Stars and Reserves Draft R1: Brwned vs Pat / Sjor Bepo - Finished 9 : 9

Who will win this match based on all the players at their peaks?


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  • Poll closed .

Don Alfredo

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..........................TEAM Brwned ......................................VS................... TEAM Pat / Sjor Bepo

WRITE UP TEAM Brwned

As this is a thoroughly modern team, very few players need any introduction. However you can find the player profiles in an interactive dashboard, alongside a summary of the team's style and tactics, all in here*. A screenshot of that team overview can be found below also.



*note it's a bit tricky to view on a mobile!

WRITE UP TEAM Pat / Sjor Bepo

Formation/Tactical Synopsis:

Counter-attacking 4-3-3 with a low to moderate defensive line.

OFF THE BALL:

Our defence is based around one of the best centre-back pairings football has seen since the turn of the millenium. With John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho as the pillars, Chelsea broke the Premier League record for the least goals conceded in a season in 2004-5, leaking only 15 goals. They maintained an impressive record in subsequent seasons, conceding only 34 goals in 54 games in all competitions in 2005-06, and 46 goals in 62 matches the following season.

Terry and Carvalho will be in familiar territory with the deep-ish line and the team playing predominantly on the counter, and they have a stellar supporting cast. David De Gea is one of the relatively select band of goalkeepers that can feasibly claim to be an upgrade on prime Peter Cech; Mascherano will offer a comparable level of protection at DM to Makelele; and Maicon/Benarrivo as a full-back package are a substantial upgrade on any LB/RB duo that flanked Terry/Carvalho for Chelsea.

Harry Kane provides a stern challenge for any CB not named Chris Smalling, but our CBs look well-equipped to shackle him both stylistically and in terms of quality, while Mascherano is one of the more credible fits in any pool to mitigate against a great playmaker such as Laudrup. Liedholm and De Bruyne are both reliable contributors in the defensive phase, and our forward trio are exceptionally hard-working.

ON THE BALL:

Fast, surgical counter attacks are the name of the game here, and we have multiple avenues through which to build our attacks. Both FBs boast excellent attacking games, with Maicon in particular liable to bulldoze his way into dangerous positions. He has ample end product too, registering 6 goals and 11 assists in 33 Serie A matches in 2009-10.

Liedholm is simply one of the best players in the pool and one who probably merited inclusion in the block or star player lists. A metronomic and creative passer who excelled in a direct set-up for an excellent Sweden team, he's partnered by one of the deadliest final-ball artists in the modern game in Kevin De Bruyne. His dissection of Pep's Bayern for a Wolfsburg team that had 31% possession is a compelling demonstration of his threat in a counter-attacking set-up. They'll be in their element here with the movement of our forward line, and playing alongside each other, with their partnership bearing similarities to the Liedholm/Gren and De Bruyne/David Silva creative double acts.

Enzo Francescoli glues together our attack from the centre-forward position. A tireless, selfless pursuer of lost causes in his younger, centre-forward incarnation, he brings supreme mobility and technical quality to the role. He's a dangerous goal threat in his own right, and moreover an ideal focal point to occupy Varane and Ramos and bring his teammates into play. Marco Reus flanks him on the right wing, with the prolific and jet-heeled Oleg Blokhin operating from the left side of our attack. Reus has a stellar record against Ramos-led defences, racking up 4 goals and 2 assists in 7 matches. With Maicon as a dominant two-way wing presence at RB, and De Bruyne's brilliant crossing ability and natural propensity to drift wide, Reus has freedom to roam at will and link up with Francescoli and Blokhin at every opportunity.

 

Brwned

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Looking forward to this. Busy a lot of today but I'll weigh in with some views eventually. Any questions about my team, I'm happy to answer as best I can. Hoping for a respectful, constructive discussion here! :D

Agree with all points made by Pat / Sjor in the OP, with the exception of this minor one...

Maicon/Benarrivo as a full-back package are a substantial upgrade on any LB/RB duo that flanked Terry/Carvalho for Chelsea.
Harsh on Cole and Ivanovic! I think it's a general consensus that Cole was as good as if not better than Maicon. Do people really agree that Benarrivo is a substantial upgrade on Ivanovic?

I do think the fullbacks are the weakest part of this (undoubtedly strong) team, but I'm just interested in general rather than trying to make a point!
 

harms

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A lot to like about both teams. Proven centre back partnerships, some nice chemistry up front, lots of creativity in midfield...
Creating an actual infographic for the write up is yet another step forward in pre-game preparation.
 

Šjor Bepo

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this is my only contribution to this game, Pat will lead the discussion.


good luck @Brwned
 

Don Alfredo

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Marco Reus the old draft regular again. Appearing in 3 out of 4 of the most recent drafts is not bad
 

Ecstatic

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Good to see Szymaniak and Enzo.

@Brwned Your creativity is the welcome. Would like to know more about the German.
@Pat_Mustard Interesting team because it requires more reflections
 

Brwned

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To me the theme of the game is a classic 2000s team vs a classic 2010s team - primarily in style, but also in terms of some key personnel. Something akin to Mourinho's Chelsea against Zidane's Madrid.

That's an oversimplification and naturally we want people to consider each team on their own individual merits, but I'd be interested to get people's general views on how those two styles would fare up against each other. (Let's not use one off games on either side to prove it either way!)
 

Don Alfredo

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Difficult to assess really.

I feel like @Pat_Mustard @Šjor Bepo have slightly more individual quality, but something doesn't add up for me.

