Il Fenomeno Draft - QF - Gio vs Mustard

With players at their career peak, who would win?


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Šjor Bepo

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vs


Team Gio

ON THE BALL:

The gameplan revolves around getting Best, Puskas, Gullit and Riva onto the ball in dangerous positions to run at Pat's defence. Beckenbauer is introduced to the midfield to form a robust and energetic partnership with Tigana to gain control of the middle of the park. We will look to find gaps, particularly behind the wing-backs if Pat keeps the 3-4-2-1, with Puskas thundering home any scraps. On the flanks the trickery of Best is as good as it gets and he is complemented in style by the athleticism and directness of Gullit, who, like Riva and Puskas, will relish attacking Best's deliveries.

OFF THE BALL:


Defensively I expect solid work rate from the front through Riva, Gullit and Best with Beckenbauer and Tigana squeezing space to limit the service to Pat's front three. Gullit will drop into the midfield effort to make best use of his supreme athleticism and all-round game. Defending Zico/Cruyff requires some consideration and the double pivot of Beckenbauer and Tigana will help to shut down the areas in which they could potentially be dangerous.

Passarella leads the defence to capitalise on his uncompromising leadership. At left-back Nilton Santos offers class on the ball and defensive acumen off it. On the right McGrain is defensively rock solid and feed the ball early up to Gullit and Beckenbauer. Both full-backs can tuck inside to deal with Pat's central attacking threat - Nilton a former LCB in a three, then recognised as part of the Team of the Tournament in the 1954 Wrold Cup. In the middle Wright's 2nd place in the Ballon D'Or has only been matched by the class of Beckenbauer, Baresi, Facchetti, Sammer and Cannavaro. Together with Passarella the pair match up well to Seeler and possess plenty of spring, dynamism, general class and reading of the game.

KEY POINTS:

  • Best looks well placed as a potential match winner as the apex of a high calibre left flank with Nilton Santos against Arce.
  • Strong central midfield partnership that should gain meaningful control of the game, protecting the team against Pat's major threat and linking defence with attack.



Team Mustard

Defence:


We're playing a moderate-high defensive line and aim to play the match on the front foot, with a necessary seam of pace and technical ability running through the backline. Elias Figueroa provides a massive injection in quality at the heart of our defence, while our other acquisition Francisco Arce is a stylistic replica of the much-maligned Alexander-Arnold, with the added advantage of being neither a Liverpool player nor a 21 year old - his seven consecutive appearances in El Pais' South American Team of the Year from 1996 and 2002 testify to both his quality and his longevity. Paul McGrath's shift to RCB will provide Arce with the requisite support against George Best, and all three CBs match up well against the bruising power of Riva and Gullit. Ahead of them, Redondo and Tardelli function as a DLP/B2B combo, with Redondo taking the lead in our deeper build-up play.

The Formation:

Jonathan Wilson:

"That those channels between the centre-back and the full-back are vulnerable is no great revelation. The vast majority of strike pairings would look to probe in those areas. Pulling them deeper, into the gap between defensive and midfield zones, complicated matters for the defending side even further, which is why the Christmas Tree formation, the 4-3-2-1, pioneered by Co Adriaanse at Den Haag, practised briefly by England under Terry Venables and dissected in his Coverciano thesis by Carlo Ancelotti, enjoyed a surge of popularity in the early 90s.The problem with the Christmas Tree, though, was that, even with attacking full-backs, it lacked width and so was relatively easy to shut down...Add a third centre-back and the full-backs could be pushed much higher, as wing-backs and beyond. And so was born the 3-4-2-1."

Deployed in recent years by the likes of Conte and Guardiola, both of whom shamelessly stole the concept from Brendan Rodgers, the 3-4-2-1 was chosen to provide Cruyff and Zico with as much creative liberty as possible. With two genuine wing backs in Demyanenko and Arce providing the width, and the intelligent and selfless Seeler leading the line, Cruyff and Zico are afforded a level of positional freedom to probe for space and interlink that will be difficult for the opposition to handle.

