Unpopular Opinion - The Overrated N'Golo Kante

POF

Full Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
3,129
I rarely label players world class, I'm not a fan of the label itself and hasn't used it for Kanté, so I'm not sure where you get that low bar from and world class is a temporary label not a permanent one. And it's interesting to see you talk about Kanté being good for 2-3 years and now reducing it to 1 game or one tournament. My point on that subject was that this label has nothing to do with previous generations and it's not a permanent one, you should simply rank him during the 2-3 years that you deemed to be good and I said one of the best, you are the one who said world class.

As for my bar, it's a peculiar one, if I really have to give that label I look at the current CL semifinal contenders and believe that any player that can currently start for them is world class. And again it's not a substitute for all time great which actually is a permanent label.
When I said that 2-3 years of performance wasn't enough to label a player world class, you said:

It's a label that simply assesses the level of player at a certain point in time
I am obviously taking the extreme by comparing that to a single tournament or game, but I'm curious. How long does that point in time have to be?

I did bring up world class by saying that he has been labelled as such by many and as a result is overrated.

It's also a purely personal opinion but I really struggle with the notion that a purely destructive player (even one as good as Kante) can be considered one of the best midfield players in the world. A creative player or one who can control the tempo of games is far more valuable in my opinion.

It's no coincidence that his successful years coincided with having forwards like Vardy, Mahrez, Hazard, Costa, etc in incredible form in counter attacking sides. When he's in a team that controls the ball and needs to create, he is far less effective.
 

El Jefe

Full Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2012
Messages
1,588
Your post is just hilarious to me. Over the past 5 years, Kante has enjoyed 2 successful seasons, 1 okay season and 2 poor seasons. If you feel his critics are debatable due to form and injury, why couldn't I feel his success is also debatable just due to form?

The more funnier part is that you say Kante has dominated the midfield week in week out. In his title winning season at Leicester and Chelsea, as well as France in the WC, the team often has fewer possessions and that's the way which suits him. You call that domination?

It's also complete horseshit to say he's good on the ball. He often gives the ball away cheaply and is dispossessed easily. He also overhits and underhits a lot of passes which put his teammates in trouble.

It's clear as day that I don't rate Herrera as well so I don't understand why the "Herrera vs Kante" thing is brought up. As early as #50 I've already stated that Herrera is also overrated and I've criticized him a lot in the "Herrera Revisited" thread.
Firstly he's had 3 successful seasons. In 2017-18 he personally had a good season just everything around his was going to shit. He was named Chelsea's player of the year and capped off the season with a successful World Cup so that's more than okay. He's also never had a poor season, unless average means poor to you. This season is the only one you could possibly say that but he's been hit with injuries.

I suspect the issue with you is adjectives. Is he David Silva/Pogba on the ball? of course not but to play at a level as high as he has done it's impossible not to be good on the ball or you'd be horribly exposed. The stats also don't agree with you regarding his passing as his averages from his first to last season have been 82% 89% 89% 88% 83% and his teams have average more ball possession than opponents in every season but the Leicester one.

Think you need to be a bit more objective regarding him as your opinions don't match reality.
 

JPRouve

can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate
Scout
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
41,810
Location
France
Blaming the system is strange, otherwise all midfielders should be judged the same way (defending and attacking) with these excuses. attacking minded players get blamed all the time for being defensive liabilities so I don't see why a defensive minded player should be excused for being a offensive liability blaming systems etc and such.

Vidal's example is infact a very good one because he didn't only excel in the same type of system as Kante did (Conte's) while doing twice as much offensive work but he was also one of the best players for Peps Bayern in a possession team while Kante has been exposed badly in a similar system with Sarri and now Lampard. And Vidal was never hyped as Kante was. If the player can't play more than one systems then he is limited and therefore overrated, simple .
That's nonsensical, Vidal has been highly rated for most of the last decade and been considered as arguably the most complete midfielder around, from his Leverkusen days to the the middle of his Bayern career where his off field issues with alcohol caught up with him. As for Kanté he has played and succeeded in more than one system France, Leicester and Chelsea don't use the same system and he didn't even have the same role, for France he actually sits in front of the defense in a Makelele type of role which wasn't the case for Leicester and Conte's Chelsea.
Also being overrated as nothing to do with being "limited" or not, almost all players are limited by that logic they are all overrated, being overrated means that you are rated over your value, the level of your actual performances. Kanté was considered to be very good when he was very good and now he is seen as "just" good.
 

hmchan

Full Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Messages
299
Location
Hong Kong
Your ability falls flat because you're mostly going by feeling. On one hand you acknowledge that he's one of the top midfielders in the world but then say that's not all that good by pointing at the stats. He took part in 22 games, did not feature once as a sub and missed 19 through injury. That's half the games that he missed in an incosistent side in an unfinished season. Another thing to note that in these 18 games that he managed to feature in in the league they did not always play the same system. Just looking at the matches I see about 4 different systems. 5 at the back, sometimes 2 DMs, sometimes the 1. Sometimes he's playing with Jorginho, sometimes behind other players, sometimes with Kovacic. Lampard is doing a lot of different things against different opponents and that means that some players will benefit and some players will not each time. Obviously most players haven't benefited from these frequent changes or he wouldn't be making so many of them, both in change of formation and personnel. That's what you should be looking at, not the pure stats because ultimately the sample size is just too low.

