Il Fenomeno Draft - R1 - Physio vs Enigma

With players at their career peak, who would win? Edit


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Šjor Bepo

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Team Physio


NB - Since Soviet seasons ran just within the calendar year Blokhin's 73-75 and Voronin's 64-66 is in fact three seasons.

TEAM PHYSIOCRAT

Tactics- Direct/ Mixed

Formation – 4231

Defensive Line - Normal

Marking – Zonal

Tactics Overview

A relatively direct style making the most of Finney and Blokhin’s dribbling and pace. Kempes to reprise his World Cup winning position as a 10 behind Law. Kempes has exceptionally quick feet and good passing and I can see linking up really well with the Ballon d’Or winning Denis Law. Further with service from the widemen and Kempes, Law could fill his boots and head. Even if he doesn’t the overall goalscoring record of my front 4 at their peak is really good.

Law

81 goals in 104 English League games

14 goals in 15 European games

Kempes

62 goals in 96 Spanish Leagues games

6 goals in 7 International games

12 goals in 15 European games

Finney

41 goals in 90 English League games

Blokhin

56 goals in 86 Soviet League games

11 goals in 22 European games

Also Law, Kempes and Blokhin are extremely hard working and will engage in some counter pressing to either win the ball or give time for everyone else to return to the organised defensive phase. In central midfield Voronin marshals the defence whilst Suarez masterminds the play.

Cafu and Benarrivo will play as modern full backs contributing a lot in attack, especially crosses to take advantage of Kempes and Law’s aerial ability, and also defence (note, one will bomb on at once. Forster will play as a stopper to Vasovic’s sweeper. If Engima’s side passes that then the is the excellent Pat Jennings, one of only three keepers to win Football Writers Association of the Year Award.

Some videos on the underrated Kempes who could also take a mean free-kick -




Directly on the match up, Cafu and Finney vs Lizarazu will be a particular headache for Engima as Ronaldo will no track back. This could well produce a decent number of opportunities to get in behind. Also whilst Armfield was a good RB,Blokhin will be a particularly difficult opponent. Finally, Kempes scored two goals in the World Cup final in a similar position to this against a Dutch midfield with Neeskens.



Player Name - Player Position – Player achievements during their peak

Pat Jennings (71-74) – Keeper – Footballer Writers Association Player of the Year 72-73 keepers have only won this award three times; League Cup Winner 1973; UEFA Cup 1972; PFA First Division of the Year 1973-74

Antonio Bennarrivo (92-95) – Attacking Left-Back – UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup 1993; UEFA Super Cup 1993; UEFA Cup 1995; World Cup Runner Up 1994

Karl-Heinz Forster (83-86) – Stopper - Bundesliga Team of the Season 1983–84; UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament 1984; German Footballer of the Year 1984; Bundesliga 1983-84; DFP Pokal runner-up 1986; World Cup runner-up 1986

Velibor Vasovic (68-71)- Ball playing CB - Eredivisie 1969–70; KNVB Cup 1969–70, 1970–71; European Cup 1970–71

Cafu (99-02) – Attacking RB – World Cup 2002; Copa America 1999, Serie A 2000-01;

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

Luis Suarez (62-65) – Midfield playmaker - Serie A 1962–63, 1964–65; European Cup 1963–64, 1964–65; Intercontinental Cup 1964, 1965; European Nations’ Cup 1964; Ballon d’Or Silver Ball 1964; Ballon d’Or Bronze Ball 1965; World Soccer World XI 1963, 1964, 1965; UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament 1964

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

Tom Finney (51-54) – Right-winger - FA Cup Runner-up 1954; FWA Footballer of the Year: 1954

Mario Kempes (77-80) – Direct 10 - Copa del Rey: 1978–79; UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1979–80; UEFA Super Cup 1980; FIFA World Cup 1978; Pichichi Trophy 1978; FIFA World Cup Golden Boot 1978; FIFA World Cup Golden Ball 1978; UEFA Cup Winners' Cup top scorers 1979–80,

Denis Law (62-65) – CF - Football League First Division 1964–65; FA Cup: 1962–63; Ballon d'Or 1964; World Soccer World XI 1964



Team Enigma

Formation: 4-3-3
Style: Balanced. Pressure the opponent into mistake and look for openings both from the flanks and the middle.

GK: Petr Cech - complete goalkeeper
LB: Bixente Lizarazu - attacking full back - overlap Cristiano play his natural WC winning form.
RB: Jimmy Armfield - balanced full back.
CB: Alessandro Nesta - complete CB
CB: Vincent Kompany - complete CB
DM: Graeme Souness - defensive midfielder
RCM / B2B: Johan Neeskens - box to box midfielder
LAM: Rivellino - playmaker and attacking midfielder
LWF: Cristiano Ronaldo - wing forward in his peak Real form.
RW: Pierre Littbarski - right winger
CF: Gabriel Batistuta - complete center forward

Defense: Marshalled by one of the most complete and defensive beast Nesta, we have a classic more attacking full back in Lizarazu and more conservative on the other side Armfield. Kompany will sit alongside Nesta in his career best form where he was one of the elite defenders in the early 00's and probably PL best being integral part in two winning PL campaigns for City, also being selected as player of the season.

Midfield: Souness will sit at the base and be the more defensive minded midfielder, adding steel and grit to the center of the park. Neeskens will play in his natural B2B role, being one of the most dominant box to box midfielder in the game with his relentless pressing style and desire to always play full throttle. Rivellino will pull the strings in the attacking third being focal figure in terms of creativity from the center and linking midfield with the attack, being the centerpiece, rather than shunted to the left :D.

Attack: A complimentary trio of all conquering force and GOAT attacker in Cristiano, selfless, tireless runner and phenomenal finisher in Batistuta and a more orthodox right winger in Littbarski who will stretch the defence and create openings on the right. Lizarazu will provide the support which lets Cristiano cut inside and play to his zone.

Advantages:
- Clinical attack
- with one of the most recognized names to pull something from thin air and win the game for us. Ronaldo and Batistuta is a complimentary pairing that can decide the game for us and have a history of being decisive figures in the biggest and toughest games.
- Advantage in midfield - most likely Physio will opt for 4-4-2 with Luisito and Voronin in the middle, whereas Rivellino and Littbarski will add to our midfield numbers overloading the area and not let them much time on the ball.
- Good fit for opposition attack - Jimmy Armfield played in the 1962 World Cup in Chile, where he was acclaimed as “the best right-back in the world”. He was also voted “best right-back in Europe” between 1962 and 1964. Jimmy was really quick on the mark and is used to counter fast players like Gento. An excerpt from Greaves when he faced Gento in the early 60's:
Nesta / Kompany is also a complimentary duo that is good both on the ground and in the air, whilst Lizarazu has spectacular club and NT career winning everything under the sun. His agility, pace and dexterity will help him cope with a tricky winger that Finney trully is.
 

