Il Fenomeno Draft - QF - 2mufc0/theon vs Fortitude

With players in their 3 year career peak, who would win?


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Šjor Bepo

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Team 2mufc0/theon

DEFENCE


Our defence is marshalled by one of the best defensive generals of all time in Gaetano Scirea - he provides world class distribution from the back whilst remaining the gold-standard defensively as a sweeping, covering defender. Complimenting his strengths is the stand-out defender of the modern era in Diego Godin (creating a classic sweeper / stopper partnership) whose physicality, aerial ability and ball-winning compliments the abilities of his defensive partner. At full-back Cole & Amoros provide elite defensive cover and also offer support in the attacking phases - given the lack of any clear wide-threat from the opposition we have chosen the more attaching Invincibles version of Cole here who was voted in the PFA Team of the Year three years in a row and should probe that Jusufi / Jardine flank which looks the weakest link on the park. Rounding off the defence is Preud'homme who remains the best Belgian keeper of all time and was twice voted the second best goalkeeper in the world by the IFFHS during this period (later winning the award in '94).

MIDFIELD

With the upgraded Voronin the midfield looks monstrous to play-through, filled with technical quality, work-rate and physicality which looks tailor-made to curb the influence of Maradona. The heart of the team remains our two box-to-box machines who we expect to wrestle control of game and provide the platform for our offence - of the two the dynamic Paul Breitner (in his later midfield incarnation, runner-up in the Ballon d'Or, 1-in-2 goal record for Bayern) will be given more freedom to break forward to utilise his goal scoring strengths while Roy Keane sits deeper as a controlling, defensive box-to-box player. One of the best defensive midfielders of all time comes into the team - Valery Voronin has been selected as a dominant defensive presence and the perfect counter against Maradona, he will screen in front of the back-line whilst spraying the ball from deep with his passing range. Whilst dominant off-the ball, all three also possess excellent passing skills and are well suited to playing sharp passes between the lines to feed our attackers - both Keane and in particular Breitner were also known for bursting forward and scoring goals and have the perfect platform to do that here.

ATTACK

Whilst he has various GOAT versions, in attack we have selected the MSN version of Lionel Messi which is probably Messi at his best in terms of complimenting other star attackers and utilises his peak-playmaking whilst maintaining the overall goal threat - in terms of role Messi has freedom to roam and interchange across the pitch and we see him linking well with Oleg Blokhin whose movement from the central striker role was about as fluid and dynamic as it gets.

On the left we have the explosive Juan Joya from 60's Penarol whose speed and incision cutting inside looks tailor-made for Messi's passing (that cross-field right-to-left pass to Alba was one of the signature characteristics of Messi's playmaking - looks devastating here behind Jusufi). Up front we have opted for Oleg Blokhin in the role which saw him win the Ballon d'Or in Lobanovsky's 4-1-3-2 formation - whilst equally comfortable from the left, this central role maximises the breadth of Blokhin's talents as a hard-working, lightening quick goal-scorer who will lead the press from the front (a core facet of Lobanovsky's style). In this position Blokhin's intelligence and movement will be key to create space for others to exploit and we think his raw pace should pose Kohler serious problems (more so than the physical style of Lubanski) - with 72 goals in 120 games over this period he looks a potential match-winner and another player who should compliment the passing ability of Messi.

THOUGHTS ON THE GAME

1. OPPOSITION LACK OF WIDTH
- Fortitude has a talented collection of players but looks very centrally orientated without a consistent wide presence outside of Facchetti (who has his hands full with Messi). Our central core of Breitner / Keane / Voronin / Godin / Scirea is as rock-solid as it gets defensively and looks perfectly setup to counter his threat through the middle. With regards to Maradona in particular the work-rate and ball-winning of Voronin and Keane should pressure him in possession and the overall area looks highly congested anyway (no less than seven central midfielders on the park) which should blunt some of his main threats. Briefly on Van Basten he looks well-marshalled by Godin / Scirea with the Uruguayan in particular set to relish the physical battle - more importantly though that lack of wide presence doesn't seem to get the best out of Van Basten who was such a prolific header of the ball from crosses.

2. EXPLOIT THE LEFT CHANNEL - In terms of our attack, we will look to exploit the weakest defender on the pitch in Jusufi through the lightening quick combination of Juan Joya and Oleg Blokhin - both exceptional goal scorers with clever off-the-ball movement to get in behind Fortitude's back-line. Part of the logic for choosing Blokhin in the middle was his natural ability to drift and probe across the front line where the opposition is weakest - in practise we think there's going to be a few times during the game where that left channel gets overloaded and it looks like a real problem for Fortitude.

Michel Preud'homme (88-91) GK- Belgian 1st Division, UEFA Cup Winners Cup, European Super Cup, Belgian Golden Shoe, Belgian GK of the Year x 3.

Gaetano Scirea (79-82) CB - Seria A x 2, Copa Italia, Fifa World Cup 1982, UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament 1980.

Diego Godin (14-17) CB - La Liga x1, Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Europa League, CL runner up x 2, La Liga Player of the Month x 2, La Liga Team of the Season x 2, UEFA Team of the Year 2014, La Liga Best Defender 2015, ESM Team of the Year 2015.

