield players involved in both sides of the game, while you have some slackers like Ronaldo, Dzajic and even Marcelo (arguably Finney, who wasn't against defending per se, but he definitely didn't do it in a way that a modern winger like Beckham or Figo did).


McGrath vs Ronaldo would've also been a nice battle to watch, albeit both of them would probably see their knees completely giving up after 10 minutes.
 

Gio

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@Fortitude I thought you were going for more of a 1990s 4-4-1-1 when you brought in Mazzola, rather than a 4-2-3-1 set up. I thought the 06-09 team was more of a 4-3-3 or lopsided 4-4-2 shape at times?
 

Physiocrat

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Excellent write-ups both of you.

@Fortitude

Are Marcelo and Alves going to be equally attacking? Also will they move forward at the same time
 

Fortitude

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Could you say a bit more about that? Always hard to judge when it comes to players playing under ancient tactics & with so little footage.
I am going to have to try and find some links for you as he was one of the first guys I studied decades ago alongside many players of that era as there was so little video footage of him (I think my very first posts on this site back in '04 were asking about Duncan Edwards!), but everything I read pointed toward him being ahead of his time, tactically studious, a tireless worker if asked to track who was comfortable across the final third. He, unlike a Matthews or Garrincha, is a player who would have comfortably slotted into the more involving systems that were to come a decade (or two) later - I took him over Figo for a Fergie team because I firmly believe he would give me what I need in both directions plus his direct running is preferred to Figo's style of holding up the play and trying to find the perfect moment or cross, which is not beneficial to Ronaldo who isn't particularly great in the air or interested in contesting for position to meet aerial crosses.

Finney was renowned for low, driven crosses and cut-backs after beating a few men and encroaching on the penalty box chalk (basically forcing defenders out to him and having them vacate their duties in the centre). Another penchant of Finney's is to drive towards said chalk-lines aggressively, in other words, he will make that man come out to him rather than dither in those positions.

Anyway, I'll try and dig through my old links and see if they're still alive, if not, I'll try and find a piece that fully describes his game (that I didn't write, lol), but he's definitely a player who I'd field in the '94, '99 and this side without a moment of hesitation, where I wouldn't do the same with Figo.
 
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Synco

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sign up, they said. it's a fun draft, they said.
I am going to have to try and find some links for you as he was one of the first guys I studied decades ago alongside many players of that era as there was so little video footage of him (I think my very first posts on this site back in '04 were asking about Duncan Edwards!), but everything I read pointed toward him being ahead of his time, tactically studious, a tireless worker if asked to track who was comfortable across the final third. He, unlike a Matthews or Garrincha, is a player who would have comfortably slotted into the more involving systems that were to come a decade (or two) later - I took him over Figo for a Fergie team because I firmly believe he would give me what I need in both directions
If that's the case, it would be enough for me to assume it works on a basic level. I'm all for translating historical players' traits into a more modern context (within certain limits). Draft games wouldn't work otherwise, imo.
Anyway, I'll try and dig through my old links and see if they're still alive, if not, I'll try and find a piece that fully describes his game (that I didn't write, lol), but he's definitely a player who I'd field in the '94, '99 and this side without a moment of hesitation, where I wouldn't do the same with Figo.
That would be cool.
 

Fortitude

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Of course it is. I even stated in my OP that there's no fully stopping Ronaldo at his peak — but I do think that tactically and personnel-wise I'm well suited to outscore you.

Ferrara's video that was linked in the OP was a great example of how a team can limit Ronaldo's influence — not fully (he had made a delightful assist to Djorkaeff), but significantly. I also have all 10 of my outfield players involved in both sides of the game, while you have some slackers like Ronaldo, Dzajic and even Marcelo (arguably Finney, who wasn't against defending per se, but he definitely didn't do it in a way that a modern winger like Beckham or Figo did).