Looking at the games alone is never a good measure. See Matshuayi for example. 1 goal in 16 PL games. Shocking right? Well, in those 16 matches he has 1 start and only 224 minutes which is less than 2,5 matches of game time (14 minutes per match to be exact).

Even if Kante has played worse does that make him a lesser player? No. Ultimately it's only a handful of games that you can point to him being bad because he didn't play that much.

I remember the United game well where they dominated us for most of the 1st half but after the Kante injury there was a mentality shift in the United side. Chelsea simply didn't feel as dangerous without him in midfield. Yes Mason Mount can do a few things that Kante doesn't but overall he's not near the same level. With a fully fit squad Kante is the first name on the Lampard's team sheet and the only player at Chelsea that would walk into our team and City's and Liverpool's without a doubt.
Same as many other threads, this one consists of both subjective feelings and objective facts. Whether Kante's overrated is a feeling, and it's up for debate and that's the purpose of this thread. Meanwhile, I've also listed out plenty of facts (e.g. his lack of passing and antipressing ability, limitation on the ball etc), but sadly you've still chosen to ignore all those arguments till now.

Speaking of system, it's Kante who disrupted Chelsea's fluid midfield trio. In October, they had already settled with the combination of Jorginho-Kovacic-Mount/Barkley and the team was banging goals in for fun. Things only started to change when he returned from injury. As far as I see, everyone but Kante was adapting well to Lampard's tactics. So who's the problem?

Your last paragraph just explains why people overrate Kante so much. They only watch a "handful" of his games in which he performs well because he thrives in big games. What they are not seeing is, however, the 95% of his games when he looks limited, redudant and helpless. That's also why there're still people saying he's good on the ball, because they just haven't seen it themselves.

I don't know what you are trying to get across with all those Batshuayi things. Stats ALONE could be misleading and confusing, and it's dangerous to jump to conclusion just based on one or two stats THEMSELVES. But here I've listed so many arguments (that you've ignored) and the table only acts as a supporting evidence and a reference. Are these cases comparable?
 

Snow

Somewhere down the lane, a licky boom boom down
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
31,290
Location
Lousy Smarch weather
Same as many other threads, this one consists of both subjective feelings and objective facts. Whether Kante's overrated is a feeling, and it's up for debate and that's the purpose of this thread. Meanwhile, I've also listed out plenty of facts (e.g. his lack of passing and antipressing ability, limitation on the ball etc), but sadly you've still chosen to ignore all those arguments till now.

Speaking of system, it's Kante who disrupted Chelsea's fluid midfield trio. In October, they had already settled with the combination of Jorginho-Kovacic-Mount/Barkley and the team was banging goals in for fun. Things only started to change when he returned from injury. As far as I see, everyone but Kante was adapting well to Lampard's tactics. So who's the problem?

Your last paragraph just explains why people overrate Kante so much. They only watch a "handful" of his games in which he performs well because he thrives in big games. What they are not seeing is, however, the 95% of his games when he looks limited, redudant and helpless. That's also why there're still people saying he's good on the ball, because they just haven't seen it themselves.

I don't know what you are trying to get across with all those Batshuayi things. Stats ALONE could be misleading and confusing, and it's dangerous to jump to conclusion just based on one or two stats THEMSELVES. But here I've listed so many arguments (that you've ignored) and the table only acts as a supporting evidence and a reference. Are these cases comparable?
I ignore your other points because there's no point in acknowledging them. You're just stating subjective opinions and I won't change them. Why try and argue with them, your mind is already made up.

I can acknowledge one of them.

Speaking of system, it's Kante who disrupted Chelsea's fluid midfield trio. In October, they had already settled with the combination of Jorginho-Kovacic-Mount/Barkley
When they won 6 games in the league in the row they started with 5 different midfield 3s. How's that a settled midfield? They played with different types of midfield 3s. A DMC behind 2 MCs. A #10 in front of two MCs. 2 DMCs deep and a #10. 5 at the back which changes the midfield. Chelsea's midfield has been anything but settled. Barkley barely played, he started in 7 matches. Mount is in his 1st proper season and is very inconsistent. He played a lot and the more he played the less impactful he got.
 

RooneyLegend

Full Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
9,731
Same as many other threads, this one consists of both subjective feelings and objective facts. Whether Kante's overrated is a feeling, and it's up for debate and that's the purpose of this thread. Meanwhile, I've also listed out plenty of facts (e.g. his lack of passing and antipressing ability, limitation on the ball etc), but sadly you've still chosen to ignore all those arguments till now.

