Joao Neves

Grande

Full Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
6,659
Location
The Land of Do-What-You-Will
On paper yes, but is was more of a 4-3-3. Giggs already lost his pace and he was more of a CM/Silva hybrid role. Plus Ronaldo never played a traditional winger since 2006/2007. He was more of wide forward from that season onward.

VdS
Brown - Ferdinand - Vidic - Evra
Carrick
Scholes - Giggs
Ronaldo -Tevez - Rooney
Formation numbers are only base tendencies, of course, but they are normally defined by defensive formation, rather than attacking formation. You would never see us defending back then with carrick flanked by Scholes and Giggs and Ronaldo and Rooney on the outside. Yould always find Carrick and Scholes in a double pivote, or Carrick and Hargreaves, or later, even Giggs and Fletcher. Park and Ronaldo would have wildly different movement patterns in attack, but in established defence, you find them in parallell spots with similar tasks. This is normally referred to as 4-4-2/4-4-1-1, which is what most people also referred to it as at the time.
 

philippexyz

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Feb 13, 2023
Messages
503
Because there have been a number of reports linking him to us, and we have chosen to discuss them rather than ignore them?
I don't think the transfer is realistic given the circumstances, despite what some "sources" say. But it's fun to speculate about (exotic)transfers, I guess - part of being a football fan, especially of a club as big as Man United.
 

Rozay

Master of Hindsight
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
27,724
Location
...
I don't think the transfer is realistic given the circumstances, despite what some "sources" say. But it's fun to speculate about (exotic)transfers, I guess - part of being a football fan, especially of a club as big as Man United.
Whether you think it is realistic or not is part of the conversation. Fact is, we didn’t pluck it from nowhere, we are discussing a reported transfer, as we do all.
 

Widow

Full Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
7,362
Location
Can't spell Mkhitaryan
https://www.cmjornal.pt/desporto/futebol/detalhe/liverpool-intensifica-ataque-a-joao-neves

Reports in Portugal that Liverpool are set to make a bid.

Liverpool have already defined João Neves as a priority reinforcement for the new season. After several observations, the Reds should come forward in the next few days with a proposal to convince Benfica and the midfielder.

However, they know it won't be easy. SAD, given the high number of suitors, has already indicated that it will only accept selling the 19-year-old player for 120 million euros (value of the clause).

Liverpool is very well documented about the player, not only through the numerous analyzes it carried out, but also through the tips given by Diogo Jota, a player for the British team and Neves' teammate on the national team. Speaking to a podcast on the ‘Goal’ website, the forward was full of praise. “João has the right quality and mentality to go far”, said the striker when asked who, in his opinion, would be the young footballer to follow in the future.
 
Last edited:

Bastian

Full Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
19,020
Supports
Mejbri
Well of fecking course a player we are interested in will get hijacked by rival clubs.
We can't afford him. Or due to FFP/PSR it's not an opportunity. Looks an outstanding prospect though. Hope he stays there for another season.
 

Becks00

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
406
Well of fecking course a player we are interested in will get hijacked by rival clubs.
Of all clubs, Liverpool ain't the one that would outbid us. It would only happen if the player personally prefers them.
 

Tarrou

Full Member
Joined
May 13, 2013
Messages
26,024
Location
Sydney
Main concern is people don't think he works well with Mainoo but agree we shouldn't be worrying about that
I don't see any issue between those two. Those two + Bruno might be a concern. But then, Bruno has been a concern for a while.

Anyway, we rely on Scott Mc-fookin-Tominay in our midfield for large parts of the season. I'd be more concerned about that than brining in a young midfielder who can do pretty much everything already.
 
Last edited:

Bastian

Full Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
19,020
Supports
Mejbri
I thought we were “ok” from 1/7/24, because the huge loss from 21/22 drops off?
There are posters here quite good at explaining that whole thing (I am certainly not one of them). My understanding though is that it's not a clean break at a specific date, but a 3 year cycle that's continual, so next summer would be impacted by the last two years as well. What I am most unsure of is if we find ways to overcome the FFP/PSR issues, through sales or whatever else non-City-like, what funds are actually there? How much can Ratcliffe inject into the budget this summer, if that's even on the table?
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
23,193
Location
Behind the right goal post as "Whiteside shoots!"
There are posters here quite good at explaining that whole thing (I am certainly not one of them). My understanding though is that it's not a clean break at a specific date, but a 3 year cycle that's continual, so next summer would be impacted by the last two years as well. What I am most unsure of is if we find ways to overcome the FFP/PSR issues, through sales or whatever else non-City-like, what funds are actually there? How much can Ratcliffe inject into the budget this summer, if that's even on the table?
I think I posted something by Swiss Ramble, I’ll see if I can find it. Him (and Swiss Hat) on Twitter seem to understand PSR.