McGrath vs Ronaldo would've also been a nice battle to watch, albeit both of them would probably see their knees completely giving up after 10 minutes.
I'm just thinking of how they go about keeping full eyes on the prize, so to speak, when they've got problematic players across the other three attacking positions, with whom, two of them, are not going to have a problem with using Ronaldo as the dummy as they run beyond him (Mazzola and Finney).

I have, in principle, Dzajic as an annoying opportunist who can't be ignored and can keep his flank honest. You're right, he's not going to track back or work particularly hard in the other direction, but, the idea is, he won't have to as it'd be remiss of that flank to leave him open as on the counter, you've then got him running toward the goal on a diagonal, capable of beating the CB on the inside or out, but more importantly, very much adept as finding a man with a pass or cross at just the right moment.

Your line has to be deep to prevent the pace, which also draws your midfield deeper, and particularly, makes breaking on the counter that bit more exhausting.

I would say my write-up is a little bit tongue in cheek as the bravado states I'm all over you; I'm aware that wouldn't be the case, but at the same time, you should be defending a lot more than me and having to spring attacks in a more haphazard fashion.

I thought, straight away with Ronaldo in my team, practically the whole of my attack is enabled just by him being on the pitch and deep in amongst your CB's. It's pretty jarring for your side as you have to accommodate his presence, which, as stated above, is going to affect your midfield, and by proxy, your attacking lines as the whole group have to move back the 10-15 yards to remain compact and cohesive. This is opposed to my backline, who can afford to constrict space because of their quickness and the type of players you have - I thought about Cruyff in particular here, as he's the game breaker who both has the pace and the dribbling ability to breach, and stay ahead of my defensive line, but as stated, I feel he has to do his thing deeper in the midfield to get your team moving superfluous back up the pitch - he can't be in two places at onces, and the conventional running of Seeler and De Bruyne is preferable. No doubt those two get it right, and they're lethal, but again, that's with you having me on the turn and a lot deeper in my own half than I intend my players to be.

A flash-pass-cross thing of De Bruyne's is reliant on your players facing my goal and running across it in a diagonal, so if one doesn't latch onto it, another does, in the way so many of City's goals are converted off a De Bruyne ball. That will be difficult with them having so much work to do to get that deep, in numbers, across that penetrative area of the pitch.

I also think if they do try to run in that manner, you've got 60 minutes in them tops before they gas, and only Seeler is left with his indefatigable self.
 

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@Fortitude I thought you were going for more of a 1990s 4-4-1-1 when you brought in Mazzola, rather than a 4-2-3-1 set up. I thought the 06-09 team was more of a 4-3-3 or lopsided 4-4-2 shape at times?
I hope to utilise those systems in an eclectic mix, but given harm's midfield, I didn't fancy trying it here.

The '06 -'09 teams were dynamic, and I don't think any one system does them justice as we shifted from what you describe to what I've put up on a whim. Park as the donkey legs with Evra on the overlap obviously provided something different than having Ronaldo-Tevez-Rooney maurading with the differing midfields that were utilised behind them. I had Overath as my Park in the sense of the running, with obviously far more technical brilliance, with Hierro (Carrick) and Schweinsteiger (deviation from Scholes, but solid through the middle in the central bank) as a concept for the lop-sided imitation, but I find harms' midfield a difficult one to put that particular method into the mixer, plus I didn't like the idea of Lerby's running and aggression in that set-up.
 

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I am going to have to try and find some links for you as he was one of the first guys I studied decades ago alongside many players of that era as there was so little video footage of him (I think my very first posts on this site back in '04 were asking about Duncan Edwards!), but everything I read pointed toward him being ahead of his time, tactically studious, a tireless worker if asked to track who was comfortable across the final third. He, unlike a Matthews or Garrincha, is a player who would have comfortably slotted into the more involving systems that were to come a decade (or two) later - I took him over Figo for a Fergie team because I firmly believe he would give me what I need in both directions plus his direct running is preferred to Figo's style of holding up the play and trying to find the perfect moment or cross, which is not beneficial to Ronaldo who isn't particularly great in the air or interested in contesting for position to meet aerial crosses.

