ATG Managers Draft - SF 1 - Big Dunk vs Gio (N. Rocco vs M. Lippi)

Who will win this game (also taking realization of the tactical blueprint into account)?


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Synco

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TEAM BIG DUNK (Nereo Rocco)

Inspiration/blueprint

Nereo Rocco's AC Milan: 1st spell (1961-63) & 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, Cannavaro 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, Cannavaro 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 through Scirea from deep. Our defence and attack is linked by French pair Deschamps and Tigana. Our creative play will flow through Zidane, and through Del Piero and Figo on the flanks. Luis Figo can swap 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, Cannavaro, 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.

Fabio Cannavaro (Stopper) - Fabio Cannavaro will be forever immortalised for his defensive performances at the 2006 World Cup, and being only the third defender to ever win the Ballon d’Or. A complete centreback, Cannavaro was a very durable and consistent defender. Standing at only 5 feet 9 but showing off a solid frame, Cannavaro possessed a fighting spirit that made him seem like an unpassable giant on the pitch, and a colossus in the air. Fabio was a born leader, and possessed that special ability of how to raise his teammates to a higher level, breeding confidence and calmness against any storm. Cannavaro is an elite defensive upgrade to Roberto Rosato: "a powerful, consistent, hard-tackling, and tenacious man-marking centre-back, regarded as one of the greatest and most complete Italian defenders of all time. In addition to his tough, determined, physical, and aggressive style of play, he was also extremely composed and elegant on the ball, due to his notable technical ability and balance; he was also known for his commanding influence on the pitch."

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 Cannavaro 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.

Jean Tigana (Box to box midfielder) - One of the finest box-to-box midfielders of the 80s and all-time, Jean Tigana fulfils two roles in this position: 1) his tenacious tackling, pressing, intelligent covering and endless workrate across the pitch is invaluable defensively; 2) 'Jeannot' was also effective bringing the ball forward, knitting play together with incisive short passes/through-balls and driving into the last third. Tigana's all-round game and defensive influence when we don't have the ball is vital. The defensive assurance that Tigana and Deschamps provides allows the creative likes of Zidane, Figo and Del Piero to express themselves freely. Tigana is the integral 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 Tigana, and the ideal attacking partners in Del Piero, Figo and Batistuta. As Gianni Rivera before him, Zidane is the dream artist to complement the ruthlessness of Catenaccio.

Luis Figo (Right winger) - Arguably the greatest playmaking winger of all time. Figo's dribbling and crossing ability made him the most effective right winger in football history. His football intelligence and link-up play makes him dangerous cutting in too, combining with Zidane centrally. Figo adds creativity and goals from the right wing (a monstrous 55 goals and 62 assists in his allocated 3 seasons). To ease the creative responsibility on Zidane, I will make use of Luis Figo's high workrate on the right wing - Batistuta will no doubt benefit from Figo’s accurate crosses from the flanks, through-balls and drilled cut-backs. A tactical change and upgrade to Kurt Hamrin: Figo offers me more of a playmaking threat (creative winger-type > direct wingforward), adding superior workrate (both attacking and defensive) and covering behind. Figo gets the best out of Batistuta-Del Piero-Zidane, like no other winger in history could.

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 through 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.


TEAM GIO (Marcello Lippi)

BLUEPRINT:

JUVENTUS 1995 AND ITALY 2006




APPROACH:

The team is modelled on two Lippi teams which bookended his managerial career at the top level. The first is the Juventus side he played during the 1994/95 title run-in once Baggio had returned from injury. Lippi secured Juventus' first title in a decade - by 10 points, the biggest winning margin between 1989 and 2004 - adding the Coppa Italia and reaching the UEFA Cup Final. And the second is the midfield diamond he used in the crowning glory of his career at the 2006 World Cup deploying the system in the group stages which he had to then adapt to accommodate injuries and suspension. As well as yielding significant success, both teams shared the same formation and tactical principles.

Both sides were built on a 4-3-1-2 shape based around a compact midfield unit that deployed a deep-lying playmaker at the base and a creative genius in the apex. Lippi was always willing to adapt the shape to the players provided they could fit within the overall structure and collective ethic. Both teams used influential overlapping full-backs, thoroughbred centre-halves and physical strikers capable of working across the front line. Lippi prized versatility and interchangeability across his defence, midfield and attacking units. His midfields often used players such as Di Livio and Conte who were equally as comfortable in wide areas as in central ones and in Netto and Neeskens we have mirrored that comfort level in those spaces. Both players hit high levels at full-back early in their career before reaching their peaks in the positions we have deployed them. And in a narrow system the quality of full-back is imperative. Here Brehme and Carlos Alberto offer truckloads of on-the-ball quality and the ability to dictate the game from both flanks to complement Falcao's control in the centre.