I thought PSR was a rolling 3 year thing, so the huge (£100m?) loss in 21/22 drops off at the next year start which I’d read was 1/7. The last couple of years may not have been great but we can lose £105m over the rolling three years?

Obviously, we can just go “yay, we’ve lost a shit year, let’s spend” even if we can by the rules… need to look forward as this year will be included in the next three rolling calcs. Thought I’d read we were hiring someone specifically for PSR/FFP understanding… don’t know if we did, but don’t think Jim is someone who goes “feck it”, more someone who says “ok, explain why it’s a good deal and the look forward, then I might ok it”.

Hopefully moving in right direction… Varane and Martials wages were c£30m/year that comes off. Sancho and Greenwood sales can hopefully get double that. All goes back in the calcs g/fwd. And cost is amortised (it’s why Boehly went for 8-year contracts before rules changed) so Neves for example… if we buy him for £80m, give him £150k/week wages and a 4 year contract, the “cost” per year is c£27.5m
 
Last edited:

Bastian

Full Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
19,020
Supports
Mejbri
I think I posted something by Swiss Ramble, I’ll see if I can find it. Him (and Swiss Hat) on Twitter seem to understand PSR.

I thought PSR was a rolling 3 year thing, so the huge (£100m?) loss in 21/22 drops off at the next year start which I’d read was 1/7. The last couple of years may not have been great but we can lose £105m over the rolling three years?

Obviously, we can just go “yay, we’ve lost a shit year, let’s spend” even if we can by the rules… need to look forward as this year will be included in the next three rolling calcs. Thought I’d read we were hiring someone specifically for PSR/FFP understanding… don’t know if we did, but don’t think Jim is someone who goes “feck it”, more someone who says “ok, explain why it’s a good deal and the look forward, then I might ok it”.

Hopefully moving in right direction… Varane and Martials wages were c£30m/year that comes off. Sancho and Greenwood sales can hopefully get double that. All goes back in the calcs g/fwd. And cost is amortised (it’s why Boehly went for 8-year contracts before rules changed) so Neves for example… if we buy him for £80m, give him £150k/week wages and a 4 year contract, the “cost” per year is c£27.5m
You're more clued up than I am that's for sure. But with Neves specifically, the reports in Portugal is that they won't sell for less than the release clause. Whether that means they are willing to accept an offer that is spread over a few years but still matches the release clause is anyone's guess. But what about the actual funds available, last we knew the Glazers had a very expensive credit facility which we were already drawing on considerably. I'm not certain how much new owners may put forth towards the budget now nor how much INEOS are willing to do, given they only own a quarter or so of the club.
 

Blood Mage

Full Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
6,679
I mean, I love the look of him but he's probably the wrong profile of midfielder we need right now anyway.
 

NZT-One

Full Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
2,649
Location
Berlin
Not quite. People don't think he works well with Bruno ahead of him and Mainoo. But I think my point (and others in favor of just paying the big fee) is that with players like this you shouldn't be worrying about how they fit into an immediate best XI with your 30 year old attacking midfielder. Everyone agrees Mainoo is the centerpiece in our squad to be building around. Neves compliments him extremely well and it's not hard to envision both playing in front of a true anchor in 2-3 years and dominating. But for the time being you could easily rotate them while also playing them together and resting Bruno (we should be doing this anyways) and giving more options for different midfield compositions. I don't want either of Neves or Mainoo starting every match anyways right now at their age, that's a ton of miles to put on teenage midfielders. But this is the type of forward thinking signing that people always applaud Madrid for doing, and it would be a great step in upgrading our squad.