Finney was renowned for low, driven crosses and cut-backs after beating a few men and encrotching on the penalty box chalk (basically forcing defenders out to him and having them vacate their duties in the centre. Another penchant of Finney's is to drive towards said chalk-lines aggressively, in other words, he will make that man come out to him rather than dither in those positions.

Anyway, I'll try and dig through my old links and see if they're still alive, if not, I'll try and find a piece that fully describes his game (that I didn't write, lol), but he's definitely a player who I'd field in the '94, '99 and this side without a moment of hesitation, where I wouldn't do the same with Figo.
Aye, everything I've read around Finney suggests he'd thrive in the modern game. His interchangeability across the forward line, his experience of playing as a false winger and as a primary goalscorer, the breadth of his game, his discipline and team ethic.
 

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Excellent write-ups both of you.

@Fortitude

Are Marcelo and Alves going to be equally attacking? Also will they move forward at the same time
I would like to believe one side follows in at a slower rate than the other, as opposed to a '94 dual-sided frenzy in that 4-4-2.

As harms picked up on, Marcelo is going to go up regardless, but Alves was intelligent and timed his runs, plus, didn't necessarily go deep or past his wide man, instead electing to bob around that RCMish type of position, so it is a bit of a unique situation with such an atypical RB as his arrow can sort of go forward then do a wiggle, as opposed to Marcelo's where we all know what's coming.
 

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Im first to admit i pretty much only watched Marcelo in Champions League and maybe i forgot or put it as irrelevant at the time but can someone give me those games/actions where he cost his team because defensively he was a liability(if you have games against Messi dont even bother to post them)? Reckon this could easily be a myth but open for all all options:wenger:
 

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Your line has to be deep to prevent the pace, which also draws your midfield deeper, and particularly, makes breaking on the counter that bit more exhausting.

I would say my write-up is a little bit tongue in cheek as the bravado states I'm all over you; I'm aware that wouldn't be the case, but at the same time, you should be defending a lot more than me and having to spring attacks in a more haphazard fashion.
Well, here's where you're wrong. My line wouldn't be deep, otherwise I would be true to Lobanovsky's spirit — but I have a very mobile and versatile unit that can press you all over the pitch and form a significant obstacle for you when lined up defensively.

The notion that you would be attacking more than me is interesting — and weird. Fergie at his best always tended to be more of a counter-attacking manager — not a defensive-minded counter-attacker like Mourinho, of course, but someone who enjoys catching his opponents on the break. Lobanovsky's pressing and the whole positional structure makes his approach closer to Pep in many ways (although there are significant differences), and he would always look to dominate the game — press tirelessly, dominate physically and keep the ball going. When Fergie faced such teams — even when we take Pep out of equation and look at the 2007/08 encounters with Barca, which was not yet an all-conquering jaggernaut, he had chosen to close up the shop and let them have the ball — knowing that he has a better chance of catching him on the break.

You don't have players for a possession-based side, and you won't have more time on the ball. Fergie had never used pressing as intensely as it was used by Lobanovsky or Pep/Klopp now, — in fact, many even criticised him for it in the latter seasons, where Barcelona's style of play started the new page in football history.
 

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Im first to admit i pretty much only watched Marcelo in Champions League and maybe i forgot or put it as irrelevant at the time but can someone give me those games/actions where he cost his team because defensively he was a liability(if you have games against Messi dont even bother to post them)? Reckon this could easily be a myth but open for all all options:wenger:
It's exaggerated.
 

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Im first to admit i pretty much only watched Marcelo in Champions League and maybe i forgot or put it as irrelevant at the time but can someone give me those games/actions where he cost his team because defensively he was a liability(if you have games against Messi dont even bother to post them)? Reckon this could easily be a myth but open for all all options:wenger:
I'll try to find you some examples, but this is not a myth. As I've stated, there are uber-attacking fullbacks, whose defensive credentials get questioned, like Carlos or Alves (and there are some questions about their defending, but they're not a complete liability). And then there's Marcelo, who had benefitted from no other than Ramos (I know you dislike him) — at his best, Ramos was able to cover left side and a central zone successfully, at worst, Marcelo's poor positional play put him in a disadvantage that forced him to foul or be beaten. Of course, if Ramos was a truly elite defender, he would've dealt with those issues more successfully, but Marcelo is actually the one who often should (and sometimes does) get the blame.

