ATGMD Exhibition Match: Gio vs Invictus (M. Lippi vs Gusztáv Sebes)

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Gio



Invictus



Gio

BLUEPRINT:

JUVENTUS 1994-1996




APPROACH:

The team is modelled on Lippi's first and arguably greatest Juventus side that won it all between 1994 and 1996. In his first season 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, before crowning his efforts in his second campaign with the Supercoppa and the Champions League title. The team was built on a 4-3-3 formation based around an aggressive and no-nonsense defence, a relentlessly hard-running midfield and a physical front three who could defend from the front. Lippi prized versatility and interchangeability across his defence, midfield and attacking units. In attack the front three rotated often and our attack has the same ability to swap positions to pose problems for opposition defences. 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 in. Throughout his management career in Italy, Lippi preferred aggressive and ruthless defenders who could play in a modern offside trap. Therefore the central defenders are rounded stoppery types, comfortable covering but in their element winning the ball back and supporting the hounding efforts of the midfield.

PLAYERS:

PositionOriginalReplicaFit
GKAngelo Peruzzi, Gianluigi BuffonDino ZoffSimply the best available Juventus / Serie A / Italy upgrade, who thrived in the not dissimilar ethos of the Trapattoni and Bearzot systems.
RBMoreno TorricelliEric GeretsI admit to getting hard about Torricelli and wanted as close to an exact replica as possible. Of course very few right-backs shared Torricelli's stamina and hunger, but Gerets' box-to-box game and defensive commitment made him one of the most suitable fits. Both were visible leaders in their swashbuckling style of play and Gerets' leadership and drive are important components of the Lippi system.
LBGianluca Pessotto, Robert JarniAntonio BenarrivoPessotto was right-footed, could play on both flanks, used the ball well and had exemplary work rate and team ethic. Benarrivo mirrors these qualities and embodies Lippi's values on the park.
CBJurgen Kohler, Pietro Vierchowod, Ciro FerraraKarlheinz ForsterKohler was a rock for Lippi’s Juventus in 1994/95, Vierchowod provided typical man-marking grizzle, while Ferrara was the outstanding overall defensive performer for Lippi in the decade. In replicating his influence I have sought the best available stopper who, like Kohler and Ferrara, was imperious 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.
CBMassimo Carrera (later Paulo Montero)Jose SantamariaCarrera was both sweeper and stopper much like Santamaria. Ferrara formed a fabulous partnership with the South American Montero and would aim to replicate that here.
LCMDidier Deschamps (later Vladimir Jugovic, Edgar Davids)Igor NettoDeschamps played on the left of the three for Lippi in 1994-1996, before then moving centrally when Davids and Zidane were brought in. Despite being right-footed, 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. 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 (later Andrea Pirlo)Paulo Roberto FalcaoSousa 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. Unlike some of the great deep-lying midfielders, he succeeded in Serie A and has the overall game to fit into Lippi's philosophy.
RCMAntonio Conte, Angelo Di LivioJohan NeeskensTrying to find a clean match for the industry, sacrifice and wide-covering abilities of Conte and Di Livio 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.
RFFabrizio RavanelliLuigi RivaRavanelli 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. Less relevant here in a 94-96 remake, but from other Lippi teams Riva also mirrors much of what Vieri and Toni - through their strength and back-to-goal game - brought to the table.
CFGianluca VialliLuis SuarezVialli's prodigous work rate, penalty box nous, low centre of gravity, touch and penchant for the spectacular are qualities well matched by Luis Suarez. He too will press from the front and understands his role in the collective. As shown in England and Spain, he can excel in both direct and possession-based set-ups. As a high-level link-up man and space creator for Lionel Messi, he can perform many of the same foil-type functions here for both Ronaldo and Riva.
LFAlessandro Del PieroCristiano RonaldoSecuring 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 2010-2013 version of Cristiano we have attempted to secure that similar blend of creativity and directness whilst maximising the attacking punch. 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.

