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  1. #51
    Amor de Cosmos's Avatar
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    Yeni Ngbakoto off to Guingamp, and Sean Goss on loan to Glasgow Rangers it seems. The attempt to reach a sustainable squad size by the end of the month has begun.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray de Galles View Post
    Cork's a particularly under-rated player by many people. A Wales fan said to me a year ago that he was symbolic of all Swansea's problems and only a "half-decent Championship level player". I just don't think people appreciate a player who keeps and uses possession well without doing anything more showy.
    There's literally no value placed on good decision making in english football in general, and anyone who talks about it just gets shouted down by people who want manly man action. For instance man utd fans in general never took to morgan schneiderlein, because he made far more interceptions than tackles, and no-one realised that he wasn't supposed to be like a 25 year old Roy keane, but more like Sergio Busquets. He went from being on the bench for the euro 2016 final, to playing in the u-23's under mourinho, while he played Fellaini shielding the back four, and used the disaster to shit on luke Shaw and Wayne rooney. (even then Roy Keane himself made way more interceptions than tackles)

    Even then when a player like Paul scholes turned out the be the last player still playing from when people were young, and started to get the praise he managed to avoid for much of his earlier career, people are thinking about youtube videos of sumptuously hit long passes, and powerful long range shots. like
    This.

    But that only covers about 5-10% of what he did on the pitch. Most of the time it was like This That is from his first appearance after his comeback from retirement. It doesn't include all of his 67 passes in the second half, but you get the general idea. (It certainly doesn't include the two times he gave the ball away, one of which nearly lead to a city goal) It's mostly about moving around, being in space, knowing where you're going to hit the ball before you get it, moving it on quickly and cleanly to a teammate who is free, and then moving to a position to get the ball back, while broadly holding your position relative to your teammates. There are plenty of passes backwards here, because sometimes that's where the free player is. That's what is dictating his passing options.

    I must say I found this very interesting. it's basically how to receive the ball in a crowded midfield and have all the time in the world. I wonder if Jordan Henderson has ever seen this video.
    Last edited by The Awesome Berbaslug!!!; 03-01-2018 at 21:13.

  3. #53
    The current Footballer of the Year is N'Golo Kanté. He won both the PFA Players' Player and Football Writers Awards last season, which are the major two. Kanté's entire game is to turn over possession and then retain it for his side by giving an uncomplicated pass to a teammate not under pressure. Clearly quite a few people both inside the game and following it professionally appreciate the attributes of a proper defensive midfield player.
    Last edited by Janik; 04-01-2018 at 00:13.

  4. #54
    Right, but Ngolo Kante is the living embodiment of the English Traditional Values of running around an awful lot, and making loads of manly man tackles. more manly man tackles than every other midfielder (with the exception of Idrissa Guaye). There's obviously an awful lot more to him than that, in that He also made more interceptions that every other midfielder bar Romeu, but no-one really pays attention to that. most people think an interception is just a bad pass rather than defending through holding your position, and reading the game.

    Actually the figures are pretty extraordinary. In 35 league games for chelsea, he made 127 tackles (3.6 pg) and 89 interceptions (2.4 per game) Those are extraordinary figures for any midfielder, let alone one who plays in a team that plays in a team that has a lot of the ball. but they're nothing on his leicester stats which were the same amount of game time, but 175 tackles (5 per game) and 156 interceptions (4.4 per game)

  5. #55
    Janik and Berba, you are really missing what makes Kante a really special player.

    There are a large number of ball winning midfielders who make excellent interceptions and tackles. The difference with Kante is what he does when he wins the ball. He has an amazing burst of pace over 10 yards where he is able to break the opposition lines and accelerate attacks. This is the opposite to the traditional defensive midfielder who usually looks to slow down play when he turns over possession by playing it backwards or square to allow their team to push up and regain their shape.
    I remember reading here that Barca under Pep had a rule that the player who wins the ball would be too tired to start the attack so should look to pass short to a teammate who would launch the attack.
    Look at many of the counter attacking goals from Leicester and Chelsea's title winning seasons and see how many runs on the ball from Kante through opposition midfield before releasing that ball to the likes of Hazard and Costa in 1v1 situations. This is why Conte played him in attacking positions many times last season to win the ball high up field.

  6. #56
    Oh as I said there's loads more to his game. He's obviously a really good, and well rounded player. The thing that gets him the big plaudits though is the subset of his game that marks him out as the Scott Parker for a new decade.