Here's a usual game, where his defensive side gets exploited:

A rather extreme example that shows how well Marcelo fares, when the opposition dominates from the very beginning and he doesn't get to showcase his attacking qualities:

From Zonalmarking.net
In such a stunningly convincing victory, it seems strange to highlight one zone where Germany were superior. Everything went right for them, everything went wrong for Brazil – there wasn’t one single aspect where the hosts even competed, let alone were better.

Nevertheless, it’s easy to pinpoint Germany’s main area of dominance – down their right, in Brazil’s left-back zone. For the first half hour, the number of times Germany broke in behind Marcelo was extraordinary, and equally ridiculous was the fact Marcelo didn’t the hint, remain in his position for a few minutes, and allow Brazil to get a foothold in the game. Instead, he kept motoring forward, and the German attacks kept on coming.
http://www.zonalmarking.net/2014/07/09/germany-7-1-brazil-germany-record-a-historic-thrashing/

I don't want to put articles from 2020, as he's way from his physical peak now, but here's one from 2015 — at a time, when Madrid's defence was the best in the world:
When you’re as good at the back as Real Madrid have been this season, bringing up defensive issues in Rafa Benitez’s side seems ill-timed. Madrid have conceded just one goal all season - the best record across Europe's top leagues thus far. But the Merengues have an elephant in the room, a situation on their hands that might cause their downfall during the apex of the season.
https://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/marcelos-defensive-naivety-could-cost-real-madrid
 

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I'll try to find you some examples, but this is not a myth. As I've stated, there are uber-attacking fullbacks, whose defensive credentials get questioned, like Carlos or Alves (and there are some questions about their defending, but they're not a complete liability).
See this is my problem, i dont think he is a worse defender then Carlos or a younger(Pep) version of Dani Alves. If he was questioned like them, im okay with it but it got to a point like you have Buttner in his position.

And then there's Marcelo, who had benefitted from no other than Ramos (I know you dislike him) — at his best, Ramos was able to cover left side and a central zone successfully, at worst, Marcelo's poor positional play put him in a disadvantage that forced him to foul or be beaten. Of course, if Ramos was a truly elite defender, he would've dealt with those issues more successfully, but Marcelo is actually the one who often should (and sometimes does) get the blame.
Yeah, sorry not buying this argument.


Here's a usual game, where his defensive side gets exploited:
Just watched the whole clip and dont see anything that bad, 1 or 2 times he got beaten while the rest is mostly on the counter where its not his fault as its not his job to defend the counter, he cant be at 2 places in the same time. He was almost running their game from the fullback position, was a key player in the offensive phase and therefor he was mostly very high up. When they lose the ball its the job of the guys behind him to protect the gap he left by going forwards so if its anyone to blame its the likes of Casemiro and Kroos.
Thats another thing, just look at the players around him, absolutely zero protection:
Ronaldo - not the most hardworking attacker isnt he
Kroos - while decent defensive wise he isnt mobile so he cant cover the wide areas and central ones so mostly he was staying central
Pepe/Ramos - 2 brainless centerbacks(obviously we disagree strongly on this one)

A rather extreme example that shows how well Marcelo fares, when the opposition dominates from the very beginning and he doesn't get to showcase his attacking qualities:


From Zonalmarking.net

http://www.zonalmarking.net/2014/07/09/germany-7-1-brazil-germany-record-a-historic-thrashing/

I don't want to put articles from 2020, as he's way from his physical peak now, but here's one from 2015 — at a time, when Madrid's defence was the best in the world:

https://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/marcelos-defensive-naivety-could-cost-real-madrid
As you said, its an extreme example, absolute freak game that tells you very little.
 

