ATG Managers Draft - SF 2 - harms vs 2mufc0 (V. Lobanovskyi vs J. Mourinho)

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


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Synco

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TEAM HARMS (Valeriy Lobanovskyi)

Inspiration/blueprint
Valeriy Lobanovsky's Dinamo Kiyv 1974-1977

My write-up on Lobanovsky's scientific innovations in football training can be read in full here

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 Dynamo 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.

It's funny – when you try to compare and illustrate Lobanovsky's tactics on modern examples, your references include the complete opposites. It shows how influential he was – not always directly, sometimes it was through the likes of Sacchi, Lippi & Cruyff, all of whom had taken different things from his style, but still. For example, when I'm trying to explain the formation (drawn like a 4-1-3-2), the best example that comes to mind is Simeone's 4-4-2 (not of today, but the one with Saul and Koke "on the wings"), which is very different from your usual British 4-4-2... but then the pressing is more akin to Klopp's sides and the positional interchange and the interpretation of space (the strict desire to keep all of the designated zones on the pitch equally manned) of the game reminds more of Pep & Cruyff.

Player roles
GK - Sepp Maier. Pretty straightforward role for one of the positional GOATs.
RB - Cafu. For me, simply the best right back of all-time. He was exactly the type of player that Lobanovsky adored – a machine-like athletic monster with flair and creative vision, a combination that sounds to good to be true, but in Cafu's case, it is. He's also one of the few players who'll be able to match Blokhin's explosive acceleration.
CB - Lilian Thuram. One of my personal favourites. Almost unbeatable one-on-one and so comfortable in multitude of positions – center back in a back 4 and a back 5, right back – the type of player that you need in a formation as fluid and as adaptable as mine. A great choice against a formation with 2 inside forwards as well.
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. As Jack Charlton (R.I.P.) and pretty much every player or manager that had worked with McGrath said, he could play anywhere – at fullback, outside right, outside left, in an interesting midfield holder role or, of course, as a center back. I can't ask for anyone better here.
LB - Javier Zanetti. He's going to be responsible for the whole wing. Zanetti is the ultimate Lobanovsky player – an all-time great upgrade on Demyanenko; his experience and versatility gives me so many options.
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. I take his performances at the 1966 World Cup as a reference point. He was constantly peeling out wide and had played an incredibly prolific supporting role to Beckenbauer and Haller, while still providing a tremendous presence up front and being able to score in any way imaginable – be it a long-distance screamer, an overhead kick or a simple tap-in.

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


TEAM 2MUFC0 (José Mourinho)


Inspiration/blueprint
Jose's first Chelsea team (04-06)

Playing style, tactics

Before his United stint Jose Mourinho was an incredible manager who took on some of the best teams and managers of all time and bettered them, sometimes even with lesser teams (e.g RM vs Pep's Barca and his Inter and Porto teams), he also built on and established a resurgent Chelsea team after Roman Abramovich took over.

Mourinho's best teams were pretty dominant, he also knew when to park the plane as he would say and when to just let the hand brake off. In terms of tactics and play style, much like Sir Alex it was pretty simple, direct, pacey and at times physical. However, unlike Sir Alex, Mourinho didn't particularly rely on traditional wing play, although he did utilise wingers he also had no issues with wing forwards and play makers playing out wide (Joe Cole, Robben, Eto'o, Ronaldo, Willian, Hazard etc).

The attacking play didn't have a particular focus, but playing off a centre forward who was good at holding up the ball was a key feature, allowing the wide men and attacking midfielders to push forward and get into goal scoring positions. Pacey wide men were also a feature making them deadly when running into space during counter attacks.

In terms of defence, he normally lined up with two physically dominate central defenders, he also wasn't afraid to use an attacking full back on one side and a more defensive on the other, the goal keeper is required to be a good shot stopper with good reflexes. The midfield normally required bundles of energy and tenacity but he also wasn't averse to playing technical play makers in the middle (Alonso, Motta, Fabregas etc), however a key feature is the attacking midfielder or 8 who is given more freedom to attack and push forward but still required to put a defensive shift in.

A strong spine is essential with organisers/leaders in defence and midfield required as the defensive system was a collective effort for Mourinho teams, keeping it compact with high work rate across the park and then being able to release the ball quickly and directly to the forward line.

The attack was normally spear headed by a more physical centre forward who is good in the air and able to occupy the centre backs allowing surging runs from the B2B midfielders to be more effective. As discussed above the wide men can be both traditional and play making wide-men, however he did expect work rate from all attackers.