Speaking of system, it's Kante who disrupted Chelsea's fluid midfield trio. In October, they had already settled with the combination of Jorginho-Kovacic-Mount/Barkley and the team was banging goals in for fun. Things only started to change when he returned from injury. As far as I see, everyone but Kante was adapting well to Lampard's tactics. So who's the problem?

Your last paragraph just explains why people overrate Kante so much. They only watch a "handful" of his games in which he performs well because he thrives in big games. What they are not seeing is, however, the 95% of his games when he looks limited, redudant and helpless. That's also why there're still people saying he's good on the ball, because they just haven't seen it themselves.

I don't know what you are trying to get across with all those Batshuayi things. Stats ALONE could be misleading and confusing, and it's dangerous to jump to conclusion just based on one or two stats THEMSELVES. But here I've listed so many arguments (that you've ignored) and the table only acts as a supporting evidence and a reference. Are these cases comparable?
You might be on to something. They've played 11 in the league, won 9 and drawn 2 without him. Reckon they should sell him to us and get rid. He's holding them back.
 
Last edited:

hmchan

Full Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Messages
299
Location
Hong Kong
You might be on to something. They've played 11 in the league, won 9 and drawn 2. Reckon they should sell him to us and get rid. He's holding them back.
Obviously. Chelsea had been leading by a wide margin in the top 4 race before Kante returned from injury in November. By that time, we were 10 points behind and ranked 10th in the league. Now the gap has been shortened to 3 points thanks to the "best" midfielder in the world.
 

blue blue

Full Member
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
946
Supports
chelsea
I don't believe in labels and comparisons with other players but there can be no doubt Kante has had a serious impact at the last two clubs he has played for. He has had high energy levels and breaks up the play on a regular basis. I wouldn't describe him as a "quality" player from a ball skill perspective but he has enormous impact in just about every game he plays in. His energy levels have been a large part of his game as he covers a lot of ground and his positional sense demands that he covers that ground.

You can call him world class if you want but at the end of the day he is just a fantastic player who is totally committed to the team he plays in and all his opponents must hate coming up against him. He can dominate any midfield just by tracking the play and breaking it up. This brings in his team mates and stops the opposition. He does that, not the opposition.

The last season or so he has been playing in a new position, which doesn't necessarily suit him, and has had persistent injury problems which he never really shook off. I wouldn't write him off just yet as this break may have done his injury some real good. He wasn't getting a good run in the team before Covid because of the injuries and he didn't necessarily suit the shapeand style Lampard wants the team to play in.

I understand there are few big clubs sniffing around so maybe if a good offer came in Frank would let him go. Chelsea only paid £30m for him so I suspect they could even make a profit. I would rather he came back from injury and played as an out and out defensive midfielder but I wouldn't quibble if Frank wants to sell and make use of Kovacic, Jorghino and RLC. The funds could come in handy in the purchase Sancho.
 
Last edited:

Dancfc

Full Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Messages
2,452
Supports
Chelsea
I don't believe in labels and comparisons with other players but there can be no doubt Kante has had a serious impact at the last two clubs he has played for. He has had high energy levels and breaks up the play on a regular basis. I wouldn't describe him as a "quality" player from a ball skill perspective but he has enormous impact in just about every game he plays in. His energy levels have been a large part of his game as he covers a lot of ground and his positional sense demands that he covers that ground.

You can call him world class if you want but at the end of the day he is just a fantastic player who is totally committed to the team he plays in and all his opponents must hate coming up against him. He can dominate any midfield just by tracking the play and breaking it up. This brings in his team mates and stops the opposition. He does that, not the opposition.

The last season or so he has been playing in a new position, which doesn't necessarily suit him, and has had persistent injury problems which he never really shook off. I wouldn't write him off just yet as this break may have done his injury some real good. He wasn't getting a good run in the team before Covid because of the injuries and he didn't necessarily suit the shapeand style Lampard wants the team to play in.

I understand there are few big clubs sniffing around so maybe if a good offer came in Frank would let him go. Chelsea only paid £30m for him so I suspect they could even make a profit. I would rather he came back from injury and played as an out and out defensive midfielder but I wouldn't quibble if Frank wants to sell and make use of Kovacic, Jorghino and RLC. The funds could come in handy in the purchase Sancho.
I'm really form between Sancho and Havertz.

On one hand Jadon will have the chemistry from the off with both CHO and Pulisic but on the other hand Kai is ,in my opinion, the superior talent.
 

hmchan

Full Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Messages
299
Location
Hong Kong
Is there any player out there that's correctly rated? It seems like everyone's either overrated or underrated.
Yes, the majority of players out there are still correctly rated. They are not mentioned just because they're rightly rated, so there're few debates on them and it's meaningless to create a thread where everyone has the same opinion. Meanwhile, a small number of players tend to get more and more overrated/underrated nowadays, thanks to the polarization by the media. The media love to write positive stories on widely loved players and vice versa, so that people read their articles and they get higher click rates. Consequently readers are influenced by these articles, especially those who don't actually watch the game.