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Brilliant question. A really good subject for discussion at the moment.
The top CMs right now I associate with power, physicality and burst. A brief history (all in my own opinion here)
When the 4-2-3-1 became the most common formation, games were fizzling out as stalemates as the two holding duos locked down the pitch. Then players like Fernandinho came about, those who can "break" between the lines and beat players 1v1 (see Shakhtar vs. Chelsea). We've been moving steadily toward matching players up man for man on the pitch, and if you can win your 1v1, a quick attack is on should you make the right choice.
Look at City (4-4-1-1) vs. Barca (4-3-3). City left Busquets alone, pinned Yaya vs. Iniesta and Fernandinho vs. Xavi. 1v1, can you beat me? I'm bigger, stronger and faster than you are.
Real Madrid v. Schalke (i wrote an article on it on Thursday!): Schalke had Madrid man for man, but Bale duped Kolasinac and three seconds later it's in the net. 1v1: power, dribbling, technical ability, surging.
It's becoming increasingly more important to have that physical, all-round ability. I believe playmakers are getting deeper and deeper (like Gerrard dropping off to DM) not by design, but by consequence of the onus on pushing stronger, more direct players further forward.
The truth is, a surging Henderson run probably does more for you, on balance, that Gerrard playing as a flat CM in a 4-3-3 with Lucas behind him holding the fort.
Di Maria is an animal, he's relentless. I would hate to play against him. He's direct, has drive, works hard and is really quick. He's slightly stronger than most wingers so he can switch inside, and I believe Bale could play the exact same role.
Coutinho has developed an aggressive attitude. I don't love him in this position - he'd be trampled by Yaya and Rodgers knows it - but he gets in your face. He really annoyed Wilshere not long ago by snapping at his heels. I also think his high-risk, No. 10-style passing is way too risky to have in a deep position.
Modric is the equaliser. He has no physical ability, but he is perhaps THE classic flat CM playmaker (the new breed). Not a 10, not a 6. The modern 4-3-3 doesn't require BOTH CMs to boast that physical ability, just one. Modric is positionally excellent (again see article re: Real/Schalke) and fills gaps Di Maria leaves and balances the formation when Carvajal goes forward.
In my opinion: Mentality cannot make up for a lack of physicality.
Mancini spoke at a seminar several years ago in Serbia about how physical preparation is the way forward, not tactics. He was right. The way the game is going, Coutinho changing his attitude will only get you so far. I don't think Rodgers would deploy Coutinho deep in a 4-3-3 vs. Yaya or Fernandinho because he knows he'd lose the 1v1.
Hope this is along the lines you wanted mate!
Hey Zach thanks for the message. I just find GM so difficult to ignore! He's not a normal troll. I think he actually believes what he says. That's what's frustrating.
Game was good. I just feel we are playing like we played last season. Despite the results it feels like we have actually gone backwards.
With regards to Willian, he is a very good player. Unfortunately, I as a Brazil fan, I wouldn't him at Liverpool because his best position is the left wing spot. I would not say that he does anything great but he is very good attacking wise. He can score from different spot and he can also pass. He could play as a right winger but given that he's right footed then that would limit his scoring prowess because he wouldn't be to cut in and put the ball on his right foot to shoot. Overall though, He's a very good player and would help any team.
hey man, yes i sometimes listen to them, just sometimes forget! haven't heard the latest, i'll give it a d/l and listen tonight.
Well its an award. So we have to do it. And, the lake district is near the Scottish boarder. Pretty much there's a big group of us, we split off into smaller teams. Are given a map, and we have to navigate our way around fking crappy terrain to campsites which SUCK. And eventually we make it back to the hostel where we started.
XD so you didnt even make the whole journey?! Dayum haha. Maybe its not a good idea to admit it on the internet XD But still, you can look back at that photo and remember that you were the king... for that day.
Worst ive ever done is 70km over 4 days/3 nights up in the lake district. You have no idea how bad that was... x___x I actually still have nightmares about it. And the worst part is, I have to do it again next year. The clock is ticking :(
Haha, king of the world in that pic XD
Ok Luis Muriel, Classic colombian 9, started in Deportivo Cali one of the best if not the best Club football academy in Colombia. As a Colombian developed striker, due to tradition Muriel was trained to have as much technique as possible (Falcao a pure striker developed in Argentina in River Plate).
So Muriel is a striker that can pass, and has a lot of strength, he has good movement but he isn't so fast as "speedster" colombian players like P.Armero and C.Zuñiga. In any case he is strongest in the box using his killer instinct, movement and strength to score.
Aspas does work defensively, and he's more of a deep-lying forward than a striker. I'm not sure about wide, I haven't seen him play there, but I have not watched him extensively. I know he's flexible.
Tell you what, the B/R commenter Alex KTK is an expert on him. I reckon ask him.
To Kill a Mockingbird