In a head-to-head match-up against the formidable Neri Rocco unit, the sheer defence-opening quality from each third (left/middle/right - Brehme/Falcao-Laudrup/CAT) of the park is key to unlock such a solid defence. In the interests of system balance we have deployed the earlier Ballon D'Or winning version of Cristiano to pull and stretch the opposition team as Riva occupies the central defenders. In the same way Pirlo came to the fore in 2006, Falcao could become the most influential player on the field, while the smooth slipperiness of Laudrup will be tricky for the opposition midfield to handle.


PLAYERS & PLAYER ROLES:
PositionOriginalReplicaFit
GKPeruzzi, BuffonDino Zoff
(71-74)
Simply the best available Juventus / Serie A / Italy option, who thrived in the not dissimilar ethos of the Trapattoni and Bearzot systems.
RBZambrotta, Zaccardo, FerraraCarlos Alberto
(68-71)
Mirrors Ferrara (and Torricelli's) defensive solidity and proven ability both centrally and out wide. Injects playmaking quality from deep and provides a superb attacking outlet in a narrow formation, in much the same way Zambrotta did for Italy in 2006, who gallavanted up the park and cracked the crossbar in extra-time in that semi-final humdinger against Germany. Can feed into Riva's bulky frame, hit diagonals and switches for Cristiano/Brehme, and fizz across goal for Cristiano to attack.
LBGrosso, Pessotto, JarniAndreas Brehme
(88-91)
Grosso came from nowhere to make a decisive impact in 2006, winning the infamous penalty against Australia, bending in the extra-time deadlock-breaker against Germany, and smashing the winning penalty into the top bin. Brehme has all the attributes to do this and more, enhancing Grosso's impact on the business end of World Cups. And in a 4-3-1-2 like Carlos Alberto his overlapping and playmaking is fundamental in making the formation tick.
CBKohler, Vierchowod, Ferrara, CannavaroKarlheinz Forster
(82-85)
Cannavaro was simply imperious for Italy in 2006, while Kohler was a rock for Lippi’s Juventus in 1994/95 and Vierchowod provided typical man-marking grizzle in 1995/96. In replicating his influence I have sought the best available stopper who, like each of the above defenders was imposing 1v1 but was rounded enough to operate in different positions and systems, with Forster comfortable in a back three or a four, and shining across LCB/SW/RCB.
CBCarrera, Nesta, Materazzi, MonteroJose Santamaria
(54-57)
Lippi's covering defenders were always capable of operating as physical stoppers. He didn't want flaky liberi, he preferred proactive and aggressive centre-halves. In the same vein Santamaria was both sweeper and stopper at different stages of his career, and has the all round defensive and leadership game to provide a stylistically clean contribution here.
LCMMarocchi, De Rossi, DeschampsIgor Netto
(57-60)
Deschamps and Marocchi played on the left of the three for Lippi in 1994/95. Marocchi was very Netto'-esque in his style of play as a two-way midfielder, good in the transition, and capable of opening up the play onto his left foot. Meanwhile, Deschamps supported the play on the left flank with ease and had the energy to fill in gaps across midfield. Davids was more expansive, naturally left-sided and more physically dominant. Later Daniele De Rossi was an important presence in balancing the Italian midfield. Therefore Netto was chosen as a natural left-sided midfielder who was defensively solid, tidy on the ball, with the legs to push into wide areas, be it on or off the ball. Netto's ball-carrying ability can draw men away from Cristiano, in the same way that Di Maria hit such a purple patch in the same position for Ancelotti's Real Madrid. Similarly Netto's ability to defend into wide areas bolsters the flank in much the same way Di Maria helped to consolidate matters for Madrid.
CMPaulo Sousa, PirloPaulo Roberto Falcao
(80-83)
Sousa was charged with the playmaking responsibilities in the team marrying a solid box-to-box game with class on the ball. Falcao was my number one choice for the refit, sharing Sousa's strengths and elevating them a couple of notches. Pirlo too was on fire under Lippi in 2006, providing match-winning contributions from the heart of midfield. Unlike some of the great deep-lying midfielders, Falcao succeeded in Serie A and has the overall game to fit into Lippi's philosophy.
RCMConte, Di Livio, Gattuso, PerrotaJohan Neeskens
(71-74)
Trying to find a clean match for the industry, sacrifice and wide-covering abilities of Conte, Di Livio, Perotta and Gattuso wasn’t easy, but Neeskens was the most compelling choice. His high octane box-to-box game matches their work rate, while he spent much of his career supporting Cruyff in the same way the Juve pair fed Paulo Sousa and then Zidane. Importantly all three shone in the middle and out wide with Neeskens winning a European Cup from right back. His impressive overall package makes him the quintessential Lippi midfielder.
RFToni, RavanelliLuigi Riva
(68-71)
Riva mirrors Luca Toni's line-leading role from 2006. His presence, physicality and back-to-goal game trouble opposition centre-halves and he has the elite finishing ability to capitalise on the creativity behind him. Similarly, Ravanelli was an all-round striker who was converted by Lippi to become a wide forward who could function across the front line. Riva shares Ravanelli's tendency to cut inside, his left foot, his physicality, his presence, his energy, his ability to create space and all-round game. He ramps each of these attributes up to a top level.
#10Baggio, Zidane, TottiMichael Laudrup
(91-94)
Lippi always found space to accommodate a genius in the hole - adapting his tactical approach in 1995, 1996 and 2006 to shift from a 4-3-3 to a 4-3-1-2 to build around the quality of Baggio, Zidane and Totti. Michael Laudrup shares the slippery and nimble dribbling of Baggio, the elegance of Zidane, and the smooth touches and false 9 movement of Totti.
CFDel Piero, GilardinoCristiano Ronaldo
(06-09)
Securing an exact match was tricky, but the extra layer of creativity in the midfield three allows us to go for a slightly more direct and productive player from the left forward position. Del Piero v1 was a tour de force, becoming increasingly lethal as he developed under Lippi before the knee injury in 1998. In the earlier version of Cristiano we have attempted to secure that similar blend of creativity and directness. Both loved cutting inside from the left flank onto their stronger right feet and both were equally capable of scoring from range as they were from closer in. Both were the star men in attack, oozed danger in the inside-left channel, and acted as the reference point for the rest of the team. Cristiano has familiar fits around him here to perform his best (Brehme/Marcelo, Netto/Di Maria, Laudrup/Ozil).

