Unpopular Opinion - The Overrated N'Golo Kante

Champ

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My point was that Kante's lack of 'technique' doesn't stop him or his team winning big trophies each year and he regularly puts in big performances against the big teams. Lukaku on the other hand doesn't put in big performances against the big teams (due to lacking that extra class) and it can cost his team titles come the end of the season.
Contrary to popular belief, games are not always played against 'big teams'
Lukaku has scored against several high profile teams in his career, I think too much was made of his record against 'the big six' in the premiership, most games he played against then he was playing for Everton or West Brom for example.
Scoring against PSG or Barcelona isn't easy but he's managed it.
Remind me how Kante did at the world cup? Especially in the final??
 

JPRouve

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Contrary to popular belief, games are not always played against 'big teams'
Lukaku has scored against several high profile teams in his career, I think too much was made of his record against 'the big six' in the premiership, most games he played against then he was playing for Everton or West Brom for example.
Scoring against PSG or Barcelona isn't easy but he's managed it.
Remind me how Kante did at the world cup? Especially in the final??
Kanté was great during the World Cup and sick during the final.
 

hmchan

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Contrary to popular belief, games are not always played against 'big teams'
Lukaku has scored against several high profile teams in his career, I think too much was made of his record against 'the big six' in the premiership, most games he played against then he was playing for Everton or West Brom for example.
Scoring against PSG or Barcelona isn't easy but he's managed it.
Remind me how Kante did at the world cup? Especially in the final??
Don't understand why Lukaku is brought into the discussion, as he's never crowned as the best striker in the world. At most, he's just rated as a good striker in the league, that's all. For me, he's delivering the same level of performance as expected, so how come is he overrated? Again, I'd rather have a player who performs in 95% of the game rather than one who only finds himself useful in big games. Plus, Lukaku scored a hat trick against us and a solo effort against Chelsea, the argument that he doesn't put in big performances against big teams is flawed to say the least.
 

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Contrary to popular belief, games are not always played against 'big teams'
Lukaku has scored against several high profile teams in his career, I think too much was made of his record against 'the big six' in the premiership, most games he played against then he was playing for Everton or West Brom for example.
Scoring against PSG or Barcelona isn't easy but he's managed it.
Remind me how Kante did at the world cup? Especially in the final??
Yes. Remind us.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/fifa-world-cup/4/blog/post/3560990/ngolo-kante-has-been-one-of-the-standout-stars-of-the-2018-world-cup
 

GlasgowCeltic

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Don’t think he lacks ability when pressed at all, always looks excellent in tight spaces, fantastic player imo, scores big goals too
 

Champ

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Kanté was great during the World Cup and sick during the final.
He was hauled off in the final, which in turn changed the game, hardly sick :lol:
 

Nick7

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:lol: :lol:
Written before the world cup started yeah!!
Did you even read it?
Deary me.
He was hailed off in the world cup final, dominated by the Croatian midfield. Kante sub changed the game.
But please send me another link that you haven't read.
Did you? That was written 6 days before the final.
 

JPRouve

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:lol: :lol:
Written before the world cup started yeah!!
Did you even read it?
Deary me.
He was hailed off in the world cup final, dominated by the Croatian midfield. Kante sub changed the game.
But please send me another link that you haven't read.
You may want to actually read the article or even just the date.
 

tjb

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Kante is a great player but he is also quite specialist and requires certain set ups/formations. In particular, he is not a player that plays at his best in a possession game as his strengths are coverage, intercepting and counter attacking (or setting the counter up). For that reason, he really needs to either play in a 4231/343/442 type of formation to be at his best.

Personally, have quite a lot of Chelsea mates and they all love him and class him as there only world class player. However, they pretty much all said that he should probably be sold (this was prior to CV19) as he would raise serious coin and that would maybe allow them to get a No.6 that is more suited to a 433/possession based game and still turn a profit.

My opinion of Kante is, yes, technically he is not the most grifted footballer but at the things he does excel at, as listed above, he is pretty much head and shoulders above any other No.4/No.6 in those areas.
To be honest, you could say the same for Makhalele. He needed to be played in a 3 or him performances, whilst still good, would not be top level. Its great for your system to suit your top most talent, but I also believe they should also make the effort to become truly effective in a manager's system. It's the chief problem I have with unadaptable attacking midfielders who can't play upfront, on the wing or in central midfield. Football is an ever evolving game, if that position and the way the role is played no longer exists, these players cease to be effective. Ozil and Griezman are prime examples of this. For me, if you are a winger, you should adapt your game to be able to play on both sides of the pitch. There was a time in football where teams could not afford to sign 3 - 4 class players a season and players would have to adapt to the roles created for them. Scholes managed to stay effective despite playing as a second striker, attacking midfielder, box to box midfielder, deep lying midfielder and left midfielder. It's the job of the player to make himself useful to the team.
 