Player roles

GK: Gordon Banks
- one of the best goal keepers of all time, great shot stopper and great reflexes.
CB: Jurgen Kohler - Physical, dominant and had some decent pace, an upgrade on John Terry.
CB: Marius Tresor - Like Carvalho a great all round defender, physically imposing but good on the ball.
LB: Ruud Krol - One of the best left backs of all time, was better going forward than Cole but just as good in defence.
RB: Djalma Santos - A bit more defensive than Krol, but can also contribute when going forward as required.
CM: Graeme Souness- The best midfielder in that dominant Liverpool team, brings bags of energy, tenacity as well as creativity. Will be at home playing the B2B role.
CM: Fernando Redondo - Technically brilliant footballer but also a strong in the defensive phase, one of the best DM's of all time and is an upgrade on Makelele in every aspect.
CM: Lothar Matthaus - A beast of a midfielder who is totally unleashed here to maximise his attacking potential but also has the work rate to help out in the defensive phase. Frank Lampard was a great player but Matthaus in this system would be a few notches above - which is scary considering what Lampard achieved. Also a great leader to have in the middle of the park.
LW: Hristo Stoichkov - Attacking ability wise most would say he's up there with Robben, imo he's better, but offers a bit more work rate so would be home in a Jose team.
RW: Zbigniew Boniek - An excellent versatile winger able to cut in and go out wide, fantastic dribbler and great pace on the counter and has a great knack of getting into goal scoring positions, an upgrade on Joe Cole here. A hard worker off the ball with a great engine - the ideal Jose winger.
CF: Robert Lewandowski - like Drogba a striker that is great at being the target man, good in the air and physically strong and will keep the opposition CB's on their toes, also better on the ball than the Ivorian so offers that bit more up front.
 

harms

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Interesting, why didn't you chose the current version of Lewandowski? He's quite clearly in the form of his life at the moment.

Overall, it's hard to find flaws in teams at this stage. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Redondo in Mourinho's team as I don't feel that he is a Mourinho's player. There's this weird ambiguity about this draft in that the team will obviously work fine but the alternations from a manager's ideology somehow cast a shadow on it.

Is Redondo an upgrade on Makelele? Yes, in pretty much every way aside from mobility, but it's not like he's going to struggle next to Matthäus and Souness... But would I pick Redondo as a player to replace Makelele in a team that tries to replicate the playing style of the original Chelsea? Nope.
 

Synco

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Overall, it's hard to find flaws in teams at this stage. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Redondo in Mourinho's team as I don't feel that he is a Mourinho's player. There's this weird ambiguity about this draft in that the team will obviously work fine but the alternations from a manager's ideology somehow cast a shadow on it.

Is Redondo an upgrade on Makelele? Yes, in pretty much every way aside from mobility, but it's not like he's going to struggle next to Matthäus and Souness... But would I pick Redondo as a player to replace Makelele in a team that tries to replicate the playing style of the original Chelsea? Nope.
Have the same feelings about it.

Edit: Although the Alonso link in the OP is certainly valid. But that first Chelsea team had a different character to it for me, Makelele being a central piece.
 
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2mufc0

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Interesting, why didn't you chose the current version of Lewandowski? He's quite clearly in the form of his life at the moment.

Overall, it's hard to find flaws in teams at this stage. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Redondo in Mourinho's team as I don't feel that he is a Mourinho's player. There's this weird ambiguity about this draft in that the team will obviously work fine but the alternations from a manager's ideology somehow cast a shadow on it.

Is Redondo an upgrade on Makelele? Yes, in pretty much every way aside from mobility, but it's not like he's going to struggle next to Matthäus and Souness... But would I pick Redondo as a player to replace Makelele in a team that tries to replicate the playing style of the original Chelsea? Nope.
I mean I'm not going to spend much time at all defending this too much as I think Redondo was definitely good enough and has the profile to play the role, if you disagree fair enough but it's more nit-picking imo esp next to the other midfielders.
 

2mufc0

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Have the same feelings about it.

Edit: Although the Alonso link in the OP is certainly valid. But that first Chelsea team had a different character to it for me, Makelele being a central piece.
Motta, Alonso, Matic, Tiago, Fabregas aren't really 'Mourinho' players according to this definition either. And Redondo was a lot more mobile than these players, I'm not actually sure where the issue of mobility and Redondo comes from, he could have easily been a b2b midfielder.
 

harms

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I mean I'm not going to spend much time at all defending this too much as I think Redondo was definitely good enough and has the profile to play the role, if you disagree fair enough but it's more nit-picking imo esp next to the other midfielders.
I've tried to put that clearly but maybe I wasn't. It's not about him being good enough, he certainly was. It's about the stylistic fit.
 

