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Thread: Libero or desequilibrante?

  1. #61  
    Snippes is online now First team regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by Target-Man View Post
    This is a great debate, and I am very sad that I have missed it in its early stages.

    I think I have to comment a bit on the libero thing, though. Snipes, it seems like you are saying that a libero system would have one stopper and one libero, but if you look at the teams who used this system in the '70s, '80s and '90s you would see that they usually had two CBs just like a regular back four, and a libero in addition to that. Germany in 1990 had Kohler and Buchwald as the stoppers with Augenthaler as the libero and Berthold and Brehme as the wing backs.

    The two CBs would man mark, and while on the defensive the libero would cover the gaps left by having wing backs in advanced positions and/or created by forwards dragging a man marker wide. The difference between a libero and sweeper lies more in the interpretation than in the positioning. A "sweeper" is thought of mostly in defensive terms as "sweeping up" the "garbage" that is not picked by the stoppers. A libero, being a "free man" is thought to be free to join midfield and attack when he chooses to, often carrying the ball himself. Coming from a defensive position through a midfield of players already marking each other, he becomes an attacking threat by creating local overload situations and by exploiting the seams in the defensive positioning thereby gaining ground unmarked. If played to perfection, it could often lead to a libero getting as far as into the penalty box before someone would pick him up.

    Actually, I think that when we have the ball, we position ourselves in a way not too dissimilar to if we actually had three centre backs. Alonso or Mascherano often play in a very withdrawn central role with Carragher and Skrtel moving wider than centre backs normally would in a flat back four, and with Arbeloa and Aurelio or Dossena essentially playing like wing backs. That means that we often have three players spread across the pitch at the back with a DM slightly more advanced than the to CBs.

    The difference against Portsmouth again seemed to have more to do with the interpretation of the roles than with positioning. With a DM occupying the central defensive position slightly ahead of the CBs, he is the one who moves forward first. With Carragher as a CB occupying the central position against Portsmouth, he would stay behind while Agger and Skrtel were allowed to move wider and further forward.

    I don't know if you agree, but that's what I see happening quite often.

    I don't recall the classic libero formations emphasizing closing down the opposition early. Instead, they emphasized flexibility of formation and freedom of movement for certain key creative players, as well as quick counterattacks with the libero joining the attack and exploiting the seams of the opposition formation.

    When AC Milan started using a flat back four, they also started applying much higher pressure and moving the defensive line much higher than Italian teams normally would at the time.
    Top post Target!!!

    And you ask a very good question regarding whether the libero plays with one stopper or two. I generalized there a bit admittedly and should have been more clear. You are absolutely correct that Germany employed Mathaus with Kohler and Buchwald - 2 stoppers..but there were other variations of it where you had one sweeper, one stopper and then still a more defensive #6 who would drop back and help when needed IF the team had more creative attacking tradional #8s and #10s. The Catenaccio style of the 60s and 70s had more of the latter. AC Milan did as well with Baresi the libero and Rijkaard the defensive midfielder (although he was about as attacking as a defensive midfielder got). Daniel Passarella was maybe the Godfather of this second type of system with Argentina.

    So I guess teams did both, I should have said.

    Your definitions of Libero and Sweeper are absolutely spot on. Augenthalar was more of a sweeper, Mathaus more of a Libero due to his earlier midfield background. The point I was trying to make earlier was that the reason I don't think the Libero would perform the requisite effect that WTM was suggesting in the OP is, the Libero still starts their job behind the CBs, not in front of them. So in essense, even if they are allowed to push up into space when possible, they are starting off the blocks further away from attack than a Mascherano or holding midfielder does. No matter how you slice it, the libero is the more cautious, defensive approach to having the more modern defensive midfielder sitting in front of the back four so it the libero would not make us more offensive than we are right now.

    In fact my belief is the reason the holding midfielder and 2 CBs system evolved more in modern football is CBs have become better ball players and defensive midfielders are trusted with being more mobile, better at reading the game, and better at carrying the ball forward so they help a team become more "adventureous" than the opportunistic philosophy of the libero.

    I too watched with great interest our 3 CB formation over the weekend and I couldn't agree with you more on how it looked on the pitch. It looked like Carra was sitting much deeper almost like a sweeper does in the middle, and Skrtel and Agger were very much spread on either side, much more than when we play with 2 CBs. Problem is, Carra is the most cautious defender we have, so he isn't going to push up too far or gamble too adventurously with ball at feet. His ball skills being what they are....he will sit back and spray passes around but he is not dashing down the middle like Agger likes to do...so we kind of lose the libero/sweeper effect offensively when Carra is playing down that middle of the 3 back formation. Yet, Agger is left footed and Skrtel is right footed so you have to say they were where they needed to be. I wonder if a Hyppia in the middle where Carra was playing would work out better because he is better on the ball and make those deep penetrating through passes like he served up for Torres against Everton. Interesting thought....