Physiocrat

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Here's a profile of a generally underrated player in Velibor Vasovic


Velibor Vasovic: The Yugoslav who completed Michels’ Total Football dream



In 1965, Rinus Michels took over as Ajax coach in a bid to pull themselves away from the relegation zone, and achieved it. However, Michels’ goals were much higher than that and having won the league in the very next season, he realised there had to be changes if the Dutch club aimed at European success.

Michels was undoubtedly one of the best – or perhaps, even the best – tactical minds to have graced football, and and it is not particularly surprising when he realised in 1966 that even though he had at his disposal, some of the best attackers in the continent in Piet Keizer, Sjaak Swart and of course, the young Johan Cruijff, that his team will never reach the zenith without a solid defence.

Tonnie Pronk and Frits Soutekouw were not horrid defenders by any means, they just did not have the attitude or technical prowess Michels expected his defenders to have. The Dutchman had played under Jack Reynolds at Ajax and the Englishman’s philosophy of attack being the best defence and looked for a player who could emulate that characteristic on pitch.

Moreover, Michels realised that though there was an abundance of talent, the correct mindset was missing. Too often, as Dutch mentalities can tend to be, there was a lack of a winning mentality in the young Ajax squad. They lacked the arrogance, (which for many, is what actuallywould turn out to be the hamartia of the Oranje in the 1974 World Cup final) and self-assurance. So, Rinus Michels set out on an expedition to search high and low for a player who ticked these boxes for him, perhaps the final jigsaw of his own goudenploeg (golden team).

In short, he was hoping to chance upon Velibor Vasovic.

Knowing that Ajax would contest in the European Cup, having won the Eredivisie, Michels was not one who would settle for losses in Europe, writing them off as ‘experience’. As a result, his search began right after Ajax had triumphed in the league. Michels had watched Vasovic’s Partizan lose to a Real Madrid with the likes of Pirri and Gento in Brussels, but was highly impressed with the Yugoslav centreback’s tendency to burst out in attack when he was in possession of the ball. He approached Vasovic through a mutual friend and official talks were held in October of 1966, a few months before ‘de Mistwestrijd’ thrashing of Shankly’s Liverpool and the subsequent disappointing exit at the hands of underdogs Dukla Prague.

Vasovic was not satisfied with the price offered by the Amsterdam club, but wanting a move away from Belgrade, with Ajax the only viable option and convinced with Michels’ vision for the club and his own role in it, Vasovic signed for the Godenzonen in December 1966 and was immediately drafted into the first XI, paired with Barry Hulshoff, 8 years his junior. Vasovic himself was not old at the time, only 27, but in comparison to the rest of the Ajax squad, he was a veteran and he knew it. By no means, modest, he realised then the impact he could have at the football club, just by sharing his experience and showing the younger generation how to play in order to win.

“When I came, I preferred to play a kind of total football. I played the last man in defence, the libero. Michels made this plan to play very offensive football. We discussed it. I was the architect, together with Michels, of the aggressive way of defending. I did small things, like make an offisde or stand in the wall to make a gap for goals. When you see examples from other players on field, you learn a hundred times better than in training,” he said, with the same air of confidence he had around him when he arrived at Ajax. His self-assurance became contagious at the de Meer, not the least infecting Johan Cruijff, who looked to the Prozevac-born defender like his elder brother.

As we gaze back at the past now, his last sentence there could not have been more true. With him around, his young 19-year-old partner in defence, Hulshoff learnt how to read the game with precision, so much so that though Michels asked of him to be stronger and rougher on field, he never had to, because he would never let attackers get that close. Ruud Krol, who played leftback when Vasovic was at Ajax, would later become a sweeper himself has also acknowledged the Yugoslav’s input in his own development as a player, talking about how he would try to emulate Vasovic



Moroever, Vasovic had a resilient aura about him that was ever so vital in transforming Ajax from a team that played beautifully to a team that won beautifully. There was a lot more steel in the Golden Ajax team than many romantics would have you believe and Vasovic made sure that the defence remained efficient while being offensive and aggressive. Vasco was one who certainly knew the detour from the road of arrogance to the road of complacency and with the help of Michels, made sure he and the team were on the right track.

Looking a bit like Johan Cruijff’s older, stouter brother too, Vasovic was given the captaincy by Michels, hence making him the first ever foreign player to have captained Ajax, and he got the honour of being captain in the clubs’s bid to win their first European Cup. But as he was, four years previously in Brussels, Vasovic was denied the chance to get his hands on ‘Big-Ears’ even though he had scored in his second European final, though this team his Ajax were beaten soundly by Milan. 4-1 it ended and by the end of the match, Vasovic had but one resolve. He knew his career was not going to last long, especially with his asthma, even though he was only 30 at the time. Even though they had just won two Eredivisie titles on the trot, nothing matches the exultation of being decreed as the best in Europe. ‘Vasco’ was possibly the one determined, more than anyone in that Ajax team to win the European Cup.

Perhaps the biggest aid for this dream of his, came in the form of a 19-year-old, wild-haired Dutch lad with a penchant to run equally wildly at the opponents, the young Johan Neeskens. In a way, Neeskens brought the best out of Vasovic himself. Neeskens would hound the opposition into their own half while Vasovic realised his defence’s relative positions compared to the opponent attacker’s and urged his defenders to move forward and decrease the space or ‘pitch’ available for the opponents. This was effectively, the invention of the offside trap and the high line that Ajax still use today.

Moreover, it involved the very Dutch concept of space, which Michels based Total Football on. As Barry Hulshoff puts it, “You make space, you come into space.”. The more successful Ajax teams – including the hattrick-championship-winning ones – have always been built on a foundation of technically brilliant defenders who are more-than-capable passers, and Vasovic was the one who undoubtedly set the precedent. As David Winner puts it, Vasovic was a ‘battle-hardened veteran and inspiring competitor who could teach the youngsters a thing or two about winning football matches.’

All these tactics were not yet known of in other shores and this meant 1971 was the year, when Velibor Vasovic would get third time lucky and lift his and Ajax’s first European Cup, as captain. With that, he would hang his boots up, only 32 and only having played 13 full seasons in his entire career. He had found his Holy Grail and he was content, leaving the Netherlands as an Ajax legend and having spearheaded some of the biggest tactical innovations football has seen and uses today.
 

Physiocrat

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Interesting peak use of Batigol. I get why you would want the Serie A winning player but he was better a bit earlier.

To the game, whilst Souness can play DM it isn't the best use of him as it limits his forward forays.

Whilst Ronaldo was at his most spectacular in 10-13 he will offer very little defensively where Cafu and Finney will cause Lizarazu a lot of problems and will be able to pull Kompany out of position (also Kompany is comfortably the worst CB on the pitch).