    I must admit though is this going to be a situation, where in ten years time we find ourselves wondering how we completely took for granted that the most dynamic, explosively fast, high speed, long-running, most physically dominant player in the ultra physical premier league, was also the smallest.

  7. #57
    Kante is the player all pundits tried to convince us that Scott Parker was.
    When (on the rare occasion) Parker won the ball, he would hold onto it (usually run around in a semi-circle) and then pass that ball square or backwards limiting his capability to start a counter-attack.

    The player described by you and Janik would be Makelele. Makelele had all the interception and ball-winning capabilities as Kante without the attacking threat.

    If I could be bothered, i would show link to youtube clips.
    I would not call him physically dominating. Due to his size, crunching tackles is not his thing, it is his speed and anticipation to nick the ball away from an opponents heavy touch or reading and intercepting a telegraphed pass.

  8. #58
    heh I'm not describing him as any kind of player though. I'm just identifying the things that get him prizes, in the way that if Harry kane gets the award this year, it would be because he was a goals magician, rather than this being the result of him being an excellent line leading forward, with the decision making abilities and skill to link up with his teammates as part of a coherent, balanced attacking gameplan, which is what leads to him having twice as many shots per game as Romelu lukaku. You get very little sense in the coverage of Harry Kane that he's primarily a really clever player, who consistently makes good decisions. What he most reminds me of is a more powerful ole gunnar solksjaer, in a set up where he is the primary attacking focus.

  9. #59

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    £142 million then for Coutinho, is this the latest ever transfer fee mid season?

  10. #60
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    That's inflation for you. One Coutinho is worth 2 Suarez's.

  11. #61
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    While it's never nice to be a selling club, Suarez, Coutinho and Sterling cost around £32m to sign and sold for £270m.
    Wish it was my money.

  12. #62
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    Friday's Guardian Football Weekly was very good on the Coutinho situation.

    But will they buy a defensive MF and a goalie?

  13. #63

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    They've got Naby Keita arriving from RB Leipzig in the summer for the former position. Respectable sources say Emre Can is going to move to Juventus on a free in the summer, so they''ll still probably be after a central midfielder at some point soon.

    If I were them I'd be eyeing up Butland, but you might as well wait and see if Stoke get relegated and get him on the cheap. Who are the other top drawer goalkeepers they could conceivably sign? Kevin Trapp at PSG, perhaps?

  14. #64

    Mikkelsen, you son of a...
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    Money matters aside, it's really not great for their ambitions to ever again be a title-challenging team if they keep selling the best players. Yes, the top Spanish clubs invariably get who they want eventually but Liverpool could do well to adapt a more Daniel Levy-esque approach. "You want to leave? Sure. But you're in the reserves for the rest of the season, you train on your own and if I were you I wouldn't be too quick to show up smiling at Melwood. We only want winners here." A bit harsh and unrealistic perhaps but they really need to foster that kind of mentality.

    Liverpool are in the position now that Man Utd were in before winning the first title under Ferguson and Chelsea before Mourinho arrived. A generation or two of their supporters have never seen them win the league and it's really only their bravado and arrogance that maintains the impression that they're credible title challengers. Now is when they need, well, a complete bastard of a manager and players of a similar mindset to swoop in, clear out the dead wood and essentially mount a crusade to win the league. It won't be pretty but that kind of approach works.

  15. #65
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    Liverpool always were a selling club in a way. Thing was in the old days we sold Keegan and used the money to buy Dalglish. Or sold Rush to buy Barnes and Beardsley. It's not about the money it's what you bloody do with it...
    Last edited by Rogin the Armchair fan; 07-01-2018 at 00:09.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by hobbes View Post
    That's inflation for you. One Coutinho is worth 2 Suarez's.
    In fairness, it's not just inflation. Coutinho didn't also bite three players, racially abuse someone, miss nearly an entire season due to suspension and be the stand out villain at two separate world cups. He's not one blow out away from being thrown out of football. He isn't even just after playing in a world cup weeks after serious knee surgery. Given all of the various risks attached to suarez, the price liverpool got for him was extraordinary, and it didn't even fall when he bit chiellini.

    Avoid cross temporal comparisons. It's fairer to say he's worth a van dijk and a naby keita, and leave it at that. Thinking about how much money you got for sterling and suarez just leads you to think about what that money was spent on.