If we were 3rd last year and trying to make the final jump to title contenders then I'd agree we might need to hold off on Neves and look for more immediate/logical first XI upgrades. But we weren't, we were terrible last season and by and large the only promising parts of the squad are all very young and need time to develop anyways so he'd fit right in.
About the bolded part: I see your point and it is legit, but we also have to look a little closer. Real Madrid, especially in the last years operated from a position of power - which is not the case for us. I personally would even say that going for 100 million players once again could be interpreted in another attempt at cutting corners. We finished 8th, we shouldn't look only towards what City and Liverpool are doing, but also make sure, we will be above Spurs and Aston Villa next year. This is why I am so worried, because I have no clue about the actual budget, but I have a really hard time imagining that 80-120 million won't hit that budget hard. And we simply HAVE to have budget available because there are so many positions to fill if we don't want to see just another season of dragging players like Lindelof, Maguire or McTominay with us.

What you are saying is correct - we must not make such decision on the basis of "will all our current players be happy". But we still have to follow a measured approach that ticks all boxes. We aren't in a position to spend half the budget on one guy. After Maguire, Sancho and Antony - maybe we have to bite the bullet at some point and stop attempting to act as big boys when we aren't.

Yeah thats true. I just him always referred to as a DM, and he looks to have all the attributes of one, so I don't understand why many seem convinced he and Mainoo couldn't play in the same team. Both are evolving players and too young to be rigidly fixed in playing one way. Also in tougher games I wouldnt be surprised to see us play the false 9 system we saw for the cup final, so the fernandes question is removed then.

From my admittedly limited viewing of him, he looks like a fantastic talent and the prospect of having him and mainoo is very tempting. add in garnacho, diallo, hojlund and you have some very highly rated young talent
Because those two are rather small with 1.82m (Mainoo) and 1,74m. And with Bruno in front of them and Martinez behind, that will leave us vulnerable. Plus United fans are somewhat bereft of how actual midfielders look like - every player gets measured with Eriksen, McTominay, sometimes still Fred. Every half decent midfielder who is above average in terms of defensive quality looks like a defensive specialist to most of them.

Just think about how Amrabat was talked about last summer... Good teams have balance and if Neves is the one player in your midfield that is the most capable in terms of defending, it will more likely than not, put more pressure on the defense.

Well of fecking course a player we are interested in will get hijacked by rival clubs.
Just read this thread and how many people rave about him. He seems a great player with a big future ahead of him. Lets not make this about ourselves - we should expect more clubs to get moving towards him. They have to when the guy is as good as people say.
 

Waynne

Full Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2014
Messages
2,021
Just read this thread and how many people rave about him. He seems a great player with a big future ahead of him. Lets not make this about ourselves - we should expect more clubs to get moving towards him. They have to when the guy is as good as people say.
Oh i agree with you there fully. I just for once want our club (If we're genuinely interested) to wrap it up asap. Last player we were reportedly interested in was Gakpo and we all know where he ended up.
 

ForeverRed1

Full Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2013
Messages
5,811
Location
England UK!
He’s class, want want want.

sell sancho and greenwood and use that money towards this guy instead. Nothing lost something gained.

The most important thing we can do this summer is sort out this midfield once and for all.
 

Fortitude

TV/Monitor Expert
Staff
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
24,174
Location
Inside right
About the bolded part: I see your point and it is legit, but we also have to look a little closer. Real Madrid, especially in the last years operated from a position of power - which is not the case for us. I personally would even say that going for 100 million players once again could be interpreted in another attempt at cutting corners. We finished 8th, we shouldn't look only towards what City and Liverpool are doing, but also make sure, we will be above Spurs and Aston Villa next year. This is why I am so worried, because I have no clue about the actual budget, but I have a really hard time imagining that 80-120 million won't hit that budget hard. And we simply HAVE to have budget available because there are so many positions to fill if we don't want to see just another season of dragging players like Lindelof, Maguire or McTominay with us.

What you are saying is correct - we must not make such decision on the basis of "will all our current players be happy". But we still have to follow a measured approach that ticks all boxes. We aren't in a position to spend half the budget on one guy. After Maguire, Sancho and Antony - maybe we have to bite the bullet at some point and stop attempting to act as big boys when we aren't.


Because those two are rather small with 1.82m (Mainoo) and 1,74m. And with Bruno in front of them and Martinez behind, that will leave us vulnerable. Plus United fans are somewhat bereft of how actual midfielders look like - every player gets measured with Eriksen, McTominay, sometimes still Fred. Every half decent midfielder who is above average in terms of defensive quality looks like a defensive specialist to most of them.