    Your last point about AC Milan is another good one...and I agree. I think AC Milan adopted or tried to adopt what Holland was doing in the 1988 Euros with outstanding ball handlers in the flat back four...pressuring high up and condensing the pitch in defense...but spreading out wide and stretching the other team when they won the ball. It was sweet poetry watching that Rinus Michels team stroking the ball around the park slowly and casually, and then at the blink of an eye someone was cue rolling the ball to Ronaldo Koeman who could strike the ball like God!!

    I believe that if you really wanted to define Rafa's philosophy...or the one he is trying to employ...its a marriage of the Sachi and Rinus Michels versions of "total football".
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    Nnog and babel as strikers will not win us the title.
    Rafa sucks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jodzo View Post
    classy attacker are hard to get and very few cheap ones turn out to be success... hopefully in the summer we will have 30-40mils to spend on 1-2 classy attackers... and its make or break summer for Rafa...
    Two Robbie Keanes?????
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    Just curious.....

    When did we all start speaking Italian? Was it while I was at the toilet-o?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jodzo View Post
    classy attacker are hard to get and very few cheap ones turn out to be success... hopefully in the summer we will have 30-40mils to spend on 1-2 classy attackers... and its make or break summer for Rafa...
    Hopefully in the summer we have more than 10 mil to spend
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    I'd like to point out to everyone that Juan Pablo Aimar wasn't actually that popular at Valencia under Rafa Benitez. You could tell he appreciated the fluid mechanisms of a team more than a team being built around one individual.
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  7. #67  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snipes View Post
    Top post Target!!!

    And you ask a very good question regarding whether the libero plays with one stopper or two. I generalized there a bit admittedly and should have been more clear. You are absolutely correct that Germany employed Mathaus with Kohler and Buchwald - 2 stoppers..but there were other variations of it where you had one sweeper, one stopper and then still a more defensive #6 who would drop back and help when needed IF the team had more creative attacking tradional #8s and #10s. The Catenaccio style of the 60s and 70s had more of the latter. AC Milan did as well with Baresi the libero and Rijkaard the defensive midfielder (although he was about as attacking as a defensive midfielder got). Daniel Passarella was maybe the Godfather of this second type of system with Argentina.

    So I guess teams did both, I should have said.

    Your definitions of Libero and Sweeper are absolutely spot on. Augenthalar was more of a sweeper, Mathaus more of a Libero due to his earlier midfield background. The point I was trying to make earlier was that the reason I don't think the Libero would perform the requisite effect that WTM was suggesting in the OP is, the Libero still starts their job behind the CBs, not in front of them. So in essense, even if they are allowed to push up into space when possible, they are starting off the blocks further away from attack than a Mascherano or holding midfielder does. No matter how you slice it, the libero is the more cautious, defensive approach to having the more modern defensive midfielder sitting in front of the back four so it the libero would not make us more offensive than we are right now.

    In fact my belief is the reason the holding midfielder and 2 CBs system evolved more in modern football is CBs have become better ball players and defensive midfielders are trusted with being more mobile, better at reading the game, and better at carrying the ball forward so they help a team become more "adventureous" than the opportunistic philosophy of the libero.

    I too watched with great interest our 3 CB formation over the weekend and I couldn't agree with you more on how it looked on the pitch. It looked like Carra was sitting much deeper almost like a sweeper does in the middle, and Skrtel and Agger were very much spread on either side, much more than when we play with 2 CBs. Problem is, Carra is the most cautious defender we have, so he isn't going to push up too far or gamble too adventurously with ball at feet. His ball skills being what they are....he will sit back and spray passes around but he is not dashing down the middle like Agger likes to do...so we kind of lose the libero/sweeper effect offensively when Carra is playing down that middle of the 3 back formation. Yet, Agger is left footed and Skrtel is right footed so you have to say they were where they needed to be. I wonder if a Hyppia in the middle where Carra was playing would work out better because he is better on the ball and make those deep penetrating through passes like he served up for Torres against Everton. Interesting thought....

    Your last point about AC Milan is another good one...and I agree. I think AC Milan adopted or tried to adopt what Holland was doing in the 1988 Euros with outstanding ball handlers in the flat back four...pressuring high up and condensing the pitch in defense...but spreading out wide and stretching the other team when they won the ball. It was sweet poetry watching that Rinus Michels team stroking the ball around the park slowly and casually, and then at the blink of an eye someone was cue rolling the ball to Ronaldo Koeman who could strike the ball like God!!

    I believe that if you really wanted to define Rafa's philosophy...or the one he is trying to employ...its a marriage of the Sachi and Rinus Michels versions of "total football".
    I think you are right that CBs have become better overall football players than they were 15-20 years ago, and probably faster too. I wonder, however, if the demise of the "libero" system might not also have to do with the problem of replacing him when injured or retiring.