Whilst Armfield was very good at that time period, I'm not sure he came across anyone like Blokhin who would cut in that much and was more of a wide forward. Littbarski will help but it will be a tough tough time for him.

Also when it comes to the midfield battle Kempes did a lot off the ball and worked from deep. It will very much be 3 vs 3. I would also note that my midfield trio are much more complementary with a playmaker, proper DM and hardworking 10. Finally, I think Kempes as another genuine goal outlet in addition gives me the edge to Enigma's three goalscorers (I have four).

A genuine question, was Littbarski that good of a crosser? If not it is a bit of a waste of Ronaldo's aerial ability. I remember him being a good dribbler and scorer but not crosser.
 

Physiocrat

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This is tough. Don't rate Kempes that highly as a #10, but the teams look evenly matched. The edge I give to Rivelino is countered by a better backline for opponent. Very even!
He is an all-touch (I think) vid of Kempes in the 1978 World Cup final playing a very similar position to the one here.


Notice how deep he drops
 

Edgar Allan Pillow

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This is why I wanted to suggest the 1978 WC final in the dead drafter's society :lol:
I have seen that before. Irrespective, I don't believe he had a sustained peak in that position. A creative SS was his peak imo. I was seriously considering him even for this draft before passing on.
 

Enigma_87

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Good luck @Physiocrat first and foremost.

Onto the game:

Interesting peak use of Batigol. I get why you would want the Serie A winning player but he was better a bit earlier.
Batigol hasn't really changed his style over the years. His first season at Roma he was fantastic and his work rate was also top notch.

Ballon d'Or: 1998 (6th place), 1999 (4th place), 2000 (7th place)

^^ this is how he ranked at the Ballon D'or during that time and was his highest scoring period.

To the game, whilst Souness can play DM it isn't the best use of him as it limits his forward forays.
Having Rivellino and Neeskens alongside him I don't think it's much of an issue. Also you are not playing with a typical #10 so he doesn't have to mind a classic advanced playmaker in the mold of Maradona/Pele to limit his game. He can be just as influential, but even played in the hole I don't believe it limits his stamp on the match, passing ability or being ruthless in controlling the game.

Whilst Ronaldo was at his most spectacular in 10-13 he will offer very little defensively where Cafu and Finney will cause Lizarazu a lot of problems and will be able to pull Kompany out of position (also Kompany is comfortably the worst CB on the pitch).
Let's not make it that Ronaldo is Garrincha during that period. He did track back in his earlier Madrid days and he did have some work off the ball. Of course his main quality is the decisiveness infront of the goal and stretching your defence, but he's not a complete passenger.

Also Cafu overlapping will leave some space behind in the area he thrives into.
About Kompany - Nesta is comfortably the best CB on the pitch and Lizarazu(as much as I love Benarrivo ) is easily better than him.

You also have to bear in mind that Cristiano and Batigol are better than Law and Blokhin and that's not debatable IMO so they pose bigger threat to your backline.

Whilst Armfield was very good at that time period, I'm not sure he came across anyone like Blokhin who would cut in that much and was more of a wide forward. Littbarski will help but it will be a tough tough time for him.
Armfield faced Gento - an excerpt in the OP. He is very quick for the time and it is something that has been noted on many places. I think you picked him before so you must also rate him :)

Also when it comes to the midfield battle Kempes did a lot off the ball and worked from deep. It will very much be 3 vs 3. I would also note that my midfield trio are much more complementary with a playmaker, proper DM and hardworking 10. Finally, I think Kempes as another genuine goal outlet in addition gives me the edge to Enigma's three goalscorers (I have four).

A genuine question, was Littbarski that good of a crosser? If not it is a bit of a waste of Ronaldo's aerial ability. I remember him being a good dribbler and scorer but not crosser.
To me Kempes is not a #10. Yes he was a hard working forward but really more of a second striker which makes your formation a bit like 4-4-2.

Also wasn't Suarez a lot more attacking in his early Inter days - the period you have used him and then moved in a bit deeper role later in his Inter career?
 

Enigma_87

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He is an all-touch (I think) vid of Kempes in the 1978 World Cup final playing a very similar position to the one here.


Notice how deep he drops
You would definitely want Kempes closer to goal and it was his best role. He wasn't a #10 by any means. Many forwards drop deep, that doesn't mean they are part of the midfield 2. Yorke dropped deep but still his best was SS, same goes for a plethora of other inside forwards or wide forwards.

To me it's either Blokhin or Kempes in this set up. Blokhin doesn't look too good as a part of a 4 man attack either.

Littbarski was a great dribbler who also had top notch productivity in the attacking third, so probably he would win fair bit of duels against Benarrivo creating openings on that side. Rivellino is at home here in the hole and especially with Voronin probably defending wide he might find himself in very good positions to decide the game.
 

Enigma_87

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As for some underrated players, to me Lizarazu is not someone who often gets his fair dues.


A world cup winner, EURO winner, CL winner (and finalist) and 6 times BuLi winner on the trot, whilst often manning the entire flank is something very few in history have done in keeping such consistency.
 

DVG7

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Personally think this is a comfortable Victory for enigma and the easiest game to judge so far. Ronaldo would be absolutely unstoppable, and I rate his defence as better too but this is probably my overrating of kompany who relished big name opponents and usually came out on top against them.
 

Enigma_87

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@Physiocrat what is Luisito role here and which version of him are you using? Because for the time period he definitely played in more advanced position and considering the formation Herrera employed he was the most advanced CM. Later in his career (and outside your chosen timeframe) he dropped deeper.



Picchi, the player who taught everyone the Libero role, was the back bone of the Catennacio performed by La Grande Inter. Their collective defensive performances provided attacking players the platform to be ruthless in attacks. Picchi can be termed in many ways as the sweeper or libero, he is the one who stands for the term ‘bolt’. Use of the bolt meant that the attacking centre half was retained however the wing halves were withdrawn into the defensive line. The centre half remained as the attacking focal point in the team and it was Luis Suarez in most occasions.
From some of his early days that I've seen - he ventured a lot more with the ball and left spaces behind.

Against a midfield of Souness, Neeskens and Rivellino that would leave only Voronin at times to cope with counters and that goes in our favor creating a lot of voids and alleys for counters leading to goals.

As deeper Kempes dropped he isn't really a midfielder to begin with so the support you are expecting seems a bit overstated especially considering the opposition and coming against someone like Neeskens from the side.

Just to back it up, here is his goalscoring stats at Inter:

showing a lot better output in the beginning of his career.
 

Enigma_87

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I know I've picked Neeskens quite a lot, but have to highlight his impact in this game and his stature of one of the very best B2B midfielders ever, alongside Matthaus, Rijkaard and der Kaiser.