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Well, here's where you're wrong. My line wouldn't be deep, otherwise I would be true to Lobanovsky's spirit — but I have a very mobile and versatile unit that can press you all over the pitch and form a significant obstacle for you when lined up defensively.
I accept the spirit and the principle idea of this draft, but Lobanovsky never had to face Ronaldo and I would wonder what he'd do with his personnel to try and contest the threat of a game-breaker who is basically a computer game character. I don't want to overstate it, but like I've said a few times in this particular draft, I don't think he fits because he automatically prevents a side from being a Fergie one because he's outside of all the principles and constructs that box so many other players in and makes them great, but conventional: pace, power, dribbling all off the charts, with exceptional link-up play, movement and intelligence - Ro-Ro '97 being perhaps the greatest example at the Copa, but we also have the first season at Inter with inferior players. The problem for you here, is that unlike at Inter, you're getting a Ronaldo that is surrounded by absolute top-notch quality.

The Inter team he ran riot in wasn't a great one on an individual level, so his options were limited, certainly relative to what's going on in my team where a beautiful combination player is behind him and there are technically brilliant wide players flanking. I have to make the point again: the focus cannot be placed solely on Ronaldo, but at the same time, how can it not be? I really rate McGrath highly and I fancy him in a conventional contest to do well, but from the outset here, Ronaldo will roast both your guys for pace, he matches them for power, plus he has the fastest feet they've ever encountered. It's an abnormal package, one, both of them together would need to stop.

Considering the above, playing anything but a defensive line that at least tries to negate Ronaldo's pace is an immediate negative unless you've got CB's in the top percentile for pace, and even then, I personally wouldn't set up running the game where this gamble is ever-present for 90 minutes.
The notion that you would be attacking more than me is interesting — and weird. Fergie at his best always tended to be more of a counter-attacking manager — not a defensive-minded counter-attacker like Mourinho, of course, but someone who enjoys catching his opponents on the break. Lobanovsky's pressing and the whole positional structure makes his approach closer to Pep in many ways (although there are significant differences), and he would always look to dominate the game — press tirelessly, dominate physically and keep the ball going. When Fergie faced such teams — even when we take Pep out of equation and look at the 2007/08 encounters with Barca, which was not yet an all-conquering jaggernaut, he had chosen to close up the shop and let them have the ball — knowing that he has a better chance of catching him on the break.
The 0'6-'09 team was delimited by certain factors:

- Scholes' lack of mobility, athleticism and defensive ability
- Carrick's issues with being pressed.
- Vidic's lack of pace

and overall had some great players bound to others who were having great seasons. I have no such restriction and at Fergie's heart, he is a manager that will go for a game if he feels his personnel can do that. Going to the pragmatic is second roll of the dice, not his primary. Even in the final where we went after Barcelona with everything we had, before succumbing after those 20 minutes, what Fergie's essence truly was about, was on show.

If he's got the right players, he's always going to go for it over waiting to see what's what.

In regards to soaking up pressure to hit on the break, this is also somewhat serendipitous. Obviously planned for in one train of thought, but usually utilised after going for the game and haranguing the opposition.

I'm going to say Ronaldo scuppers some of Fergie's tactics, too, tbh. When you have a glitch in the matrix some strategies become peripheral, or at at least, much harder to utilise because your opponent simply won't open up in the same manner as if that glitch wasn't on the field. We're never going to have tons of space to bomb into, because it'd be suicidal for most sides to invite that - I've player who is a legitimate threat from the tip of midfield, backed by another who was no slouch in making marauding runs on the break.

.