Manuel Amoros (84-87) RB - Ligue 1 1987, Coupe de France 85, EUEFA Euro Champion 1984, Onze d'Argent: 1984, French Player of the Year 1986, FIFA WC All Star Team 1986, FIFA XI 1986.

Ashley Cole (08-11) LB - Premier League 09-10, FA Cup x 3, FA Community Shield 09, UEFA Champions League 11-12, PFA Team of the Year 10-11, UEFA Team of the Year 2010, Chelsea Players Player of the Year x 2, England Player of the Year 2010, Premier League 20 Seasons Awards (1992–93 to 2011–12).

Valery Voronin (64-66) DM – Soviet Footballer of the Year 1964, 1965; Soviet Top league 1965;

Roy Keane (98-01) CM - Premier League: 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, FA Cup: 1998–99, UEFA Champions League 98-99, Intercontinental Cup 1999, PFA Team of the Year 99-00, 00-01, 01-02, PFA Team of the Century: (1907–2007), FAI Senior International Player of the Year: 2001, Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year: 1999, 2000, RTÉ Sports Person of the Year: 1999, FWA Footballer of the Year: 2000, PFA Players' Player of the Year: 2000, ESM Team of the Year: 1999–2000, Premier League 10 Seasons Awards: (1992–93 to 2001–02), Premier League 20 Seasons Awards: (1992–93 to 2011–12).

Paul Breitner (79-82) CM - Bundesliga: 1979–80, 1980–81, DFB-Pokal: 1981–82, kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season:1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, Footballer of the Year in Germany: 1981, Ballon d'Or: 1981 (Runner-up), IOC European Footballer of the Season 1980–81, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, FIFA 100, Bayern Munich All-time XI.

Lionel Messi (14-17) RW - La Liga: 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, Copa del Rey: 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, Supercopa de España: 2016, UEFA Champions League: 2014–15, UEFA Super Cup: 2015, FIFA Club World Cup: 2015, FIFA Ballon d'Or: 2015, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 2014, European Golden Shoe: 2016–17, 2017–18, Copa América Golden Ball: 2015, UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award: 2015, La Liga Best Player: 2014–15, La Liga Best Forward: 2014–15, 2015–16, Pichichi Trophy: 2016–17, 2017–18, FIFA Club World Cup Silver Ball: 2015, IFFHS World's Best Playmaker: 2015, 2016, 2017, Olimpia de Plata (Argentine Footballer of the Year): 2015, 2016, 2017, FIFA FIFPro World11: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, UEFA Team of the Year: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, La Liga Team of the Season: 2014–15, 2015–16, FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2014, Copa América Dream Team: 2015, 2016, Argentine Football Assn. Team of All Time (published 2015).

Juan Joya (64-67) LW - Primera División Uruguaya: 64,65,66,67, Copa Libertadores: 66, Copa Intercontinental: 66.

Oleg Blokhin (73-75) – Hardworking wide forward – Soviet Top League 1974, 1975; Soviet Cup 1974; UEFA Cup Winners Cup 1975; UEFA Super Cup 1975; ; Soviet Top League top scorer 1973, 1974, 1975; Ballon d'Or 1974 – 19th, 1975 – 1st



Team Fortitude

Initial set up is an extremely dynamic 4-2-2-2, which will switch to a plethora of systems as and when the situation demands, most prominent of which, will be Maradona turning his '2' into a '1' as he drifts to and from the final third.

However, the underpinned tactics are as follows:

- A Narrow, compacted backline.

- Both full-backs tucked inside.

- Facchetti man-marking Messi, but always remaining on the inside of him.

- Two midfielders holding.

- Modric is a third, floating CM

- Maradona floats between the AM and final third lines with a brief to breach space off the ball at times.

- Bene will sometimes drift outside of his CB per tactical instruction.

- Van Basten is withdrawn and will be instructed to take more long range shots.

- Players will remain equidistant in possession, but will swarm in 2's and 3's in defensive phases.

- Outside of quick shifts of feet to then pass, the ball will do all the work until the attacking midfield phase, from there, heavy utilisation of dribbling and distanced shooting.
 

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The thinking:

They have, what some of you may regard as the greatest player of all time on their right wing. As stated in my previous round with regard to Maradona:
These are the Maradona peak years. The years in which he achieved the main body of his feats for the ages. The time in which he was Serie A's top-scorer, from midfield. His threat cannot be understated or played down.

It would be remiss of any opposition not to cater for Maradona
, which generally means anything from attempting to kill supply to him; using a man-marker, or double, or even, triple-teaming, at which point, the opposition are drawn towards my main man and away from whoever it is they are [supposed to be] marking. This is inevitable and undeniable - a player that has to be stopped at all costs - and it is from this panic that my wily forwards can constantly move themselves into open spaces ahead of the little Argentine where, for the most part, they are going to be found,
Just replace Maradona with Messi, and it's a similar scenario - a player I must prepare for at all costs. I feel I have done exactly that, though.
Giacinto Facchetti, rated 2nd to Maldini in this forum's very own ranked draft of the greatest left-backs of all time,
is indeed paramount to my containment strategy. Facchetti has every attribute I want for the role of disrupting Messi and making his life as difficult as it's going to get for one very probably expected to be a lynchpin in this game, either via distraction because of who he is and the threat he carries enabling others more space to operate in, or, directly from some hero run/pass or other. Facchetti has the perfect temperament, is clean in the tackle; doesn't go to ground unless absolutely necessary, is fast, agile (despite his height); has stamina; has great reading of his man and the play and he knows when to get, and stay tight, or when to drop off a bit - between he and Messi, it's not only a physical battle but also a mental one. I've got Netto and Facchetti working as herders and harrassers both protecting the most vital area of the pitch, as far as Messi is concerned, which is the space on the diagonal from outside to inside right - this is the space both of these players will work hard to prevent Messi getting into, and even when he does, it'll be in the most hurried and unsettled conditions where, the rock that is Kohler, will be ready and waiting to sweep up. In the first instance, passing into Messi's vicinity will have to be immaculate; in the second, Messi will be invited to go outside of Facchetti and ushered into the byline area time and time again. At all costs, the game he wants to play will be shut off.