  17. #67

    Mikkelsen, you son of a...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogin the Armchair fan View Post
    Liverpool always were a selling club. Thing was in the old days we sold Keegan and used the money to buy Dalglish. Or sold Rush to buy Barnes and Beardsley. It's not about the money it's what you bloody do with it...
    I don't think they were, though. To me, a selling club is one that consistently fails to win major honours and has trouble holding onto its best players as a result. That doesn't mesh with Liverpool when they sold Keegan. That transfer was more analogous to Ronaldo going from United to Madrid. In both cases the player had already won lots in his career and would have continued to win trophies if he stayed at his current club but had unrealised personal ambitions and wanted out. Rush was a kind of similar situation. There was no danger that Liverpool were suddenly going to be faced with a relegation struggle (ref: Everton selling Lukaku) if they sold Rush. For him, that move was just about making more money and testing himself in the strongest league in the world at the time.

    Liverpool are a selling club now because every time one of these guys leaves not only do they face a rebuild but they also suffer considerable loss of face among other players. If you're a really great player why would you go to a club who haven't got a recent history of success and lose the top talent every three years?

  18. #68
    Rogin the Armchair fan's Avatar
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    Yeah, the cross temporal thing was blown apart by Van Dijk's fee. If Liverpool had paid £45m for him no one would have batted an eyelid. But with the Premier tv deal ALL transfer fees are going to jump £30m to the right in January. Liverpool will sell Sturridge to someone - Stoke? West Brom? - for £50m before this window is out. You heard it here first.

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Rogin the Armchair fan View Post
    Liverpool always were a selling club in a way. Thing was in the old days we sold Keegan and used the money to buy Dalglish. Or sold Rush to buy Barnes and Beardsley. It's not about the money it's what you bloody do with it...
    liverpool sold Ian rush a full season before they signed those players, and it had nearly as much to do with building bridges with Juventus as it did with money. indeed he stayed at liverpool on loan for a year because it was considered a bit soon to be signing a liverpool player. The keegan for dalglish one was odd. Dalglish was a month younger than keegan. And that had as much to do with keegan wanting to be paid a hell of a lot more. Players in England were massively underpaid compared with comparable players on the continent. I was listening to lee dixon talking about his new movie about the 1989 title winning season with arsenal. He was earning £650 a week, (four times the average UK weekly wage) and to put that into context, at that time Paulo maldini was earning £10,000 a week and Franco baresi was earning £17k a week.

  20. #70

    Mikkelsen, you son of a...
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
    liverpool sold Ian rush a full season before they signed those players, and it had nearly as much to do with building bridges with Juventus as it did with money. indeed he stayed at liverpool on loan for a year because it was considered a bit soon to be signing a liverpool player. The keegan for dalglish one was odd. Dalglish was a month younger than keegan. And that had as much to do with keegan wanting to be paid a hell of a lot more. Players in England were massively underpaid compared with comparable players on the continent. I was listening to lee dixon talking about his new movie about the 1989 title winning season with arsenal. He was earning £650 a week, (four times the average UK weekly wage) and to put that into context, at that time Paulo maldini was earning £10,000 a week and Franco baresi was earning £17k a week.
    That example (the enormous disparity in financial resources between English clubs and their Continental bretheren) has always been a subject of apalled fascination for me. I remember one of my first threads on OTF was asking just why it was that, before the advent of the Premier League, footballers in Britain were paid effectively what mid-level IT workers earn nowadays while in European football it had been the case since the Second World War that players were paid relative fortunes. And it always bugged me that some people (in real life, not OTFers) were so quick to put the boot into English players and clubs whenever they were trounced by a big European team. Well, the players on that big European team are paid a lot more for doing broadly the same kind of work. And that's not fair.*

    Anyway, carry on.

    * EDIT: A lot of the people casually remarking on the (admittedly true) technical inferiority and financial paucity of British clubs didn't seem too cognisant of where exactly the money that enabled the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus to become so dominant came from.
    Last edited by Reginald Christ; 07-01-2018 at 00:37.