You don't have players for a possession-based side, and you won't have more time on the ball. Fergie had never used pressing as intensely as it was used by Lobanovsky or Pep/Klopp now, — in fact, many even criticised him for it in the latter seasons, where Barcelona's style of play started the new page in football history.
As to your point about possession into passing for my team, I would say my personnel sort of negate the need for orthodoxy - a simple ball wide quickly becomes an issue for your guys that they have to close down, from there the chain begins, and the ball (not particular complex) gets played back inside to the central midfield, and the problem progresses further up the pitch. With the levels of ball carriage I have on the flanks, my possession is utilised in a different way, but is effective nonetheless - your onus is on preventing the pile on in the final third, where my FB's enter the fray and provide more width and options - Mazzola is not the greatest passer, but he's certainly no slouch, and between he, Overath and Ronaldo, there will be chains to play through the middle, too. I think we're very Fergie-esque in this regard.

I don't know how you press a team who will just hit wide and welcome the swarm coming to a flank - the middle of the pitch, we're not weak in, but certainly are not reliant on it or in need of playing around it inviting your robust midfield to utilise it's energy and aggression in optimal ways. Nope, we go wide, you're coming with. And then we can do that again, and again before going inside for a bit for the reset.
 

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As an off-point, I don't really see how this attack is even resembling Fergie's 06/09. There you had the star in Ronaldo (although Luis Ronaldo is very different, I'd expect that to be him, I guess?) and 2 insanely hardworking (and talented) attackers in Rooney & Tevez. Neither of Dzajic and Finney are even capable of doing anything similar — and I'm a huge fan of both. I've also seen probably every minute of Finney's recorded footage, so it's not just a shot in the dark.

Mazzola is someone who can be a Rooney-esque player in attack, but he takes place of Anderson/Park?
 

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but agree with the fullback situation, Fergie never had 2 wingbacks in the same time and its a bit too offensive for his style. Id actually buy Alves if fortitude used different peak.
 

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Just watched the whole clip and dont see anything that bad, 1 or 2 times he got beaten while the rest is mostly on the counter where its not his fault as its not his job to defend the counter
That's the thing. He's just never there. Even Carlos would rush back and try to do one of those last-minute tackles, while Marcelo is just strolling back. Yes, the whole team's defenisve structure was tilted so that he would have more freedom up front, and it was worth it, but here he doesn't have that luxury. He has a fairly disciplined playmaker next to him, not really a stucking-in winger ahead of him... and he faces one of the biggest threats there are in that inside-right zone, who relishes on finding space between fullback and center back, and a horrifying mobile duo of Cruyff and Seeler, with Breitner & co slightly in behind. I love Bossis, but he is not covering for all of that. And Marcelo won't even be as influential in attack as he usually was for Madrid, as Dzajic would want more of the ball to do classic winger stuff — while Madrid's Ronaldo was gradually developing into probably the most dangerous off-the-ball runner of all-time.

It's not a coincidence that their first CL came when they've installed Di Maria on that wing, who had worked for 2 men and covered Marcelo as well as Ronaldo.
 

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@Fortitude
a lot to like about the side, midfield is lovely and defence apart from Alves in great as well. Attack is a bit odd, when you mentioned Ronaldo in the main thread i started thinking about it and id probably just use him as a wide-forward(actually think thats his best role in modern tactics outside of front 2s) and then with a hard-working striker up front you pretty much get a proper Fergie side.

@harms
Need to watch/read about Lobanovsky first but that side is :drool:
 

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Just watched the whole clip and dont see anything that bad, 1 or 2 times he got beaten while the rest is mostly on the counter where its not his fault as its not his job to defend the counter, he cant be at 2 places in the same time. He was almost running their game from the fullback position, was a key player in the offensive phase and therefor he was mostly very high up. When they lose the ball its the job of the guys behind him to protect the gap he left by going forwards so if its anyone to blame its the likes of Casemiro and Kroos.
Agreed. I didn't see much that was bad there to be fair.
 

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That's the thing. He's just never there. Even Carlos would rush back and try to do one of those last-minute tackles, while Marcelo is just strolling back. Yes, the whole team's defenisve structure was tilted so that he would have more freedom up front, and it was worth it, but here he doesn't have that luxury. He has a fairly disciplined playmaker next to him, not really a stucking-in winger ahead of him... and he faces one of the biggest threats there are in that inside-right zone, who relishes on finding space between fullback and center back, and a horrifying mobile duo of Cruyff and Seeler, with Breitner & co slightly in behind. I love Bossis, but he is not covering for all of that. And Marcelo won't even be as influential in attack as he usually was for Madrid, as Dzajic would want more of the ball to do classic winger stuff — while Madrid's Ronaldo was gradually developing into probably the most dangerous off-the-ball runner of all-time.