The importance of both Netto and Facchetti tending to Messi is that in retrieval of the ball, both can use it effectively without having to run much, thus sparing their legs, my tactical shape and in prevention of any counter-counter.
I will add here that when my team are in the final third, having worked the ball upfield with enough control to force the opposition into a lower block, Facchetti will sneak forward from time to time with choice runs, and Netto will then move over to the inside right channel close to Messi for the duration of Facchetti jaunt upfield. Facchetti will not be going up willy-nilly or in any kind of gung-ho kamikaze way, but if the opportunites arise, he will take a run and he will add to the long-range shooting threat, in particular.

In terms of defence, a similar principle is in place for Blohkin on the other flank, although, because of his [Blohkin's] pace, Jusufi will stay tucked and have Cerezo further protect the same inside quarters as Netto on the other side of the pitch. Blohkin is adept down the outside, but it is preferable and far less of a threat for me on both sides of the defensive flanks to have to deal with these two down the wings than cutting inside. Jusufi will not go up the pitch under any circumstance as Blohkin's pace will roast him if he is out of position.

Cerezo, just as with Netto, can immediately use a turned over ball effectively whilst sticking to the outlined remit - on both sides of my holding midfield, the fortune is in having two effective deep-lying playmakers when in possession who can spot, and hit, a man or open space without a moment's hesitation.

Lubanski is the player who I have no particular plan in place for. I believe he is up against two superior players who have gone up against superior strikers and triumphed. Lubanski's pace, general athleticism and industry are not concerns for my central defenders. Both of my CB's are exceptional readers of the game, proven time and again in relation to intercepting balls before they even hit the CF's person, or, plain running with him and dispossessing without even having to go to ground. My double, into triple banking still leaves me with a man free to sway from position to shoring up passing or running lanes behind their CB partner - to hit those passes, their team will be reliant on Messi, or working the ball back to Breitner, at which point that forged opening effectively closes and the whole build-up is reset, which is part and parcel of my strategy - a very staid and oppressive system in defence and midfield with a lot of exhaustive passing and flashes of explosive brilliance.

My midfield can be likened to France '84 or Brazil '82 in some ways - the principle is not to fight tooth and nail with an indefatigable opponent like prime Roy Keane, but rather, kill his bluster and make him play the continental game where team-mates become equally important and his qualities brought in line with less dynamic midfielders. Keane will soon learn not to run from one man to another, to another, to another, as we play ones, twos, triangles and squares over and over again, at which point, the game will be a cerebral and technical affair, which is to my team's benefit.

The opposition:



I suspect I will face that, or Keane lined up next to Voronin with Breitner roaming at the apex. I also suspect Voronin's biggest task in this game is to track Maradona, which is part of the reason why I have Maradona as a '1' floating.

On the overlay, it looks like:



My men, always on the inside of theirs, playing narrow, precise football that demands attention and opposing bodies attempting to either stay tight to a man, or, block passing lanes. I want Maradona always in the pocket right between Voronin and Keane, no matter what. In this way, Keane cannot drive into a midfield battle further up the pitch; both he and Voronin have to decide who is picking up a Maradona who is hovering right beside them, but further, Maradona will be stood on the inside of a full-back, more likely Amoros, who will have to contribute their energies to the battle and have them diverted from the attack - if they are bold enough to have Amoros go up the field, Maradona will pull further out to that area of the pitch where he will have space to run on the diagonal towards their goal and further stretch the opposing midfield. I have outlined in my own setup vs Messi why it is essential to block channels, and will send the same wave of sentiment across to the opposition - Maradona goes left? your right side has to effectively shut up shop. Maradona goes right? The same thing. As @harms said previously -
Agree with Jim here. Maradona can humiliate literally anyone, including Rijkaard & Baresi, so in every possible opponent you can find a possible weakness that he's going to exploit, but Desailly & Bremner (with Beckenbauer somewhere in the mix as well) is one of the toughest possible combinations that Maradona can ever face.
but my strategy is not to talk in absolutes where if Maradona is on the pitch, I win, no. But what is important to note is how much disruption he can cause; how many men he can pull away from their duties to focus their attention onto him; how much space he can open up for others; how vital it is for the opposition to remain resolute and focused. All of this is important for me as I believe it's the means by which the midfield as a whole will find space to operate in and openings to exploit.

As I've stated before, my midfield is not here for a battle of pace, power and outright war, but our means of avoiding that is putting the onus on the opposition to prevent us from playing our own game. As an as yet un-selected potential draft pick once said: "It is not me who shall run, but the ball." And this will be a game in which my team will rack up as many passes in midfield as possible to keep the opposition on the backfoot, and away from my backline.