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:lol: :lol:
Written before the world cup started yeah!!
Did you even read it?
Deary me.

He was hailed off in the world cup final, dominated by the Croatian midfield. Kante sub changed the game.
But please send me another link that you haven't read.
Irony thy name is Champ
 

hmchan

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To be honest, you could say the same for Makhalele. He needed to be played in a 3 or him performances, whilst still good, would not be top level. Its great for your system to suit your top most talent, but I also believe they should also make the effort to become truly effective in a manager's system. It's the chief problem I have with unadaptable attacking midfielders who can't play upfront, on the wing or in central midfield. Football is an ever evolving game, if that position and the way the role is played no longer exists, these players cease to be effective. Ozil and Griezman are prime examples of this. For me, if you are a winger, you should adapt your game to be able to play on both sides of the pitch. There was a time in football where teams could not afford to sign 3 - 4 class players a season and players would have to adapt to the roles created for them. Scholes managed to stay effective despite playing as a second striker, attacking midfielder, box to box midfielder, deep lying midfielder and left midfielder. It's the job of the player to make himself useful to the team.
That's the point I've tried to make. Football has evolved over the years, versatility and all-round ability have become more and more important nowadays. I don't understand why people keep mentioning Makelele or Gattuso because a successful playstyle 20 years ago doesn't necessarily fit to modern football. Inzaghi was good at sniffing out chances back then but Chicharito, also as a poacher with the same specialty, hardly got a spot even for a mid table side.

Nowadays, many teams are talking about playing out from the back. You need your defenders or even goalkeepers to be confident with the ball and able to pick accurate passes. How on earth can you tolerate a midfielder who is so limited on the ball?
 

Dancfc

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Don't understand why Lukaku is brought into the discussion, as he's never crowned as the best striker in the world. At most, he's just rated as a good striker in the league, that's all. For me, he's delivering the same level of performance as expected, so how come is he overrated? Again, I'd rather have a player who performs in 95% of the game rather than one who only finds himself useful in big games. Plus, Lukaku scored a hat trick against us and a solo effort against Chelsea, the argument that he doesn't put in big performances against big teams is flawed to say the least.
How many times has he faced big teams? Picking two of the few he's shown up in is like bringing up Moscow and saying Drogba didn't show up in finals.

There's too much sample size to argue Lukaku is a big game player, he simply isn't.
 

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Irrespective of whether Kante has been overrated in the past, he is now past his peak and on a downturn. Hasn’t been anywhere near his best for about two seasons.
 

JPRouve

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Irrespective of whether Kante has been overrated in the past, he is now past his peak and on a downturn. Hasn’t been anywhere near his best for about two seasons.
I don't know if past his peak is accurate, when fit he seems to be at the same level but he has lacked durability.
 

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I don't know if past his peak is accurate, when fit he seems to be at the same level but he has lacked durability.
He’s had a prolonged period of playing multiple positions (often less effectively) and a number of injuries. His endurance was one of his main characteristics so worrying for him if that’s now in question. I think Lampard would be okay with offloading Kante for good money.
 

Champ

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Irony thy name is Champ
Yeah :lol:
I fecked up there, read that date as June for some reason.
I thought no we'll agree to differ on this to save going round in circles.
But generally my feelings are that Kante is a decent player, but no where near the world class status people behold him too.
No amount of media hype will change it.
Would I have him at United? Probably, but not over Fred with him playing as well as he is, he has been head and shoulders above Kante this season, blah blah injuries etc, but he has.
 

Champ

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He was literally sick, he had a gastroenteritis.
According to reports,
Seemed fine after the game, before the game etc.
Was quite happy to spend an hour on the pitch after the game, not the actions of someone who is I'll with essentially diarrhea.
Shades of Karius really.
 

JPRouve

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According to reports,
Seemed fine after the game, before the game etc.
Was quite happy to spend an hour on the pitch after the game, not the actions of someone who is I'll with essentially diarrhea.
Shades of Karius really.
Regardless of the final, he was great during the tournament.
 

POF

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He's an odd player. What he does well (recovering the ball) he is absolutely brilliant at. Genuinely world class in that facet of the game. He's definitely at his best in a midfield 2 because of the sheer amount of ground he can cover.