It's not a coincidence that their first CL came when they've installed Di Maria on that wing, who had worked for 2 men and covered Marcelo as well as Ronaldo.
They also dominated the CL after Di Maria left and where he didnt have much protection as i stated earlier :)
Regarding the other thing, for this game i agree but i just have the feeling he would get slaughtered in any system for his defensive capabilities when in reality he wasnt bad at all. He wasnt a great defender, probably not even a good one but capable enough to hold his own, something for example you cant say for his club rival Jordi Alba who actually plays like drafters rate Marcelo in games and the difference between the two defensive wise is pretty big.
 

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As an off-point, I don't really see how this attack is even resembling Fergie's 06/09. There you had the star in Ronaldo (although Luis Ronaldo is very different, I'd expect that to be him, I guess?) and 2 insanely hardworking (and talented) attackers in Rooney & Tevez. Neither of Dzajic and Finney are even capable of doing anything similar — and I'm a huge fan of both. I've also seen probably every minute of Finney's recorded footage, so it's not just a shot in the dark.

Mazzola is someone who can be a Rooney-esque player in attack, but he takes place of Anderson/Park?
As I've said myself, Ronaldo is an outlier and sort of throws a spanner in the works in trying to create a Fergie team because he is not bound by those principles and doesn't need any of them to be what he is. In that regard, throw him out of the equation - he can't be legislated for (wasn't my pick, not hating, going to maintain he should've been blocked!) so the construct has a difficult time mirroring any Fergie side man-for-man from the outset, really.

As I said to Gio, because of what your teams strengths and weaknesses are, I have elected to go a different route in terms of how I combat that. Hard running in central midfield is beneficial to your guys, and wide, I don't need to cater for you so much defensively when I can instead make you cater for me. Cruyff and De Bruyne, being the hybrid players they are, also made my decision for me. Putting in defensive graft to combat them lends itself to your side attacking mine and me then having the same issue you will in getting the ball back up the field in a controlled manner. I feel I've circumvented that by flipping the game and bringing it to you, which means your guys either go with the flow and track my runners, or try and stay high and wait for opportunities on the break. A Lobonovskiy side is not going to do the latter, nor is Cruyff! De Bruyne is also naturally a player who is going to help out and work backwards.

Both players are still dangerous on the break for you, but there's a challenge in there for them in when they go and for how long and what they (De Bruyne) do in the restricted space. Like I said before with Cruyff, it's not that he can't be lethal from wherever it is he sets off from, but a question of how many times he can do that in a game whilst maintaining intensity and hard running. You don't have the offensive running on the inside of him outside of Lerby, which also made my decision for me.
 

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@harms
Need to watch/read about Lobanovsky first but that side is :drool:
Didn't have time for a proper profile yet, it's about 1/4 done :(
His 70's side was really the best out of the three (he had 1 great side for each decade: 70's, 80's and 90's), but he had sucked everything out of them too soon. He had a scary approach at the time — give me a footballer, I'll take what I can from him in 5 years & then give me new blood. He had become a bit more human as the time went by.
 

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@Fortitude
a lot to like about the side, midfield is lovely and defence apart from Alves in great as well. Attack is a bit odd, when you mentioned Ronaldo in the main thread i started thinking about it and id probably just use him as a wide-forward(actually think thats his best role in modern tactics outside of front 2s) and then with a hard-working striker up front you pretty much get a proper Fergie side.

@harms
Need to watch/read about Lobanovsky first but that side is :drool:
Thanks. I've made the Ronaldo point myself; he doesn't have the stamina to play wide, however, and it'd be a bit of a weird one when we all know what he is through the middle.