Johan Neeskens: The World's First & Most Dominant Box to Box Midfielder



No one likes being second. Hardly anyone remembers second after first. To truly go down in history, you have to be first.

But the exception can be found in Johan Neeskens, christened 'Johan Segon' (Johan the Second) by Barcelona fans during his time at Camp Nou in the 1970s, a really subtle nod to his teammate and compatriot. For the sake of privacy, let's call him J Cruyff. No, that's too obvious, let's say Johan C.

British football fans of a certain age, when asked to sum up the epitome of the ultimate representative of their national football values, would probably go for Bryan Robson with his all-action style, never-say-die attitude, uncanny knack of scoring important goals and seemingly indefatigable ability to drink 12 pints the night before an important game and still be man of the match. As a United fan, I am naturally biased but Robbo really was an inspiration, carrying the team on his (injury-ravaged) shoulders through many lean years and would surely be a pick in any best-ever United selection.

Yes, he was a great…

But to give those who never saw him play an idea of just how good Johan Neeskens was, I would say he was twice the player. One of the all-time greats, establishing a template for the modern midfielder. Fit, skilled, superb tackler, an eye for a pass, a dead ball specialist and not afraid to stick his foot in when it was needed (evidence for the prosecution – final second stage match against Brazil in Dortmund, 1974 – they started a row, he finished it).

Neeskens signed for Ajax in 1970 from his local side RCH Heemstede and was initially to make his mark at right-back, playing in that position in the first of Ajax’s three consecutive European Cup wins in 1971, aged 19, against Panathinaikos. On that day, the Ajax back four was Neeskens, Vasovic, Hulshoff and Suurbier… not bad at all! Equally gifted at baseball and basketball (and a keen goalkeeper in training) it was football where his talent was best suited.

The three wins in Europe plus the rise of the Dutch national side in the early 1970s brought these talents to a larger audience and it was no surprise when Barcelona enticed Neeskens to join Johan Cruyff in 1974. Earning the nickname amongst local fans of Johan Segon (“Johan the Second”), he was continually asked about what it was like, continually being in the shadow of Cruyff. “I don’t mind being the second greatest player in the world” was his amusing if hardly modest answer.

The Second followed his path from Ajax to Barça, the two sporting institutions most rooted in style and philosophy - Cruyff and Neeskens were adored at the latter so much that they played for a Catalan XI to mark the end of the Franco era. And while the most obvious connotation of Total Football is the thought of the former, it was the latter who best embodied it, the truly complete player - his passing, his dribbling, his defending, his goalscoring, his surprising aerial prowess, his success, his legacy.

Cruyff was pure beauty, and Neeskens was a little closer to an elegant beast - when Blaugrana fans weren't calling him 'Segon', they switched gears to 'El Toro' (Bobby Haarms' suggestion of 'a kamikaze pilot' didn't quite catch on). Their styles worked in tandem - where Cruyff wanted to keep possession, Neeskens wanted to be the one to win it and progress it. He was fine being the Second as long as he was first to the ball.

His relentless pressing style and desire to always play full throttle, even if it came at someone's expense (usually his opponents'), made him hard for managers to control him. “When I walk onto the field, I always want to win and get the ball - I am not concerned about myself," Neeskens once said, presumably while looking like a bandaged Terry Butcher crossed with a smiling Scott Brown after receiving a two-footed tackle at Aberdeen. But, you know, with nice hair.

And it was probably a pain in the backside for Rinus Michels and co. to ensure he could actually survive matches and seasons, but it only enhanced his legacy in an era where football was becoming a truly global sport.



Internationally, Neeskens was indeed a superstar.
Two excellent world cup campaigns in 1974 (Germany) and 1978 (Argentina) saw him as a vital cog in what many would say (I certainly would) was the greatest team to never win the ultimate football trophy. The cool head required, to calmly put away Holland’s first-minute penalty against hosts Germany in that tournament’s final was typical of his big-game temperament, as were his performances four years later in far more hostile circumstances as Argentina’s rabid home support and fascist government did everything in their power to ensure their team were crowned champions. The fact that the Peru side had been bribed to lose their game against the hosts, which meant that Argentina qualified for the final at the expense of arch local rivals Brazil (who were a terrible side, devoid of any notion of the beautiful game, echoes of 1974), surely pointed to the fact that nothing would prevent a, tainted, win.

Neeskens and his teammates gave their all and took the match to extra time but to no avail, as amid hysterical scenes, Argentina scored two goals in added time. In between these tournaments, Holland qualified for the final stage of the 1976 European championships. Still with Cruyff and Willem van Hanegem in the squad, the Dutch were heavily fancied but the boorish Welsh referee Clive Thomas had other ideas and sent off Van Hanegem and Neeskens in the semi-final against Czechoslovakia. The Dutch lost 3-1 but got their act together for the (meaningless) third-place play off against hosts Yugoslavia to win 3-2.

If he played in the age of more advanced technology, where pretty much every professional football match across the globe has footage readily available, then you'd find hours and hours worth of Neeskens compilations on YouTube - 'Johan Neeskens | Goals, Skills and Assists | El Toro UNCUT (HD)', if you will.


Imagine a player somewhere between N'Golo Kante and Mousa Dembele when his knees still worked, then imagine if you threw him in Call of Duty's pack-a-punch machine - you'd probably get one of the 50 best players of all time, right? Makes sense.

So here's to you, Johan Neeskens - the best 'second' there ever was.
 

Physiocrat

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@Physiocrat what is Luisito role here and which version of him are you using? Because for the time period he definitely played in more advanced position and considering the formation Herrera employed he was the most advanced CM. Later in his career (and outside your chosen timeframe) he dropped deeper.





From some of his early days that I've seen - he ventured a lot more with the ball and left spaces behind.

Against a midfield of Souness, Neeskens and Rivellino that would leave only Voronin at times to cope with counters and that goes in our favor creating a lot of voids and alleys for counters leading to goals.

Just to back it up, here is his goalscoring stats at Inter:

showing a lot better output in the beginning of his career.
This version -


He definitely dropped a lot deeper for Inter than at Barca where he scored at a one in two rate. Also that graphic above shows him in a similar position to what he has here- Suarez has four players in front of him. He is a hardworking midfield playmaker - also when it comes to goals I would imagine quite a few of those were in set plays of some description. Even looking for example at Matthaus goalscoring peak for Inter, many were freekicks or penalties.

As deeper Kempes dropped he isn't really a midfielder to begin with so the support you are expecting seems a bit overstated especially considering the opposition and coming against someone like Neeskens from the side.
Ah yes, Neeskens, the man who Kempes scored twice against in the World Cup Final.
 