As can be seen in the overlay, Modric is inside Breitner (ohh er), which is far from optimal for the German. Breitner is famed for making space for himself and then hitting sprawling, accurate passes forward before running in behind them, undetected - this, however, comes from a base of his teams generally being the ones in control with the midfield battle in their favour. I have nothing but high regard for the midfield I am facing, but disrupting it is a matter of making them do what they don't want to, and for Bretiner, the notion of tracking a little liverwire firecracker who is constantly knitting play for the opposition is massively detracting from what he's in the team to do, which is being an offensive thorn in my side. In normal circumstance, Keane and Voronin roar through the opposition, work the ball to Breitner, who then does something extremely harmful with it. In this kind of game, Keane and Voronin have Maradona to tend to and Breitner has a free man in Modric roaming who he has to pick up. I'm not saying this is a gimme, but, at the least, it makes the contest even between them and prevents a lot of rapier-like passes that Breitner would hit if not forced into a tete-a-tete with an annoying, buzzy, fly of a midfielder in Modric whose role as a connective tissue absolutely has to be dealt with as he affords too much recovery time for his own midfield whilst tiring and dragging the opposition all over the place. I don't think there's much dispute to be had in Breitner being the better player, but in a back and forth contest in which he has to run around constantly, Modric is in his absolute element whilst Breitner is not.

Scirea and Godin:

Two highly revered defenders. Apart from Bene, I won't be looking to run either of them particularly, not because my players can't but because, sticking to the tactical remit, I want Van Basten working the keeper from outside the box when and where he can. Van Basten is probably only second to Muller in terms of penalty box play and par with someone like Seeler (in draft), but this is also bread and butter for Godin and Scirea - Van Basten, equally proficient in pretty much every aspect of strike play, doesn't need to be deep inside the box to score goals. At all. And I think it is harder for their team to stop short interplay between Van Basten, Maradona, Bene and Modric, so the alternation is lay-offs, one and two touch for others or long range shots than it is for me to drive into their box and play a game that immediately optimises Godin and affords Scirea more time to read the play.

My intention with the distanced shooting is, if not scoring, working the keeper for corners. mufc02/Theon's team is short at the back, and in this contest, I have an extra 6ft+ player in Facchetti to go in alongside Kohler, Ferdinand, Van Basten and Cerezo (loose balls for long shot opportunities). That's 5 6 foot+ (181cm+) threats to 3. Voronin and Keane will put their bodies on the line all day for aerial duels, but they are at a natural disadvantage and neither possess some kind of freak Cannavaro/Passarella/Chumpitaz etc. leap. With Maradona's crossing accuracy, I legitimately have an extra threat on corners.

In doing a little bit of research with regards to Scirea's Juventus vs. Maradona's Napoli, I found Maradona to be a frequent scorer and Scirea to constantly be on the losing/ drawing team. This does not directly reflect on Scirea's performance, but it does set the precedent that these two have history and Maradona was almost always on the winning side through his own actions.


This video in its entirety puts visuals to my words re. Maradona and the battle for their midfield, but further, and why it's here, please view from 2min 50sec, to see Maradona break, without the ball, drop to the outside of Scirea, and then beat him outright to score. The caveat here is this is not Scirea's peak, and I am not trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes to say it is, rather, I am pointing out how Maradona, in isolation, is being used to completely upset the opposing schematic whilst creating space for Van Basten. As Maradona drives forward, the idea is that Van Basten drops off a little and either runs into the box, now behind the play, or blasts rebounds goal-ward. I want to also note how these kind of runs really cause problems for full-backs.

This is what their side is up against. Have a look at the start of the video, guess which famed #6 that is getting rouletted:


Last but not least, Bene once again has a key function in my side as the initial strike partner to Van Basten who is a dribbling marvel in his own right. In my plan up to now, Bene sounds like a spare part, but he has two very important roles to play in this team. The first being: once he has the ball at his feet, he has carte blanche to run with it, wherever he wants to go - his inclination is to start in the inside right channel, which is exactly where I want him, and from there, the CB, with Van Basten on his inside, is not likely to track Bene, if he does, then Van Basten, as he was wont to do, will follow in behind the now blind-sided CB, in the newfound space. Bene is going to get more clear runs to goal than anyone else in my side due to the superior distractions of my two superstars.

Bene's other function is in going outside his CB and inside the full-back. I need this for the variety and surprise element as the pitch/space has to open up unless team mufc02/Theon have put a concerted plan in place to stop Bene, which I doubt.

A game against this caliber of opponent cannot be all one way, but I believe I've put the best measures in place to deal with their threats and strengths as well as bring my own to them in a controlled but threatening manner.
 

harms

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Fortitude's team is good... but it doesn't really excite me, regardless of its quality.

2mufc0/Theon, on the other hand... Blokhin was someone who combined qualities of both Suarez and Eto'o (benchmark forwards for right-wing Messi) & I also love the potential Breitner/Blokhin link up, as Blokhin is one of the most dangerous off the ball runners who would relish on Breitner's passing, just as Kalle did. Messi is very well covered on every front and is free to do what he wants. Scirea/Godin partnership with Voronin ahead of them is complimentary and pretty much as good as it gets.