    As you point out, a libero would often be a player retrained from being a midfielder, often from being an attacking midfielder. The libero and captain of Denmark during the successful years of the 1980s when the team played with a true libero started his international career as a forward! (And seems likely to finish it in his current position as coach). In essence, you need both mobility, the defensive awareness of a top defender of defensive midfielder and the skills of an attacking midfielder to play the "libero" role as a true "free man" rather than just a sweeper.

    Such players are much harder to replace than a CB, because at CB it's much easier to live with a less skilled stay home defender. You may prefer skilled players, but the entire system of playing doesn't rest on the ability of CBs to make an attacking contribution.

    As you point out, some of the great German liberos started their careers as top class midfielders: Beckenbauer, Matthäus, Sammer. Augenthaler was a defender from the start, but when you say he played more like a "sweeper" than a "libero", I think it's more true of the end of his career when he had lost pace, and when the international team played with two creative midfielders in addition to Mattäeus - and without a real defensive midfielder.

    In a way, I miss the libero system the way I miss the genuine playmaker, who didn't have any real defensive tasks. As I mentioned in my first post, the way the libero system was played in Germany and Denmark it seemed to strive to allow maximum freedom for a couple of highly skilled individual players, a playmaker and a libero, who would be left with few tactical constraints.

    Just as defenders have become better allround footballers, so have midfielders. Unfortunately, I think that also means that there is less room for the outstanding playmaker, who would be embarrassed to be seen making a tackle.
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    Thanks, seeing good replies makes it worth writing a decent post I reckon.

    I take on board Fowis point about lengthening the pitch, however this is in benefit to the whole 'libero' style of play. Cover and break away. The way I see it, there are two ways to stretch a game, long and wide. Stretching a team long can be done by either throwing a tall lone striker up front and lumping balls to him, or by having a pacy striker feeding off balls over the top.

    This ties in to how a lot of teams operate these days, going back to Rafa original quote about the tactics in the modern game. I understand that no system is the correct system 100% of the time, but as dominant or preferred method of play, it is right up there in my estimation, provided we can play it.

    There was never a better time for Rafa to use wingbacks after this post than the Portsmouth game, it showed the good in the system, and also highlighted the deficiencies in the system if not deployed spot on. Looking at the goal Nugent scored first was a great example of how it shouldn't be played. Although we have a fine offside trap, it should not be used in a three man central defence. As Skrtel goes towards the ball, Carragher as a 'libero' would be 4/5 yards deeper and cover the space for Nugent to exploit.

    Like I said in the system, Mascherano would not have been in his position, and I must confess to leaving out Dossena in my mind when making the original post. I think SNips original post picks up on the libero *** ball playing defender in Baresi. Now many people will wonder why I consider libero against a creationistic form of play in the desequilibrante is simply because I feel we are better equipped to make this transition at the leats amount of cost with the most amount of benefit.

    I see our problems as not stemming from defence or attack; when they work both are good enough to give anyone a game, but our transition between the two is way off in most cases. If I just put together a few lineups and explain the reasoning behind them:


    ---------------------- Reina -------------------------

    --------------------- Agger --------------------------
    ---------- Carra ------------- Skrtel --------------

    Arby -------------- Alonso ------------ Aurelio

    -------- Gerrard --------------- Yossi -----------

    -------- Torres ------------------ Kuyt ------------

    This gives us a very good strong back five, and with Aggers emergence, a very solid back four. As Agger steps forward, he would push Alonso further up the pitch and with Yossi and Gerrard pulling into wide areas, we could create an attack of five players. From a 5-3-2 we have gone to a 4-2-4. They are just my thoughts on what would pan out.

    Now for simple football delight, the desequilibrante would bring unparelled joy to the more aesthetic part of our game. As people have rightly pointed out that Rafa destroyed us with Valencia, we must bear in mind the team that turned out for us was in full:

    Dudek, Carragher, Hyypia, Diao, Traore, Riise, Murphy, Gerrard, Hamann, Heskey, Diouf. Subs: Kirkland, Baros, Babbel, Owen, Berger, Biscan, Cheyrou.

    I know people think Gerrard is good in the position but I disagree, he is where he is on drive, grit and power in a position where we need subtelty and guile. The two Everton games highlight perfectly Gerrards influence. In both games he scored a goal. In one game he played midfield and the other behind the striker. In one of the games he also tackled, harried and marauded, in the other apart from the goal he was disjointed and missing in portions of the game. In some games you require a key because using a battering ram does not always work.

    The underlying philosophy with both these systems is the responsibility placed on one key player; Rafa has shown he doesn't really like to do this, and his mind is geared towards a team methodology like in zonal marking. I believe that in large parts he is right, but what escalate managers is their ability to have their own insight and change things up when the game demands it. United do not play like they did in the early 90's or the 2000's. Ferguson has adapted and built on success. No longer do United have the naivety in Europe to push forward and concede soft goals against the likes of Madrid.