Cruyff and Zico:

The obvious question that pops up whenever someone gets their mitts on two GOAT-calibre players like Cruyff and Zico are whether or not they're compatible. Firstly, I don't see any obvious personality clash there, with Zico seemingly being a modest, amiable sort who isn't likely to get embroiled in an ego-clash with Cruyff. Secondly and more substantively, I don't view Zico as a particlarly dominant playmaker, but rather someone who would often play a more restrained role in the deeper build up and spring to life in the final third, where his interplay with Cruyff would be a treat to watch. The tactical framework should enhance their compatibility too, with the attacking WBs stretching the play horizontally, and the versatility and intelligence of Seeler's movement patterns creating space and opportunities for positional interchange.
 

Fortitude

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@Gio what's the plan to stop Cruyff's roaming? When he goes off wide, is he passed off to someone else, or does your midfield track?

@Pat_Mustard what's the plan to stop Puskas? I can see you've catered for the majority of gio's team, but nothing seems to be in place for Puskas?
 

Šjor Bepo

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did anyone actually watched Bratseth? Have a feeling guy gets rated purely based of those kicker ratings....wouldnt be surprised if Azpi is actually a better player and pretty confident even without watching Brat that Azpi is a better fit as they say for Bratseth he was a sweeper and in majority of big games he played there though i didnt find one with him as LCB :)
Though i can see why it was a no brainer decision for mustard, Azpi got shitfaced in the first game.
 

Fortitude

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did anyone actually watched Bratseth? Have a feeling guy gets rated purely based of those kicker ratings....wouldnt be surprised if Azpi is actually a better player and pretty confident even without watching Brat that Azpi is a better fit as they say for Bratseth he was a sweeper and in majority of big games he played there though i didnt find one with him as LCB :)
Though i can see why it was a no brainer decision for mustard, Azpi got shitfaced in the first game.
Would've fit right in with the English clubs of the 80's then. Hardly professional of him for a draft, though! Save the drinking until after the game, at least!
 

Gio

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All the best @Pat_Mustard.

@Gio what's the plan to stop Cruyff's roaming? When he goes off wide, is he passed off to someone else, or does your midfield track?

@Pat_Mustard what's the plan to stop Puskas? I can see you've catered for the majority of gio's team, but nothing seems to be in place for Puskas?
On the teamsheets Cruyff is head to head with Beckenbauer, who seems a good match in their overall top banana reading of the game. Positionally, mentally, etc - that all checks out.

We have a back four, Pat has a three-man attack, so clearly we can pass players on and always have cover within the defensive line. It makes sense to pass players on in a zonal set-up rather than put in place two old school man makers who would hunt after a mobile pair such as Zico and Cruyff. As I touched on in the write-up, it makes sense to capitalise on the ability of Nilton Santos and McGrain on either side to provide central defensive support should it be required. I'd say that back four plus the midfield partnership can really tighten up the space, to a greater extent than I'd see at the other side with Best, Puskas and Gulit potentially finding gaps.
 

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Would've fit right in with the English clubs of the 80's then. Hardly professional of him for a draft, though! Save the drinking until after the game, at least!
natural partnership with McGrath!
 

Fortitude

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All the best @Pat_Mustard.


On the teamsheets Cruyff is head to head with Beckenbauer, who seems a good match in their overall top banana reading of the game. Positionally, mentally, etc - that all checks out.

We have a back four, Pat has a three-man attack, so clearly we can pass players on and always have cover within the defensive line. It makes sense to pass players on in a zonal set-up rather than put in place two old school man makers who would hunt after a mobile pair such as Zico and Cruyff. As I touched on in the write-up, it makes sense to capitalise on the ability of Nilton Santos and McGrain on either side to provide central defensive support should it be required. I'd say that back four plus the midfield partnership can really tighten up the space, to a greater extent than I'd see at the other side with Best, Puskas and Gulit potentially finding gaps.
Ah the classic Beckenbauer vs Cruyff gambit, eh?