Invictus

Inspiration: Hungarian Golden Team
Manager: Gusztáv Sebes, the pioneering brain behind Hungary's Magical Magyars
Formation: Faux-WM, 3-2-3-2 and 4-2-4 with elements of 2-3-3-2



Tactical outline:

To provide a historical reference point: ever since Herbert Chapman devised the WM to counter some changes in the offside rules, it had emerged as the foremost formation in football. In a lot of ways, Gusztáv Sebes turned that unshaken framework on its head and took football by storm — with inspiration from the likes of Jimmy Hogan (The Manager Who Influenced And Innovated World Football), Márton Bukovi (who is often credited with pioneering the 4-2-4 with Béla Guttman and Flávio Costa) Hugo Meisl (coach of the famous Austrian Wunderteam, who formalized a lot of concepts that were later incorporated by Sebes) and Izidor Kürschner (a relatively unknown Hungarian innovator who made great contributions to football tactics).




A few principles/characteristics were synonymous with the Sebes way of football:

• Relative comfort in possession: not every member of the XI was as good as some modern footballers of course, but on the whole they were ahead of their time and could be considered the European forefathers of Michels' Ajax/Netherlands as far as technique and intelligence on the ball is concerned...



• In addition to their ability in possession, most of the players were busybodies who had no problems working their bollocks off to hunt for the ball or making sacrifices for the greater good. This collective ethos and overall workrate was another aspect that made them as dominant as they were. No other position(s) reflected this more than the wing pairing...where Czibor would tirelessly track back, and even Budai assisted his fullback from time to time — this was an oddity for the time as the wingers typically enjoyed the greatest of freedoms and were quite lackadaisical wrt. their defensive remit/commitment.

• Oftentimes high-risk but controlled style of play: while a lot coaches professed a tentative, cagey approach, Sebes trained his team to press from the front and play with a high line, which proved to be a simplistic but beautiful and multi-purpose wrinkle with regard to:
1. Limiting time and condensing operational spaces on the pitch for the opposition.
2. Facilitating pressing in the opposition half without leaving vast exploitable gaps between lines.
3. Creating closer passing networks for themselves.
4. Keeping the opposition as far away from goal as possible and forcing them to make low-percentage shots.
Among the many related innovations of this scheme, you had a sweeper keeper in Gyula Grosics (probably the first sweeper keeper ever with Amadeo Carrizo), as the man between the sticks was supposed to be part of the collective in possession, not just a shot-stopper.
The English confusion towards Grosics is best exemplified by the response of commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme when Grosics charges out of his box to meet a pass by England’s Jimmy Dickinson and clears the ball with impeccable timing. Unsure of what he’s just seen, Wolstenholme simply says, “Unorthodox, but effective.”
• The Bamboozle: while everyone prepared for the WM, Sebes pulled an ace out of his sleeve with the uniquely talented Nándor Hidegkuti — who would give the impression of a conventional center-forward but move all over as a deep-lying forward...into attacking midfield zones (in fact he is frequently credited with being the first #10) and even in central midfield. While Matthias Sindelaar had pioneered the False 9 role, this reinvention left a lot of opposition strategies in tatters for a while as they adjusted to the strange beast. The basic plan was to create conundrums for opposing centre-backs who can either track him, leaving pockets of space behind them (which could be exploited by the inside forward) or leaving Hidegkuti to have all sorts of time and space to dribble or pick out a pass — very much a choose-your-poison situation.

• Emphasis on proactive football: this team was renowned for its intensity, striving to be on the front foot to eke out an advantage and scoring an absolutely redonkulous amount of goals, operating with cohesiveness and ceaselessly laying siege on the opposition goal — attacking with murderous intent, and in great numbers.



• Sebes encouraged his players to be versatile – the ideal would be for any of his players to be able to play in any position. This was a revolutionary idea as most players were used to playing in one specific position. He was also able to organize/instruct/motivate his team so well (not surprising given his background as a trade union boss) that it reached the highest peaks for collective excellence in the era — and frequently delivered more than the sum of individual parts. You can call it socialist football (or the beta version of totaalvoetbal)...
When we attacked, everyone attacked, and in defense it was the same. We were the prototype for Total Football — Ferenc Puskás

Basic layout of the team:


Link.