Joya is the only one I don't know enough about but from what I've seen of him he's a quite good fit for a young Neymar role that spent most of his time on the left — dribbling, passing, crossing and scoring after cutting in, of course.
 

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The switch for Blohkin to centre is a curious one. Not sure it gets the best out of him or his game in this kind of match. Interesting.

Tactics for myself would have remained the same as the biggest issue was Blohkin’s pace, and through the middle, that has a lot less chance of being utilised as opposed to out on Jusufi’s side of the pitch.
 

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Is Facchetti even a good fit for Messi? Surely Messi would tore him to pieces with his low center of gravity....think you faced Gullit last game and there he was a great fit but against Messi? Maybe im harsh as the last time i watched Facchetti Chislenko tore him to pieces but i just cant see how he can man mark the God.
 

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That's detailed set of tactics from Fortitude...but one I really can't wrap my head around. A formation lacking all width, with a GOAT CF played withdrawn...esp with Maradona behind!
Both Bene and Maradona can go wide if the opportunity presents itself. Facchetti is also instructed to go forward as and when the opportunities arise.

The midfield is very 80’s in idea and possession-based football.

Staying tucked out of possession and working outward in possession is the plan.

Van Basten‘s primary Brief is to sight goal and work the keeper, or be the pivot for others to work off of with him then following in on the play.

The intention is to make the game as slow and suffocating as 80’s Série A, with it coming to life in flashes, just as it did back then. I think my side is set up well for the kind of game I want them to play.
 

2mufc0

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The switch for Blohkin to centre is a curious one. Not sure it gets the best out of him or his game in this kind of match. Interesting.

Tactics for myself would have remained the same as the biggest issue was Blohkin’s pace, and through the middle, that has a lot less chance of being utilised as opposed to out on Jusufi’s side of the pitch.
I think your analysis of Lubanski was on the money, he wasn't really going to trouble Ferdinand-Kohler in a physical battle, this why we opted for the more mobile Blokhin who will cause a lot of problems with his movement. A fluid front 3 is more likely to cause issues and Messi has got the better of Ferdinand in several high profile games with similar fluid front lines.
Is Facchetti even a good fit for Messi? Surely Messi would tore him to pieces with his low center of gravity....think you faced Gullit last game and there he was a great fit but against Messi? Maybe im harsh as the last time i watched Facchetti Chislenko tore him to pieces but i just cant see how he can man mark the God.
I don't think Facchetti is close to Maldini at all in defensive ability. I'm not even sure man marking or playing purely defensive was a role he ever did. It would be interesting to see any precedence, imo letting Messi just come at you is suicide.
 

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Is Facchetti even a good fit for Messi? Surely Messi would tore him to pieces with his low center of gravity....think you faced Gullit last game and there he was a great fit but against Messi? Maybe im harsh as the last time i watched Facchetti Chislenko tore him to pieces but i just cant see how he can man mark the God.
It’s an ushering and shielding role where he is not expected to do it all by himself, rather keep Messi on the outside of him or work him towards the waiting Netto with Kohler ready and waiting if both those players are breached.

There’s a combined 3-man effort going on there.
 

Himannv

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Amoros - Keane - Messi. Love that right hand side and I've done exactly that in the previous draft. I think it's brilliant and only bettered by actually having Dani Alves in there (not possible in this draft obviously).
 

Fortitude

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I think your analysis of Lubanski was on the money, he wasn't really going to trouble Ferdinand-Kohler in a physical battle, this why we opted for the more mobile Blokhin who will cause a lot of problems with his movement. A fluid front 3 is more likely to cause issues and Messi has got the better of Ferdinand in several high profile games with similar fluid front lines.


I don't think Facchetti is close to Maldini at all in defensive ability. I'm not even sure man marking or playing purely defensive was a role he ever did. It would be interesting to see any precedence, imo letting Messi just come at you is suicide.
Kohler is on Messi’s side. Rio is out with Joya as cover and on Blohkin, mostly.


I think Blohkin provides different issues, but I’d have more of an issue with him out wide than through the middle because he then has to play a slower game and his pace doesn’t get utilised as much as it should, imo. I think supply to him is an issue as you’ve Breitner and Messi who I’d expect to hit their mark in stifling conditions, and imo, they’ve got their hands full.
 

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Amoros - Keane - Messi. Love that right hand side and I've done exactly that in the previous draft. I think it's brilliant and only bettered by actually having Dani Alves in there (not possible in this draft obviously).
Keane and Amoros have Maradona exactly in the pocket of space between them...
 

2mufc0

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Kohler is on Messi’s side. Rio is out with Joys cover and on Blohkin, mostly.


I think Blohkin provides different issues, but I’d have more of an issue with him out wide than through the middle because he then has to play a slower game and his pace doesn’t get utilised as much as it should, imo. I think supply to him is an issue as you’ve Breitner and Messi who I’d expect to hit their mark in stifling conditions, and imo, they’ve got their hands full.
I think the bigger issue here is you have ear marked 3 players on Messi, this will leave acres of space for the other attackers, Keane, Breitner and Voronin were crisp and direct passers, Scirea could also hit some penetrative forward passes. We will naturally see things differently, but on the counter Blokhin's pace will be utilised and will be a big menace for Rio/Kohler, they won't be able to keep up.
 