The front three and the back 4 are perfect for counter attacking tactics. The defensive set up is really good indeed because it cuts the wings of Brnwed's wingers. Salah especially will have it much harder to just run behind the defence and score in 1v1 against the keeper and I don't rate his creativity / dribbling against deep defenses that highly. Sane's best feature is his very accurate crossing ability and Terry/Carvalho is a great CB pairing to take care of those crosses. Of course there is still Laudrup and he feels right at home trying to play through balls and set up the attackers.

On a side note, the arrow on Junior seems wrong? Junior is a good fit to play behind Sane because he drifts inside (like Delph) and is not running down the flanks (like Mendy), Guardiola refused to play both Mendy and Sane together on several occasions.

Anyway, where I am not completely comfortable with in this game of tight margins is the choice of the midfield structure for Pat/Sjor. As it stands, both Liedholm and De Bruyne have to play very deep most of the time (to keep the block compact) and I don't think they want that. Silva-De Bruyne-Ferna midfield works great because Silva and De Bruyne do their off the ball work in the same place where they want to be on the ball, which means they need to cover less amount of space and are very close to goal already. I am really not sure about Liedholm being at his best in a counter attacking system, he always seemed to me like a player who picks his own tempo and takes his time to find the gap in the defence.

I can absolutely buy De Bruyne as a #10 in a counter attacking system where he and uses his dynamism to create dangerous situations on the break, I just have a dislike for him in a deep midfield role because I admire his shooting / decision making and want to see him closer to goal. We have seen the difference at the world cup, where he had to play the first few games in a double pivot for Belgium and when the Brazil match came around, he got moved up to false 9 position and exploded. His work rate is exceptional, which meant that he still had influence in midfield to try and win the ball back. His skill set is brilliant, which means he will still be an excellent player in this role, it just feels like you lose out a bit on some of his qualities.
 

Jim Beam

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If I could choose a player for Modric to play and fully shine Laudrup would be on top of that list. Think Laudrup wouldn't mind him also. Lovely pair.

Saying that, I do rate Pat/Sjor defence more and even attack. Blokhin is the best attacker on both sides and Reus while being maybe an underwhelming a bit in an all-time sense made chaos against Madrid defence.
 

antohan

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Harsh on Cole and Ivanovic! I think it's a general consensus that Cole was as good as if not better than Maicon. Do people really agree that Benarrivo is a substantial upgrade on Ivanovic?

I do think the fullbacks are the weakest part of this (undoubtedly strong) team, but I'm just interested in general rather than trying to make a point!
I'd agree Cole and Ivanovic worked really well and Cole to me was definitely better than Maicon. That said, Benarrivo is the best fullback in this game as far as I'm concerned. Junior is the best footballer of the lot, but in terms of competent balance in attacking and defensive duties Benarrivo trumps the others hands down. He was very unfortunate to coexist with the likes of Maldini, Bergomi and Tassotti/Panucci at a time Italy mostly played a defensive backline with Milan's personnel and setup being shoe-ins.
 

antohan

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If I could choose a player for Modric to play and fully shine Laudrup would be on top of that list. Think Laudrup wouldn't mind him also. Lovely pair.

Saying that, I do rate Pat/Sjor defence more and even attack. Blokhin is the best attacker on both sides and Reus while being maybe an underwhelming a bit in an all-time sense made chaos against Madrid defence.
Modric and Laudrup would link up well indeed, but I can't get past how Enzo and Blokhin would absolutely destroy that defence.
 

Brwned

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Great points @Don Alfredo. Will follow up soon! Likewise re: Szymaniak @Ecstatic

Modric and Laudrup would link up well indeed, but I can't get past how Enzo and Blokhin would absolutely destroy that defence.
One of the major barriers to it would surely be that they get very little of the ball in good areas, as per the tactics described by both managers?
 

Jim Beam

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Modric and Laudrup would link up well indeed, but I can't get past how Enzo and Blokhin would absolutely destroy that defence.
Don't think anyone would get destroyed here tbh. I do have some question marks about Enzo role in pure striker role or almost a false 9 (you would probably judge that a bit better considering your knowledge about that part of football world).

But, De Bruyne coming from behind and being a very direct type of player is also something I add to this attack.
 

Jim Beam

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Great points @Don Alfredo. Will follow up soon! Likewise re: Szymaniak @Ecstatic



One of the major barriers to it would surely be that they get very little of the ball in good areas, as per the tactics described by both managers?
Yep, but the barrier is also Salah with a low block, so every side has some issues with getting the most of their attack.
 

Brwned

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Yep, but the barrier is also Salah with a low block, so every side has some issues with getting the most of their attack.
100% agree with you on that point, and the overall idea that anyone destroying defences seems quite farfetched. No doubt that the low block is the most effective method to deal with Salah (and generally the most difficult for an individual attacker to break down) so I think it's right to ask questions.

I wouldn't suggest that Salah is contained by that kind of defence though, and I'll happily provide evidence from last season demonstrating two ways he overcame that problem. We can surely agree that of Salah's 40-odd goals, at least some of them came against defensive teams. It's my job to bring that to the forefront of people's minds though! Just tied up at the mo.
 

antohan

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Don't think anyone would get destroyed here tbh. I do have some question marks about Enzo role in pure striker role or almost a false 9 (you would probably judge that a bit better considering your knowledge about that part of football world).
I see Blokhin vs Leandro and can only see one recurring outcome there and Enzo in that role will tie it all together very effectively.

Very versatile player, mostly had to be a one man attack dropping deep and doing it all for the NT, but in other setups he had the opportunity to really leverage his main strengths. Have a look at I put together some time ago, well worth the time you put into it.

 

antohan

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One of the major barriers to it would surely be that they get very little of the ball in good areas, as per the tactics described by both managers?
I can see you will have more possession, but I can see the other side getting more bang out of theirs.
 

