Mike's Sheep Draft R1 - Physiocrat vs. Chesterlestreet

With players at their career peak, who will win?


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Michaelf7777777

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Physiocrat Tactics

Tactics - Counter Attack

Formation - 433

Defensive Line Balanced

Marking – Zonal

A straight forward 433, focusing on quick transitions to put in the front three. Giggs and Robben have licence to drift both inside and out, and also switch wings if they wish. Despite his reputation as one of the most trad of wingers from 2000 onwards he was often deployed in the 10/SS position – he put a man of the match performance in this role against Deportivo in the CL in the early 2000s. Silvio Piola is the all-time top scorer in Serie A and also played on the wing so isn’t what you would typically expect in a pre-war No.9. His overall technical ability and experience in wide positions sits very well in a fluid front three.

The midfield three is anchored by Desailly who will not give Rivera an inch. The great Tigana and Pilot will both be B2B providing great energy and also some goal threat too. Pilot is a Standard Liege legend winning the title 4 times with them in a 10 year period and is considered the greatest Luxembourgian player of all-time.

Roberto Carlos and Stefan Reuter will provide great pace and offensive contribution in attack but were both good defenders especially the former, he is no Marcelo when defending. At CB the excellent and athletic Lucio paired with the most intelligent defender of all-time, John Mensah of Mensa.

Between the sticks keeping everything out on of the GOAT keepers in Buffon.

Chesterlestreet Tactics

NOTES:

Vidal and Blanchflower are CMs bordering on DMs (they will have some defensive responsibility, in other words, which is needed when the FBs (especially Kaltz) move up to join the attack). Blanchflower is, additionally, one of the team's obvious playmakers - the other one being Rivera.

With Kaltz being decidedly offensive on the right, Nilton Santos will be instructed to play a somewhat more conservative game (that doesn't mean he'll be stuck in his own half all the time - simply that his role is more "balanced" rather than "offensive").

Gento plays as a winger/wing forward - Donadoni's role is more that of a side midfielder, similar to how he, historically, often played for both club and country.

Other than that - this should be straight forward enough w/ regard to roles.
 

Chesterlestreet

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Should have a sheep edge here, if nothing else. Didn't realize Physio sports two of 'em.

On that note, I vaguely recall drafting (as in, actually drafting) Mensah at some point and trying to sell him - but I can't remember the context.

Anyway, I think my team suits the opponent fairly well here: Giggs is a bit of a worry for me, as he could definitely get some joy on that side (Kaltz is an offensive RB and is instructed to play as such - so I will have to rely on my midfielders having the sense to cover for him when he bombs forward).

On the flip side, the same Kaltz should be able to combine nicely with Donadoni on Physio's left side (where that Mensah-Carlos*-Pilot axis looks vulnerable).

Santos is instructed to not go crazy, so should keep Robben fairly honest.

I think I have his number on overall quality - and I also think my team is decently balanced with sufficient roads to scoring (and sufficient finishing ability - Greaves needs no selling in that respect, but I also have Gento (who was high scoring for a nominal wide player) and Rivera (who chipped in with a fair amount of goals).

* Great player, but not the sort who'd shut down his side in a defensive capacity. On a similar note, I don't think Reuter is ideally suited to deal with Gento (in the sense that he wasn't rock solid defensively - he was fast though, which he certainly needs to be here).
 

Physiocrat

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A well balanced side from Chester. I do think though his main creative force in Rivera is going to have a very hard time with Desailly snapping at his heals. Blanchflower can create from deep but I was never that impressed with him from his all-touch compilations.

I remember Khurtsilava mostly as a right-back not a CB. Do you have any more info on him and Franklin?

As you mentioned Kaltz vs Giggs is a match-up in my favour especially given Giggs' freedom in the front three.

Also Pilot is actually quite a tidy player -

 

GodShaveTheQueen

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I was very disappointed with @Chesterlestreet when he picked both Donadoni and Gento. I have posted this in the past as well, that with someone like Rivera already in the mix, you don't need two orthodox wingers. With Gento, I'd have preferred a wing forward on the right (like Hamrin). Else way too much pressure of scoring falls on Greaves. You need to have more targets for your creators to aim for, be it Rivera's passes or Gento's crosses.