OK the passing off thing makes sense. Did mention Cruyff more than Zico in this regard because Cruyff was notorious for constantly moving wherever he could to find space where as Zico is going to be moving within a certain quadrant most of the time and thus easier to track (but not deal with).
natural partnership with McGrath!
So that's his secret! His players get smashed before games and then become fearless. Then again, I'm sure Diego was high as kite half the time he was out there. :wenger:
 

harms

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I still don't see this set up as being the best set up for Cruyff and Gio's team is just an unstoppable juggernaut with no obvious weaknesses. I appreciate the Arce pick though @Pat_Mustard, kudos for that — not sure if I said that in the main thread :)
 

Raees

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Riva.. such an underrated striker, a superior version of a Haaland/Vieri but I must admit Figueroa and McGrath are two perfect CB's to combat his strength.. the problem is through that Gio has matchwinners all across the attacking third.
 

Šjor Bepo

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Riva.. such an underrated striker, a superior version of a Haaland/Vieri but I must admit Figueroa and McGrath are two perfect CB's to combat his strength.. the problem is through that Gio has matchwinners all across the attacking third.
He is a draft regular and often goes very far, not even close to the underrated ones IMO
 

harms

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He is a draft regular and often goes very far, not even close to the underrated ones IMO
I think he has been underrated for quite a while but lately he had been getting some good outings.
 

Raees

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He is a draft regular and often goes very far, not even close to the underrated ones IMO
I didn’t mean underrated in draft circles I meant more generally in the sport as a whole. Most young kids would have no idea who this guy was.
 

Pat_Mustard

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A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.
did anyone actually watched Bratseth? Have a feeling guy gets rated purely based of those kicker ratings....wouldnt be surprised if Azpi is actually a better player and pretty confident even without watching Brat that Azpi is a better fit as they say for Bratseth he was a sweeper and in majority of big games he played there though i didnt find one with him as LCB :)
Though i can see why it was a no brainer decision for mustard, Azpi got shitfaced in the first game.
I haven't actually rewatched him at any length lately (did start watching Bremen vs Milan but ditched it in favour of more Zico :drool:) but I do remember him a bit from Norway under Olsen. They were absolutely, brutally awful to watch but they were so hard to break down defensively with Bratseth being their best player. They only conceded 5 goals in 10 games in qualifying for WC 94 in a group containing Nitherlands and England, and then 1 goal in 3 matches at the tournament proper. Hit his peak in those Kicker rankings as libero but was perfectly comfortable as a plain old centre back too:

RSSSF said:
Bratseth is the highly respected captain of the Norwegian team. He is the most
successful Norwegian football player of all times. He is very tall (193 cm) and
very fast, which is a rare combination. He plays in the centre of defence,
although at Werder he often plays libero, but the Norwegian team plays a pure
zonal defence with no libero. Bratseth "reads" the game and the plays very
well,
he knows where to position himself and he chooses the best option of what to do
99% of the time. He is utterly reliable and never makes a real blunder. Add to
this his speed (he is faster than most of the forwards he faces) and his
excellent skills with his head, and you have a picture of a World-class player.
Bratseth plays a key role in the Norwegian defence which has proven to be one
of the best in the world.
 

Pat_Mustard

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A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.
@Gio what's the plan to stop Cruyff's roaming? When he goes off wide, is he passed off to someone else, or does your midfield track?

@Pat_Mustard what's the plan to stop Puskas? I can see you've catered for the majority of gio's team, but nothing seems to be in place for Puskas?
We're playing a zonal scheme so he'll be passed between the CBs and Redondo/Tardelli depending on how deep he drops but I'd agree that Puskas' movement and ability to drop between the lines is probably our biggest headache here, even moreso than Best where I'm happy enough with the support for Arce.

