Favourite midfield trait: Intelligence or power?

RashyForPM

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Thought this would be interesting after Kroos and Modric world class performance last night.

So, what do you guys prefer? A genius of a midfield dictator, like a Kroos, Scholes, Iniesta etc who provides for other players, or a powerhouse like Lampard, Toure, Gerrard etc who will get you 15 goals from midfield every year?

For me, it’s the geniuses I like more. The explanation is simple: they are geniuses. So beautiful to watch. Everyone loves a marauding box to box Lampard type, but when you see Zidane, Henry, Xavi etc commemorate Scholes, you also understand why football is called ‘The Beautiful Game’.

Thoughts?
 
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Carolina Red

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The genius. All kinds of people can maraud around the midfield, but it takes a truly special one to dictate it with their mind.
 

Isotope

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How's Zidane not a genius but a mere "powerhouse"?
 

amolbhatia50k

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The genius. All kinds of people can maraud around the midfield, but it takes a truly special one to dictate it with their mind.
These categories are too random.

Keane was a force of nature in terms of agression but he was also throne who controlled football matches for United at his peak.

Chelsea's first team under Mourinho has no proper playmaker but in Essien they had the perfect link for that team between Makelele and the attack, who was a complete player - intelligence, passing, strength, stamina, the whole lot. Lampard wasn't a 'powerhouse' either. His whole game was about final third intelligence. Toure on the other hand was imperious physically but also fanatastic on the ball. Zidane was a complete genius much moreos than Modric and Kroos.
 

Carolina Red

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These categories are too random.

Keane was a force of nature in terms of agression but he was also throne who controlled football matches for United at his peak.

Chelsea's first team under Mourinho has no proper playmaker but in Essien they had the perfect link for that team between Makelele and the attack, who was a complete player - intelligence, passing, strength, stamina, the whole lot. Lampard wasn't a 'powerhouse' either. His whole game was about final third intelligence. Toure on the other hand was imperious physically but also fanatastic on the ball. Zidane was a complete genius much moreos than Modric and Kroos.
I didn’t make the categories, I’m just responding to the question...
 

Hernandez - BFA

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An Iniesta/Kroos/Scholes mould would be my preference - the elegance and the tempo controlling is incredible.

With that being said, seeing Yaya Toure making those powerful unstoppable runs were annoyingly aesthetically pleasing to watch.
 

Green_Red

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These categories are too random.

Keane was a force of nature in terms of agression but he was also throne who controlled football matches for United at his peak.

Chelsea's first team under Mourinho has no proper playmaker but in Essien they had the perfect link for that team between Makelele and the attack, who was a complete player - intelligence, passing, strength, stamina, the whole lot. Lampard wasn't a 'powerhouse' either. His whole game was about final third intelligence. Toure on the other hand was imperious physically but also fanatastic on the ball. Zidane was a complete genius much moreos than Modric and Kroos.
Yea, I would have said any truly great box to box midfielder has to have both qualities. If I had to chose though I'd go with intelligence.
 

The Original

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As others have said, I find that these distinctions are arbitrary.

Is powerhouse defined by physicality as suggested in the title, or by dynamism as suggested in the body of the OP? Lampard was dynamic but not powerful and leans closer to the Modric style of player than to a dominant physical player like an Essien for example.

So how do you determine how each player fits into each category? Another example, Toure was physically imposing but he wasn't physical as such and was also a fine technical player who played, at various points, roles similar to Modric, Kroos and Lampard. Which category would you decide that he belongs in and why?

And while United fans might not like to admit it, Gerrard was much more than marauding runs. He was quite intelligent and a great passer as well.
 
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Didn’t watch the game last night. I’m not sure about the categorisation here, and Scholes is one of my favourite players, but performances like Keane in Turin turn me on more.

But players like Keane, Viera, Robson, Toure and Gerrard aren’t suited to today’s game. You don’t get the cut and thrust of teams slugging it out, that you did 20 years ago. Clearly players would adapt, but those players wouldn’t have the same impact in this day and age.
 

GlasgowCeltic

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I’d like to think intelligence will always win in the end

Also I’d put Keane in the “intelligence” bracket
 

RooneyLegend

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As others have said, I find that these distinctions are arbitrary.

Is powerhouse defined by physicality as suggested in the title, or by dynamism as suggested in the body of the OP? Lampard was dynamic but not powerful and leans closer to the Modric style of player than to a dominant physical player like an Essien for example.

So how do you determine how each player fits into each category? Another example, Toure was physically imposing but he wasn't physical as such and was also a fine technical player who played, at various points, roles similar to Modric, Kroos and Lampard. Which category would you decide that he belongs in and why?