Other than that, its a solid team. I was eyeing Franklin as well in that round as I had been reading a bit about him just a few days back.

On team @Physiocrat , the only thing I don't like is Giggs in a 4-3-3. I think orthodox players like Gento/Giggs don't work well in a 4-3-3. Other than that (and the sheep obviously), its looks in good shape.

The most exciting battle likely would be on Physio's left and Chester's right wing. Giggs and Carlos vs Donadoni/Kaltz. Physio is probably a tad ahead there, but looks tasty.

Eventually went with Chester as the average quality in his team is better IMO. The sheeps do hurt Physio a fair bit.
 

Chesterlestreet

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With Gento, I'd have preferred a wing forward on the right (like Hamrin). Else way too much pressure of scoring falls on Greaves. You need to have more targets for your creators to aim for, be it Rivera's passes or Gento's crosses.
I don't see Gento as your typical "beat your man and cross it" traditional winger, though. Beat your man (through trickery and speed) - oh yes. But "cross it" not so much. Of course, he frequently - erm - crossed it, but it wasn't really his speciality: he scored plenty of goals in his own right (as suggested above).

His extreme qualities were speed and dribbling proficiency - not passing as such: he wasn't a pinpoint crosser of the ball. And he scored goals - frequently. In other words, I suppose I'm selling him as precisely what you feel is lacking here - a wing forward (more than a line licking winger who is dedicated to providing others with goals). He scored in two of Real's five-on-the-trot European Cup triumphs in the 1950s.

I agree that I lack multiple (obvious) targets, though (for pinpoint passes/crosses - provided by Rivera, Blanchflower - and Kaltz, not least, who I'd mention well before Gento in that regard), but there you go: play with a single pure striker and that's the territory.

However, I don't think I lack goal scoring options in general (in this match). Greaves is a goal monster, nothing short of it - and both Gento and Rivera have very decent numbers to their names. Even Vidal could be listed here, as a plausible goal scorer, given his numbers.
 

Physiocrat

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On team @Physiocrat , the only thing I don't like is Giggs in a 4-3-3. I think orthodox players like Gento/Giggs don't work well in a 4-3-3. Other than that (and the sheep obviously), its looks in good shape.
Giggs does have experience at playing in a more central and free role. I'll try and find some footage but might not have the time. However there were many links of Giggs being sold to Inter in the early 2000s as his form dipped a bit and they wanted to play him in the 10 role.

I agree with the lack of goalscorers in Chester's side. Gento has a decent 1 in 3 rate but Rivera's return is poor and Vidal's are inflated by penalties IIRC. I
 

Physiocrat

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What sort of player was Piola @Physiocrat ?
Taken from PES stats.

Silvio Piola was a legendary Italian striker and regarded as one of the greatest strikers of his generation, as well as one of the best Italian players of all time. Piola was widely renowned for his goalscoring ability throughout his career, and his eye for goal. He was considered to be a modern and well-rounded player during his time, as he used his physical attributes, intelligence, and control to play with his back to goal, and lay off the ball for team mates in order to provide them with assists. Piola's vision, work-rate, and technical ability, as well as his passing ability, made him a tactically versatile player, who was capable of playing in several positions, and he was deployed on the wing, in midfield, or as a creative advanced playmaker or second striker on occasion. Piola particularly excelled as a centre-forward, however; his speed, positional sense, and opportunism enabled him to lose his markers and receive his team-mates' deliveries or pounce on loose balls in the area. Piola was also known for his powerful and accurate finishing ability with his head and both feet, from any position on the pitch, which made him a prolific goalscorer throughout his career. Due to his agility and athletic ability, Piola also excelled in the air, and he was capable of scoring spectacular acrobatic goals from volleys and bicycle kicks. Piola was a mix between a Paolo Rossi-type poacher and a classy, skillful striker in the mold of Christian Vieri. His speed, hunger for goals, aggression and overwhelming physique made him one of the most feared attackers in the game in the 1930s. In addition to these abilities, he was sublime in the air and had an extremely powerful shot, which earned him an amazing number of goals.
 

Gio

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Classic 1930s 'brilliant-at-everything' style description there.