Physiocrat

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You also have to bear in mind that Cristiano and Batigol are better than Law and Blokhin and that's not debatable IMO so they pose bigger threat to your backline.
I do debate that. Blokhin vs Armfield is much more in my favour than Ronaldo vs Cafu - his physicality will be a good match for Ronaldo. As will Forster's when combatting Ronaldo in the air. Vasovic and Forster as a pair are well matched for the physical battle with Batistuta.

Law on the other hand is a wily striker with great dribbling and movement which I see to be a big problem against Mr Quadruple. He would also facilitate a fluid front line allowing Blokhin to drift in. Blokhin is a very different type of forward than Gento, I'm not sure how well Armfield would do with Ballon d'Or winning wide forward who will move inside and out on a much more varied basis than Gento - also Blokhin is a much better dribbler than Gento was.

Oh and on Ronaldo off the ball. He could do some defensive work but compilations like that can be misleading. Another thing that comes to mind with him is that I think Rivelino will piss him off loads. When I watched a few of his 1970 World Cup compilations he made more shots than Fat Frank tended to do. That's Ronaldo's job - he will be annoyed that Rivelino didn't give him the ball to waste. Sad Ronny leads to bad Ronny.
 

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This version -


He definitely dropped a lot deeper for Inter than at Barca where he scored at a one in two rate. Also that graphic above shows him in a similar position to what he has here- Suarez has four players in front of him. He is a hardworking midfield playmaker - also when it comes to goals I would imagine quite a few of those were in set plays of some description. Even looking for example at Matthaus goalscoring peak for Inter, many were freekicks or penalties.
he still scored a lot and ventured a lot forward compared to his later days.

That Suarez version had a tucked in RB in Burgnich. One of the most conservative sweepers in Picchi, Guarneri and Tagnin were classic stopper and DM always behind him, Jair almost in a modern wing back role, Facchetti one of the best to man the flank and also Corso who also dropped back to support.

Compared to your formation - you have 2 attacking full backs, Vasovic is more adventurous than Picchi, second striker as #10, a classic winger in Finney and a wide forward in Blokhin.

Regardless of the work rate most of those players made their mark (Blokhin, Finney, Kempes, Law) as attackers first and foremost. Yes, if the opposition was inferior team maybe that can work at some point, but against Souness, Neeskens(him alone is like 2 central midfielders), Rivellino and another hardworking winger in Littbarski and hardworking forward in Batistuta I can't see it fly here...

Ah yes, Neeskens, the man who Kempes scored twice against in the World Cup Final.
I don't really see the correlation here. It's not a CF vs CB comparison and it's not like Neeskens man marked Kempes throughout the game.

BARCELONA-VALENCIA 6-1
Barcelona: Mora, Ramos, Migueli, Amarillo, Olmo, Neeskens, Rexach, Sanchez, Cruyff, Asensi, Clares.
Valencia: Balaguer, Carrete, Castellanos, Cervero, Cordero, Tirapu, Adorno (Eloy), Saura, Diarte, Juan Carlos, Juan Carlos, Kempes.
Goles: Clares 5, Amarillo 1.

Neeskens' Barcelona stuffed Kempes' Valencia 6-1 in 76/77 season, so what?
 

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I do debate that. Blokhin vs Armfield is much more in my favour than Ronaldo vs Cafu - his physicality will be a good match for Ronaldo. As will Forster's when combatting Ronaldo in the air. Vasovic and Forster as a pair are well matched for the physical battle with Batistuta.

Law on the other hand is a wily striker with great dribbling and movement which I see to be a big problem against Mr Quadruple. He would also facilitate a fluid front line allowing Blokhin to drift in. Blokhin is a very different type of forward than Gento, I'm not sure how well Armfield would do with Ballon d'Or winning wide forward who will move inside and out on a much more varied basis than Gento - also Blokhin is a much better dribbler than Gento was.

Oh and on Ronaldo off the ball. He could do some defensive work but compilations like that can be misleading. Another thing that comes to mind with him is that I think Rivelino will piss him off loads. When I watched a few of his 1970 World Cup compilations he made more shots than Fat Frank tended to do. That's Ronaldo's job - he will be annoyed that Rivelino didn't give him the ball to waste. Sad Ronny leads to bad Ronny.
I still don't like Blokhin as a part of 4 man attack, especially with Kempes of all people at #10. Something doesn't feel right in that set up.

Blokhin would be ideal as either a SS in 2 man attack or LWF in 4-3-3. Here he is further from goal and having a bit different role compared to the conventional 4-3-3 where he would thrive in.

Also - it's not Cafu vs Ronaldo as a straight h2h battle. Cristiano is far from your orthodox winger that would hug the touchline. He will thrive in the space left by Cafu when he ventures forward and the CB on the side. He would cut in to the space left behind Suarez when he ventures forward or in the hole that you don't have much support. When Lizarazu overlaps I doubt Finney would be tracking his every run like Dirk Kuyt of a winger type..

Also Rivellino seems in his element here and you either have Voronin doubling Cristiano or watching over Rivellino or Neeskens who also had a knack of scoring important goals.

There's little support in the center in your side and really a very viable route to goal with regardless how hardworking they are you are still playing with 4 forwards and an earlier version of Suarez who had a bigger taste for venturing forward and scoring goals.

As for the bolded you seem to contradict yourself there.

Cristiano in his earlier Madrid days did track back and offered defensive support - especially against Barca when he was really up for it. Also calling Rivellino selfish considering how versatile he was and how he adapted his game seems a bit of exaggeration.

One thing I agree is that we would have a lot of shots, considering won't have much control in midfield with 4 forwards in the line up.
 

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Quick comment before I sleep. More in the morning. When I said I had watched Rivelino compilations I meant all-touch compilations rather than say a defensive contribution video which was for Ronaldo. The former give a good idea of the style of play, the latter do not.

@Enigma_87
 

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Quick comment before I sleep. More in the morning. When I said I had watched Rivelino compilations I meant all-touch compilations rather than say a defensive contribution video which was for Ronaldo. The former give a good idea of the style of play, the latter do not.

@Enigma_87
I imagine you saw the game against Italy in the final where Italy camped outside their box and succumbed pressure throughout pretty much the whole game?

In case like this of course long shots is one option to break the opposition down, but that really doesn't give you a full representation of ones players style, especially someone like Rivellino who could play in multiple roles gives him zero justice.


Rivellino was a fantastic passer of the ball and had a great range along with switching the tempo at will. Labeling him selfish because he took 5-6 shots in one game is very unaccurate representation of his playing style.

Cristiano would love to get at the end of those passes, especially considering the space left behind by your two attacking full backs.

Also Cristiano in his 10-13 form was swapping flanks at will (Litti could also play on either flank) and popping all over the attack.


He scored close to 200 goals for club and country for 3 years straight popping all over the place(of course most notably coming from the left and cutting in), but that doesn't mean it's a straight up duel with Cafu which I mentioned as he would also target Benarrivo and Litti can easily switch the flank in some occasions throughout the game.
 