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald Christ View Post
    I don't think they were, though. To me, a selling club is one that consistently fails to win major honours and has trouble holding onto its best players as a result. That doesn't mesh with Liverpool when they sold Keegan. That transfer was more analogous to Ronaldo going from United to Madrid. In both cases the player had already won lots in his career and would have continued to win trophies if he stayed at his current club but had unrealised personal ambitions and wanted out. Rush was a kind of similar situation. There was no danger that Liverpool were suddenly going to be faced with a relegation struggle (ref: Everton selling Lukaku) if they sold Rush. For him, that move was just about making more money and testing himself in the strongest league in the world at the time.

    Liverpool are a selling club now because every time one of these guys leaves not only do they face a rebuild but they also suffer considerable loss of face among other players. If you're a really great player why would you go to a club who haven't got a recent history of success and lose the top talent every three years?
    Every club that isn't a sugar daddy club is a selling club. Barcelona just sold Neymar to PSG. If someone had made a similar bid for ronaldo, and he was interested in a move, Real madrid would have sold him too. 90's juventus got to three champions league finals with Ravanelli and Vialli up front for the first one, vieiri and boksic up front in the second one, and del piero and inzaghi up front for the third one.

  22. #72
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    And Dalglish was probably increasing his wages by a big sum compared to what he’d get at Sellick. Which is pretty much the history of Scottish football, all Scots skilled labour even. Wages were at least ten per cent lower in Scotland compared to England, even when Scotland was the richest country in the world on paper. So the constant migration to England or beyond.
    Last edited by Lang Spoon; 07-01-2018 at 00:41.

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Reginald Christ View Post
    That example (the enormous disparity in financial resources between English clubs and their Continental bretheren) has always been a subject of apalled fascination for me. I remember one of my first threads on OTF was asking just why it was that, before the advent of the Premier League, footballers in Britain were paid effectively what mid-level IT workers earn nowadays while in European football it had been the case since the Second World War that players were paid relative fortunes. And it always bugged me that some people (in real life, not OTFers) were so quick to put the boot into English players and clubs whenever they were trounced by a big European team. Well, the players on that big European team are paid a lot more for doing broadly the same kind of work. And that's not fair.

    Anyway, carry on.
    It's simply to do with sugar daddies. In 2008-9 Man utd were the club with the biggest turnover in the world, were the reigning european champions, and were on their way to winning their third consecutive title, and appearing in their second consecutive final. In the second round they completely rolled over Inter milan without breaking into a jog. At the time I thought that it was just a symptom of Man utd making twice as much money every year as Inter, but what I didn't learn until much later was that even in 2008-9 the Inter players were being paid twice as much as the man utd players.

    In the case of players like baresi and maldini, the money was coming straight out of silvio's pocket. Italian football was simply a cock measuring contest for really rich men, which was all well and good, right up until it turned out that a lot of these rich men were either after going bankrupt, or were massive frauds, and Napoli, fiorentina and Parma were nearly all simultaneously vapourized, with Lazio and roma rather fortunate not to suffer the same fate.

    Whereas in england football clubs were owned by small to medium sized business people, there wasn't very much money in the sport, and they conspired to keep down wages, spent fuck all on their stadia, with fatal consequences, under-reported gates, and skimmed money off the top, and probably paid players under the counter.
    Last edited by The Awesome Berbaslug!!!; 07-01-2018 at 00:51.

  24. #74

    Mikkelsen, you son of a...
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
    It's simply to do with sugar daddies.
    Oh, I know. It's just that desping clubs who are funded by dubious sources of wealth seems to be* a relatively recent phenomenon. It wasn't the case when, as I said, Juventus, Real Madrid and Benfica (to take a few examples) were steamrollering opposition at home and abroad on their way to success. None of that is to denigrate the quality of the football any of those teams played, let me just say before anyone pulls me up on it.

    * I'm sure there was a lot of domestic opposition to how those clubs were amassing their silverware, it just didn't have the same reach it would now.

  25. #75
    Juventus were owned by a man who controlled a quarter of the Milan stock exchange, real madrid and benfica were the national champions of fascist regimes, at a time when they were fixing eurovision song contests in order to raise their national profile. Football clubs in spain until the eighties were all fan owned, and were primarily local institutions, Clubs in Germany were fan owned, and not really into pissing away huge sums of money, Clubs in the UK were owned by small businessmen, and smalltime hucksters. In Italy, owning a football club was how you showed you were the heir to fucking cosimo de medici or francesco Sforza.

    The entire Serie A boom from the mid eighties to the late nineties was almost entirely funded by sugar daddies, and fraud. You could see that Bernard Tapie so desperately wanted to be one of them.

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