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Gio

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A lot of love for @BIG DUNK's team and probably my favourite of the 16 drafted. Clean and true in style and most of the player matches are spot on.

In terms of the match-up, I would suggest that we are perhaps an unfortunate opponent. Firstly, because Lippi's narrow and compact midfield was so brutally effective in squeezing out opposition teams and I believe we can get a stranglehold in there with the quality of Neeskens and Falcao in particular. And secondly because Rocco's full-backs were more defensively minded and Big Dunk's correct choices will offer plenty of all-round ability but are not necessarily the first names on the team-sheet to try to stretch a narrow midfield. So both going through the centre into a clusterfeck, or out wide where the transitions are unlikely to be quick enough to stretch a Lippi side, I think there's stalemate.
 

Enigma_87

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Great team from Gio really and imo fits the Lippi style pretty well. It on the other end BD has created a monster and gets my vote.
 

Gio

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Great team from Gio really and imo fits the Lippi style pretty well. It on the other end BD has created a monster and gets my vote.
Yeah I can’t argue with that.
 

Physiocrat

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Really, really tight again. I think though Bug Dunk could nick it on the break primarily because his defence is exceptional and I'm not sure if Gio has quite enough creativity to unlock it.
 

harms

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Really, really tight again. I think though Bug Dunk could nick it on the break primarily because his defence is exceptional and I'm not sure if Gio has quite enough creativity to unlock it.
Is it simply unbeatable then? Because Gio has Laudrup, Brehme, C. Alberto and Falcão, each of whom are certainly among the most creative players of all-time in their respective positions; Netto and Neeskens were very good creatively as well and in Cristiano and Riva they have 2 strikers with outstanding movement and goalscoring record.
 

Physiocrat

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Is it simply unbeatable then? Because Gio has Laudrup, Brehme, C. Alberto and Falcão, each of whom are certainly among the most creative players of all-time in their respective positions; Netto and Neeskens were very good creatively as well and in Cristiano and Riva they have 2 strikers with outstanding movement and goalscoring record.
This maybe due to an unfair view of mine on the creativity of Netto and Neeskens. I'm also dubious of C Alberto needing to be this attacking (Cafu would fit better IMO). He would be much better behind a right-winger. Also I think Falcao playing further forward would also be helpful here.