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Cristiano is far from your orthodox winger that would hug the touchline. He will thrive in the space left by Cafu when he ventures forward (...). He would cut in to the space left behind Suarez when he ventures forward (...).
When Lizarazu overlaps I doubt Finney would be tracking his every run like Dirk Kuyt of a winger type.
Nothing personal Enigma, but that argument is a bit of a pet hate of mine, so I can't help myself :D

You say Finney won't track Lizarazu (I can't judge, but he's usually regarded that way in here). But at the same you * effectively * say that Ronaldo is not tracking Cafu either, as he speculates on exploiting the space behind Cafu and Suarez when they attack.

So for me that's an argument for Cafu's offensive impact as much as for Ronaldo's. And for Finney's as much as for Ronaldo's as well. And for Lizarazu's. To me it simply says that you expect both teams to have numerical superiority when attacking on that flank.

The part on Ronaldo above doesn't really match with this, imo:
Cristiano in his earlier Madrid days did track back and offered defensive support
 

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Nothing personal Enigma, but that argument is a bit of a pet hate of mine, so I can't help myself :D

You say Finney won't track Lizarazu (I can't judge, but he's usually regarded that way in here). But at the same you * effectively * say that Ronaldo is not tracking Cafu either, as he speculates on exploiting the space behind Cafu and Suarez.

So for me that's an argument for Cafu's offensive impact as much as for Ronaldo's. And for Finney's as much as for Ronaldo's as well. And for Lizarazu's. To me it simply says that you expect both teams to have numerical superiority when attacking on that flank.

The part on Ronaldo above doesn't really match with this, imo:
My point was that Cristiano still offers some defensive support. It might not be much, but you can't simply call him a passenger during that time.

Obviously his biggest impact is in the attacking third and also Cafu's biggest impact is going forward and supporting the attack. I don't expect Cristiano to track Cafu back every time as I can't expect Finney to track Lizarazu back every time, otherwise they would play closer to a wing back role, rather than conventional winger/wide forward.

With attacking full backs you aim at superiority when attacking the flank. The big difference here is that we have a midfield three of Souness, Neeskens and Rivellino that are offer a lot more support either shielding the defence or helping wide to cover for the full back, compared to Voronin, earlier version of Suarez and SS in Kempes.

If Voronin goes to cover wide, that leaves very few numbers in the center for Physio, which can be easily exploited either by Cristiano tucking in or giving Rivellino space.

If we turn the table - Souness and Neeskens as a base is much more solid defensively with also having Rivellino helping out.

To elaborate further in the current match up - Physio features 2 attacking full backs, whilst we have one in a balanced role - Armfield. In any case I can see our team being a lot more solid and less prone to leak goals, compared to the opposite.

BTW interested to hear your thoughts on Littbarski vs Benarrivo and his possible impact on the game. I think it suits him very well personally :)
 

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I don't expect Cristiano to track Cafu back every time as I can't expect Finney to track Lizarazu back every time, otherwise they would play closer to a wing back role, rather than conventional winger/wide forward.
I can agree with that, and that's pretty much what I wanted to say: your argument in that other post ultimately goes both ways. My problem was that, in my eyes, you claimed only the upsides of the constellation (Ronaldo being in positions to exploit attacking movements by Physio's RB & CM), while not mentioning the downsides (Ronaldo not being behind the ball a lot then, and Cafu not getting tracked by him consistently). And you did the exact opposite regarding the opposition (highlighting Lizarazu not getting tracked by Finney, but not mentioning that Finney can then potentially exploit the space behind Lizarazu in similar ways to Ronaldo).

The way you put it here seems fair to me.
If Voronin goes to cover wide, that leaves very few numbers in the center for Physio, which can be easily exploited either by Cristiano tucking in or giving Rivellino space.
As far as my (very limited) tactical knowledge goes, a CM doubling on the flank usually means the team as a whole shifts to that side. So it ideally doesn't leave the center sparsely guarded, but rather the far side of the pitch. Which can be defended easier. Or am I getting something wrong there? (Might be.)
The big difference here is that we have a midfield three of Souness, Neeskens and Rivellino that are offer a lot more support either shielding the defence or helping wide to cover for the full back, compared to Voronin, earlier version of Suarez and SS in Kempes.
62/63 to 64/65 is the peak Inter version of Suarez, isn't it? I'd rather see his Barca self as his earlier version. But even the Barca version seemed like an active defender, covering a lot of ground - at least if I remember the game against HSV right, which is on footballia.

I have Blokhin down as an exceptional defender for a forward. Kempes I have down as a tenacious player, although I can't say much about his habits against the ball.

Souness/Neeskens is a hell of an engine room for sure, but I can't agree about some of the (relative) deficits you make out in Physio's supporting cast in comparison to yours. Seems a lot closer to me.
 
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Enigma_87

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As far as my (very limited) tactical knowledge goes, a CM doubling on the flank usually means the team as a whole shifts to that side. So it doesn't leave the center sparsely guarded, but the far side of the pitch. Which can be defended easier. Or am I getting something wrong there? (Might be.)
it does shift to the side, but again it requires Kempes to play much more as a midfielder rather than a forward for example, which his game is really about. It creates more space for our central players and Cristiano/Rivellino attacking the inside channel.
As good as Suarez was covering the ground, you need a more defensively sound player to mind someone like Rivellino, who needs very little space to create a difference. In essence a Souness/Neeskens base is a lot more sound negating that space in the center, aided by Rivellino himself, compared to what the opposition can muster.

As for defending easier - Rivellino/Neeskens are masters at shifting the flank and their long balls could easily tilt the attack to the other side in the course of few seconds.

It all boils down to how the midfield is set up and who gets the upper hand there creating more chances and forcing the opposition to defend, which I can see us having an upper hand.

62/63 to 64/65 is the peak Inter version of Suarez, isn't it? I'd rather see his Barca self as his earlier version. But even the Barca version seemed like an active defender, covering a lot of ground - at least if I remember the game against HSV right, which is on footballia.

I have Blokhin down as an exceptional defender for a forward. Kempes I have down as a tenacious player, although I can't say much about his habits against the ball.

Souness/Neeskens is a hell of an engine room for sure, but I can't agree about some of the (relative) deficits you make out in Physio's supporting cast in comparison to yours. Seems a lot closer to me.
My point on Suarez was that in his earlier Inter days he was a lot more adventurous. He didn't have a #10 in front of him - he was the #10. Covering a lot of ground is one thing but he is bound to leave space behind in his forays and he did it a lot more often compared to his later Inter days.

I mean you have to sacrifice something here and he can't be faster than the ball and in the same time have it both ways in terms of attacking output that he did provide to that Inter side.