But with the ball he is extremely limited. He offers so little offensively. The Leicester team under Ranieri and Chelsea under Conte suited him perfectly with their counter attacking style. He just isn't suited to top teams who want to control the ball.

He's been rated by many as the best midfielder in the league and based on that he is (and always has been) extremely overrated. I just can't rate a player that highly who is so limited in so many facets of midfield play.
 

JPRouve

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He's an odd player. What he does well (recovering the ball) he is absolutely brilliant at. Genuinely world class in that facet of the game. He's definitely at his best in a midfield 2 because of the sheer amount of ground he can cover.

But with the ball he is extremely limited. He offers so little offensively. The Leicester team under Ranieri and Chelsea under Conte suited him perfectly with their counter attacking style. He just isn't suited to top teams who want to control the ball.

He's been rated by many as the best midfielder in the league and based on that he is (and always has been) extremely overrated. I just can't rate a player that highly who is so limited in so many facets of midfield play.
He isn't extremely limited, he is good on the ball and a good passer. He isn't an elite passer or creative player but there is only few players like that and they are themselves generally not very good at recovering the ball or cover ground. There is nothing odd about Kanté or his role.
 

VorZakone

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In fact, I can only find these words by Deschamps on Kante's final:
Speaking a week on from France's 4-2 win against Croatia in the Russian capital, Deschamps told reporters: "I do not know what happened with N'Golo in the final. It was horrible for him.

"N'Golo is a real ray of sunshine, a true joy. When he came off, I asked him if he was OK. His quiet reply was: 'No, no, do not worry - I am fine, coach.' Everybody loves N'Golo - he is a little phenomenon."
https://www.football365.com/news/deschamps-discusses-kantes-horrible-world-cup-final

No mention of being sick.
 

JPRouve

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Only 1 French newspaper claimed that. Haven't heard it from Deschamps or Kante himself.
According to Deschamps he was off since the semi final. But lets say that he wasn't sick on that day, he was still great during the WC.
 

POF

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He isn't extremely limited, he is good on the ball and a good passer. He isn't an elite passer or creative player but there is only few players like that and they are themselves generally not very good at recovering the ball or cover ground. There is nothing odd about Kanté or his role.
You very rarely see players of his type rated so highly. He has been touted as one of the best midfield players in the world. Compare him to players like Keane or Vieira, who were also outstanding at recovering possession, and he's nowhere near their level on the ball. He's several levels below.
 

JPRouve

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You very rarely see players of his type rated so highly. He has been touted as one of the best midfield players in the world. Compare him to players like Keane or Vieira, who were also outstanding at recovering possession, and he's nowhere near their level on the ball. He's several levels below.
That's a strange argument, he has been one of the best midfield players in the world within his own generation. It's not an historical point, you don't have to compare him to Keane or Vieira in order to make that claim the same way you don't have to compare these players to Matthaus and Rijkaard or any current attacking player to Cruyff and Platini.
 

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When u compare Kante with prime Arturo Vidal,he has all the defensive qualities,but Vidal is a better passer,makes better runs,score more goals...Kante is great at interception,tackling and running with the ball on the counter. In a defensive team he would be excellent in a front footed side he is limited
 

POF

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That's a strange argument, he has been one of the best midfield players in the world within his own generation. It's not an historical point, you don't have to compare him to Keane or Vieira in order to make that claim the same way you don't have to compare these players to Matthaus and Rijkaard or any current attacking player to Cruyff and Platini.
Has he though? He's had 2-3 really good seasons? Apart from that? Ligue 1 and a few average seasons post Conte at Chelsea?

The comparison to top players of previous eras was to show how far below those standards he is.

Have the standards of midfield players really dropped that far over the years? Or is he just really effective in a very particular style and in a very specific role.

That's not one of the best midfield players in the world. It's one of the best players at winning the ball in the world.
 

JPRouve

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Has he though? He's had 2-3 really good seasons? Apart from that? Ligue 1 and a few average seasons post Conte at Chelsea?

The comparison to top players of previous eras was to show how far below those standards he is.

Have the standards of midfield players really dropped that far over the years? Or is he just really effective in a very particular style and in a very specific role.

That's not one of the best midfield players in the world. It's one of the best players at winning the ball in the world.
And he was talked as a world class player during those 2-3 years. It's not an all time consideration, not a lot of people argue or have argued that he was an all time great which is why your point is kind of odd. It would be like claiming that De Gea wasn't a world class goalkeeper during his prime because he isn't the equal to all time greats and then say that he isn't one of the best goalkeepers in the world but only one of the best shotstoppers.
 