Demyanenko_square_jaw

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It might be crude, but i'd be tempted to get Mascherano to put in an old-school push right up to the lines of what is legal job on Laudrup. He's the softest and most easily agitated/knocked off his game by aggressive marking of the midfielders, which was a big part of why he never lived up to his full potential in Italy imo. Blunt his contribution and while i don't know if it would be a game winner in itself, i could see Kane being isolated. Brwned forward three are more prolific at their best if being fed by someone like Laudrup in full flow, but the opposition frontline is a more skillful one and more able to create their own chances/drop back and help control the midfield.

Very close game though.
 

Jim Beam

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I see Blokhin vs Leandro and can only see one recurring outcome there and Enzo in that role will tie it all together very effectively.

Very versatile player, mostly had to be a one man attack dropping deep and doing it all for the NT, but in other setups he had the opportunity to really leverage his main strengths. Have a look at I put together some time ago, well worth the time you put into it.

Worth a watch. Looks like a one man attack at times. Of course it is highlight and with his best parts, but it seems he could play every position in attack with a great link-up play.
 

Brwned

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I can see you will have more possession, but I can see the other side getting more bang out of theirs.
That's the nature of counter attacking football, sure. Having more possession is putting it lightly though, surely? Otherwise it seems like the tactics being employed by the teams / managers count for very little here.
 

Jim Beam

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He's the softest and most easily agitated/knocked off his game by aggressive marking of the midfielders, which was a big part of why he never lived up to his full potential in Italy imo.
That's a myth. Prime Laudrup was a different beast. Having a man on him like Mascherano and he would make a fool of him. You watch him with zonal marking or he kills you by pulling a man on himself (witch he liked the most and then including others)

Juve stint is a bit harsh judging him. Put him in the center of attention and he will run the game. Mascherano or not.
 

Enigma_87

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Love that side @Pat_Mustard @Šjor Bepo ! The only one who looks a bit out of place is Reus. Apart from that it's one of my favorites from R1.

As for @Brwned - class presentation. There are couple of players that I really don't rate all that high though - Ramos, Varane and Sane in all time sense.

Leaning towards P/S but will follow the discussion.
 

Pat_Mustard

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A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.
Don't think anyone would get destroyed here tbh. I do have some question marks about Enzo role in pure striker role or almost a false 9 (you would probably judge that a bit better considering your knowledge about that part of football world).

But, De Bruyne coming from behind and being a very direct type of player is also something I add to this attack.
Here's Enzo vs Scotland in the 1986 WC. For context, Uruguay needed a draw to qualify for the next stage, and Scotland needed to win. Uruguay managed to get a player red carded in less than a minute, so Enzo was left playing as a lone centre forward. Some quotes from his opponents stolen from @Joga Bonito :

Sir Alex Ferguson said:
As soon as the Uruguayans were down to ten men, we became nervous and revealed the old Scottish inability to produce the killer thrust. Enzo Francescoli was magnificent for them, playing up front on his own with endless resourcefulness and composure He stood out in a team notable mainly for their malice and shamelessness of their tactics.
Craig Brown said:
A player who gave the greatest performance I've ever seen. Francescoli played our entire back four on his own and, although we finally managed to put some pressure on the Uruguayans later on in the game, we were eliminated.

It was his strength on the ball and sheer determination as well as his technique that impressed me so much, often getting on the ball with no teammates in sight yet still retaining possession for long enough to bring his teammates into play when the midfield runners finally arrived. He'll be in his element here with a stronger supporting cast and willing partners in crime like Blokhin.
 

Gio

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Harsh on Cole and Ivanovic! I think it's a general consensus that Cole was as good as if not better than Maicon. Do people really agree that Benarrivo is a substantial upgrade on Ivanovic?

I do think the fullbacks are the weakest part of this (undoubtedly strong) team, but I'm just interested in general rather than trying to make a point!
I agree there. Defensively both Cole and Ivanovic are more reliable than the other two who are stronger going forward. Benarrivo is probably the most balanced all rounder. I rate your full-backs highly and Leandro in particular often gets under-estimated for his contribution to the game. Tough gig he's got today though as that Blokhin/Francescoli axis looks red hot.
 

Pat_Mustard

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A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.
Difficult to assess really.

I feel like @Pat_Mustard @Šjor Bepo have slightly more individual quality, but something doesn't add up for me.

The front three and the back 4 are perfect for counter attacking tactics. The defensive set up is really good indeed because it cuts the wings of Brnwed's wingers. Salah especially will have it much harder to just run behind the defence and score in 1v1 against the keeper and I don't rate his creativity / dribbling against deep defenses that highly. Sane's best feature is his very accurate crossing ability and Terry/Carvalho is a great CB pairing to take care of those crosses. Of course there is still Laudrup and he feels right at home trying to play through balls and set up the attackers.

On a side note, the arrow on Junior seems wrong? Junior is a good fit to play behind Sane because he drifts inside (like Delph) and is not running down the flanks (like Mendy), Guardiola refused to play both Mendy and Sane together on several occasions.

Anyway, where I am not completely comfortable with in this game of tight margins is the choice of the midfield structure for Pat/Sjor. As it stands, both Liedholm and De Bruyne have to play very deep most of the time (to keep the block compact) and I don't think they want that. Silva-De Bruyne-Ferna midfield works great because Silva and De Bruyne do their off the ball work in the same place where they want to be on the ball, which means they need to cover less amount of space and are very close to goal already. I am really not sure about Liedholm being at his best in a counter attacking system, he always seemed to me like a player who picks his own tempo and takes his time to find the gap in the defence.