Player roles in the Golden Team:



Goalkeeper (Gyula Grosics):
Goalkeepers who leave their box to intercept passes and clear the ball before the attacking team can continue their attack, while also capable of building up play from deep, are not an invention of the 21st century. Gyula Grosics, part of the Mighty Magyars in the 1950s, was probably the first genuine sweeper keeper — Spielverlagerung
Fullbacks (Jenő Buzánszky and Mihály Lantos). These players had a wide range of responsibilities/tasks:
• Being rigorous defenders first an foremost (especially with regard to marking the opposition inside forwards).
• Safeguarding the flanks, so they had to be reasonably comfortable out wide.
• Providing supplemental width in the attacking phase.
• Anchoring the backline and forming a triangle with the goalkeeper when the sweeper advanced to form a rhombus in the middle of the pitch.
• One of them always had to be in support of the ball-playing centerback to form a narrow axis, typically the leftback Lantos.

Ball-playing centerback (Gyula Lóránt): this player had to be a reasonably good defender but also also comfortable on the ball, thus not only capable of making short and simple passes to immediate team-mates, but controlling the game from deeper areas in build-up and even advancing forward in the attacking phase.

Defensive midfielder/half-back (József Zakariás): this player had a very crucial role — going above and beyond the requirements of a basic destroyer. He had to capable of disrupting the opposition towards the center of the pitch...and capable of anchoring the region on his own when his midfield partner joined the attack, but also drop fully into defense to form a Back 4 of sorts with the fullbacks going wide and the attacking half-back occupying spaces that one would associate with a modern central midfield passmaster.

Central midfielder/half-back (József Bozsik). This player was the jack-of-all-trades in the middle of the pitch, capable of:
• Steering and organizing the game like a deep-lying midfielder.
• Going from box to box to make timely contributions and effect different phases.
• Joining the attack in support of the forwards.
• Being Sebes' eyes and brain on the pitch, and also forming a double pivot with the deep-lying forward.
• Having at least decent workrate and the wherewithal to organize pressing triggers.

Wingers (Zoltán Czibor and László Budai): as mentioned previously, they had to be good at not just providing width and making crosses but also contributing in defense (especially Czibor) and joining in the midfield battles. Overall I would say Budai was a cross between a winger and a wide forward offering a direct goal thread and having a bit more freedom, and Czibor was a playmaker who brought more balance to his flank and was a more dedicated/committed defender — whether this was by design or Sebes adjusting to them (as well as the fullbacks) is probably down to selective interpretation.

Inside forwards (Ferenc Puskás and Sándor Kocsis): deadly duo that complemented each other, had good predatory movement, quite capable of leading the press from the front, creating lanes for Hidegkuti, and scoring a feckton of goals of course. Kocsis was typically the more advanced player and dominant in the air and Puskás was better on the ground and a superior creator.



Deep-lying forward (Nándor Hidegkuti): the difference-maker, the player who made the scheme tick really. His primary functions as a False 9 of sorts in terms of playmaking and dribbling and scoring and hoodwinking the opposition have been mentioned previously, but another important aspect in him forming a link with the central midfielder and dropping quite deep — almost horizontal with the central midfielder with the defensive midfielder joining the defense!

Player profiles and fit-explanations:

* Just to preface this segment, one common characteristic is that almost all of the players are hard-workers, quite versatile and bright from a tactical standpoint, that should theoretically ease their transition to a socialist brand of football — which is the unifying thread in the team. Additionally, none of them dawdled on the ball or show overly selfish streaks so they should be able to execute an up-tempo passing style with quick transitions.

Goalkeeper (Iker Casillas): in his prime, a well-rounded and athletic keeper, who was known in particular for his agility, feline reflexes and shot-stopping, as well as his foot-work, positioning between the posts, and speed when rushing off his line in one on one situations. In spite of his reserved character, he was regarded for his personality, composure under pressure, ability to organize his defense, and leadership from the back throughout his career, as well as his reading of the game. Played in teams that tried to finesse the ball, mostly prominently the Spanish national team that won 3 international tournaments in 4 years, a accomplished with his hands as well as his feet, so he should be able to do justice to a proactive role from the back.

Fullbacks (Horst-Dieter Höttges and Joan Segarra): the former was nicknamed Eisenfuß (German for Iron-foot), simultaneously a precursor and competition to Berti Vogts as a tough-tackling, uncompromising, aggressive defender. On top of that, Höttges was extremely versatile — capable of operating at either fullback position or as a centerback — which speaks to his defensive acumen, ability to negotiate both wide and narrow roles overall read of the game. While Vogts was definitely the superior player and a grander legend of football, Höttges had a storied career with Bremen and lot of moments with the Mannschaft, like EURO '72, where he was quite excellent as a wide stopper beside Beckenbauer...



