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Old 03.18.2013, 11:07 AM   #2661
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
Watching Bayer v Bayern on a stream. Bayern seem to be coping with the loss of Ribery far better than they did against Arsenal. Quite brilliant goal from Gomez.


YES. shaqiri played instead. i had completely forgotten him. see, he's left-footed, and nominally a winger, though i've seen him play more often near the center instead of kroos or schweinsteiger for example. but yes yes yes. he can sub for ribéry and he's good. gomez's goal was from a perfect pass by shaqiri.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i5EHSnPHmA

now that was a fun match, i thought leverkusen pressed very well and at times overwhelmed bayern in the midfield and bottled them up in their own area, forcing them to play counterattack for much of the game-- which isn't something that bayern is used to doing-- or when they do it works better with ribéry because unlike robben he doesn't lose his head.

it wasn't a clear victory for me, could have gone either way but i'm glad munich won.

--

also i watched liverpool / southampton and damn, being a liverpool fan must be a masochistic endeavor. their defense was full of holes! i read it was cuz of carragher not playing? but damn...

and call me bananas but i thought the real edge on the liverpool attack has been the addition of coutinho, not sturridge... and coutinho didn't play very well this weekend (okay, he scored, which was nice, but he wasn't the destabilizing force i've seen him be in other matches..)

anyway nice weekend and all. how did your teams do?
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Old 03.18.2013, 11:26 AM   #2662
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ps- check out this nerdy fun! (it's an imperfect translation i think, but still...)

http://spielverlagerung.de/2013/03/1...rn-munchen-12/
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Old 03.18.2013, 03:00 PM   #2663
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Great analysis on that site you linked. Good to know there are alternatives to Zonalmarking during their down times.

I don't think there was a key reason for Liverpool losing apart from Southampton playing better than expected and a few too many Liverpool players having a bad day. I certainly wouldn't make too much of Carragher's absence. A Kop legend he might be but he's a shadow of the player he was 5 years ago, maybe even longer.

Re Sturridge, I think he's the more important signing right now because he's helping free up Suarez but Coutinho is surely the more promising long term.

As for the weekend for me, West Ham lost against Chelsea which was disappointing but hardly a surprise. West Ham fans got slaughtered by the media for throwing coins at Lampard when he scored his 200th goal.
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Old 03.18.2013, 03:51 PM   #2664
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i see coutinho as the alt-suarez

--

anyway here is something looking at the upcoming bayern/juve

there is an annoying video on the sidebar so be sure to have your audio on mute

http://www.givemefootball.com/335582...ical-breakdown

after reading that, i started mulling it over and realized the article isn't counting javi martinez as part of the defense. and then it occurred to me that setting him to hound pirlo might just do the trick for bayern. old-school tactic, but effective when it counts.
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Old 03.18.2013, 04:05 PM   #2665
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Not taking anything away from Pirlo but it seems easier to stop him than it is, say, Xavi. England did it against Italy in the Euros. It's not that Pirlo makes it easier, just that opposition players can man mark him in a way that never works with Barca because it only frees up someone just as dangerous. The real problem for Bayern, as mentioned in the article, will be how they cope with Juve's defence.
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Old 03.18.2013, 04:32 PM   #2666
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Pirlo's hardly a spring chicken these days! He's a still a great player mind.
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Old 03.18.2013, 04:42 PM   #2667
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right, whereas javi martinez is only 24-- and has retard strength!

 
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Old 03.19.2013, 08:26 AM   #2668
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Pirlo plays quite economically. He doesn't do too many runs and isn't required to close down much, so as long as he avoids some major injury he should be fine for at least another couple of seasons.
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Old 03.19.2013, 10:34 AM   #2669
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
Pirlo plays quite economically. He doesn't do too many runs and isn't required to close down much, so as long as he avoids some major injury he should be fine for at least another couple of seasons.

he's a very intelligent player.

speaking of longevity, what happened to paul scholes? i saw him playing earlier this season but not anymore this year. not that i really follow man u's every game, but i just haven't seen him in those i've watched.
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Old 03.19.2013, 01:48 PM   #2670
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Scholes is still knocking about and at 38 still annoyingly reliable. Unlike pissing Phil Neville at Everton. God I wish that guy would retire.
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Old 03.19.2013, 01:57 PM   #2671
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h8kurdt
Scholes is still knocking about and at 38 still annoyingly reliable. Unlike pissing Phil Neville at Everton. God I wish that guy would retire.

you could pull a tonya harding and "retire" him
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Old 03.19.2013, 04:45 PM   #2672
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Paul Scholes is a bench player now. He rarely starts. Shame. Best English player of his generation, and all that.
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Old 03.19.2013, 05:08 PM   #2673
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Not by much. Just read his stats for this season 9 starts and 10 games as a sub, not bad going. He'll be missed when he does finally leave. Hell he had to come back this season cos they needed him.
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Old 03.19.2013, 06:56 PM   #2674
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They could do with having Gary Neville back, too.
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Old 03.19.2013, 07:40 PM   #2675
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so i googled the man, and sure enough, he had been injured

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2...-alex-ferguson
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Old 03.19.2013, 09:27 PM   #2676
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Scholes is one of the most fascinating players in my lifetime and one of my favourite players ever. Even if we admit that he pretty much warrants a yellow card as soon as he enters the pitch because, frankly, he doesn't know how to tackle legally and that he abandoned the English national team because (and I'm not making this up) he had trouble dealing with hot climates, none other than Xavi has gone on record as saying that Scholes is the best midfielder he's seen in the last 20 years. Regardless of what we make of that, there's a reason Ferguson still uses him, and why every England manager since Scholes' 'retirement' from international duties has made it their top priority to try and bring him back to the national team.