I can absolutely buy De Bruyne as a #10 in a counter attacking system where he and uses his dynamism to create dangerous situations on the break, I just have a dislike for him in a deep midfield role because I admire his shooting / decision making and want to see him closer to goal. We have seen the difference at the world cup, where he had to play the first few games in a double pivot for Belgium and when the Brazil match came around, he got moved up to false 9 position and exploded. His work rate is exceptional, which meant that he still had influence in midfield to try and win the ball back. His skill set is brilliant, which means he will still be an excellent player in this role, it just feels like you lose out a bit on some of his qualities.
Good points in general mate, but bear in mind that we're not parking the bus here. We're playing on the counter but I don't see us being starved of possession for long periods.
 

antohan

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That's the nature of counter attacking football, sure. Having more possession is putting it lightly though, surely? Otherwise it seems like the tactics being employed by the teams / managers count for very little here.
Well, you do know I love a good counterattacking setup, and I see personnel that will excel at it in Blokhin, Enzo, both fullbacks, and Reus in fairness. In space, against that backline, they will run you ragged. Ramos will probably get sent off.

My only gripe with that side is the Guardiolesque approach to the midfield by including De Bruyne. The defence needs more protection, but then, the surgical outball de Bruyne provides may well make up for it.

On the other hand, I rate Laudrup very highly but don't see your frontline having enough punch for a rock solid trio. Kane just had a game with plenty of attacking impetus and domination for almost an entire half (and a decent Laudrup impersonation in Eriksen) and left empty handed against De Gea despite facing Jones and Lindelof and not Terry-Carvalho. Salah and Sane don't even have a sustained 3-year peak to speak of in my mind. That's ultimately my issue here, I reckon Pat/Sjors personnel will deliver on the tactical approach while yours will threaten more but are comparatively toothless.
 

Brwned

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I'm a bit late to the party here but good luck @Brwned and cheers for setting it up @Don Alfredo !
this is my only contribution to this game, Pat will lead the discussion.


good luck @Brwned
:lol: what a hero. Good luck both!

Good to see Szymaniak and Enzo.

@Brwned Your creativity is the welcome. Would like to know more about the German.
@Pat_Mustard Interesting team because it requires more reflections
Szymaniak is the kind of player that's great at the things that aren't very sexy, so I won't try and over-sell him! Essentially he was an aggressive, mobile, intelligent, disciplined half-back with the technique to pick out any kind of pass, and the composure to play that pass first time almost all the time. It is a trope of course, but it's hard to look past his German efficiency. He made everything look easy, not because he was Beckenbauer-esque in his style or skill, but because he knew exactly what he could offer the team and how best to offer it. He didn't need to run the game even when he was the most technical player in midfield, and he didn't need to throw himself into the thick of the action if there's spaces to cover, he just went about his job with no fuss and a clear understanding of his role. And he loved slide tackles - really loved them!

Here he'll be playing a similar role to Fernandinho in Guardiola's City, keeping things simple all the time, but providing the energy and intelligent positioning to control the shape of the midfield and allow the more dominant players to dictate the game. It's very difficult to find someone with his combination of physique, technique and intelligence in that defensive midfield role, but without that combination that midfield very easily loses shape and things follow from that. Guardiola has converted both Fernandinho and Gundogan from attacking box-to-box midfielders into that "holding" role because he doesn't want someone like Mascherano to just win the ball back and play the simple ball, he wants someone to help them play on the front foot

That's what Szymaniak is great for. He played as an inside forward in Italy and received rave reviews, but he had no problem playing that unassuming half-back role for Herrera's Inter at the end of his career, or for club and country all before that. His technique allowed him to demand a lot more of the ball in more dangerous areas, but he was a very humble player who put the team first.

Let me know if anything's unclear! For something a bit more substantive and for a less partisan (!) source, you can't go much better than the collection of info @2mufc0 pulled together a while back:

HORST SZYMANIAK



Of all the great players in these teams (names such as Uwe Seeler, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger and “World Cup” Willi Schulz live on in the popular imagination) the player whose legacy least recognises his tremendous talent was Horst Szymaniak. On the face of it Szymaniak was eminently forgettable. A left-half from the Ruhr, Germany’s traditional mining and industrial region, Szymaniak was not blessed with the Hollywood looks or the maverick tendencies of a George Best. He did not win countless trophies for a host of rich and decorated clubs. Yet he made himself a reputation within Germany and beyond as one of the finest midfielders of his age.

Szymaniak’s first involvement with Die Mannschaft was for the B team in a game against Spain in May 1956 which saw him play in an unfamiliar right-wing role. He impressed enough though to win a call up later that year for the full team (the reigning world champions at the time) in a match against Switzerland. Szymaniak suffered an injury in that game and had to be replaced at left-half by Karl Mai, but he returned a month later against Belgium and soon established himself as a vital part of the German side.

On his arrival on the international stage comparisons were naturally made with Germany’s last great half-back, Andreas Kupfer. Kupfer was an integral part of the German side of the 1930s, the team that came to be known as the “Breslau Elf” on account of their 8-0 thrashing of Denmark in that city in 1937. For Szymaniak then the expectations were significant if he was to equal the achievements of his exceptional predecessor, yet he managed to, if anything, exceed the performances of Kupfer in his domination of Germany’s midfield.

Although Wuppertal SV were relegated from the Oberliga in 1958, Szymaniak’s disappointment was tempered by the opportunity to play in his first World Cup. The Germans reached the semi-finals before defeat to the hosts, Sweden. Szymaniak was the team’s brightest spark and was named among numerous “all-star” tournament selections at left-half in recognition of his fine all-round contribution as well as finishing 8th in the Ballon D’Or.