To put Höttges in a historical context with other West German greats, he was voted #2 in the Linker Verteidiger rankings by Kicker in their Bundesliga 20th anniversary ballot:



The latter was the Grand Captain of Barcelona, the spiritual ancestor of Puyol. A versatile player, a natural at half back or fullback or centerback positions...in many ways a total footballer (not coincidentally, Johan Cruyff was an admirer of Segarra), he was brave and committed defender and would constantly yell encouraging words to his team mates. Also a physical presence, decently comfortable on the ball, and a firm marker. As a testament to his excellence, Segarra was named in Francisco Gento's Ultimate XI — alongside 9 current or ex Real Madrid stars. Both he and Höttges are naturally suited to the the fullback roles detailed previously — as they were comfortable wide and narrow, were astute defender first and foremost and reasonably comfortable on the ball.

Ball-playing centerback (Laurent Blanc): Le Président — defensive playmaker extraordinaire, an astute defender and a natural master-of-puppets from deep...

As fascinating a skill as defending is, it just isn’t as attractive as a roulette, or an unnecessary nutmeg. However, throughout footballing history, there have been many players who have tried to change this perception, and one of them is Laurent Blanc; perhaps one of the best defensive-minded players the world has ever seen.
Defensive midfielder/half-back (Svatopluk Pluskal): a perfect 4-2-4 player, fearless defensive midfielder renowned for his aggressive style of play, strong slide tackles and aerial ability...an unyielding lynchpin in who allowed Masopust the liberty to express his creative talents and the freedom to go on his mesmerizing slaloming runs, Pluskal was also capable of dropping into defense as an added stopper, famously for Czechoslovakia in the the 1962 World Cup — where he was an integral part of the finalist's structure, and an excellent foil for Popluhár...


Svat was unmatched in what he did best. He was perfect defensively, he had brilliant positioning, he could've jumped higher than his opponent (and not only in defence). Pluskal was famous for his tackling - he wasn't afraid to dive in and to kick the ball out. He was not afraid to take risks, even in training. Whilst others would have second thoughts on exposing their legs in a slide tackle in fear of a broken leg, Pluskal never seemed perturbed by it. He was like a mighty tree branch who played without fear of pain — Ivo Viktor
Central midfielder/half-back (Osvaldo Ardiles): slightly overshadowed by the individual performances of Passarella and Kempes at his greatest hour considering he perfected a highly efficient style, but Ardiles was a brilliant for the Albiceleste as well as several club teams, and injected a vast amount of energy and organizational ability into the XIs. Slightly built but fearless both on and of the ball, and excellent in terms of distribution. From a defensive standpoint, he was everywhere: very disciplined as regards his positioning, pressured the opposition when needed, strong in the tackle, and on the ball he was the glue wrt. ball retention and bringing his team-mates into the game. The type of player that makes other betters with his calmness on the ball and selflessness in the play as a consummate team player and strategist. Here he will stay quite disciplined defensive wise and keep it simple in an offensive sense to ensure timely and quick transitions to the forwards, and will also form one half of the pivot with the deep-lying forward.

Wingers (Mário Zagallo and Amancio Amaro): the former was the one who made Brazil tick in the 1958 and 1962 World Cup, as very few could provide balance to the structure with Nílton Santos and Garrincha as efficiency and effortlessly as he did (note: their Flávio Costa was the co-creator/perfecter of the 4-2-4 so Zagallo was in some ways a pioneering player). Renowned for his playmaking skills, long passing/crossing and ability to energetically hustle up and down the left flank, he would join the forwards In the possession/attacking phase, while off the ball he would drop deeper and play almost in the midfield or as a wingback...