Just think about how Amrabat was talked about last summer... Good teams have balance and if Neves is the one player in your midfield that is the most capable in terms of defending, it will more likely than not, put more pressure on the defense.


Just read this thread and how many people rave about him. He seems a great player with a big future ahead of him. Lets not make this about ourselves - we should expect more clubs to get moving towards him. They have to when the guy is as good as people say.
I feel like you, and plenty of others, have a conceptualisation of the PL as a burlier, more rough and tumble league than it actually is, where you need a Mourinho mindset to height just to get by unperturbed; you've taken a very small sample size of a handful of top sides and either cited it as *the* way, or extrapolated it to an unwarranted degree. In this day and age, in particular, it's an anachronistic view to the product we're seeing out there per round of PL matches.

McCallister, who is a smidgeon taller than Neves, sat for Liverpool to almost universal praise this season gone. His height hasn't been mentioned at all as a hindrance in the league despite him spending years now in the thick of the action. McCallister is also nowhere near as tenacious and aggression as Neves nor does he have a better leap than him.

Your point also tends to revolve around supplementation, with height coming in others, if not from the player himself; Endo is no giant by PL standards; Jones is a waif of a player and Szoboszlai is hardly some juggernaut or colossus in the air in deep midfield. Liverpool contested for the league until they fell away in April. I don't recall a single thing said about their height in midfield despite being very unspectacular there as a collective.

Caicedo - who was in partnership with McCallister in one of the most impressively smooth and superfluous midfields in the entire league - was one of the most coveted players in the PL going into last summer. He's a few cm talker than Neves. Not once have I read of doubts concerning him in aerial contests - even in pairing with McCallister, to form a unit with a similar height composition as what Neves-Mainoo would have, there wasn't a murmur about height being a hindrance, because evidently, it wasn't. Off the back of performance next to McCallister, Caicedo was valued at eye-watering amounts. In fact, both were seen as destined for far bigger things because of the work they did as a partnership, in this PL that is painted as some kind of land of the giants.

Aston Villa, again an unspectacular unit as far as height goes, who have had Douglas Luiz and Tielmans often roaming there or thereabouts in deep midfield alongside Kamara or Dedoncker. This another underwhelming unit when it comes to height, but once more, nothing put forth as an implicit weakness whilst they too played front foot football that presented the opposition with more problems to resolve than Villa had put in front of them. Not once have I read about height being an issue for them.

The sample size I've used is not vast, but the point being put forth is that height has had next to no governance in how these sides have played, or how their seasons played out.

Rodri is more 1 of 1; we're likely to see players with a skillset allied to his physical prowess a handful of times per decade. He's not a player to do down others by, nor is he representative of a shift in the aspects of play. You mentioned the likes of Busquets, Carrick, Javi Martinez and the aforementioned Rodri in your posts, and you admittedly stated they were premier talents in the role, but it should also be recognised that they are far away from the norm, and on each occasion, their height is the jewel in the crown rather than the what defined them; even removing height from the equation, there are very few who can match these guys as DM's or DLP's. It's just not enough of a factor to attempt to define the role by.

Regarding the DM, CB cluster, they are mostly contesting for balls in your scenario way up the pitch, where disruption and collection of the loose ball on the knock down is prevalent (bread and butter at Liverpool with Van Dijk behind the deepest sitting midfielder, for example). The onus is on the scramble after the fact - gobbling up the loose ball and quickly transitioning with it, making such reckless, speculative punting carry consequences of its own as an avenue to put your own side under pressure in the discombobulation. Villa are massively adept at this, making it a risk to simply play on height in open play vs them. But it's not just Villa as Liverpool also had that penchant. It's also fair to say that were height is an advantage on the first aerial challenge, it's disadvantageous in the knockdown phase where the loose ball scramble takes place and those with a lower centre of gravity and a terrier-like state are at a distinct advantage. This all to say height in and of itself is not all pros with no cons especially in this day and age.

As I said previously, I don't dismiss height, but it's not some sure thing nor is it up there as a most vital component in midfield. I am pretty sure you don't put height before the football both City and Arsenal play. The top 4 this season comprises of 2 teams with the height bonus engaged and another 2 as outlined in my post. Height was not the decisive factor between these teams. The percentage uptake along the deck is worth more than anything aerially, and the same would go for us.
 