As regards Gio shackling Cruyff and Zico, I'll post a bit more from that Jonathan Wilson article I quoted in my OP:
4-2-3-1 is popular because it achieves a fairly regular spread of players across the pitch and is flexible. It does, though, have one obvious potential weakness: that space between the wide forwards and the full-backs, outside the two holding midfielders but too narrow for the full-backs to combat without risking leaving a channel outside them for an opposing full-back or wing-back to overlap into. No blanket is ever quite big enough to cover all of the pitch and, with a 4-2-3-1, that’s where the principal gap is. It’s also there in a 4-3-3 unless the midfield three lies very deep and even, to an extent, in a 4-4-2.

Playing two creators in that three-quarter line in the old inside-forward positions naturally exploits that pocket and immediately creates confusion in an opposing 4-2-3-1. It could be argued that two holding players should be able to combat them as wing-halves once did but that risks them being dragged out of position, creating space for a centre-forward dropping off or a runner from deep in that most vital zone, the central area just outside the box...

...
Liverpool never quite got the defensive side of the formation right but Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana prospered in those inside-forward roles, with Sterling a nominal centre-forward who could drop back and exploit any space they created by dragging holding midfielders out of position. Liverpool played like that first away at Old Trafford and, thwarted by David de Gea, lost 3-0. They took 33 points from their following 13 games, though, before morale collapsed in the final couple of weeks of the season.


Eden Hazard and Pedro have benefited from a similar formation at Chelsea in the last five games – and they do seem very quickly to have got the defensive part of the system right, helped in no small part by the tireless work of N’Golo Kanté in protecting the back three.


At Manchester City, the most constant theme (positionally) in Guardiola’s selections this season has been to have a pair of inside forwards (or “free eights” as Kevin De Bruyne, perhaps following his manager, has called them). His preference is for the wide players to be much higher, but he too uses a block of five players as a base, whether a back four with a holder that forms a 3-2 shape when in possession (either by the holder dropping and the full-backs tucking in, or by a central defender stepping up) or, more straightforwardly, a back three and two holding midfielders. Serbia too, under Muslin, have taken to deploying Dusan Tadic and Filip Kostic in inside-forward roles behind Aleksandar Mitrovic in a 3-4-2-1.


In time, history suggests, opponents will work out a way of combatting that twin playmaker threat but, for now, it is a potent weapon still in its infancy, a means of exploiting weaknesses that had long lain unexposed in systems that use a back four.

As a rule I'm not a big fan of assuming that one formation simply trumps another, and I'm not arguing that here, but it seems worth a mention here.
 

Pat_Mustard

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A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.
I still don't see this set up as being the best set up for Cruyff and Gio's team is just an unstoppable juggernaut with no obvious weaknesses. I appreciate the Arce pick though @Pat_Mustard, kudos for that — not sure if I said that in the main thread :)
Glad to see that pick getting some love! I screwed up not picking him in the initial drafting tbh instead of van Himst. I dropped TAA to maximise my chances of getting one of Figueroa or Moore so having Arce in the squad would have given me an extra reinforcement, although I'm not entirely sure what I'd have done with it (Bossis maybe?).

A taster of the quality of that right peg for those unfamiliar with him as he creates all 4 goals for Palmeiras:

 

Gio

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Is there more info on Wright?
He was massively rated in the 1950s, playing 70 consecutive international games (a record that still stands) breaking Puskas' world record for international caps, holding it until the 1970s and also captaining his country for 90 games. His Wolves side were one of the strongest teams of the decade, defeating the likes of Honved, Spartak Moscow and Real Madrid in a 17-match unbeaten run of high-profile 'friendly' matches that were the early precursors to the actual European Cup. He was well respected across Europe and beyond. His second place in the Ballon D'Or is highly impressive for a defender, particularly given it was such an attacking and gung-ho era which can make it hard to judge defensive ability when back lines were so often heavily overloaded. He's also been in some teams of the tournament for the 1950 and 1954 World Cups, which is noteworthy given England didn't exactly set the heather alight going forward in either competition. So I think he'd be a fair shout to get a spot in a team of the decade for the 1950s. As a player, Wright initially played in midfield at right-half before moving back to defence which better suited his strengths. He had a low centre of gravity, with plenty of spring, dynamic in ball-winning on the deck. I made the style comparison with Cannavaro in the first game with Moby.
 