    I will say something that may seem controversial and people are welcome to disagree but I think Rafa still being young is still trying too much to emulate systems he admires, instead of using one as a basis and adopting it for our use. Of course I think Rafa has done a great job at Liverpool so far but there will come a time, just like under Houllier when the step will need to be made in playing more 'attractive' football.

    I thought the football and pressure we played against Portsmouth with fringe players in positions was excellent, I thought Carragher was a mistake as the centre of a three man back line, although given his experience I can understand and accept why Rafa deployed him there. The players seemed more comfortable with the lineup, and there was faster transition between defence and attack which is what we sorely need, coupled with excellent support from the attack players. Unfortunately, a set piece and flat back three cost us a couple of goals.

    I know some will say that the sweeper/libero is dead, and has been for some time, but like I said changes in the offside rule and the evolution of interchangeable front lines may have created a niche for the manager who is brave enough to deviate from the norm. It would take a brave manager to change any of this, but to change it in the face of predominant English mentality will be even tougher.
    Last edited by waittillmay; 10-2-09 at 18:32. Reason: edited
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  9. #69  
    Paullfc1976 is offline LFC Hall of Fame Resident
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    Quote Originally Posted by waittillmay View Post
    ---------------------- Reina -------------------------

    --------------------- Agger --------------------------
    ---------- Carra ------------- Skrtel --------------

    Arby -------------- Alonso ------------ Aurelio

    -------- Gerrard --------------- Yossi -----------

    -------- Torres ------------------ Kuyt ------------
    I would still play the one striker but would have Gerrard, maybe Riera and Torres up front. With two attacking wing backs and have Alonso and Masch as protecting the back 3, it would then give you imo a good balance of 5 defensive players and 5 attacking players. But we would have to improve at RWB.

    Though I do not think I would change the formation too often, still like the 4-2-3-1.

    Another great post btw mate.
    Last edited by Paullfc1976; 10-2-09 at 19:20. Reason: just
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    ---------------------- Reina -------------------------

    --------------------- Agger --------------------------
    ---------- Carra ------------- Skrtel --------------

    Arby -------------- Alonso ------------ Aurelio

    -------- Gerrard --------------- Yossi -----------

    -------- Torres ------------------ Kuyt ------------

    I really like this formation; we need to have players pressuring defenses into mistakes. This would be my preferred team

    ---------------------- Reina -------------------------

    --------------------- Agger --------------------------
    ---------- Carra ------------- Skrtel --------------

    Gerrard ------------ Alonso ------------ Aurelio

    ---------- Yossi------------- Reira-----------

    ----------------Kuyt -- Torres-------

    Defense should be sound but we always have Mash and Arbaloa if it gets a bit shaky.. but hopefully we’re already 2 goals up
    Gerrard ...he does have the speed, defensive qualities and the go forward required he and Yossi can always interchange if he comes infield Aurelio can do the same with Reira.
    Alonso can spread the ball around from deep he is spoilt for outlets with this formation.
    Yossi and Reira can both take on their man and pull defenders out of position leaving space for the strikers to work.

    The formation can also be changed to have Gerrard as a second striker behind Torres infact this team can be interchanged in many ways most of them attacking

    --------------------- Reina -------------------------


    Carra --------Agger -------- Skrtel ------- Aurelio

    Kuyt-------------- Alonso ----------------- Reira

    ----------- Yossi -------Gerrard -----------

    ------------------ Torres-----------

    I do believe this should be our starting team
    Summer targets should be a specialist dead ball specialist, we are definitely lacking one which is the deference between the win and a draw… that’s the way I see it we do not punish teams for fouling us around the penalty area.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brumbie View Post
    ---------------------- Reina -------------------------

    --------------------- Agger --------------------------
    ---------- Carra ------------- Skrtel --------------

    Arby -------------- Alonso ------------ Aurelio

    -------- Gerrard --------------- Yossi -----------

    -------- Torres ------------------ Kuyt ------------

    I really like this formation; we need to have players pressuring defenses into mistakes. This would be my preferred team

    ---------------------- Reina -------------------------

    --------------------- Agger --------------------------
    ---------- Carra ------------- Skrtel --------------

    Gerrard ------------ Alonso ------------ Aurelio

    ---------- Yossi------------- Reira-----------

    ----------------Kuyt -- Torres-------

    Defense should be sound but we always have Mash and Arbaloa if it gets a bit shaky.. but hopefully we’re already 2 goals up
    Gerrard ...he does have the speed, defensive qualities and the go forward required he and Yossi can always interchange if he comes infield Aurelio can do the same with Reira.
    Alonso can spread the ball around from deep he is spoilt for outlets with this formation.
    Yossi and Reira can both take on their man and pull defenders out of position leaving space for the strikers to work.