What set Szymaniak apart from his rivals was his alliance of his physical gifts with exceptional technique. There were few players in his era who were able to play so comfortably as a defensive half-back and as a creative inside-forward and in both roles he was able to demonstrate the full range of his talents. As a left-half Szymaniak was tall and strong, with a fantastic ability to anticipate the movements of his opponents. For Catania, Szymaniak was noted in a rare appearance at half-back for the marking role he performed on Jimmy Greaves, at the time playing for AC Milan. Greaves’ spell in Milan was unhappy but prolific, yet for once he did not find the back of the net thanks to the attentions of the German. At inside-forward Szymaniak demonstrated a delicate touch, a love of surging forward from deep and the vision to pick out his teammates in dangerous positions. Had he chosen to play further forward he might well have rivalled Netzer, Overath and Fritz Walter among Germany’s finest creative cogs.

Perhaps the greatest illustration of Szymaniak’s true worth was the judgement of his contemporaries. German magazine Kicker, known for their notoriously harsh semi-annual assessments of the nation’s players, considered him “World Class” every year from 1957-61. Only Franz Beckenbauer achieved more consecutive “World Class” ratings than Schimmi. Meanwhile his five nominations for the Ballon D’Or (in the same years) showed that he was appreciated well beyond his home nation. More than enough reason to start remembering this forgotten great.

Read more at https://www.worldsoccer.com/blogs/p...manys-best-players-330108#0Zc8bl8QpAKz1qlf.99

KICKER COMMENTARY

July 1957


.... one player rose to 'world class' who only a short while ago was not even known in his local region, someone who even was rejected by football followers: we talk of Szymaniak. He is the only player that Germany could nominate to play in a European selection. Closest to Szymaniak in world class came full back Juskowiak and Willy Schröder of Bremen.

December 1957

.... It is not only "kicker" that grants Horst Szymaniak an exceptional position. Notable foreign observers count him among 'world class' players. They confirm that Szymaniak's technique, condition and vision are outstanding.

December 1958

Again "kicker" puts the ranking order up for discussion. This time we have observed the whole year because we did not want to compile a ranking directly after the World Cup in summer. Thus this ranking does not only look at the last few weeks and ignores individual failures as well as occasional brilliant performances. Exemplary for this is Juskowiak. The Düsseldorf player rose to a 'world class' level in the weeks prior to the World Cup and in the World Cup itself. That he could not keep this high level up afterwards resulted from reasons that have nothing to do with his class. Rahn and Szymaniak, just recently voted as the best in Europe by international sports critics, are the other two players we rated as 'world class' in our ranking.

July 1959

.... our ranking covers the first six months of 1959 and disregards occasional failures just the same as occasional great performances. That Szymaniak's form, for example, suffered in the first few weeks of 1959 after an malleolar fracture had nothing to do with his class. We count him among the players of 'world class' just like Uwe Seeler, who of all top players arguably showed the most consistent form, and Erich Juskowiak.

December 1959

.... As usual the biggest debate among our readers will be ignited by the term 'world class'. In our last ranking we labelled three players as such: Uwe Seeler, Erich Juskowiak and Horst Szymaniak. In our current ranking we also count goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski and Helmut Rahn among them. "Kicker" talked to Gustav Sebes a few weeks ago, the creator of the great Hungarian World Cup side, which was beat by Germany in the 1954 World Cup final. The Hungarian's opinion on Uwe Seeler you already read on page 2. Regarding Tilkowski, the neutral and unbiased Gustav Sebes arrived at the following conclusion: "Who is better? The top group of outstanding goalkeepers is so small. Absolute world class among international goalkeepers are surely the Russian Yashin and the Yugoslav Soskic. In any case, regarding Germany Tilkowski is a class of his own." Szymaniak, Tilkowski and Rahn the neutral critic Sebes rates among the world elite. Schnellinger, said Sebes, is close to reaching this elite.

December 1960

For four years already foreign journalists rate Szymaniak as one of the world's best. We already rated Tilkowski as 'world class' last year. And he confirmed our rating this year quite convincingly.

July 1961

The fiercest debates will again be caused by the term "world class". We count Uwe Seeler, Horst Szymaniak and Karl-Heinz Schnellinger as "world class". A bad performance by Uwe Seeler every now and then arguably do not change our ranking of him because only the sum of the performances are counted.

Very possibly Szymaniak will be featured for the last time in our ranking if he the DFB releases him to play for Catania next weekend, as German players playing abroad evade our constant observation which is also the reason why Helmut Rahn is not featured in our ranking. Just the same foreigners that play in Germany are not evalued.

http://www.bigsoccer.com/threads/kicker-commentary-for-world-class-players.2058932/

Difficult to assess really.

I feel like @Pat_Mustard @Šjor Bepo have slightly more individual quality, but something doesn't add up for me.

The front three and the back 4 are perfect for counter attacking tactics. The defensive set up is really good indeed because it cuts the wings of Brnwed's wingers. Salah especially will have it much harder to just run behind the defence and score in 1v1 against the keeper and I don't rate his creativity / dribbling against deep defenses that highly. Sane's best feature is his very accurate crossing ability and Terry/Carvalho is a great CB pairing to take care of those crosses. Of course there is still Laudrup and he feels right at home trying to play through balls and set up the attackers.

On a side note, the arrow on Junior seems wrong? Junior is a good fit to play behind Sane because he drifts inside (like Delph) and is not running down the flanks (like Mendy), Guardiola refused to play both Mendy and Sane together on several occasions.
I wouldn't say it's wrong, it's just a very basic representation. Junior will play like he normally does, drifting into the middle, probing with passes, accelerating the possession game and finding spaces to exploit wherever he can. He's very much playing the Marcelo role here, which has been absolutely essential to the success to the greatest club side of this era. And Ramos' ability to cover for him is what made it all work against all opposition.