2mufc0

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One of the main issues here is how narrow Fortitude is, when Amoros and Cole go forward we can really stretch the play and move away from the congested central areas, we also have attackers who were comfortable out wide to find space. Fortitude doesn't have this option with both full backs instructed to be defensive (1 instructed to stay back at all times) and no natural wide players. Even with Diego, i don't see how he will break our core down and with no width, imo we have a good chance of containing his team.
 

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I think the bigger issue here is you have ear marked 3 players on Messi, this will leave acres of space for the other attackers, Keane, Breitner and Voronin were crisp and direct passers, Scirea could also hit some penetrative forward passes. We will naturally see things differently, but on the counter Blokhin's pace will be utilised and will be a big menace for Rio/Kohler, they won't be able to keep up.
In Messi’s vicinity, sure, but they’re waves rather than running around rabidly after him all game.

Keane should be on the back foot, or he’s leaving Maradona blind behind him. I should reiterate, I expect to be the team in possession here, not their side, so the first issue is getting the ball back, the second, passing it out and back up the pitch and the third, getting men up without neglecting defensive duties.

I don’t buy the notion of my side chasing the play as their midfield is not a short-passing excessively retentive one where mine is.
 

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@Fortitude who marks Amoros when he bombs up and he will do so, regularly i might add. Neither Maradona or Van Basten are particularly known for their defensive game and i dont expect neither to track back far in their box so Facchetti would have to leave Messi which then drags Netto from the midfield towards him which then opens up space for Keane and Breitner.
Sorry for million questions but formation and tactics is a bit different so its hard to imagine the play.
 

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One of the bigger issues here is how narrow Fortitude is, when Amoros and Cole go forward we can really stretch the play and move away from the congested central areas, we also have attackers who were comfortable out wide to find space. Fortitude doesn't have this option with both full backs instructed to be defensive (1 instructed to stay back at all times) and no natural wide players. Even with Diego, i don't see how he will break our core down and with no width, imo we have a good chance of containing his team.
True, but I think going forward and isolating your defence with Van Basten, Maradona and Bene is suicidal as that’s when they would split and spread the play.

Would also add that I think finding good passes across such a concentrated box will be tremendously difficult for you.
 

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@Fortitude who marks Amoros when he bombs up and he will do so, regularly i might add. Neither Maradona or Van Basten are particularly known for their defensive game and i dont expect neither to track back far in their box so Facchetti would have to leave Messi which then drags Netto from the midfield towards him which then opens up space for Keane and Breitner.
Sorry for million questions but formation and tactics is a bit different so its hard to imagine the play.
I don’t think so, personally. The whole point of putting Maradona in that pocket is to prevent galavanting runs from Amoros as a default - Maradona in open possession having a chance to then run seems to be getting overlooked as a threat, where, to me, it’s one of the biggest dangers, if not the biggest, on the pitch.

I think sporadic motions up the pitch can be handled - I also think breaking from Messi/Maradona is an equally tentative gauntlet to run. IMO, the game will be a cautious, staid affair with very few chances for either side. Excess actioning forward will prove counter-productive, again imo.

I fancy two of Série A’s greatest performers in such conditions.
 

Himannv

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Keane and Amoros have Maradona exactly in the pocket of space between them...
I'd have thought it'll be Voronin + occasionally Keane dealing with Maradona this time? The way I see it playing out in real games is most of these teams will set up to stop Diego in the defensive phase and keep an eye on him even when in possession.

Even in the previous game I did wonder why you didn't play him more to the right. He was great at making runs on the right wing and picking the perfect pass to play someone in (the someone in this case being Van Basten). I'd have thought he'd also like to operate more in the little pocket of space between Voronin and Scirea, occasionally drifting to the right if Cole is too far upfield or simply if it takes his fancy to tear Cashley a new one.
 

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I'd have thought it'll be Voronin + occasionally Keane dealing with Maradona this time? The way I see it playing out in real games is most of these teams will set up to stop Diego in the defensive phase and keep an eye on him even when in possession.

Even in the previous game I did wonder why you didn't play him more to the right. He was great at making runs on the right wing and picking the perfect pass to play someone in (the someone in this case being Van Basten). I'd have thought he'd also like to operate more in the little pocket of space between Voronin and Scirea, occasionally drifting to the right if Cole is too far upfield or simply if it takes his fancy to tear Cashley a new one.
Bene is a great dribbler out on the right who really should keep Cole on his toes. I want Maradona in that pocket to basically kill Keane’s natural game, and by having him hover in the inside channel, Maradona asks a lot of questions of the opposition of who should pick him up and when. Once Maradona turns and faces the opposition goal, we’re in a much more dangerous phase of play, and I’d fancy him then against pretty much anyone. At the very least, it’s a chaos no side should want coming at them if they can prevent it, which is why leaving him open, or entrusted to Voronin alone is just asking for trouble, IMO.

Scirea got roasted by Maradona a number of times, I should think he knows to try and get tight ASAP, which is where Van Basten has room to be opportunistic skulking in the pockets of space.
 

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Fortitude's team is good... but it doesn't really excite me, regardless of its quality.

2mufc0/Theon, on the other hand... Blokhin was someone who combined qualities of both Suarez and Eto'o (benchmark forwards for right-wing Messi) & I also love the potential Breitner/Blokhin link up, as Blokhin is one of the most dangerous off the ball runners who would relish on Breitner's passing, just as Kalle did. Messi is very well covered on every front and is free to do what he wants. Scirea/Godin partnership with Voronin ahead of them is complimentary and pretty much as good as it gets.