    The formation can also be changed to have Gerrard as a second striker behind Torres infact this team can be interchanged in many ways most of them attacking

    --------------------- Reina -------------------------


    Carra --------Agger -------- Skrtel ------- Aurelio

    Kuyt-------------- Alonso ----------------- Reira

    ----------- Yossi -------Gerrard -----------

    ------------------ Torres-----------

    I do believe this should be our starting team
    Summer targets should be a specialist dead ball specialist, we are definitely lacking one which is the deference between the win and a draw… that’s the way I see it we do not punish teams for fouling us around the penalty area.

    I like the second of your three suggestions best - with one change. We buy a better player than Dirk to play with/just off Torres. That's a line-up that could hurt others.
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    Some excellent posts, I have just a couple of points;

    Zola, bergkamp, cantona, the history of the epl has shown that the most influential players come from the 'desquibrilante' tradition - ferguson runs his clock off them (cantona, york, sheringham, he now has three rooney, tevez & berba and is missing his actually striker but you can even go back to mclair with him on the shadow striker). However I think it's a tradition where we are the forebearers in the modern english game - ofcourse Dagleish. We have continually tried to replace our mythical No 7, sometimes succesfully like beardsley, sometimes less so as in kewell.

    This brings me onto stevie, and something of a contradicting argument. I agree with an earlier poster that sg is often no accoladed as the ultimate ss because of the 'look' of his play. It's as if the ss has to come from the latin - slow slow quick languid type of footballer, but let me ask you to make a couple of comparisons, before deco and ballack came here I honestly thought they were peers with sg (all be it slightly behind him) when it;s plain to see he is on a different footballing plane to them. Again think about last season despite the fact we only finished third people assume the dissapointment was lessened by the CL run, I actually think it was the majesty of the FT & SG partnership. An earlier psot said the position needs guile - well think of sg slide ruler ball with the outside of his left boot - he can do guile as good as anyone and better then most, it's just he's robust enough to actually make those contributions regularly.
    Heres where the contradiction lies, I do agree with the point that he can do what he does as well in CM as SS (not better); In comparison with utd, we have theoretically less goal scorers in our team (present performances not withstanding) therefore it would make more sense to purchase a player to play in the ss role, I have a player in mind who I think fits perfectly the rafa versatility requirements as well as the physicality to play in the prem - frank ribery. He plays superbly on the right but I have heard from his own mouth that his preference is in the shadow striker role. I also put my name to those calling for silva (again his versatility is a plus) and would be willing to sell kuyt and babel (reluctantly) to get these and we'd probably have to add another 20 - 30m on top. I see this because it negates the 'all the eggs in one basket' argument DS, FR and SG could all play anywhere along the 3 in a 4-2-3-1 formation for example.

    On the libero argument I sympathise with the want to have a playmaking CB but my argument is that you can still have one in flat back four. Just as rijkard was good enough to play cb and still dictate play when appropriate and hopefully Agger can prove to be a more progressive CB without losing anything defensively (the two things aren't mutually exclusive). One of the main reason for a three at the back is allows full backs to attack more, but as the game has developped full backs are attacking more anyway al'a arsenal.
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    Cracking thread, been following it for a while and even attempted a long winded reply 'till I managed to lose it whilst checking on the the spelling of delisq etc.

    Libero, is unfortunately dead. Its too easy for sides to simply tell one striker to push on to the deepest man. He gains yards on the remainder of the back line and suffocates the freedom of the libero. Who is now no longer free to play his role. The libero can simply end up being a destructor of play be trying to play the off-side trap on his own and with modern interpretation of interfering or not its way too risky.

    Agger is quality on the ball and if such a system was workable then he is best equiped to play it. Or is is actually Gerrard?

    We certainly do need greater quality in the final third. Not just the dynamic play of Gerrard but more subtlety and guile. As Gerrard's legs get heavier with time he may well become better suited to dropping into the 'true' centre of midfield.

    I can't see any team that has to be successful in up to 4 competitions over a full 9 months relying on a pivitol player, such as a true in the hole desq'. Only the clubs with huge resources and an already successful team can afford to add such a player. IE You already need a great plan A before you can consider a plan A*. We're still quite a way from that yet.

    There are two distinct type of players needed for that role. They must either be quite lightweight, small and skilful man beating players or they need to be strong, great touch, back to goal players with a head up and eye for a pass style. Gerrard is too good an athlete to use those styles of play (everyone plays to their strengths even if they have other capabilities).

    Benayoun and Luid Garcia do and have had the qualities to fit the little man role. We've never had a nig man with enough quality. As much as I'll defend Kuyt's first touch as not being awful it still isn't good enough to play the role. He's too mobile to 'absorb' the ball, ala a Bergkamp, Cantona or Berbatov.