But seriously if he is a more forceful centre-forward in the mould of Vieri - probably quite a common striker trait in that more lawless and direct era - then he could cause some problems to the silky smooth but perhaps lacking a touch of grizzle centre-half partnership of Khurtsilava and Franklin.
 

Enigma_87

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Loved @Physiocrat team during the drafting stage despite the sheep. Has a fantastic base, but those sheep really hurt him compared to a solid Chester line up without any weak spot.

Mensah is the killer blow. Pilot would probably be masked by the sheer quality around him and a midfield base of Desailly and Tigana would compensate with their work rate.

Unlucky draw really. With two quality additions Physio could've had an excellent team as soon as even next round.
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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I don't see Gento as your typical "beat your man and cross it" traditional winger, though. Beat your man (through trickery and speed) - oh yes. But "cross it" not so much. Of course, he frequently - erm - crossed it, but it wasn't really his speciality: he scored plenty of goals in his own right (as suggested above).
I have come across this argument in the past as well and I find it flawed. Gento played in an era where you had 5 attackers against 3 man defenses and the highlights do depict that. You'd hardly see such crowded boxes now a days where attackers out number defenders at many times. For me in the modern era, his goal scoring numbers would take a hit. He hardly used his weaker foot as well.

His extreme qualities were speed and dribbling proficiency - not passing as such: he wasn't a pinpoint crosser of the ball
All the more reason why one would want more targets in the box :)

@GodShaveTheQueen Here's highlights from the game I'm thinking of for Giggs.


This report indicates Giggs played more centrally in this game.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2002/apr/22/championsleague.sport
Thanks, I'll check this out once am on the laptop and share my thoughts.
 

Physiocrat

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Classic 1930s 'brilliant-at-everything' style description there.

But seriously if he is a more forceful centre-forward in the mould of Vieri - probably quite a common striker trait in that more lawless and direct era - then he could cause some problems to the silky smooth but perhaps lacking a touch of grizzle centre-half partnership of Khurtsilava and Franklin.
The description is definitely OTT. He is most likely a big striker type (although he was 1.8m tall) with decent technique for the era as well as mobility given his stints on the wing.
 

harms

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Classic 1930s 'brilliant-at-everything' style description there.

But seriously if he is a more forceful centre-forward in the mould of Vieri - probably quite a common striker trait in that more lawless and direct era - then he could cause some problems to the silky smooth but perhaps lacking a touch of grizzle centre-half partnership of Khurtsilava and Franklin.
From what I've gathered, he was a physical monster. He was one of the first fitness-obsessed footballers — and, like Cristiano today, worked not only on his legs (at some point people forgot which one of his legs was his strong one), but also a lot on his upper body. Despite being only 1,78 tall (although footballers were generally a bit shorter those days), he had an incredible leap and a very good acceleration; but his best talent was his shooting — he shot from everywhere and it was always placed very hard and accurate shots. His trademark finish was an overhead kick, I think he was the first footballer in Italy to perform it.

Overall, I really think that he was quite close to an old version of Cristiano (basically Cristiano of today) — not much dribbling, but incredible directness, determination and hunger for goals. Funnily enough, his competition with Meazza looked a lot like Cristiano vs Messi, with Meazza being this effortless genius with a god-given talent and Piola being a training freak whose only way of catching up with Meazza was to score as many goals as possible. Meazza was a lazy fecker though, can't say that for Messi.
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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From what I've gathered, he was a physical monster. He was one of the first fitness-obsessed footballers — and, like Cristiano today, worked not only on his legs (at some point people forgot which one of his legs was his strong one), but also a lot on his upper body. Despite being only 1,78 tall (although footballers were generally a bit shorter those days), he had an incredible leap and a very good acceleration; but his best talent was his shooting — he shot from everywhere and it was always placed very hard and accurate shots. His trademark finish was an overhead kick, I think he was the first footballer in Italy to perform it.

Overall, I really think that he was quite close to an old version of Cristiano (basically Cristiano of today) — not much dribbling, but incredible directness, determination and hunger for goals. Funnily enough, his competition with Meazza looked a lot like Cristiano vs Messi, with Meazza being this effortless genius with a god-given talent and Piola being a training freak whose only way of catching up with Meazza was to score as many goals as possible. Meazza was a lazy fecker though, can't say that for Messi.
Great post.
 