Ideally more of a 4231 would give Gio more oomph upfront to unlock the defence.
 

Gio

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This maybe due to an unfair view of mine on the creativity of Netto and Neeskens. I'm also dubious of C Alberto needing to be this attacking (Cafu would fit better IMO). He would be much better behind a right-winger. Also I think Falcao playing further forward would also be helpful here.

Ideally more of a 4231 would give Gio more oomph upfront to unlock the defence.
Aye I see it's more a system reflection and I packed in as much creativity into a Lippi team as possible without losing the shape or tactical principles. Lippi did sometimes dabble with 4-2-3-1 but it wasn't really in the mould of what we typically draft, with the likes of Perrota and Zambrotta operating as his attacking wide players. He was big on the ball getting won back higher up the park so that it could be sharply fed to a match-winner in space. That tactic simply isn't possible with a traditional 4-2-3-1 where the 3 AMs are all creatives first and foremost.

In any case I'd actually say we've got more creativity in our team than the opposition - 5 highly creative players in Laudrup, young Ronaldo, Falcao, Carlos Alberto and Brehme, compared to 4 on the other side in Del Piero, Zidane, Figo and Scirea. And that's not counting Neeskens and Netto, both of whom offer more going forwards than Tigana and Deschamps respectively.

What really impressed me about Italy in 2006 was the way they squeezed out the opposition off the ball by overloading the midfield area, but then had the quality in Pirlo and Totti to quickly open up the other team with 2-3 five-yard passes. They did that several times against Germany and a bit more composure up top and they would have killed the tie before extra time. And there are so many big tournaments where the most creative player in the tournament has played deeper, such as Falcao in 1982, Brehme in 1990, Pirlo in 2006 and 2012, Xavi in 2008. With the right structure around them, these guys can be just as and often more influential than the 10s and 9.5s in deciding the outcome of proper knockout ties between top teams.
 

Physiocrat

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What really impressed me about Italy in 2006 was the way they squeezed out the opposition off the ball by overloading the midfield area, but then had the quality in Pirlo and Totti to quickly open up the other team with 2-3 five-yard passes. They did that several times against Germany and a bit more composure up top and they would have killed the tie before extra time. And there are so many big tournaments where the most creative player in the tournament has played deeper, such as Falcao in 1982, Brehme in 1990, Pirlo in 2006 and 2012, Xavi in 2008. With the right structure around them, these guys can be just as and often more influential than the 10s and 9.5s in deciding the outcome of proper knockout ties between top teams.
I may be misinterpreting Falcao's role in your side but both Falcao 82 and Xavi 08 had a DM behind them to create from deep which also allowed them more freedom to advance but you're bang on about Pirlo. I also think creators from deeper are harder to stop in some ways that 10s as you can't just put a DM. What you need though is options in front of them and ideally in my view you want four of them three of whom are reasonably creative especially against great defenses. Hence my preference for a 4231 and 433s with a playmaker and a more advanced CM/AM of sorts
 

Isotope

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Having Neeskens, Falcao, and Netto is like having 3 Keano there, with an upgrade in creativity for all of them. Also Carlos Alberto's playmaking is known similar to Alves.

I just think it will be hard to get the ball from Gio's midfield. And in Ronaldo and Riva, he has enough ammo to finish the game.
 

Physiocrat

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Having Neeskens, Falcao, and Netto is like having 3 Keano there, with an upgrade in creativity for all of them. Also Carlos Alberto's playmaking is known similar to Alves.
That's clearly the argument. Maybe I'm underrating the creativity of Netto and Neeskens although I would say unless it is an historic trio I do think it is a more difficult seeing the creativity of a collective than individuals. On C Alberto he was a very good passer built he rarely got as far as the opposition's penalty box. He is far less attacking than Alves and it is an Alves type you want in a diamond. You could make the case for Neeskens providing the extra width given his time as an RB but I never remember him operating far forward enough on the right to make it work that well.
 

Šjor Bepo

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in what world is Netto more creative then Keane? I mean neither is creative but Keano shits on him in the attacking phase of the game, in fact he shits on him in all phases of the game.
 

Enigma_87

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in what world is Netto more creative then Keane? I mean neither is creative but Keano shits on him in the attacking phase of the game, in fact he shits on him in all phases of the game.
seconded. Keane creativity is seriously underrated. I can understand him cited as some kind of a thug on some Liverpool forum, but around here?