    The little man advantage is the picking up of 'soft' free kicks in and around the box. Gerrard is simply too strong and it always looks like a dive if he goes down even when genuinely clipped.

    May be Pacheco will inherit the role as Gerrard naturally drops deeper with age.
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    i appreciated everybody's posts, especially the longer ones. i've learned a lot.

    here's my two cents, i shall be concise:

    what does a desequilibrante do? as the name suggests, he disturbs/destabilizes the defence. so far, everyone's imagined this to be a tricky player operating just behind the main striker. now what makes this player especially dangerous, besides the obvious "pass that unlocks the defense", is that his skills and position on the field allows him to draw one or more defenders to him. This could mean creating more space for a main striker by drawing a marker out of position, freeing up the winger by pinching the defending fullback in towards the middle, or simply setting up a shot for a teammate by engaging the defending midfielders(think quick one-two).

    when playing against a team with a high defensive line, or with some distance between the defensive and midfield line, the pace and intelligence of torres and gerrard in combination are usually sufficient to draw the defense out of position. just think of the many goal opportunities we had with either one of them running through the channel between fullback and centreback from a flick/throughball/one-two from the other.

    the problem arises when this space is closed down when the defense plays a low defensive line, or with one or two deeper-lying midfielders. the pace and skills which give gerrard and torres an advantage in a situation where the 2nd defender is too far from the 1st defender is negated. aka when one of them gets free of one marker, a second defender/midfielder is close enough to cover for the initial mistake.

    my proposal is in no way radical, and actual comes from either rinus michel or a rafa interview; i don't remember. in any case, one or both of them mentioned that the eventual development of the team was such that in attack, every player is capable of being a playmaker.

    in the absence of a traditional desequilibrante, i see rafa's favoured 4-2-3-1 formation offering a fluid attacking system where any of the attacking 3 (excluding the striker) could act as a disturbing force.

    the more observant of you lot might have noticed that most our more dangerous looking attacking plays have come about when our two wingers bring the ball in diagonal through the corner of the penalty box. why is this?

    it's simple. for the same reason why 2 striker systems encourage their strikers to make criss-crossing and diagonal runs: it confuses defenders, draws them, and creates space for the other players.

    the same principle holds for a 3-1 frontline, albeit the practice might be slightly different. i believe there is a reason why rafa chose kuyt/benayoun/babel, and to a lesser extend riera as our winger: these are players capable of bringing the ball diagonal in towards the box and destabilizing defenses through guile/skill(Benayoun and riera), experience as striker(kuyt), pace(babel), etc.

    my ideas are better described in tactical situations/drawings, but the gist is this: when you have these wingers timing diagonals runs into the box and attacking the space between the fullback and centreback, you create space and opportunity for your main striker/support striker/overlapping fullbacks/midfielders, depending on how the defense is set up to handle such a run.

    the portsmouth game was interesting in that aurelio was making these runs between the centreback and fullback, which free-up space behind him and to his left.

    essentially, why put all your eggs in one basket by investing in one desequilibrante, when you can have a system where any of the 3 behind the striker could take on that role.
    Last edited by someonetookmooman; 11-2-09 at 17:59.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippin2 View Post
    Yes, gfood point on both the libero role and the "hole" role, but that would require (as you stated) some freedom and license. We are too rigid at the moment for that, and too defensive-minded. I think the libero can do a kind of dual role - a CB pairing when needed and then dropping into a sweeper otherwise. But it must be someone who is a supreme reader of the game.
    Amen.

    Horses for courses isn't it? No problem playing Masch and Xabi against the good sides, especially away, but lets not be too timid against the rest.

    Others need to fear us - thats half the points in the bag.
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    None of you are scouse......None of you are fans........You're all Mancs or Bitters.......and you all........make some very valid and well reasoned points!!!!! I ask you, what are these boards coming to when peeps don't insult one another anymore
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    I've only just come to this thread today and have skipped large portions of it for the sake of time so I apologise if I step on anyone else's toes in my own reply.

    The Libero role could work in today's game, I think, precisely because of the example that our own side offers in attack (a confusing sentence; let me explain). We play the 4-2-3-1 that has been mentioned before: a lone striker with pace and skill and three very attacking midfielders behind him who press the opposition defense whenever possible. When we have the ball, in theory at least, we are attacking the opposition with 4 attackers to 4 defenders (plus one dm, in some cases). With a libero/sweeper in their side the defense could offer an extra man to plug the holes (thus making the situation 4 against 5 in their favour) who could then break forward and add to the midfield should they win the ball back. I am actually surprised, when I think about it, that this hasn't been tried by more managers given the current vogue for a lone striker who seeks to bring midfielders into the attack. A single defender could man-mark the striker with the main back line pushing forward to close the space available to the attacking midfield line.

    Obviously there are problems with applying such a system too rigidly and their would need to be a good deal of tactical flexibility for it to work but the same can be said for any/every tactical system.