And while United fans might not like to admit it, Gerrard was much more than marauding runs. He was quite intelligent and a great passer as well.
Lampard and Modric are polar opposites.
 

RooneyLegend

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It’s a bit of an insult to call 3 of the greatest midfielders in PL history mere “powerhouses”

Toure in particular had tons of finesse.
So did Patrick Vieira but in fairness alot of the others didn't and were truly great players for other reasons. The likes of Lampard, Gerrard, Keane would never be accused of having finesse.
 

YouOnlyLiveTwice

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My favourite player for utd is Carrick. When you have such a good passer in the team it All seems easier. Vision, smart positioning etc.

Scholes was a one man midfield. You didn't need build-up play with him, just pass it to Scholes.

It's rare that a player becomes so good at passing as these two though.
 

Bertie Wooster

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My favourite midfielders are creative passers and #10's.

The one I've most loved watching was Guti at Real Madrid. He didn't get the praise over here that some of their stars received, but he played over 500 times for them, won all the trophies, and was a fantastic passer of the ball. I loved watching his body shape as he spread passes about and played brilliant through balls.

And there's plenty of #10's that I loved watching over the years. Absolutely my favourite type of footballer to watch.
 

Oranges038

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I prefer a Roy Keane type who wouldn't fit specifcally into either category as he had both in equal amounts, just that all round centre mid is more appealing to me than either of the ones in the op. A midfielder should be able to play in a 2 or a 3, I don't buy into any of this he's a 6 or 8 or 10 nonsense.

But if I had to pick I'd go with a Scholes/Pirlo or Xavi over the marauding powerhouse.
 

GatoLoco

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Thought this would be interesting after Kroos and Modric world class performance last night.

So, what do you guys prefer? A genius of a midfield dictator, like a Kroos, Scholes, Iniesta etc who provides for other players, or a powerhouse like Lampard, Toure, Gerrard etc who will get you 15 goals from midfield every year?

For me, it’s the geniuses I like more. The explanation is simple: they are geniuses. So beautiful to watch. Everyone loves a marauding box to box Lampard type, but when you see Zidane, Henry, Xavi etc commemorate Scholes, you also understand why football is called ‘The Beautiful Game’.

Thoughts?
I think Kroos, Scholes and Iniesta have won 10 CLs overall, whereas Lampard, Toure and Gerrard have won 3 CLs, so maybe, just maybe, the former are preferred for teams than win consistently. But this is just a theory I haven't even thought of carefully.
 

GlasgowCeltic

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No way, Keane dominated games physically, even he says so.
I just can’t see why someone’s who’s passing through the lines and into feet was so good would be labelled anything but a massively intelligent player. I mean Scholes wasn’t really the Scholes we know now until after Keane left, before then it was Keane running the games at the top level. I’m just not sure someone like Carrick did anything Keane didn’t once you take away all the intangibles and other stuff that made him Roy Keane.
 

amolbhatia50k

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I just can’t see why someone’s who’s passing through the lines and into feet was so good would be labelled anything but a massively intelligent player. I mean Scholes wasn’t really the Scholes we know now until after Keane left, before then it was Keane running the games at the top level. I’m just not sure someone like Carrick did anything Keane didn’t once you take away all the intangibles and other stuff that made him Roy Keane.
Good post. People form an impression of a player and put them into the clichéd category they think they belong to. As everyone acknowledges everything went though Keane at Manchester United. How is he not absurdly intelligent on the football pitch in that case? It's just convenient to call Carrick a 'finesse player' for example just becuase he had less to his game.
 

meneillosRC

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If it's some of each and nothing too extreme, I'd say inteligence is the more important attribute of the two, but if it's something like 99 of one and 0 of the other I reckon an extremely weak and slow player would be even more of a black hole for a team (at the highest levels).
 

Deery

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I like watching the geniuses at work picking out passes and making it look so simple over the course of a tournament they usually come out on top.

However it’s hard not to get silly about watching a powerhouse midfielder dominate a game and smash a goal in from 30-40 yards.

A mixture of the both like KDB would be ideal.
 

abundance

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Great passers in midfield are the guys that give me the biggest hard-on in football.

And it's not actually the long balls, or defence-splitting passes, or the vision to see spaces and movements that others don't see... it's the ability to always deliver the ball with the perfect spin, weight and speed to facilitate your team mate.

You know, when you see the playmaker making an obvious and easy pass to the wingback raising up in your own half, and then the play develops, and there are five or six more touches and movements before the shot that scores, and everybody praises the winger dribbling or the forward cutting in, but you know that if that early playmaker pass to the wingback wasn't timed and weighted so perfectly that he didn't have to break his stride for collecting it, nothing that followed could've developed that way... that kind of things.