NZT-One

Full Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
2,649
Location
Berlin
How about all 3 with Varela as 6 and Mainoo and Neves as 8.
Varela is also just 1,77m, so a bit difficult to say how well he would adapt to the PL.

I feel like you, and plenty of others, have a conceptualisation of the PL as a burlier, more rough and tumble league than it actually is, where you need a Mourinho mindset to height just to get by unperturbed; you've taken a very small sample size of a handful of top sides and either cited it as *the* way, or extrapolated it to an unwarranted degree. In this day and age, in particular, it's an anachronistic view to the product we're seeing out there per round of PL matches.
I think thats not really a representation of my standpoint. Mourinhos mindset would be to have as many tall and strong guys in the team as possible. I am advocating against having more or less only small players in there.

McCallister, who is a smidgeon taller than Neves, sat for Liverpool to almost universal praise this season gone. His height hasn't been mentioned at all as a hindrance in the league despite him spending years now in the thick of the action. McCallister is also nowhere near as tenacious and aggression as Neves nor does he have a better leap than him.
McAllister to me is also a progressor of the ball. A very essential role in todays teams and one where both Joao and Mainoo could or potentially will be wonderful at. Liverpool still has Endo in their midfield who, while also not being tall, is a defensive specialist, they also have Gravenberch, who is rather stocky and tall, which also applies to Szoboszlai, even though he is explicitely not a defensive wonder. Liverpool also has a more dominant backline than we do and the last very successful Liverpool team had Fabinho in there who combined height and defensive ability.

Your point also tends to revolve around supplementation, with height coming in others, if not from the player himself; Endo is no giant by PL standards; Jones is a waif of a player and Szoboszlai is hardly some juggernaut or colossus in the air in deep midfield. Liverpool contested for the league until they fell away in April. I don't recall a single thing said about their height in midfield despite being very unspectacular there as a collective.
See above. But I see your overall point.

Caicedo - who was in partnership with McCallister in one of the most impressively smooth and superfluous midfields in the entire league - was one of the most coveted players in the PL going into last summer. He's a few cm talker than Neves. Not once have I read of doubts concerning him in aerial contests - even in pairing with McCallister, to form a unit with a similar height composition as what Neves-Mainoo would have, there wasn't a murmur about height being a hindrance, because evidently, it wasn't. Off the back of performance next to McCallister, Caicedo was valued at eye-watering amounts. In fact, both were seen as destined for far bigger things because of the work they did as a partnership, in this PL that is painted as some kind of land of the giants.
Good point, Brighton definitely didn't have a lot of height. They also weren't that successful though but agreed, their gameplan worked without height.

Aston Villa, again an unspectacular unit as far as height goes, who have had Douglas Luiz and Tielmans often roaming there or thereabouts in deep midfield alongside Kamara or Dedoncker. This another underwhelming unit when it comes to height, but once more, nothing put forth as an implicit weakness whilst they too played front foot football that presented the opposition with more problems to resolve than Villa had put in front of them. Not once have I read about height being an issue for them.
Just fyi - Dendoncker is 1,88m, Camara is 1,84m.

The sample size I've used is not vast, but the point being put forth is that height has had next to no governance in how these sides have played, or how their seasons played out.
I can see where you are coming from.

Rodri is more 1 of 1; we're likely to see players with a skillset allied to his physical prowess a handful of times per decade. He's not a player to do down others by, nor is he representative of a shift in the aspects of play. You mentioned the likes of Busquets, Carrick, Javi Martinez and the aforementioned Rodri in your posts, and you admittedly stated they were premier talents in the role, but it should also be recognised that they are far away from the norm, and on each occasion, their height is the jewel in the crown rather than the what defined them; even removing height from the equation, there are very few who can match these guys as DM's or DLP's. It's just not enough of a factor to attempt to define the role by.
Makes sense, and I guess then the two of us would go two different routes - I'd try to find a player that fits my profile even though he might not as good talent-wise than yours, who would ignore the height aspect. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against that at all. All I said was that I wouldn't go down that route. Because as I said - the Premier League is still a physical league, definitely not to the extent it has been but it still applies. Last year, we had McTominay in the team a few times to add to that front (although I admit that he might have been there for different reasons as well - I am just not able to identify them).