I compared it to both set ups that he trhived in (Herrera's Inter) and what Physio is going with here - and this one is much more attacking, which would require him to play a lot more conservative and be engaged actively in the midfield battle if you want to compare his supporting cast to mine.

Kempes and Blokhin are still forwards first and foremost, the key is again what you mentioned - exceptional defender for a forward, but that doesn't mean that now he's both a forward and midfielder to compensate the numbers. Litti is also very sound tactically and not less tenacious than Kempes as he played as a part of a midfield three and also as a side midfielder. Batistuta is again no less tenacious than someone like Kempes.

If Physio wants to go that way - have his defenders against the ball and put them behind the ball - that means opting for a much deeper defensive line and putting 10 men behind the ball.

Press is always key and how you implement it. Blokhin is an excellent player to press high - but that is not the plan here, if he draws them away from the goal trying to defend and make up numbers in midfield that makes it a lot easier to defend against and all of our defenders are extremely fast off the ball.

Then again do you see Kempes/Blokhin optimal in this set up? To me neither is at his sweet spot here and especially Blokhin seems like a bit shunted in an auxiliary role, rather than playing his natural - closer to the goal role.
 

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My point on Suarez was that in his earlier Inter days he was a lot more adventurous. He didn't have a #10 in front of him - he was the #10. Covering a lot of ground is one thing but he is bound to leave space behind in his forays and he did it a lot more often compared to his later Inter days.
Didn't he usually play as a CM in those years, and Mazzola in front of him?
 

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Didn't he usually play as a CM in those years, and Mazzola in front of him?
Mazzola is a SS not a #10. He put up pretty good numbers in attack up until 65-66 then he moved deeper and his numbers also reflect that.
 

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On Suarez:
I see a central midfielder there, albeit a versatile one. Acts more as a CM distributor than he moves forward imo, and also has defensive presence. He does have a wide range of movement, sure, but the overall picture is not one of a #10 for me. (As I understand the term.)
BTW interested to hear your thoughts on Littbarski vs Benarrivo and his possible impact on the game. I think it suits him very well personally :)
Can't say much about that. I've seen Littbarski play quite a bit as a kid, but not again since then. No idea about Benarrivo.
Then again do you see Kempes/Blokhin optimal in this set up? To me neither is at his sweet spot here and especially Blokhin seems like a bit shunted in an auxiliary role, rather than playing his natural - closer to the goal role.
Can't say with certainty either. Probably depends on Kempes' ability to fill out the projected role. The 1978 video looks quite good in that regard imo, which would very much gel with Blokhin acting as a forward. I'd need to watch more from Kempes to be sure, but Voronin - Suarez - Kempes seems a good mix in midfield in principle.

Will wait for more contributions from others.
 
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Enigma_87

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On Suarez:
I see a central midfielder there, albeit a versatile one. Acts more as a CM distributor than he moves forward imo, and also has defensive presence. He does have a wide range of movement, sure, but the overall picture is not one of a #10 for me. (As I understand the term.)

Can't say much about that. I've seen Littbarski play quite a bit as a kid, but not again since then. No idea about Benarrivo.

Can't say with certainty either. Probably depends on Kempes' ability to fill out the projected role. The 1978 video looks quite good in that regard imo, which would very much gel with Blokhin acting as a forward. I'd need to watch more from Kempes to be sure, but Voronin - Suarez - Kempes seems a good mix in midfield in principle.

Will wait for more contributions from others.
On Suarez - from the video above and any others from that time this is really my point mate. He usually was the most advanced CM midfielder, I called him close to #10 because they didn't have a recognized #10 in that set up, but Suarez was the closest one. Mazzola was a SS - sometimes even acted as a striker and Causio/Jair manned the flanks.

When Suarez goes forward he indeed left a lot of ground behind, which can be punished by our side. My comparison to his Inter was because it was much more defensively sound system that didn't rely on the forwards like Blokhin or Kempes to drop back and bring the balance to the midfield.

For example - if Suarez goes forward with the ball(Physio also has two attacking right backs that would push up) and that leaves only Voronin in the middle to watch out for counters. Having Kempes to act somehow as a central midfielder when they are on the ball isn't really optimal or close to his strengths, neither you can expect the same from Finney or Blokhin on regular basis.

The key to me are the transitions and our central core is better in that respect(individually and as a unit), which should bring us advantage to tilt it in our favor(let alone also individual brilliance and dare to say the best CF, LW(also player), CB and CM on the pitch).
 

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@Enigma_87
Reading back, I started out making one specific point about one argument. I should have left it at that, and not replied to the multiple talking points about all kinds of aspects of the matchup that followed.

So just very generally: parts of what you say I can see, parts I see differently (or think you don't recognize some factors), but I now leave it to others to contribute.
 

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I'm not ready to fully engage in this discussion, but this character assassination campaign on Suarez is ridiculous.

For example - if Suarez goes forward with the ball(Physio also has two attacking right backs that would push up) and that leaves only Voronin in the middle to watch out for counters.
This is drafting 101 — "if both of your fullbacks go forward, you won't have anyone to defend when my 5 attackers break on a counter". Even Barcelona's version of Suarez wouldn't leave Voronin exposed, let alone the Inter one. Bedin was usually man-marking the opposition's main threat, Corso & Jair were generally higher or, at least, on the same level, and Mazzola was a number 10, albeit a one who was very much focused on goalscoring. The whole Rivera/Mazzola issue wouldn't even exist if Mazzola had been playing with another number 10 every week — however rigid were Italian managers of that time, they would've seen that it works perfectly well on a club level anyway (although I'm of the opinion that there were many ways to play them together).

When Suarez goes forward he indeed left a lot of ground behind, which can be punished by our side. My comparison to his Inter was because it was much more defensively sound system that didn't rely on the forwards like Blokhin or Kempes to drop back and bring the balance to the midfield.
What about Suarez winning the Euros as a central midfielder with Spain, engaging in a brilliant battle with Voronin in the final? He was a fantastic all-rounder and one of the most complete midfield playmakers of all-time, very aggressive and combative.

Because for the time period he definitely played in more advanced position and considering the formation Herrera employed he was the most advanced CM
He usually was the most advanced CM midfielder
I like this. You can't really argue with this, as he was the most advanced central midfielder in that set up. The issue is, that set up had 2 of them, one of them was a dedicated DM & another one was Suarez. Kinda reminds you of a certain set up, doesn't it?
 

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I'm not ready to fully engage in this discussion, but this character assassination campaign on Suarez is ridiculous.


This is drafting 101 — "if both of your fullbacks go forward, you won't have anyone to defend when my 5 attackers break on a counter". Even Barcelona's version of Suarez wouldn't leave Voronin exposed, let alone the Inter one. Bedin was usually man-marking the opposition's main threat, Corso & Jair were generally higher or, at least, on the same level, and Mazzola was a number 10, albeit a one who was very much focused on goalscoring. The whole Rivera/Mazzola issue wouldn't even exist if Mazzola had been playing with another number 10 every week — however rigid were Italian managers of that time, they would've seen that it works perfectly well on a club level anyway (although I'm of the opinion that there were many ways to play them together).