Zagallo was another important member of this triumphant side, and whilst he was positioned on the left as one of the attacking four, he was also required to retreat when the side didn’t have the ball. Brazil were looking for defensive solidity going into this tournament, and had abandoned the old WM formation in favour of something more flexible when it came to the transitions from attack to defence, and vice versa. Zagallo’s defensive duties were part of a wider plan which saw early use of a back four, a midfield duo including a volante, and a deep lying forward. Zagallo motored up and down the left flank, and it was his urgency which led to Brazil’s first goal in the final against the hosts.
On the opposite flank, Galician wizard Amancio will have a bit more freedom to attack. Despite being a nominal outside right, Amaro won the Pichichi trophy as Spanish football's top scorer twice, and scored a total of 173 goals in 344 matches for Real Madrid and 11 goals from 42 matches for Spain. Amancio was the arguably Spain's best player when they won the European Championship in 1964, and his exploits with Spain and Real Madrid helped him finish 3rd in Ballon d'Or voting...and he later also landed a spot in the FIFA XI. A natural replacement for Budai for all intensive purposes, and experienced in the WM as well as 4-2-4...as an outside right/left and as a forward!





Inside forwards (Raúl González Blanco and Alan Shearer): the latter is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation and one of the greatest players in the history of the Premier League. You could argue that he is not what you would imagine as an inside forward on a static tactical sheet, but while he was conventionally a classic English center-forward and had the instincts/tendencies of one regarding strength, physical stature and strong shot, which enabled him to be highly prolific goalscorer — Shearer also had a creative functions: providing chances for fellow strikers, and making runs into space, owing to his early development as a midfielder, and quick from deeper reign. And his proficiency at 2-striker setups should be a bonus. In addition to all of that, he was a formidable presence in the air, and of his 206 Newcastle goals, 49 were scored with his head (aerial ability was a big part of Kocsis' game so Shearer is certainly a good fit for that criteria).



The former could play anywhere along the front line, although he was primarily deployed as a center-forward, or as a supporting striker. Raúl was a quick, left-footed player, who was capable of scoring both in and outside the penalty area with his accurate and powerful shot. He possessed excellent ball control and technical ability, and was effective in the air as well. Although primarily renowned for prolific goalscoring (won the Pichichi trophy twice), Raúl was also a highly creative and hardworking player, capable of playing off of his teammates, creating chances and assisting goals, and was occasionally deployed as an attacking midfielder, having different remits in each of his 3 Champions League wins...







* With regard to potential partnership, Raúl was used to playing with an aerially strong leading striker in Morientes, so he should form a mutually beneficial and productive pairing with Shearer. Also, while neither was remotely close to Puskás/Kocsis in terms of overall stature or goalscoring, Raúl is the second-highest scorer for Madrid with 323 goals, the highest scorer for Spain at the time of retirement with with 44 goals, the highest Champions League scorer at the time of retirement with 71 goals — and Shearer if of course the highest scorer in Premier League history.

Deep-lying forward (Bobby Charlton): special player for a special role. In the long history of football, very few were as masterful as Charlton in several different aspect of attacking, and he should be able to effortlessly take command considering...



• He played in a myriad positions: forward, attacking midfielder, even out wide (that type of versatility is what you need here).
• Was capable of carrying the ball or passing it with a wide range.
• Was a potent goal-scorer, so he should keep the opposition defenders on their toes.
• Boasted great defensive workrate and tactically astute, so he should have little problem forming an axis with Ardiles in 4-2-4 shapes.
• Capable with either foot, so he could switch play to the flanks with ease.
• Great from set pieces, which should suit Shearer in particular.
Beyond the extravagant natural gifts of Bobby Charlton, the swallow-like body swerve, breathtaking acceleration and cannon-blast shot, he possessed a quality which drew unreserved admiration from his contemporary colleagues. Reliability.

Equally appealing, as the respected author Arthur Hopcraft observed, was that the style of this shy, prematurely balding, privately emotionally hesitant genius "had no disfiguring barbs". To a physical, occasionally brutal game, Charlton brought enduring athletic duty; complementary to, but stealthily more subtle than the stiletto arts of Denis Law and George Best, his fellow United tormentors.

His dribbling – where is such a joy to be seen from an Englishman today? – was simpler and less technically adroit than Best's: a shrug of the shoulder as supple as a cat sliding off a wall and acceleration which left, in his prime, any full-back for dead.
 
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Invictus

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Good luck with the rest of the draft @Gio, excellent team you have there. :)

As for me, the only objective was to showcase Sebes (and secondarily Charlton, who was fortunately selected by @Jim Beam), so if any passerby gains even a surface-level understanding of the manager and his team as a consequence, that's mission accomplished. Wanted to do short writeups for Bukovi, Kürschner and Baróti as well — as they emerged from Hungary, like Guttman and Sebes (perhaps they all belonged to a clandestine meeting group that included Hogan), and also made significant contributions to football in that loosely defined era — but didn't really have the time, maybe later!
 