    What I really wanted to say, in relation to the debate over how LFC should proceed tactically, is that I think Spain provided an excellent example of how "inherent fluidity" is absolutely essential in football. I know they were playing a pretty experimental (and imo 2nd-rate) England side but they utterly demolished them for long periods of the game and I'd like to say why I think this was.

    Spain employed what was essentially a 4-4-2 last night with Senna and Alonso in the centre and Xavi and Iniesta STARTING out wide. The important thing to note here is that Xavi and Iniesta did not stay out wide but drifted into the centre as and when it was most effective. Senna and Alonso also moved forward to create problems around the box when it was most effective. All four players then took up their original starting positions when the move broke down.

    The England side, for whatever reason, did not seem able to handle this for the longest spell of the game.

    Now, the point of this post is to point out that Spain did not do anything that was particularly new or innovative. They didn't do anything that was especially clever or fancy. I don't even think that their players are particularly adaptable to new positions (apart from Iniesta and Xavi, obviously). The effectiveness of the Spanish attack lay in the intelligence of the players behind it and their movement around the outside of the box drawing English defenders out of position. There was no libero or desiquilibrante player, just very clever, very able players who had the confidence to do what they deemed the best thing at any given moment.

    LFC doesn't need to employ any particularly intricate system. In fact, I think Rafa has the right idea by sticking to basics (sort the defence out and allow attackers freedom). I do, however, think that he needs to bring in a more capable right winger or have the courage to move Gerrard out wide and bring in a central AM who can do his job. The full-backs get forward enough for my liking; I prefer defensive stability over a potential lack of cover on one or more flanks. The problem lies in the movement or lack thereof of the players behind the striker.

    As a further point, when Barcelona were at their most effective a few years ago they had three AMs who all changed positions at a whim and defenders simply couldn't track them. Deco, Ronaldinho and Messi (have I got the correct three players here? Did they play together?) were special players but, more importantly, they were fantastically confident players. I think this is what LFC needs; not a grand, era-defining tactical system.
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    I'm glad i finally got round to reading this one as i've skipped over it for the last few days (purely because i'm lazy and the title meant i knew i was in for a read). Best post i've read on here for a while.

    What i have noticed with our side when we are at full strength is that we do play something similar to the Libero style when we build from the back.
    You will often see Carragher and Skrtel in very wide positions, with either Alonso or Masch on the same level as them picking the ball up. Our full backs have pushed on as wingers virtually with the 2 (not so) wide men in Riera and Kuyt pushed slightly inside.

    I would like to see the desequilibrante player though as it often a player like this that can cut stubborn opponents open due to their unpredictability. The closest we've had to something like this was Garcia (imo). Someone who (although very frustrating) had an extra unknown dimension to their game, had the ability to drop off, arrive late, and pop up in unexpected area's...and more importantly, wanted the ball and did not shy away from it.

    An addition of someone like this would perhaps be the difference between a 0-0 draw and a 1-0 win.

    Great post WTM. have some green.

    *edit*
    apparently i need to spread the love before i can green you again.
    Last edited by Seanosdelgardo; 12-2-09 at 13:10.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keverson View Post
    One thing that I don't understand is how Benayoun is often deployed.
    Totally agree, he is a terrible right winger but a brilliant AM, so I think he should play in that area more often...is that not why Rafa said he wanted him from West ham?
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    Well, this really is a piece of gold amongst the crud on here!

    Rep for the OP, T-Bain, Gazza, Target-Man, Snipes and many others for excellent contributions.

    Firstly, I think regardless of what is said, I cannot see us changing from the current 4-2-3-1 formation as the basis for our game. Perhaps, when injuries or tactics require it, this will change, ala Portsmouth. But for the large part of his managerial career, this is Rafa's tried and trusted formation.

    Secondly, I don't think Rafa is an "all the eggs in one basket" manager. He wouldn't build his team around one player, as when they aren't available you have problems. When they retire/sold, you have a period of transition to find a suitable replacement or to change your style of play and the pinacle of your attack. I think this is where we will always differ from Manchester United. They seem to always build their team upon a "star". There was Best, Cantona, Giggs, Beckham now Ronaldo. Sure, they have other great players, but when these guys were missing, they struggled. As per Tomkins article, even this season they have struggled without Ronaldo collecting 5 points from 12 without Ronaldo in the team at the start of the season. I remember when Giggs was the golden boy their attacks looked completely disjointed when he was injured.

    I agree with those who say we need a "Desequilibrante" style player. For me it's the only thing we don't have at the moment. Sure, could upgrade on the full backs etc, but we just don't have that attacking playmaker in the mould of Zidane/Riquelme etc.

    It's worth remembering, that when we talk about attacking teams, flowing football, beautiful football etc, we think about the 1970 Brazil team... or the Arsenal team that went unbeaten for a year.