What about Suarez winning the Euros as a central midfielder with Spain, engaging in a brilliant battle with Voronin in the final? He was a fantastic all-rounder and one of the most complete midfield playmakers of all-time, very aggressive and combative.
I wouldn't put it that harsh @harms. What I was trying to say all the time is that we have advantage in the middle of the park and you can't expect Kempes, who is a second striker, to balance it out. Suarez indeed made vertical runs and also went wide, he was more adventurous in his movement compared to later days, is this fair or not?

Essentially it's a midfield two with Suarez and Voronin. I don't really buy this Kempes as a midfielder and balancing it out. Batistuta dropped deep and was combative and engaged in getting the ball back, hustling and puffing, would he make it as a #10 in an all time draft against one of the best midfielders in history which are Neeskens, Souness and Rivellino?

By no means I've said Suarez is not a central midfielder or can play as such, my point was since we are using particular versions of those players in a 3 years span, to shed some light on their playing style at the time and he was indeed more adventurous and made lots of forward runs that would leave space behind, how is that not fair to consider?

I like this. You can't really argue with this, as he was the most advanced central midfielder in that set up. The issue is, that set up had 2 of them, one of them was a dedicated DM & another one was Suarez. Kinda reminds you of a certain set up, doesn't it?
And also Burgnich and not Cafu that always stayed back. Jair who covered a lot of ground and is one of the best in tracking a winger and having defensive responsibilities throughout the game.

What's the point of this 3 years peak if we don't discuss the players in that respective timespan and how did they play and use those versions of them?

You can disagree - fair enough.
 

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Jair who covered a lot of ground and is one of the best in tracking a winger and having defensive responsibilities throughout the game.
While generally underrated player his defensive impact is overrated quite a bit. Watched a fair bit of that Inter side and more often then not he was staying up and in general wasnt doing much of the press.
 

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While generally underrated player his defensive impact is overrated quite a bit. Watched a fair bit of that Inter side and more often then not he was staying up and in general wasnt doing much of the press.
Same impression here.
 

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While generally underrated player his defensive impact is overrated quite a bit. Watched a fair bit of that Inter side and more often then not he was staying up and in general wasnt doing much of the press.
I've watched the games against Independiente and Real a while ago and to me looked pretty good with his vertical movement and general involvement, considering the era of course. Same with Corso.
 

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I've watched the games against Independiente and Real a while ago and to me looked pretty good with his vertical movement and general involvement, considering the era of course. Same with Corso.
He was quality, just saying he wasnt a great defensive player from what i saw(id say he was decent/good in that segment) and he has a reputation of one.
 

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Suarez indeed made vertical runs and also went wide, he was more adventurous in his movement compared to later days, is this fair or not?
Only when you compare him to his really later days, when he didn't have as much energy in him and played in a more reserved fashion. I wouldn't say that this had made him a more reliable defensive presence, he just lost some of his qualities due to a natural regression.

And also Burgnich and not Cafu that always stayed back.
This is also a bit of a myth. Facchetti was, of course, a more prominent attacking figure, but Burgnich made attacking runs from time to time, although in our drafts, where every player is simplified to a 2-dimensional image, he is completely stripped of this part of his game.

What's the point of this 3 years peak if we don't discuss the players in that respective timespan and how did they play and use those versions of them?
Discussions about a 3-years peak is something that I really look forward to. It's just that your interpretation of Suárez'a game that is way off — I've seen probably all of the full games with him available (a few of them — more than once) and I know that some of the other posters who had researched him quite heavily agree with me on this.

I'm not even sure, what year do you mean in particular when you're talking about his "later years". 1967? Because his peak as a midfield (or even as a deep-lying) playmaker happened around 1964/65 and Physio's three-year peak is pretty much spot on.




Going by this picture:

You can even argue that Bedin/Tagnin were not even a part of a midfield unit per se, as they were usually put on a man-marking duty (see Bedin's job on Eusébio for example), at least in big games. Suárez & Corso had usually operated in central areas (with Corso naturally drifting towards the left wing), Mazzola was also often dropping deeper to central midfield with Suárez going as deep as the center back line to collect the ball.

Jair was not a defensive monster that you're painting him out to be. He was more of a winger version of Antonio Valencia defensive-wise (albeit he obviously had much more variety in his attacking game).
 

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@harms I think you keep missing the point. The biggest issue I have with the setup is Kempes, who won't provide the support he is asked to. My point regarding Suarez was that he was a dynamic player that during that time period made a lot of forward runs and also runs to the wing. I've also watched most of the games online of him.

Due to his dynamic nature and he is bond to leave some space behind if we recover the ball, it's natural and the mechanics of the game. The problem is - the supporting cast and how well they will transition in this situation.

Jair tracked back and then used his searing pace to surge forward, for the time period as I said I think he's very good in terms of work rate and covering ability. The Valencia example is actually good one and if he's transitioned in the modern game I can see him thriving in an attacking wing back role or a hardworking winger in the same Valencia mold. I didn't say he was a defensive monster, did I?

I think you are turning a bit defensive on this one regarding Suarez. It wasn't an attempt to put him down - far from it - to me he's Physio's best player, but making the midfield an even battle I can't agree with, especially when you consider both teams defensive contribution in the center when off the ball.
 

Physiocrat

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@Enigma_87 It seems to me that your main point is that Kempes isn't a 10 and so I really have a midfield two. I don't buy the argument but understand it however you have really gone in far too hard on Suarez to make your point. I would also point out Inter were considered a highly defensive side so saying my side is more attacking isn't saying much. Yes, I have two attacking full-backs but the explicit instructions from the OP is that only one bombs on at a time but both will get their fair share of doing so. Bennarivo played in the 94 World Cup final keeping the Brazilians out all game. Cafu is also clearly an excellent defender. I will admit this is an attacking team but it isn't unbalanced IMO. Blokhin is clearly hardworking and Finney dropped deep in the attacking build up (I suspect he worked quite hard but the only game we have for him he was half injured).

On Rivelino I watched him vs Italy and Uruguay in 1970 and he took a lot of long shots in both. Also Batistuta did that in a few of his all-touch compilations recently too. I'm not saying long shots are not a valid option against a deep defence but that Ronaldo would be pissed it wasn't him doing it.

To repeat, where I have the clear advantage is Law vs Kompany, Cafu and Finney vs Lizarazu.
 

Gio

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Both midfields look solid to me.

Work rate wise fairly similar. Physio looks well balanced across the team with Duracell bunnies on the flank in Cafu, Benarrivo and Blokhin.