I guess I am also a bit oldschool, I like my DMs to be tall and physically dominant, I like my wingers fast and skillful, I want my fullbacks to be tireless, robust and fast and my CBs to be strong and capable. I am aware that there are great players that don't fit this picture. And I am happy to go away from it partially with a good balance. But this balance is what I miss at United for quite some time - defensive aspects in midfielders have been neglected for quite some time, maybe that is why I am so sensitive there.

Regarding the DM, CB cluster, they are mostly contesting for balls in your scenario way up the pitch, where disruption and collection of the loose ball on the knock down is prevalent (bread and butter at Liverpool with Van Dijk behind the deepest sitting midfielder, for example). The onus is on the scramble after the fact - gobbling up the loose ball and quickly transitioning with it, making such reckless, speculative punting carry consequences of its own as an avenue to put your own side under pressure in the discombobulation. Villa are massively adept at this, making it a risk to simply play on height in open play vs them. But it's not just Villa as Liverpool also had that penchant. It's also fair to say that were height is an advantage on the first aerial challenge, it's disadvantageous in the knockdown phase where the loose ball scramble takes place and those with a lower centre of gravity and a terrier-like state are at a distinct advantage. This all to say height in and of itself is not all pros with no cons especially in this day and age.
Another good point, but sounds a little to absolute for me. But plausible nonetheless.

As I said previously, I don't dismiss height, but it's not some sure thing nor is it up there as a most vital component in midfield. I am pretty sure you don't put height before the football both City and Arsenal play. The top 4 this season comprises of 2 teams with the height bonus engaged and another 2 as outlined in my post. Height was not the decisive factor between these teams. The percentage uptake along the deck is worth more than anything aerially, and the same would go for us.
Yet City have Rodri and Stones stepping up and Arsenal have Rice and Partey who admittedly are "only" 1,85m. No question that height is not the deciding factor but I am pretty sure I attempted to be more precise in one of my earlier posts. What you say is correct but at the same time, I am sure you agree that at the end of the day, it is a question of balance. I haven't said Neves is too small. I haven't said Mainoo is too small. I said those two in a team with Bruno, Martinez and potentially Todibo wouldn't be something I'd try to go for. My worry is, that this is going to be another situation where people staunchly want a player only to big up the profile and redefine overall "rules" (which obviously could also apply to me and my position).
I mean, I am pretty sure if I had asked you 6month ago how your ideal defensive midfielder for United looked like, the player you described wouldn't have looked like Neves. Who - AGAIN - seems like a fantastic player and one I'd love to bring in. Timing and opportunity costs are what concerns me.
 

Fortitude

TV/Monitor Expert
Staff
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
24,174
Location
Inside right
Varela is also just 1,77m, so a bit difficult to say how well he would adapt to the PL.
This is just a bizarre thing to predicate how someone would do in the PL, and it clearly outlines a hangup that is your own rather than grounded in the product we're witnessing every week, which barely features any aerial bombardment in open play.

The league is about economy of movement and progressions. What you're suggesting is one of the most wasteful and risky ways to play due to the uncertainties around loose balls and potential counters off transitions on an easy loose ball collection.
I think thats not really a representation of my standpoint. Mourinhos mindset would be to have as many tall and strong guys in the team as possible. I am advocating against having more or less only small players in there.
You're presenting an argument where it's pretty much essential for a team to hit arbitrary height requirements, so it is more representative of what you're saying than you probably realise.

What you are saying is grounded in a logical, common sense approach of it's better to have than not, but it is simply not paramount to be the team you want to be, unless that team wants to cover for all eventualities in a 'just in case' kind of way.

You might as well remove Rodri from the discussion as an obvious outlier whom even City couldn't replace like for like.
McAllister to me is also a progressor of the ball. A very essential role in todays teams and one where both Joao and Mainoo could or potentially will be wonderful at. Liverpool still has Endo in their midfield who, while also not being tall, is a defensive specialist, they also have Gravenberch, who is rather stocky and tall, which also applies to Szoboszlai, even though he is explicitely not a defensive wonder. Liverpool also has a more dominant backline than we do and the last very successful Liverpool team had Fabinho in there who combined height and defensive ability.
Gravenburch is a soft player who is of no real use once things go beyond his aggression remit. Szoboszlai is a non-factor in the discussion as we're talking about deep midfield. Fabinho is neither here nor there in this discussion given I made the very point of Liverpool doing perfectly fine in midfield with Endo and McCallister in the campaign just gone, challenging for the league until we dismantled their season. Height, specifically the lack of, played little to no factor in their capitulation and I bet they'd have given anything for an extra notch up in the football on and off the ball they could have played, but for the lack of actual quality in their midfield.