I had half a mind to not play him, because Mazzola and Streltsov more match with the personnel of that side. I couldn't not play him though as that'd not be right or in the spirit of the draft, I think.
 

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Thanks. I've made the Ronaldo point myself; he doesn't have the stamina to play wide, however, and it'd be a bit of a weird one when we all know what he is through the middle.
Not wide wide obviously, but somewhere where all the best goalscorers play in last 10 years or so, as a wide forwards which pretty much gives him full freedom offensive wise(and he often drifted out wide anyways). Think workrate wise he can easily do enough for a team to "carry" him, he wasnt a walker like Romario or old Messi so id see no problems for example for him to play as Salah or Neymar in terms of defensive offerings.
We all know Cristiano was floating everywhere while Rooney and Tevez were doing the dirty work, id buy Fenomeno in that role. Obviously you lose the 442 aspect but dont think anyone would mind.
 

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That's the thing. He's just never there. Even Carlos would rush back and try to do one of those last-minute tackles, while Marcelo is just strolling back. Yes, the whole team's defenisve structure was tilted so that he would have more freedom up front, and it was worth it, but here he doesn't have that luxury.
Isn't that a tactical problem and the manager's fault. Can't blame him for having attacking duties and others not covering behind him.
 

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Isn't that a tactical problem and the manager's fault. Can't blame him for having attacking duties and others not covering behind him.
Well, when he was asked to, he had failed; hence why all of this tricks and options (including fielding Coentrao in big games) were introduced. Eventually they’ve figured that if they compensate for his weaknesses, his insane attacking output will outweigh that, but I don’t think that this is the case here.
 

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Not wide wide obviously, but somewhere where all the best goalscorers play in last 10 years or so, as a wide forwards which pretty much gives him full freedom offensive wise(and he often drifted out wide anyways). Think workrate wise he can easily do enough for a team to "carry" him, he wasnt a walker like Romario or old Messi so id see no problems for example for him to play as Salah or Neymar in terms of defensive offerings.
We all know Cristiano was floating everywhere while Rooney and Tevez were doing the dirty work, id buy Fenomeno in that role. Obviously you lose the 442 aspect but dont think anyone would mind.
Ah, I get what you mean. Interesting role for him.

Has Ronaldo's position ever been tinkered with in a draft?
 

Šjor Bepo

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Ah, I get what you mean. Interesting role for him.

Has Ronaldo's position ever been tinkered with in a draft?
dont know, @Invictus and myself used him in a fluid 3 man attack alongside Seeler and Cristiano.
 

Gio

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That's the thing. He's just never there. Even Carlos would rush back and try to do one of those last-minute tackles, while Marcelo is just strolling back.
That description reminds me of this dozy piece of defending against Barcelona no less. Starts the attack as one of Real’s deepest players, doesn’t read the blindingly obvious danger and trots back without a care in the world.


That said, sometimes you’d be as well picking Paul Konchesky instead for all the love Marcelo gets. Despite being probably the greatest attacking left back of all time, he must have one of the worst draft records of any player. I mind the Peaches and Goat draft when he was forgotten from the price list and was available for a dirt cheap £15m, and became available again every round because he was seen as the weakest link in every match and culpable for his teams’ exits.
 

harms

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That said, sometimes you’d be as well picking Paul Konchesky instead for all the love Marcelo gets. Despite being probably the greatest attacking left back of all time, he must have one of the worst draft records of any player. I mind the Peaches and Goat draft when he was forgotten from the price list and was available for a dirt cheap £15m, and became available again every round because he was seen as the weakest link in every match and culpable for his teams’ exits.
Yeah. I’d love to see him featuring more – especially since zona mista set ups are still very popular, and in any all-time pool you can set up a good covering system for him without sacrificing much quality.
 

Fortitude

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Would just like to put this up


As I feel Mazzola probably needs the spotlight.

His running and movement with the ball is paramount for my team and highlights the the threat and distraction he brings to the table from behind Ronaldo.