I will provide a bit of evidence of Salah against low block defences later, but I think you're doing a disservice to both him and Sane.

Sane's biggest quality for me is not his crossing but his dribbling, particularly isolating the opposition fullback out wide but he's also had some amazing runs against packed defences in central areas. I'll pull up some clips of that later too! A lot of his assists have come from the kind of crosses that the opposition centre backs can't do anything about, because the passes in behind have been so precise or the mazy dribbles have been so rapid that the centre backs can't keep up and Aguero or Sterling have a free run in the box. That's not something they've only done against high lines but something they repeatedly do in very tight spaces against packed defences. Sane's pure pace is impossible to defend in some scenarios - the question is whether he can get into those scenarios. My personal view is that Laudrup will find enough opportunities to play him through, and Terry's incredible ability to get on the end of crosses will be entirely redundant on some of those occasions. That said, a free run at goal doesn't equal a goal with De Gea in there!

I don't particularly rate Salah's creativity either, but to me that's like criticising Liedholm's goalscoring - that's not what he's there to do. There is so much creativity throughout the rest of the pitch that he'd be instructed to involve himself in the creative play as little as possible, instead focusing on finding those tiny pockets to break through the defence and get a goal or assist. That's what he's excelled at against every kind of opposition. As with any quick, direct, intelligent forward he absolutely loves playing against aggressive, high lines with loads of space to run into at all times, but with the way teams play against Liverpool, that's something he often doesn't get. However no matter how low your block is out of possession, you can't get away from the fact that the team has to move up the pitch and leave space in behind when in possession. The alternative is leaving acres of space in midfield, or having an attack completely cut off from the rest of the team - and I think we can agree neither of those tactics are particularly successful. There's many occasions when Salah has come up against a defensive team and either got through them with some close control and clever interplay, or more commonly through a quick turnover of possession and an incisive run. That's what my team is setup to do, in the same way Klopp and Guardiola have set up their teams to maximise the number of times the attackers find themselves high up the pitch, in space and against a disorganised defence - an aggressive pressing game.

I'd agree Cole and Ivanovic worked really well and Cole to me was definitely better than Maicon. That said, Benarrivo is the best fullback in this game as far as I'm concerned. Junior is the best footballer of the lot, but in terms of competent balance in attacking and defensive duties Benarrivo trumps the others hands down. He was very unfortunate to coexist with the likes of Maldini, Bergomi and Tassotti/Panucci at a time Italy mostly played a defensive backline with Milan's personnel and setup being shoe-ins.
Interesting. It's undoubtedly true that his reputation and success was limited by the era he played in, but in terms of overall offering at his peak I'd put him on par with Leandro and not even close to Junior.

Love that side @Pat_Mustard @Šjor Bepo ! The only one who looks a bit out of place is Reus. Apart from that it's one of my favorites from R1.

As for @Brwned - class presentation. There are couple of players that I really don't rate all that high though - Ramos, Varane and Sane in all time sense.

Leaning towards P/S but will follow the discussion.
Yeah, there's very little I can do about people not rating Ramos and Varane because it's such a firmly grounded opinion at this stage. I'll pull up some of the many games that they shut down some of the best attacks in the game, as part of the system they're playing in and alongside very similar players, but I knew what to expect when the choices were made.

I could count on one hand the centre backs picked in this draft that have excelled in this kind of system, and count on a couple of fingers the players I'd choose ahead of him. I'm sure a persuasive argument could be made that someone like Zmuda could excel in such a position, because people are generally unfamiliar with him and clips can be used to make all sorts of points, but I personally think that would've been deceitful...I'm going with players who can actually play that very specialised role at the highest level. That specialised role is not valued by many, but it's undeniable that it is an essential component of the style of football that defines this era, and defines this team.

Well, you do know I love a good counterattacking setup, and I see personnel that will excel at it in Blokhin, Enzo, both fullbacks, and Reus in fairness. In space, against that backline, they will run you ragged. Ramos will probably get sent off.

My only gripe with that side is the Guardiolesque approach to the midfield by including De Bruyne. The defence needs more protection, but then, the surgical outball de Bruyne provides may well make up for it.

On the other hand, I rate Laudrup very highly but don't see your frontline having enough punch for a rock solid trio. Kane just had a game with plenty of attacking impetus and domination for almost an entire half (and a decent Laudrup impersonation in Eriksen) and left empty handed against De Gea despite facing Jones and Lindelof and not Terry-Carvalho. Salah and Sane don't even have a sustained 3-year peak to speak of in my mind. That's ultimately my issue here, I reckon Pat/Sjors personnel will deliver on the tactical approach while yours will threaten more but are comparatively toothless.
Fair enough. I wholeheartedly disagree with the dismissive assessment of the three attackers - and a particularly unrepresentative example of Kane in games like this - but I'll just throw out the evidence there in case you're open to reconsidering...

I agree there. Defensively both Cole and Ivanovic are more reliable than the other two who are stronger going forward. Benarrivo is probably the most balanced all rounder. I rate your full-backs highly and Leandro in particular often gets under-estimated for his contribution to the game. Tough gig he's got today though as that Blokhin/Francescoli axis looks red hot.
Agreed!
 
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Demyanenko_square_jaw

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That's a myth. Prime Laudrup was a different beast. Having a man on him like Mascherano and he would make a fool of him. You watch him with zonal marking or he kills you by pulling a man on himself (witch he liked the most and then including others)

Juve stint is a bit harsh judging him. Put him in the center of attention and he will run the game. Mascherano or not.
I didn't mean to suggest it would be easy to do so, or even that Mascherano would succeed. I should have made that a lot clearer.