Gio

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Like the use of Raul there @Invictus, think I did the same replicating the Magyars in the remake draft.
 

Enigma_87

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great stuff @Invictus !

The only suggestion I have is IMO Rensenbrink would be a better fit on that wing compared to Zagallo if we're replicating that side. Czibor was a player that scored a lot of goals and he often tend to cut inside, something that Rensenbrink will replicate pretty good, not to mention being from the same tactical "school".
 

Enigma_87

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@Gio can you elaborate on how that midfield will function as a unit? Paulo Sousa was the DLP in the side and Deschamps more of the defensive cover. Probably someone like Essien next to Falcao would've been better fit IMO..
 

Gio

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@Gio can you elaborate on how that midfield will function as a unit? Paulo Sousa was the DLP in the side and Deschamps more of the defensive cover. Probably someone like Essien next to Falcao would've been better fit IMO..
Sure.

Lippi was big on sharing the work and defensive effort across the midfield unit. He was particularly keen on midfielders who could defend the middle and out wide (Conte, Di Livio, Davids, Jugovic, Gattuso, Perrotta, etc), which enabled his trio to shuffle across to swallow up the opposition. Hence the Neeskens and Netto choices. Not dissimilar in style to Sacchi's midfield pressing, where his four would shuttle across as a compact unit, and again more recently through Simeone's lopsided four-man unit for Atletico.

Now Deschamps operated as the LCM rather than a DM in the 1994-1996 team (he would go into that role when Sousa left). So certainly Deschamps contributed a lot defensively from that area of the park, but he did a lot more in the build up than he would typically get credit for nowadays. He was a busy support player who helped to both win the ball back in that left hand side and equally link up play for Del Piero to do his magic. And my assessment of Netto is that he is very well rounded - can defend solidly, has sound positioning, leggy frame, uses the ball well with his left peg - can do all of these things that Deschamps offered, but a bit more naturally in that position as a hybrid left sided central midfielder. Same on the right really and you know how much of an all-round high energy force Neeskens is. So I suppose ultimately there is a sharing of defensive duties and each midfielder is expected to contribute on and off the ball accordingly.
 

Physiocrat

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Great side @Invictus

Charlton is an interesting choice for Hideguti. To me Charlton has always seemed like an 8 so looks a little odd IMO. You have sold it well but it just doesn't seem right although that might be me misunderstanding Hideguti. @Šjor Bepo Any thoughts on this?
 

Šjor Bepo

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Great side @Invictus

Charlton is an interesting choice for Hideguti. To me Charlton has always seemed like an 8 so looks a little odd IMO. You have sold it well but it just doesn't seem right although that might be me misunderstanding Hideguti. @Šjor Bepo Any thoughts on this?
Like everything bar that :D
 

Invictus

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Great side @Invictus

Charlton is an interesting choice for Hideguti. To me Charlton has always seemed like an 8 so looks a little odd IMO. You have sold it well but it just doesn't seem right although that might be me misunderstanding Hideguti. @Šjor Bepo Any thoughts on this?
Like everything bar that :D
Litmanen would have been a more straight-forward, though still a wee bit imprecise, choice from @Jim Beam's team, yes. But Jim had mentioned wanting to use Charlton as a False 9 or deep-lying forward in passing conversation in the past, and this seemed an apt time to test the waters as the competitive pressure was low! :smirk:

We will never know for sure, but he just might just be able to do justice to the role. Surprisingly perceptive with his back to the goal and strong on the ball, Intelligent and possessed a deft passing skillset; plus before playing as a midfield Charlton had been a swashbuckling forward and even trained as a winger at the start of his career — when he was more dynamic, quick on the turn and a more threatening dribbler. This quote from Moore immediately sprang to mind too (particularly as Hidegkuti had also been a winger at MTK Hungária before he converted by Sebes):
He could have become the greatest left-winger the world has seen. Instead, he settled for immortality in midfield. I shall miss him and football will not see his like again
https://www.manutd.com/en/news/detail/anniversary-of-sir-bobby-charlton-farewell-at-stamford-bridge