Good point, Brighton definitely didn't have a lot of height. They also weren't that successful though but agreed, their gameplan worked without height.
Brighton have practically been the torchbearer for a kind of football most in the league wished they were capable of, until they sold off the players who made it that much more impressive than it is without them. In fact, the notion presented is of their previous style of play extrapolated upon by way of better (not taller) players doing the exact same thing.

Just fyi - Dendoncker is 1,88m, Camara is 1,84m.
I'm aware of their heights, but moreso the football they played and the importance of their quality along the floor, not the air. Height isn't some catch all for competence in aerial tussles, certainly not more so than core strength, timing, balance and leap - you seem to not factor this or consider it when blanketing height numbers. Villa's tenacity and scrambling to make those rapid transitions was bedrock to what became a style of play teams had to be wary of.

Makes sense, and I guess then the two of us would go two different routes - I'd try to find a player that fits my profile even though he might not as good talent-wise than yours, who would ignore the height aspect. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against that at all. All I said was that I wouldn't go down that route. Because as I said - the Premier League is still a physical league, definitely not to the extent it has been but it still applies. Last year, we had McTominay in the team a few times to add to that front (although I admit that he might have been there for different reasons as well - I am just not able to identify them).
What use is a taller player who is a lot worse at the fundamentals of midfield play? You shackle and oppress teans with your work along the deck, on and off the ball - the ball is not in the air frequently enough for it to make an overwhelming impression over the course of a season, unless you, as a team, are absolutely exceptional in aerial contests to the point opposing sides have to cater to what you're doing and alter their own style of play.

Getting in a sloppier player who can't: pass as well through the lines; play quick one and two-touch football; dance through the press; act superfluously as a first receiver, but can handle all elements of aerial play is a massive net negative.

Your wish, I suppose, is for these S and A tier DM's who can do all of the above on top of having height as a meaningful metric. Well good luck with those unicorns who have it all. In the meantime, we look at the market and assess the true pros and cons of the available players and weight them against what it means for a team as a collective, which is where a shorter player who is way above average in all aspects of play along the floor easily trumps those who might be physically imposing, but not in the same class as actual footballers, especially midfielders, where every touch and movement has such an impact on the way a whole team plays.
I guess I am also a bit oldschool, I like my DMs to be tall and physically dominant, I like my wingers fast and skillful, I want my fullbacks to be tireless, robust and fast and my CBs to be strong and capable. I am aware that there are great players that don't fit this picture. And I am happy to go away from it partially with a good balance. But this balance is what I miss at United for quite some time - defensive aspects in midfielders have been neglected for quite some time, maybe that is why I am so sensitive there.
The problem here is that there's no such thing as old school im terms of uniformity of height in that position. In fact, you couldn't have picked a worse position if you tried given the enormous height discrepancies between true greats of the position throughout history.

For every Desailly or Vieira, you have a Maklelele, Deschamps, Kante or Tigana in countenance and every height in between; a Stiles for a Carrick; a Dunga for a Toninho Cerezao - the list is endless, and it might be only the Dutch that betray that, which might as well be struck off as an outlier, given the national height average will always make it difficult to even find many short players applying for the role, and even then, you have a Davids for a Rijkaard.

As I said in my previous post, these things work across a spectrum that is practically legion if you traverse the history of the game; shorter DM's are typically ridiculously difficult to shake off or gain much territorial advatage upon across the ground; they run, harrass, tackle and beat players to the ball in a manner taller players cannot in lieu of that, taller DM's may typically be powerhouses who are robust and hard to play through, but there is not right or wrong way to play the position and it all boils down to effectiveness at what they do, which is the only real measure that counts, where 'all of a sudden' the attributes a player has aren't as important as how they affect games.
Another good point, but sounds a little to absolute for me. But plausible nonetheless.
Absolute comes from contingency and the chain of events and how frequently they occur, so much so it is intrinsic to how a game plays out. Risk is being reduced emphatically in the modern game and to highlight my anachronistic point made, it is only coaches considered dinosaurs, relatively, who even consider aerial bombardment over solid, repeatable progressions along the ground, ergo it is less of a factor than probably at any time that's gone beforehand. Lumping balls forward to then potentially put your own team under the cosh, or to then potentially not have the ball for minutes at a time is suboptimal for most coaches now and not a route they'll go down for any prolonged period of time.