However i don't agree that it's a myth he could have his issues with close marking. It's not like it was at all easy to shut him down and 80% of the time it would completely fail, but i've more than a handful of games from all parts of his career where he goes into a semi-shell and coasts after some rough tackles or a bad start against a defender, not necessarily playing badly, but reeling his skillset right in to just keeping play tidily ticking over for the most part, rather than taking risks and going for those trademark dribbles or through balls . For someone of his great ability he wasn't always the most determined or mentally consistent player.

The latter part of the Juve stint is essential to understanding the full scope who he was as a player imo. A great talent and player that did not have the mentality or toughness to sucessfully take over from someone like Platini and ascend to that ATG level despite being groomed for it for 4-5 seasons. It's not much of a criticism, tbh i doubt Zidane(or many others) full succeeds either if put in the same situation, but he wouldn't have hidden and been marked out of games to the extent he gets sold like Laudrup was. THat was a low point that should not be brushed over when analysing his career, it doesn't mean he wasn't a great player at his best.
 

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I didn't mean to suggest it would be easy to do so, or even that Mascherano would succeed. I should have made that a lot clearer.

However i don't agree that it's a myth he could have his issues with close marking. It's not like it was at all easy to shut him down and 80% of the time it would completely fail, but i've more than a handful of games from all parts of his career where he goes into a semi-shell and coasts after some rough tackles or a bad start against a defender, not necessarily playing badly, but reeling his skillset right in to just keeping play tidily ticking over for the most part, rather than taking risks and going for those trademark dribbles or through balls . For someone of his great ability he wasn't always the most determined or mentally consistent player.

The latter part of the Juve stint is essential to understanding the full scope who he was as a player imo. A great talent and player that did not have the mentality or toughness to sucessfully take over from someone like Platini and ascend to that ATG level despite being groomed for it for 4-5 seasons. It's not much of a criticism, tbh i doubt Zidane(or many others) full succeeds either if put in the same situation, but he wouldn't have hidden and been marked out of games to the extent he gets sold like Laudrup was. THat was a low point that should not be brushed over when analysing his career, it doesn't mean he wasn't a great player at his best.
Fair enough. Like your posts always, but with Laudrup it was more about feeling him being the main man then riding tough tackles.
That was his problem, once he felt he wasn't that in managers eyes he was far away from it's best.
My feeling is that it is harsh to make a case against Laudrup here. It is more about him not having optimal forwards. Sane, Salah and Kane is what I think would struggle a bit not Laudrup and that lovely engine in Modric beside him.
 

Pat_Mustard

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A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.
I agree there. Defensively both Cole and Ivanovic are more reliable than the other two who are stronger going forward. Benarrivo is probably the most balanced all rounder. I rate your full-backs highly and Leandro in particular often gets under-estimated for his contribution to the game. Tough gig he's got today though as that Blokhin/Francescoli axis looks red hot.
I'd agree that Cole is probably the most reliable defender of the bunch but I think Maicon and Benarrivo were at least Ivanovic's equal defensively on top of their superior offensive game.

Touching on a point in Brwned's OP, I see Reus and Blokhin exploiting the space behind Leandro and Junior more effectively than Sane/Salah will manage against Maicon/Benarrivo. Salah has maintained world class form for a while now, but on the other flank Maicon's colossal peak for Inter culminating in their Treble-
winning season trumps anything we've seen from Sane so far. A quote from a resident Caf Italian:

Peak Maicon over peak Dani Alves, absolutely. It's not even close. The fact Maicon was the starter for Brazil at the time and nobody questioned it either speaks for itself. Maicon was three players rolled into one. A full back, a winger and a midfielder. Take a look at his impact for inter in the treble season. Was probably their best player
And an all-touches video we made of him in his pomp. The sheer length of the thing points to his influence, and he caps off a good performance with a stunning goal.

 

Brwned

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I didn't mean to suggest it would be easy to do so, or even that Mascherano would succeed. I should have made that a lot clearer.

However i don't agree that it's a myth he could have his issues with close marking. It's not like it was at all easy to shut him down and 80% of the time it would completely fail, but i've more than a handful of games from all parts of his career where he goes into a semi-shell and coasts after some rough tackles or a bad start against a defender, not necessarily playing badly, but reeling his skillset right in to just keeping play tidily ticking over for the most part, rather than taking risks and going for those trademark dribbles or through balls . For someone of his great ability he wasn't always the most determined or mentally consistent player.

The latter part of the Juve stint is essential to understanding the full scope who he was as a player imo. A great talent and player that did not have the mentality or toughness to sucessfully take over from someone like Platini and ascend to that ATG level despite being groomed for it for 4-5 seasons. It's not much of a criticism, tbh i doubt Zidane(or many others) full succeeds either if put in the same situation, but he wouldn't have hidden and been marked out of games to the extent he gets sold like Laudrup was. THat was a low point that should not be brushed over when analysing his career, it doesn't mean he wasn't a great player at his best.
For Mascherano to perform a man-marking role, you would have to be of the view that Liedholm and de Bruyne are capable of containing Modric and Szymaniak on their own for long periods of the game, against an aggressive, attacking side dominating possession and with Junior doing his usual thing of being a secondary playmaker from fullback. That seems quite a stretch to me - Mascherano has too much use elsewhere to only look after one player IMO.