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That's the point I've tried to make. Football has evolved over the years, versatility and all-round ability have become more and more important nowadays. I don't understand why people keep mentioning Makelele or Gattuso because a successful playstyle 20 years ago doesn't necessarily fit to modern football. Inzaghi was good at sniffing out chances back then but Chicharito, also as a poacher with the same specialty, hardly got a spot even for a mid table side.

Nowadays, many teams are talking about playing out from the back. You need your defenders or even goalkeepers to be confident with the ball and able to pick accurate passes. How on earth can you tolerate a midfielder who is so limited on the ball?
You are just talking about one type of football. France have proved (with Kante) that you don't need to have all of the ball to win football's biggest competition.

Liverpool are also proving the same in the club football. They are champions of Europe and are about to be champions of England and Kante would be Klopps perfect midfielder no doubt. The hard running midfielders are far from out of fashion at the moment.
 

POF

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And he was talked as a world class player during those 2-3 years. It's not an all time consideration, not a lot of people argue or have argued that he was an all time great which is why your point is kind of odd. It would be like claiming that De Gea wasn't a world class goalkeeper during his prime because he isn't the equal to all time greats and then say that he isn't one of the best goalkeepers in the world but only one of the best shotstoppers.
And that's the purpose of this thread. Was he overrated? If he's being labelled world class and only managed to do it for 2-3 years, then it's pretty clear that he was.

You need to assess a players' body of work over their entire career to label them world class. Otherwise, it's just a run of form.
 

JPRouve

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And that's the purpose of this thread. Was he overrated? If he's being labelled world class and only managed to do it for 2-3 years, then it's pretty clear that he was.

You need to assess a players' body of work over their entire career to label them world class. Otherwise, it's just a run of form.
No, you don't. It's a label that simply assesses the level of player at a certain point in time. It has nothing to do with his entire career. You could and often should have a different list of world class players every year, a very young player can be world class, a relatively old player can reach a new level and be world class at the end of his career while he wasn't at the beginning or the middle and a player can lose that label when his level drops.
 

Snow

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The sample size is also so small that it's not really reliable.

For example his missed games were against Norwich, Burnley (twice), Sheffield, Wolves, Brighton, Newcastle, Watford, Spurs, Bournemouth and Everton. The average position of these teams at the time Chelsea faced them was 13th. He's also counting some results where Kante didn't fully feature, e.g. West Ham, where he only came on after an hour, after Chelsea were already down a goal and both games against United, where he was subbed off after 12 minutes on a 0:0 score line and the other one where he came on after 70 minute and a 0:3 score line.
I'm not surprised that this correction gets skirt around. OPs whole argument falls flat on its face. It's a small sample size, it doesn't take into account the opposition but treats everyone as equal. It doesn't take into account circumstance (i.e. injury, fatigue, home or away match, competition) and it treats every match played equally no matter if he played 90 minutes or 5 minutes. But OP formatted the numbers and put them in a nice table and a lot of people won't therefor question it.

Kante aside this Chelsea side is playing young players which will be inconsistent. They have a new manager who hasn't got everything figured out yet. They've had a striker problem which isn't taken into account either in OP.
 

Champ

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Regardless of the final, he was great during the tournament.
He wasn't great, although that is subjective.
France weren't actually that great untill the second half of the final, ironically enough, and negating your point, when Kante was off the pitch.
 

Sayros

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Contrary to popular belief, games are not always played against 'big teams'
Lukaku has scored against several high profile teams in his career, I think too much was made of his record against 'the big six' in the premiership, most games he played against then he was playing for Everton or West Brom for example.
Scoring against PSG or Barcelona isn't easy but he's managed it.
Remind me how Kante did at the world cup? Especially in the final??
Ooof, terrible take!

Kante was probably France's most important player and was praised by anybody who actually watched France. He had a stomach virus during the final but was so important to the team, Deschamps still went with him but he couldn't perform to his usual self and was substituted.
 

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A player like Kante let’s you get the maximum return on players like Pogba for example.

Pogba’s time here would have likely been twice as good if he had been in midfield with Kante.

I’m not making an excuse for Pogba, on the contrary trying to point out how effective a player Kante is when played in his correct position and in form.

Would love him here as a Matic replacement. The guy isn’t done yet imo, theres legs left in Kante.