Synco

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Motta, Alonso, Matic, Tiago, Fabregas aren't really 'Mourinho' players according to this definition either. And Redondo was a lot more mobile than these players, I'm not actually sure where the issue of mobility and Redondo comes from, he could have easily been a b2b midfielder.
Amended my position in the edit you quoted, saying that the Alonso link is indeed valid when it comes to 'Mourinho players' as such. I guess it's more about that specific Chelsea team for me. Changing setups around is allowed of course, but Makelele is one of the players that defines that team for me, like Drogba or Lampard.
 

Gio

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Motta, Alonso, Matic, Tiago, Fabregas aren't really 'Mourinho' players according to this definition either. And Redondo was a lot more mobile than these players, I'm not actually sure where the issue of mobility and Redondo comes from, he could have easily been a b2b midfielder.
I agree with this. He's often had a creative player in his midfield trio - in addition to the above there's also Deco, Sneijder, Ozil even. As a unit, it is still a highly plausible Mourinho midfield as it fairly reflects his managerial career. In replicating the Chelsea 04-06 team, he's quite different to Makelele though (with free reign I'd go something like Mauro Silva - Tardelli/Neeskens/Vidal - Matthaus). Your Matthaus pick is perfect as he is the quintessential Mourinho player to the extent that he can mirror both Lampard and Essien without missing a beat. Souness too has a similar uncompromising cuntiness to his game and personality that Jose would relish.

That said I think you made a good point earlier that the more recent managers have their player-by-player replicas more closely scrutinised, whereas there's some extra freedom granted to teams we are somewhat less familiar with.
 

Synco

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@harms
I've read what about wrote Cafu. Both from memory & rewatching older games I have him down as the archetype of an all-out attacking fullback. High workrate for sure, but also attacking habits that can cause imbalance in some situations. How well does that fit into the (as it seems to me) rather methodical & fine-tuned tactics of that Kiev side?
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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The likes of Alonso and Fabregas make it a very interesting case study in José teams. While both functioned well for José, they fell flat in the big games against quality midfields, especially in Europe.no wonder he fell back to dropping the number 10 for another midfielder in these games almost always.

That said, Matthias is the perfect player there to give Redondo Just enough freedom. But stylistically, he is not a José player in my eyes. The most deepest midfielder was never the playmaker from midfield, be it Alonso or Fabregas. If José was running this team in a big semis game, I think he would place Redondo ahead of Souness and give Souness a proper holder’s job instead of the Essien role.

2mufc0 probably would have won my vote instantly if that was how the midfield was setup. I will now vote after following the discussions.
 

harms

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I wanted to create a whole video but it took more than I thought it would. Anyway, a little essay on fluidity of my formation – something that, if done right, makes defending against you much, much harder.

I was very happy to secure both Johan Cruyff and Uwe Seeler as there are only a handful players that can execute the roles of Dynamo Kiyv's forwards from the 70's. It was the most fluid and unpredictable of Lobanovsky's teams that combined various different goal-threats all over the pitch – while the movement of its forwards confused the hell out of the opposition.

Here they are in the defensive phase – the whole front 5 creates a straight line that makes it very hard for the opposition to push forward. Incredibly, its forwards don't drop back centrally, but rather peel out wide, in this case Blokhin is on the left wing and Onyshchenko is on the right. After that one of those 5 players usually initiated pressing that often led to direct and merciless counter-attacks.

That movement out wide, both in the defensive and offensive phase, is crucial here. Everyone of the central/attacking midfielders possessed a significant goalthreat and was ready to fill in the gaps that were left by forwards' movement – as are my guys. Breitner had scored around 20 goals per season from midfield at his peak and both De Bruyne & Lerby had a fantastic shot on them. Lerby had even topped the European Cup goalscoring chart in 1979/80 – while playing as a box-to-box midfielder!


Now, this doesn't mean that Cruyff & Seeler would always go wide – of course, both would spend a lot of time in the box and we know how potent and clinical they were. Seeler is the 7th most prolific goalscorer of all-time with 575 goals in official games (the stats are taken from the rsssf, but I'd imagine that both Messi & Ronaldo are ahead by now). But their willingness to link up with others and equally selfless bits of play is what set them apart.