Physiocrat

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From what I've gathered, he was a physical monster. He was one of the first fitness-obsessed footballers — and, like Cristiano today, worked not only on his legs (at some point people forgot which one of his legs was his strong one), but also a lot on his upper body. Despite being only 1,78 tall (although footballers were generally a bit shorter those days), he had an incredible leap and a very good acceleration; but his best talent was his shooting — he shot from everywhere and it was always placed very hard and accurate shots. His trademark finish was an overhead kick, I think he was the first footballer in Italy to perform it.

Overall, I really think that he was quite close to an old version of Cristiano (basically Cristiano of today) — not much dribbling, but incredible directness, determination and hunger for goals. Funnily enough, his competition with Meazza looked a lot like Cristiano vs Messi, with Meazza being this effortless genius with a god-given talent and Piola being a training freak whose only way of catching up with Meazza was to score as many goals as possible. Meazza was a lazy fecker though, can't say that for Messi.
Great post. Looks like he'll fit in well beside Robben and Giggs
 

harms

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I actually like Physio's team more, but 2 sheep, especially one at center back is just too much for any team to carry against a well-constructed sheepless team like Chester's.
 

Physiocrat

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I actually like Physio's team more, but 2 sheep, especially one at center back is just too much for any team to carry against a well-constructed sheepless team like Chester's.
The other option was 442 with Walcott and Piola as the front two with Desailly at CB. I thought with Desailly and Tigana in front of Mensah they would cover him ok.
 

Chesterlestreet

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All the more reason why one would want more targets in the box...
Heh, yeah - fair enough. It never hurts to have more targets in the box.

But as a specific argument against my setup, I don't quite buy it: It's not like my only avenue of attack is pinging balls out to Gento and then having him deliver - let's say - fairly ordinary crosses into the box.

If I wanted to go with a pure "ping and cross" tactic it would be much more natural to have Kaltz provide those crosses from the right - and he is a specialist crosser.

Anyway - I was lucky to come up against an opponent with a couple of sheep here. Can't say I rate my own team all that highly, to be honest - typical sheep draft effort, I think, in the sense that I don't really feel this team: It's fairly well balanced, no glaring weaknesses, but a bit bland all things said and done.

Perhaps I'll be able to land some juicy reinforcements to add a bit of - something - to it. Doubt I'll be arsed to argue its merits to the death, though (not really my forte anyway - arguing in match threads, I mean).
 

Chesterlestreet

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the silky smooth but perhaps lacking a touch of grizzle centre-half partnership of Khurtsilava and Franklin
Yep - thought it wise not to say anything at all about that partnership, let it pass under the radar (as it were). It's not a super combo - not that I'm one to insist on a rigid "steel and silk" partnership, but in this case it would've been better to partner either Franklin or Khurtsilava with a stopper of some sort (preferably one with undeniable credentials, or more precisely someone undeniable and easy to sell).

I considered several alternatives to Khurtsilava (in that round) - but ended up going for him a) because I've never had him in a draft team before and b) because none of the alternatives were standout candidates in terms of forming an easy-to-sell partnership.

That said, I don't think they're a positively poor combo - just a bit meh, as they say, in the grand scheme of things. Certainly not "final worthy" or anywhere close.
 

harms

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It's not a super combo - not that I'm one to insist on a rigid "steel and silk" partnership, but in this case it would've been better to partner either Franklin or Khurtsilava with a stopper of some sort (preferably one with undeniable credentials, or more precisely someone undeniable and easy to sell).

I considered several alternatives to Khurtsilava (in that round) - but ended up going for him a) because I've never had him in a draft team before and b) because none of the alternatives were standout candidates in terms of forming an easy-to-sell partnership.
Khurtsilava is a stopper and a traditional man-marker, by the way, despite his deceiving appearance. Not a Stam-esque man-mountain figure, of course, but still a stopper.
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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Khurtsilava is a stopper and a traditional man-marker, by the way, despite his deceiving appearance. Not a Stam-esque man-mountain figure, of course, but still a stopper.
No where near as knowledgeable as you on the matter, but I have read multiple times in the past that Khurtsilava was a very good ball playing defender/sweeper although was the natural stopper alongside Shesternyov
 

harms

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No where near as knowledgeable as you on the matter, but I have read multiple times in the past that Khurtsilava was a very good ball playing defender/sweeper although was the natural stopper alongside Shesternyov
They were an odd duo because they looked like a textbook sweeper/stopper duo with Khurtsilava being a slightly chubby shorter sweeper type and Shesternyov was this physical specimen that you'd expect to be an aggressive stopper. But the roles were completely reversed. Khurtsilava was great on the ball though.