There was a massive furore about Martinez being short CB who teams would simply bomb out in the air when he came to the PL. The theory was tested a little by the first few sides, but was abandoned prettu sharpish given not only that he could hold his own, but also that it was a waste of possession that could have otherwise been better used. The same principle is seen in midfield and there's a reason tiny, little Makelele could come into a league much more aerially aggressive than the current iteration and eventually be left alone in terms of considered exploits in terms of aerial contests.

Yet City have Rodri and Stones stepping up and Arsenal have Rice and Partey who admittedly are "only" 1,85m. No question that height is not the deciding factor but I am pretty sure I attempted to be more precise in one of my earlier posts. What you say is correct but at the same time, I am sure you agree that at the end of the day, it is a question of balance. I haven't said Neves is too small. I haven't said Mainoo is too small. I said those two in a team with Bruno, Martinez and potentially Todibo wouldn't be something I'd try to go for. My worry is, that this is going to be another situation where people staunchly want a player only to big up the profile and redefine overall "rules" (which obviously could also apply to me and my position).
I mean, I am pretty sure if I had asked you 6month ago how your ideal defensive midfielder for United looked like, the player you described wouldn't have looked like Neves. Who - AGAIN - seems like a fantastic player and one I'd love to bring in. Timing and opportunity costs are what concerns me.
I'd be more concerned with the unit being high up the pitch and ready to launch off a loose ball scramble than I would be about their collective height. Losing the aerial contests isn't important relative to winning the knockdowns and doing something with them, so what I would want to see is tonnes of aggression and desire to win the second ball, and then the quality to immediately do something with it, and I believe we'd have that in droves to the point teams simply stop eyeing that avenue up as an exploit.

if this unit does as it's supposed to, opposing teams will be hemmed in and struggling to get out of their own half, and the times that they do, we're supposed to be looking at other qualities needed in a unit to immediately win that ball back, like the top teams in the league do. Very little of that boils down to height.
 

luke511

Full Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
7,146
We should spunk the initial budget on him and Yoro, then worry about the other positions in relation to outgoings. Beating our rivals to these top talents is key. If it means going short in a spot or two for a season, so be it.
 

Rojofiam

Full Member
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
4,482
Yeah I see him leaving after Euros, just praying he doesn’t end up at a local rival
He's perfect and a missing profile for both Arsenal and City. Those two are also amongst the few clubs who could afford his €120m release clause. I wouldn't be surprised if he went to one of them.
 

Brightonian

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
14,186
Location
Juanderlust
We should spunk the initial budget on him and Yoro, then worry about the other positions in relation to outgoings. Beating our rivals to these top talents is key. If it means going short in a spot or two for a season, so be it.
We will not compete, financially or as a footballing package, with the teams that want Neves and Yoro. You've got maybe the best/most promising teenage CM in the world and maybe the best/most promising teenage CB.

Over the last five years we have been able to overcome our diminished footballing stature to get one or two of these players (Pogba, Sancho) by overspending on both fees and wages. The hangover of that is that we can't afford to do it this season, especially not with multiple positions in the squad to fill.

Real will get Yoro at some point. Anyone who wants Neves this season will need to be able to offer £100m.
 

luke511

Full Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2013
Messages
7,146
We will not compete, financially or as a footballing package, with the teams that want Neves and Yoro. You've got maybe the best/most promising teenage CM in the world and maybe the best/most promising teenage CB.

Over the last five years we have been able to overcome our diminished footballing stature to get one or two of these players (Pogba, Sancho) by overspending on both fees and wages. The hangover of that is that we can't afford to do it this season, especially not with multiple positions in the squad to fill.

Real will get Yoro at some point. Anyone who wants Neves this season will need to be able to offer £100m.
Yoro might not fancy it but I’m confident we have a good chance with Neves, with Bruno and Dalot also on board. If it means having to spend our full initial £100 million on him, then funding the rest of our transfers with sales, I’m all for it. It’s no good if Liverpool, Arsenal or City end up signing the player we’ve been heavily scouting all season, we won’t be closing the gap any time soon.