Like @Don Alfredo said, it's not like playing de Bruyne in a defensive role with limited possession doesn't limit his overall influence - we've seen that time and again for Belgium. He has only been an elite player when played in advanced positions, either with no responsibility at Wolfsburg or in a setup like mine that involves the whole team pushing up the pitch, squeezing the game in the middle third and allowing him to play that killer ball near the final third. Someone with his quality passing will always find opportunities to influence the game, but if he's overburdened with defensive responsibilities it's reasonable to assume he's struggling to excel. Likewise with Liedholm. Joga's video captures him beautifully - not a passive player, nor someone who needed a lot of time or space to influence the game, but clearly not someone you want to burden with many defensive responsibilities.
 

Enigma_87

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Yeah, there's very little I can do about people not rating Ramos and Varane because it's such a firmly grounded opinion at this stage. I'll pull up some of the many games that they shut down some of the best attacks in the game, as part of the system they're playing in and alongside very similar players, but I knew what to expect when the choices were made.

I could count on one hand the centre backs picked in this draft that have excelled in this kind of system, and count on a couple of fingers the players I'd choose ahead of him. I'm sure a persuasive argument could be made that someone like Zmuda could excel in such a position, because people are generally unfamiliar with him and clips can be used to make all sorts of points, but I personally think that would've been deceitful...I'm going with players who can actually play that very specialised role at the highest level. That specialised role is not valued by many, but it's undeniable that it is an essential component of the style of football that defines this era, and defines this team.
Yeah, nothing personal really mate. Think everyone around here knows that I don't rate Ramos as a defender even in a modern pool, let alone all time. He's a great character and leader, but his pure defensive skills are really lacking. Varane on the other hand can move through the ranks but still his injury woes and being relatively young for a CB is not sufficient to rate him alongside the elite defenders of all time.

In terms of match up you can offset a bit him being a weakness playing against Reus who isn't also an all time material, but then again I recall Reus having pretty good games and record against Ramos?

In a sense Varane against Blokhin is a good fit, otherwise if Ramos was tasked with keeping him in check would've been game over to me.

Sane is also someone who is very hard to rate at this point within this company. I like him as a style and matches your attack very well.

Generally I think the balance is there and I really like your flanks and Laudrup being the centerpiece. Laudrup is the best player on the pitch and that triangle with him Salah and Modric is mint. :drool:

How do you see the midfield battle here? And generally containing Liedholm and De Bruyne having a big impact in transition?
 

Brwned

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For anyone in the mood to watch Mourinho put in his place, this is always a good one...


I think it brings a bit of the discussion about low blocks, no space to exploit and nullified attackers back down to earth too. I won't claim that this was Terry at his peak or Chelsea at their best defensively, but this was the best defence in the league and the eventual title winners getting run ragged by a team following a lot of the same principles in this attack - and there's nothing anyone could do about Kane's equaliser.
 

oneniltothearsenal

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@Brwned Wow! Very interesting way to present your side. Is that something can be added to and constantly updated even by other people?
 

Brwned

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Yeah, nothing personal really mate. Think everyone around here knows that I don't rate Ramos as a defender even in a modern pool, let alone all time. He's a great character and leader, but his pure defensive skills are really lacking. Varane on the other hand can move through the ranks but still his injury woes and being relatively young for a CB is not sufficient to rate him alongside the elite defenders of all time.

In terms of match up you can offset a bit him being a weakness playing against Reus who isn't also an all time material, but then again I recall Reus having pretty good games and record against Ramos?

In a sense Varane against Blokhin is a good fit, otherwise if Ramos was tasked with keeping him in check would've been game over to me.

Sane is also someone who is very hard to rate at this point within this company. I like him as a style and matches your attack very well.

Generally I think the balance is there and I really like your flanks and Laudrup being the centerpiece. Laudrup is the best player on the pitch and that triangle with him Salah and Modric is mint. :drool:

How do you see the midfield battle here? And generally containing Liedholm and De Bruyne having a big impact in transition?
Aye, no offence taken! Live and die by your own decisions...

I'm not sure I understand how to interpret this "all-time" argument, personally. He's not being compared to Baresi and Scirea, but Carvalho and Terry - one of whom he played alongside a number of times, and the other he's faced up against many times. In that context I totally with anyone that will suggest Carvalho and Terry are better pure defenders, and are part of a stronger defensive setup. However I totally disagree with the idea they're incomparable. Carvalho wasn't at his peak at Madrid, but there wasn't this huge gap between them at that time - and Carvalho often struggled in that exposed defence in a way that Ramos has. We very rarely saw Terry playing in that position, but under AvB he was absolutely hopeless. Not because he's a bad defender or because he was past his best, but because that style of playing is extremely difficult for any defender. Ramos only got strong defensive protection for a similarly limited period of time. Varane on the other hand has excelled in both roles, and it's clear how many challenges he doesn't have to deal with when playing in France's more conservative setup. So judging them outside of that context has always been unfair, from my perspective. I'll see if I can highlight those rare moments when Carvalho and Terry had to play in exposed systems, and Ramos and Varane got to play in defensive setups - at least we can judge them on the same level at that point. However I appreciate that will count for little.

EDIT: I'll give the midfield battle a bit of thought and give a proper answer in a bit! Definitely an intriguing battle...

@Brwned Wow! Very interesting way to present your side. Is that something can be added to and constantly updated even by other people?
It's really easy for me to add to it - you just need to fit some straightforward info in a basic excel template - but it might actually be possible to have it updated by other people remotely! Will check.
 
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oneniltothearsenal

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It's really easy for me to add to it - you just need to fit some straightforward info in a basic excel template - but it might actually be possible to have it updated by other people remotely! Will check.
It would be awesome if players profiles could be updated as we write them out for drafts. Sort of an evolving database if possible. Of course it might be a lot of work for you to do alone inputting everything but if every draft we could all enter a profile for the players we pick the database could be built up fairly quickly I think. I know some people bookmark a tonne of profiles anyway.