Joya is the only one I don't know enough about but from what I've seen of him he's a quite good fit for a young Neymar role that spent most of his time on the left — dribbling, passing, crossing and scoring after cutting in, of course.
Don’t mind exciting; could be a positively tedious game as their threat is too strong to go at head-on, but by making it a slow, possession-based game, it more benefits my side than theirs with the two whippets and Messi just begging for space to attack.
 

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I don’t think so, personally. The whole point of putting Maradona in that pocket is to prevent galavanting runs from Amoros as a default - Maradona in open possession having a chance to then run seems to be getting overlooked as a threat, where, to me, it’s one of the biggest dangers, if not the biggest, on the pitch.

I think sporadic motions up the pitch can be handled - I also think breaking from Messi/Maradona is an equally tentative gauntlet to run. IMO, the game will be a cautious, staid affair with very few chances for either side. Excess actioning forward will prove counter-productive, again imo.

I fancy two of Série A’s greatest performers in such conditions.
Tbf you want to make the game slow and cautious that doesnt mean it would be like that :)
Regarding Amoros, he is in bigger problem if he stays back as protection rather then if he goes forward so IMO he would go up and Voronin would be mostly around Diego.
 

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Don’t mind exciting; could be a positively tedious game as their threat is too strong to go at head-on, but by making it a slow, possession-based game, it more benefits my side than theirs with the two whippets and Messi just begging for space to attack.
Surely you don't play a deep defensive like when playing a possession game with 4 creative midfielders?


I really like this analysis of Rio on Messi... and now I'm not even talking about Messi, as it was his false 9 version. Blokhin here is going to pose the same issues — with Kohler/Rio you'd want a traditional number 9, but with Blokhin and Messi roaming around, luring defenders out and being able to break into the space that they've created... As for how would Blokhin use his pace centrally — look at Kaka, for example.

That goal against Ferencvaros :drool:
 

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Is Facchetti even a good fit for Messi? Surely Messi would tore him to pieces with his low center of gravity....think you faced Gullit last game and there he was a great fit but against Messi? Maybe im harsh as the last time i watched Facchetti Chislenko tore him to pieces but i just cant see how he can man mark the God.
Completely agree. Facchetti struggled with Johnstone too.. peak Messi will be too nimble for him IMO.
 

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Tbf you want to make the game slow and cautious that doesnt mean it would be like that :)
Regarding Amoros, he is in bigger problem if he stays back as protection rather then if he goes forward so IMO he would go up and Voronin would be mostly around Diego.
Thing is, I’m outlining the hows and the whys of how the game would become such from my POV; If four highly technical midfielders clogging up the centre of the pitch cannot make it so they would be playing against opposition far superior to them, which they’re not. In a short, passing game, my midfield is renowned for their body of work. Breitner, Keane and Valerin are not suited to a staid game and Breitner wants the game as open as possible so his long passes can be utilised. Those long passes are not a thing in this game as there is no harmful space to hit.

I find it incredulous that one man is supposed to contain Maradona. I’ve put a 3-layer contingency in place for Messi, yet, just this one man is going to stop peak Maradona who has, even in the footage I’ve put up over the two rounds, torn through the vaunted Milan side, turned Scirea inside out and ran through the heart of midfields like it’s nothing.

It’s not feasible. 2 layers at a minimum, 3 to make the best possible effort.

re. Amoros, there’s been a statement in the opener that Amoros shall support in the attacking phases, but how are these phases supposed to be concertedly generated?mine will be through draining possession football for the opposition before attempting to eek out the most risk free and opportune moments via the midfield base.

All the talk is on Maradona btw, no note seems to be made of Modric’s critical role in this midfield battle, which is bemusing given he is my key component in making Breitner work and giving Voronin something else to think about.
Surely you don't play a deep defensive like when playing a possession game with 4 creative midfielders?


I really like this analysis of Rio on Messi... and now I'm not even talking about Messi, as it was his false 9 version. Blokhin here is going to pose the same issues — with Kohler/Rio you'd want a traditional number 9, but with Blokhin and Messi roaming around, luring defenders out and being able to break into the space that they've created... As for how would Blokhin use his pace centrally — look at Kaka, for example.

That goal against Ferencvaros :drool:
But it’s not the same at all? I have two midfielders sitting right on top of my defence, squeezing the life out of the game especially in playing through the heart of midfield Messi running riot in open space happened that night because of the slaughter in midfield and Iniesta’s distracting runs from deep. Once the shape was compromised, it was good night Vienna. From my side, the opposition will have to work extremely hard to eek single chances through the middle let alone it being a recurring issue in this game.

I don’t think I can completely shut them out, but I also don’t think they will have anymore proper chances on goal than my side, which is where I would hope my striker makes the biggest difference.

I’ve set up for a suffocating game where real chances are few and far between. I don’t expect anyone to waltz straight through the middle given pre-injury Ronaldo isn’t on the pitch!
Also in defensive phases, the 2 at base sit, but are adept with quick out balls over distance. From the first pass out being hit, they can safely move up a few yards without compromising the system. Modric is the free man that, if Breitner is not tracking, will be there and open to hit all game long.

