- Nov 25, 2017
It’s a natural development of the game. The defenders are important in other aspects of the game than just defending by winning duels. The top teams need to have CB with good ball handling. It’s possible a team with “modern” CBs concede 3-4 extra goals over the season from losing aerials, but defenders losing possession, clearing the ball all the time, not being able to build up from the back etc will cost more for a top team.Tbh it's a problem with a lot of modern CBs, due to the emphasis towards CBs needing to be skilled at playing out from the back, and less teams playing a strategy that involves getting crosses in and having a big man upfront.
Problem is everything else should be secondary, the most important things for a CB is to be able to win the physical battle, command their penalty box and win aerially challenges.
Wes Brown, Jamie Carragher, Martin Keown level players, very good but never top bracket CBs in their era, put them in today's game and they'd make most CBs starting for the top sides look like Titus Bramble.
Van Dijk is/was last season seen as the best CB in the world, I honestly don't think he's any better than the 3 aforementioned CBs, just the standard has decreased massively, aside from defenders being able to pass a bit better.