Seeler's performance at the 1966 Wold Cup remains one of my all-time favourite performances by any player in history of the tournament. West German midfielders Helmut Haller & young Franz Beckenbauer had scored 10 goals between them – an incredible feat that was only possible because of Uwe. Here's just one example of Uwe's selfless play – by the way, you can notice that he is positioned on the right there and that is the role that he had performed at that tournament, often appearing even as an outside right.

This would help me get the better out of all of my players, midfielders and forwards alike. There are also little details like Lerby strongly favouring the left side and De Bruyne loving to exploit that inside right zone – either Neville or Carragher even suggested to name it the "De Bruyne zone", akin to the "Del Piero zone" on the opposite flank.

And if anything else fails, who is better to score a screamer to decide a tight game than Paul Breitner? Until this day I keep remembering Figueroa's heroics in the 1974 World Cup game against West Germany, where he had single-handedly stopped Gerd Müller and the whole German machine with an immaculate performance... only for Paul Breitner to launch an unstoppable missile from around 30 meters right into the top corner:
 

harms

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@harms
I've read what about wrote Cafu. Both from memory & rewatching older games I have him down as the archetype of an all-out attacking fullback. High workrate for sure, but also attacking habits that can cause imbalance in some situations. How well does that fit into the (as it seems to me) rather methodical & fine-tuned tactics of that Kiev side?
He fits there brilliantly :)

Thinking about an all-time great Lobanovsky's side, I'd be torn between putting Brehme-Zanetti or Zanetti-Cafu pairing (with Zanetti getting in by default). You really need that endless stamina, as Lobanovsky's fullbacks were expected to participate in both phases of the game equally.

Here's an example of Troshkin, Dynamo's right back, and his attacking forays throughout the 1975 CWC-winning campaign. Aside from the beats from earlier games, I've only took about 40 minutes of the final, so this is not an all-touch compilation, I saved those to illustrate a point on width and wing-play in my big video.

Now, take note that:
  1. He has Thuram covering his runs (with Voronin dropping deep if needed) – literally the best man possible for the job
  2. This is not a young Cafu, he's 29 - 32 in the peak that I've chosen, and this is a very different player to an attacking menace that he was during his younger days in Brazil
Generally I consider Cafu to be the best right-back of all-time because of his completeness – he had a unique combination between his attacking and defensive game and endless stamina – matched only by Zanetti on the right. The move to Italy gave him a lot in terms of tactical discipline and defensive prowess. He's not Dani Alves (whom I right quite highly as well), the best modern comparison would be Maicon – but better and with a way longer peak. Between him and Roberto Carlos for Brazil he was usually a more defensive one, although there were games when those roles were reversed (and they had played in a back 4 in their 1998 runners-up run, so there were no additional cover – here he has way more).
 

Himannv

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Who would you ideally pick to play in a Makelele role in a Mourinho team. Desailly maybe? IDK. It's the only thing that takes away from what is obviously a great Mourinho team. Just need a better option in that position and an upgrade on Tresor and this is a perfect team.

@harms gets my vote to go through to the final and lose to @BIG DUNK since his team is more complete in terms of personnel and suitability to his manager.
 

harms

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@harms gets my vote to go through to the final and lose to @BIG DUNK since his team is more complete in terms of personnel and suitability to his manager.
:lol:

Yeah, it's hard to see anyone stopping that juggernaut.
 

Gio

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Love the Zanetti pick for Demyanenko.

As much as De Bruyne is a nice fit, I would have loved to seen Beckham in this side. Always felt he’d fit this 4-1-3-2 like a glove and has the sheer industry to contribute to Lobanovskyi’s approach.
 

harms

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Love the Zanetti pick for Demyanenko.

As much as De Bruyne is a nice fit, I would have loved to seen Beckham in this side. Always felt he’d fit this 4-1-3-2 like a glove and has the sheer industry to contribute to Lobanovskyi’s approach.
Yeah, I kept him in mind. De Bruyne gives a bit more in terms of the variety of his skillset and general fluidity of my system, but Beckham would be a great fit here as well.
 

Gio

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Yeah, I kept him in mind. De Bruyne gives a bit more in terms of the variety of his skillset and general fluidity of my system, but Beckham would be a great fit here as well.
Aye. And in De Bruyne's favour I think he'd strike up a more natural partnership with Cruyff.
 

2mufc0

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Congrats @harms great team , been a difficult draft wrt to manager scrutiny for me but semi is a good run.