Don't listen to me, though, here's a bit from Khurtsilava himself:

(speaking about zonal/personal defense)
I can and love to play in a zonal defense, I can, but I don't love, to play as a libero (sometimes I have to do it for the team), but my personal favourite task is when the coach asks me to man-mark someone. You know that you're facing the best striker and this task requires you to make full use all of your skills. When Yakushin (the manager), trying to think of the best way to handle Denis Law before out game against Scotland, asked me to man-mark him, I wasn't afraid — I was enormously happy with the assignment and did my best to prove that Yakushin had made the right choice.
 

Raees

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Classic 1930s 'brilliant-at-everything' style description there.

But seriously if he is a more forceful centre-forward in the mould of Vieri - probably quite a common striker trait in that more lawless and direct era - then he could cause some problems to the silky smooth but perhaps lacking a touch of grizzle centre-half partnership of Khurtsilava and Franklin.
From the brilliant Calcio book.. he wasn't like a Vieri, who is more of a rugged Riva type of build. Piola was more of a wiry striker but elegant and strong. A wonderful hold up player but a consumate finisher too.. in modern parlance, he was more of a Lewadowski/Milito style forward but with elements of an Inzaghi around the box. Unlike Meazza who needed to be the centre of attention, have the ball at his feet and wow the crowd like a young Rooney, Piola could be more stealthier. He didn't overcomplicate ball possession, everything served a purpose hence why he's one of the most clinical strikers of all time.

Pictures of Piola don't exactly scream physical powerhouse, yes he was dedicated to fitness but Meazza had a more natural explosiveness to his game and was the more physically impressive unit when he was fit.
 

harms

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Not exactly a Vieri, yeah. He was actually almost written off as a youngster for being too weak and subtle, but because of his vigorous routine he had became one of the toughest strikers around. Those kits don’t do him justice, that’s for sure; plus, the muscle/fat rate in his body was probably highly unusual for his time. I quite like the Milito comparison, sounds about right. Using the draft stereotype, let's call him Milito on steroids, quite possibly literally :lol:

As Gabriel Hanot describes him, “If Piola and a defender found themselves in the same distance from the ball, doesn't matter, on the ground or in the air, 9 times out of 10 Piola got the ball. He was always in the right place, he kept provoking defenders into duels to quickly beat them. He shoots with equal ease with his right, with his left and with his head and always places his shots so accurately, regardless of the angle or the position he was in"

Pál Titkos, a Hungarian forward that faced him in the 1938 final (he scored a goal then, Piola scored two), said that "Piola had incredible muscles. He won every duel. He is an ideal striker — multi-faceted and audacious, someone who uses his every chance to take a shot towards the goal".

Piola said that the 1938 final was very much the game that showed football its future. Hungarians, by his own admission, were better with the ball, but Italy had outmuscled and outran them (PED? what PED?).
 

Chesterlestreet

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Khurtsilava is a stopper and a traditional man-marker, by the way, despite his deceiving appearance. Not a Stam-esque man-mountain figure, of course, but still a stopper.
Thought he was more of a sweeper than a stopper - but then again, as you say above the K/S duo was a bit odd in terms of player types/roles.

At any rate - if you say I can sell him as a stopper, I'll do that and then blame you if I lose.
 

Chesterlestreet

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There were a few interesting types around in those years, by the way - players who are a bit "neither fish nor fowl" in terms of type/role.

Rinus Israel springs to mind: he's often highlighted for his passing, decent on-the-ball ability and tendency to push up and join the attack - but he was also tough as feck, could take out an attacker as a marker, very good in the air and pretty much a "hard man" in many ways.