Gio

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Thanks @Pat_Mustard. Loved the Arce pick, he doesn't get selected enough on here. Agree with you on Zico, I tend to rate him a couple of notches higher in the all-time #10 rankings than most folks do.
 

Joga Bonito

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Hard to look past @Gio in this draft, getting Beckenbauer in was a great move. Always hard to find the right balance in the midfield duo with a SS like Puskas, as creative as he was. Sport a pure midfield playmaker and it looks a bit lightweight defensively, a defensive B2B and it looks too workmanlike and lacking someone who can pull the strings - as in the last match. Beckenbauer Is probably the best solution to the conundrum, apart from Falcão probably.

Great idea @Pat_Mustard . Reckon two top notch wing backs would probably have given your side a bit more oomph, that was needed here, with the core more or less being brilliant.
 

Pat_Mustard

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A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.
Hard to look past @Gio in this draft, getting Beckenbauer in was a great move. Always hard to find the right balance in the midfield duo with a SS like Puskas, as creative as he was. Sport a pure midfield playmaker and it looks a bit lightweight defensively, a defensive B2B and it looks too workmanlike and lacking someone who can pull the strings - as in the last match. Beckenbauer Is probably the best solution to the conundrum, apart from Falcão probably.

Great idea @Pat_Mustard . Reckon two top notch wing backs would probably have given your side a bit more oomph, that was needed here, with the core more or less being brilliant.
Cheers Joga. The WBs were a problem for me and would have remained so if I'd went through. I really wanted to field players there with exceptional attacking qualities rather than just full-backs who were decent going forward, with the clear problem there being that the majority of standout candidates are fecking Brazilians who were no-go as there was no way I was dropping Zico :lol:. I thought Demyanenko fitted the bill quite well but maybe his teammate Rats would have been the better/braver choice in terms of properly committing to an all-out attacking scheme? Tagging at @harms for his thoughts on Demyanenko/Rats too. I even considered Steven Gerrard for RWB in the initial drafting but with the specified three year peak decided that it wasn't the right draft for it. He's played the position before, and had that statistically brilliant season or so on the right wing, but even aside from not having a sustained peak at FB/WB the worry was that he'd come inside and try to do too much by himself.

Agreed on Gio's team. Beckenbauer was just the perfect reinforcement for him, and Puskas looks right in his element in this team, which happens relatively infrequently in drafts given his stupendous quality and reputation.

Thanks @Pat_Mustard. Loved the Arce pick, he doesn't get selected enough on here. Agree with you on Zico, I tend to rate him a couple of notches higher in the all-time #10 rankings than most folks do.
Aye, it was a strange wrinkle going into the match that I knew you were a fan of my two least-popular players Arce and Bratseth, and rate Zico so highly. Watching a match of his from 1986 vs Fluminense now and he's just other-worldly brilliant. A great watch in general actually, with old Leandro and young Mozer at CB together, young Jorginho at RB, Socrates in midfield and young Bebeto up front/wide right, and Branco/Romerito both playing for Fluminense.
 

harms

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I thought Demyanenko fitted the bill quite well but maybe his teammate Rats would have been the better/braver choice in terms of properly committing to an all-out attacking scheme? Tagging at @harms for his thoughts on Demyanenko/Rats too.
I think Demyanenko was fine there. Rats was slightly more attacking (had a heck of a shot on him), but he was significantly weaker defensively, so for a one-man wing job I'd definitely go with Demyanenko.