Xavi on Scholes: ‘In the last 15 to 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen — the most complete — is Scholes. He is a spectacular player who has everything. He can play the final pass, he can score, he is strong, he never gets knocked off the ball and he doesn’t give possession away. If he had been Spanish then maybe he would have been valued more.’

 


While we're talking about players like Pirlo, I do think it's a shame that Paul Scholes will likely never be mentioned in the same breath even though he was easily as good. People who write him off (such as the increasingly Anything-but-an-Englishman centric British media) just don't know what they're talking about. The problem with his kind of player (besides being English) is that he doesn't look that great on Youtube compilations. Same with Pirlo, who it's taken ages for people (outside Italy) to realise just how good he really is. It even extends to Xavi, quite honestly one of the most awe inspiring footballers I've ever seen. They simply don't work on youtube showreels in the way that Zlatan or Neymar do. Nor are they otherworldly in the way that Messi or CRonaldo appear to be.

This would be an interesting question to ask of the Bundesliga, given its current ascendency: has it produced a central midfielder in recent years that comes close to matching Xavi, Pirlo or Scholes? Schwienseiger? Not even close. Of course, that's not to say that Bayern/the Bundesliga won't prevail regardless - just as an NFL team can still win a Superbowl without having an especially noteworthy quarterback.

Sorry. I'm ranting because I'm drunk but I stand by every word.
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Old 03.19.2013, 10:43 PM   #2677
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
Sorry. I'm ranting because I'm drunk but I stand by every word.

dammit, general grant, you keep talking like that and your next bottle is on me!
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Old 03.20.2013, 10:56 AM   #2678
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okkay, i mulled this over during sleep and came up with a couple of names that may be cheating but not really. here you go.

1. franz beckenbauer. what, you say he wasn't a midfielder? nominally no, but he played box to box, went on the attack, scored, etc. the sucka invented a new style/position. beat that, anyone! if he played today he'd be a midifielder like....? nobody, because he'd be better.

2. lothar matthaus. eeeehhhh? not a model citizen by all means, but watchu say maradona? the best rival you ever had? oh yeah, you said that! another midfielder/sweeper guy who played until he was ancient.

3. this took me a little research cuz he was great during my "fuck television, i'm going mental!" era, but there was matthias sammer, who again was midfielder & sweeper extraordinaire until he was sidelined by injury. he's now sports director for bayern munich. he was as ugly as scholes too and here's teh little video to prove it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbd2yehoD1g

and here is a discussion about the evolving role of the sweeper that includes sammer's time of glory (during which i was probably lost in some swamp or desert-- 1996! wow!):

http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/04/...to-prominence/

none of them however is a winemaker. so they lose points on that.

---

ps- am i cheating with the sweepers? maybe. but here's more from the zonal marking article:


So what qualities would this modern sweeper, or modern centre-half, need? They would have to be a good reader of the game, an excellent passer (especially over long distances), a decent tackler and competent in the air, so they were not targeted when up against a tall striker. In other words, exactly the same as the old-style sweeper, and it is no coincidence that many of the more prominent examples of sweepers – Sammer, Lothar Matthuas, Ruud Gullit – were central midfielders earlier in their career.

voilà, monsieur d.!

pps- watch javi martinez in coming years??
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Old 03.20.2013, 01:45 PM   #2679
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
okkay, i mulled this over during sleep and came up with a couple of names that may be cheating but not really. here you go.

1. franz beckenbauer. what, you say he wasn't a midfielder? nominally no, but he played box to box, went on the attack, scored, etc. the sucka invented a new style/position. beat that, anyone! if he played today he'd be a midifielder like....? nobody, because he'd be better.

In reference to the article about the return of the sweeper, Isn't that the very role Beckenbauer kind of defined - and to which Sammer was definitely an heir - along with Nesta and Baresi in Italy and France's Laurent Blanc? They're an elite that tactical changes do seem to have made obsolete so the idea of a possible return is definitely interesting. While it may have been defined and perfected by Beckenbauer, I tend (perhaps wrongly) to associate it with the Italian Catenaccio thing. Either way great sweepers invariably get ranked as among the very best defenders out there, simply because of how hard it is to do well - so the problem, even if it comes into vogue, may be finding defenders capable of actually do it.

My only problem with that article is that Jonathan Wilson seems to envisage a new kind of sweeper which seems no different to me to a classic defensive midfielder. He even gives Busquets as an example, who's nothing but a defensive midfielder in my eyes. I don't think I've ever seen him play in a role that I'd describe as that of a sweeper. Besides maybe set pieces, he doesn't ever stand behind the central defence, just in front of the goalkeeper, which to me is the classic sweeper position. Even if he occasionally joins the line of defence in open play, that's still just a defensive midfield role for me. In fairness though, some people do think a sweeper plays between the midfield and the defence, hence the idea some have that the SW and DM role is synonymous. My understanding of it, though, is represented here:

 


Even so, I think a better example of the kind of player Wilson envisages isn't Busquets but Makelele, who builds things from the back but is still for me not a sweeper.

I don't remember seeing Matthaus play as a sweeper - but that doesn't mean he didn't. He was always a midfielder when I saw him though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!

pps- watch javi martinez in coming years??

Yeah, a perfect example of someone who could potentially become a sweeper, either in the traditional sense or the new version we're talking about.
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Old 03.20.2013, 01:54 PM   #2680
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