If Breitner is tracking Modric, then he’s playing the game I envisioned in the opener.
 
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feck this apple device for writing. Let me edit the shite it’s turned my words into, ffs.
 

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@2mufc0
Can you say something about your basic style of play? Two elements I found briefly mentioned in the OP are pressing and counters, but how does it all come together? Things like: how will your team act against the ball, do you prioritize counters or control, how high will your defensive line push up in possession, etc. (If I've missed it, please just point me to it.)

@Fortitude
You may have clarified this in your extensive writeups, but can you give a tl;dr on the same question?
The switch for Blohkin to centre is a curious one. Not sure it gets the best out of him or his game in this kind of match. Interesting.
I think it can be really good, although I'd want to know the stuff above from the other team first.
 

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@2mufc0
Can you say something about your basic style of play? Two elements I found briefly mentioned in the OP are pressing and counters, but how does it all come together? Things like: how will your team act against the ball, do you prioritize counters or control, how high will your defensive line push up in possession, etc. (If I've missed it, please just point me to it.)

@Fortitude
You may have clarified this in your extensive writeups, but can you give a tl;dr on the same question?

I think it can be really good, although I'd want to know the stuff above from the other team first.
We're set up to acknowledge their threats, but make them play a slower, considered game through midfield. The plan is to intensify in action and decisive movements closer to their goal from a base of ball retention intended to keep both Keane and Breitner pre-occupied and some distance off being concerted offensive threats. I also want it to be difficult for the ball to reach Messi without him dropping further and further back to receive it.

The backline remains compacted and the central defensive area between the two blocks congested and very difficult to play through, the aim being to really stifle dribbling towards goal and passing or combination actions to get inside. Actions down the outside flanks are preferred and worked for - the threats are greatly lessened and easier to handle this way.

In possession, the team comes alive in terms of movement and actioning with Bene working for space off the shoulder of his CB and inside Cole and Maradona hovering on the inside of Amoros dragging Voronin into uncertain areas and Keane pinned and away from the midfield battle as a whole. Modric will work hard for space and to be the free and available man knitting the play and working the ball to the best option from Maradona, Van Basten or Bene.

Our pacing is patient and repetitive... up to a point, but once the ball reaches Modric, the Cerezo and Netto push a little further up the pitch with Facchetti then having an issue of timing on when he joins attacks.

Corners should be in my favour.

Holding shape and maintaining tactical discipline is paramount.
 
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Theon

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Can you say something about your basic style of play? Two elements I found briefly mentioned in the OP are pressing and counters, but how does it all come together? Things like: how will your team act against the ball, do you prioritize counters or control, how high will your defensive line push up in possession, etc.
Sorry for the delay Synco I didn’t want to double post - I think your questions are fair ones and we were perhaps quite high-level, though that wasn’t by design and more that I don’t think there’s one over-riding approach here.

I think quite clearly given the style of the team and the energy within the midfield we’ll be playing proactively in terms of pressing and ball-winning when out of possession. That doesn’t mean though that we would want to adopt some sort of replica-Pep style or that we would religiously play a high-line and look to always dominate the ball. The thing that stands out with this side is that it’s equally comfortable playing on the front-foot as it is soaking up pressure and launching counter attacks, which tends to be how most real life games play out in practise anyway - really unless one team is comprehensively better than the other you tend to see that each team will have phases throughout the match where they’re more on the front foot, which can be shaped by a few things including the score at the time.

That’s pretty much the approach Keane would be used to under Ferguson for example, as whilst United often dominated games we always maintained a huge and consistent threat on the counter. The beauty of having so many leaders in the team is the ability to carry out that flexibility as the situation demands it, and if we went 1-0 up I could easily imagine that Scirea / Godin / Voronin / Keane / Breitner axis playing a tighter game defensively (conscious that there’s very little threat out wide to stretch the back-line) whilst breaking forward at pace with Messi, Joya and Blokhin (all lightening quick).
 

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Good luck fellas
Hard luck Fortitude, some formidable posting and agree with a lot of your tactical analysis. Enjoyed your commentary on Kohler and Cerezo across the two games as well.

I think you were spot on with Lubanski and that was part of the reason we switched to Blokhin in the central role who I think poses more problems for that back line.
 

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while i disagree with some of the tactical stuff he posted i bet he would have a much better result if the formation picture was a bit cleaner because this one was a bit of a mess and first impression go a long way. Maybe @Invictus can help cause he and @harms doing this for half of the drafters by the look of things :lol:
Hope @Fortitude stays, great addition to draft.
 

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Good luck to you guys in the next round.

Will say, I knew I was in trouble without getting a rated RB, but of course, there's only so many adjustments one can make per round, and I needed more graft in midfield, and Facchetti being a no-brainer.

Was hoping not to face a side with good laterals, but then I get Messi on one side, and Blohkin on the other (logic suits). Messi kills resources and I think the scenario with my other flank pinned didn't leave me with much option but to try and narrow the game and make it as difficult as possible.

Without an all-action CM, I also couldn't engage in a back and forth in that area against Keane, but I do think what I put in place would prevent him from being Keane in terms of influence all over the pitch.

Was fun to do the research and refresh on these players.

With regards to the draft as a whole, it feels like this stage needs more input and participation, to me.

Anywho, look forward to the next round(s) and the pillaging of my team!