Another hard-on, is the brainz without the ball.
You know, take for example Cambiasso that I watched at Inter for so long... he wasn't that fast, he wasn't that physical, he wasn't that good of a passer, he wasn't a playmaker, and he wasn't a awe-inspiring box-to-box threat, like many players mentioned in this thread were.
But when the opponent had the ball, he looked like he knew in advance every single time when to cover the passing lanes, when to rise, when to drop back, when to double-up; and when we had the ball, when to sit deep or when to stealthy rise up toward the box.
I like that a lot too in midfileders.
 

RooneyLegend

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Good post. People form an impression of a player and put them into the clichéd category they think they belong to. As everyone acknowledges everything went though Keane at Manchester United. How is he not absurdly intelligent on the football pitch in that case? It's just convenient to call Carrick a 'finesse player' for example just becuase he had less to his game.
Lies, Carrick was more of a ball player than Keane. Everyone knew that, or should I say everyone should know that. We played in a variety of ways. Half our game went through Becks, Scholes with give and takes, we weren't a team dictated by a particular player so to speak. Stop making Keane sound like Carrick, Alonso, Guardiola, Redondo who were real finesse players as someone states.
 

amolbhatia50k

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Lies, Carrick was more of a ball player than Keane. Everyone knew that, or should I say everyone should know that. We played in a variety of ways. Half our game went through Becks, Scholes with give and takes, we weren't a team dictated by a particular player so to speak. Stop making Keane sound like Carrick, Alonso, Guardiola, Redondo who were real finesse players as someone states.
How did Carrick have more "finesse" than Keane? Just because he had a better passing range? Scholes had a better passing range than Xavi and Modric too. Maybe he had the most finesse out of the whole lot.
 

SAFMUTD

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If speaking about having an average player on one side and remarkable in the other then it has to be the intelligence.

Now if speaking about being highly remarkable at one and really weak at the other then physicality all the way. I mean look at Mata, all that technique and intelligence is really outweighed by his lack of physicality. While players, mostly defensive, that cant square a single progressive pass but can run around like mad mans and impose his strenght in midfield are way more helpful.
 

harms

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But players like Keane, Viera, Robson, Toure and Gerrard aren’t suited to today’s game.
Not sure how Toure got into that list as he's a completely different players to the rest. And what exactly is a modern game? It's not just Guardiola's possession-based football (to which the above-mentioned wouldn't be a straight fit), Klopp's gegen-pressing side had only recently won league and champions league — do you really want to say that Keane/Vieira/Robson (or even Gerrard as a very direct upgrade on Henderson) would look out of place there? They would be absolutely perfect. Atleti are still in the lead in La Liga (although probably not for long) — would those players look out of place in Simeone's team? Nope.

Toure is a weird one though, he'd need a manager like Ancelotti to get the best of him in today's game.
 

The Original

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Lampard and Modric are polar opposites.
In a certain narrow spectrum, they might be. This is why I didn't say they are alike, but I said Lampard leans closer to Modric than to Essien, using Modric and Essien as opposite types of players when technicality is compared with physicality.

The current spectrum considers (erroneously in my view), intelligence and power as being mutually exclusive and in that context you would have to include Lampard on the intelligent side. He was never a powerful player.
 
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Not sure how Toure got into that list as he's a completely different players to the rest. And what exactly is a modern game? It's not just Guardiola's possession-based football (to which the above-mentioned wouldn't be a straight fit), Klopp's gegen-pressing side had only recently won league and champions league — do you really want to say that Keane/Vieira/Robson (or even Gerrard as a very direct upgrade on Henderson) would look out of place there? They would be absolutely perfect. Atleti are still in the lead in La Liga (although probably not for long) — would those players look out of place in Simeone's team? Nope.

Toure is a weird one though, he'd need a manager like Ancelotti to get the best of him in today's game.
not saying they would look out of place, just that I don’t think they would have the same impact now, as they had then - the game has moved on and changed.

its all theoretical anyway.
 

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Toure is one most of technically gifted and intelligent players in the PL history. Absolute slander to reduce him to just a powerhouse.
 

RooneyLegend

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How did Carrick have more "finesse" than Keane? Just because he had a better passing range? Scholes had a better passing range than Xavi and Modric too. Maybe he had the most finesse out of the whole lot.
Nah he had better control of the ball than him. He was simply a more technically gifted player. Xavi, Scholes and Modric are all elite technically. Although if pushed for a ranking you'd probably go Xavi, Modric and then Scholes but it's all fine pickings.