    Now the Brasil team in 1970's was a team packed with the top players in the world at their footballing peak. After this tournament, Brasil struggled to succeed with the same style of football without these top players who had since retired. They best the accomplished was 2 semi finals in the next 5 tournaments. And they weren't without great players in this time, they had Zico, probably the greatest player not to have won a world cup.

    In fact it wasn't until 1994 that they actually looked like winning again, and of course did. And it wasn't the emergence of better star players, it was a change in style from Carlos Alberto Parreira taking players like Bebeto and Romario and insisting that they defend from the front. Transforming Brasil into a defensive unit as much as an attacking one.

    With Arsenal, it's pretty much the same as the 1970 Brasil team. A carefully constructed team of star players at their absolute peak. Look at them now.... the same manager, the same style.... however without a wealth of stars to carry it out, it dies on it's arse more often than not. To be honest, until Wenger learns that you need to defend to win, he won't be seeing anymore league titles!

    The point I am making is that we are not doing too much wrong at the moment. We are coming towards the end of our building process which is the starting point of any great side. We do lack some pace on the right side that needs to be addressed for certain games. But, IMO, we still have the best option for the big games in Dirk Kuyt on the right. He seriously disrupts the opposition in his own way without the ball. Just watch the first half of the Chelsea game to see how by half time, the Chelsea team wasn't interested in building attacks at the back anymore.... the trademark of their attack. How can you attack if you cannot begin to attack?

    I would like to see a player like Sneijder, Van Der Vaart, Ribery, Silva, Iniesta, Deigo, Modric... someone in the traditional "Desequilibrante" mould. Of course, a lot of these players originate from Brasil so just to throw in a few names supporting my new home, Thiago Neves, Renato Augusto, Guilherme. One player I would like to mention especially is Rafael Sobis who, for whatever reason, things aren't working out for him at Real Betis at the moment. But he has amazing technical ability, vision, pace and is a great finisher also. He was more highly rated than Pato by the coaches at Internacional and I do believe he would thrive in an environment of success, instead of having to battle at Betis for every point.

    I understand many people do not want to disrupt the Torres-Gerrard partnership but I am still of the opinion that we would be more effective with a true "Desequilibrante" playing behind Torres than merely taking our best player and moulding him into the job. Gerrard is brilliant wherever you play him. He was perhaps MOTM against AC Milan where he played at RB most of the game. But he isn't a true Desequilibrante and just because he is the best Liverpool player at this job, does not mean he is the best person for the job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shea-shea View Post
    Cracking thread, been following it for a while and even attempted a long winded reply 'till I managed to lose it whilst checking on the the spelling of delisq etc.

    Libero, is unfortunately dead. Its too easy for sides to simply tell one striker to push on to the deepest man. He gains yards on the remainder of the back line and suffocates the freedom of the libero. Who is now no longer free to play his role. The libero can simply end up being a destructor of play be trying to play the off-side trap on his own and with modern interpretation of interfering or not its way too risky.

    Agger is quality on the ball and if such a system was workable then he is best equiped to play it. Or is is actually Gerrard?

    We certainly do need greater quality in the final third. Not just the dynamic play of Gerrard but more subtlety and guile. As Gerrard's legs get heavier with time he may well become better suited to dropping into the 'true' centre of midfield.

    I can't see any team that has to be successful in up to 4 competitions over a full 9 months relying on a pivitol player, such as a true in the hole desq'. Only the clubs with huge resources and an already successful team can afford to add such a player. IE You already need a great plan A before you can consider a plan A*. We're still quite a way from that yet.

    There are two distinct type of players needed for that role. They must either be quite lightweight, small and skilful man beating players or they need to be strong, great touch, back to goal players with a head up and eye for a pass style. Gerrard is too good an athlete to use those styles of play (everyone plays to their strengths even if they have other capabilities).

    Benayoun and Luid Garcia do and have had the qualities to fit the little man role. We've never had a nig man with enough quality. As much as I'll defend Kuyt's first touch as not being awful it still isn't good enough to play the role. He's too mobile to 'absorb' the ball, ala a Bergkamp, Cantona or Berbatov.

    The little man advantage is the picking up of 'soft' free kicks in and around the box. Gerrard is simply too strong and it always looks like a dive if he goes down even when genuinely clipped.

    May be Pacheco will inherit the role as Gerrard naturally drops deeper with age.
    Great post shea-shea and rep given. Agree with you that we have this "type" of player in Pacheco who is maybe physically 2-3 years away from being ready to be a Premiership regular. Expect him to start making sub appearances towards the end of the season or even next season though.

    I agree that as brilliant as Gerrard is, his all-action approach isn't what is required in the position he plays. Whilst he can do the role, and brings things to it that nobody else could, perhaps we would be better suited to playing him deeper and joining the attack regularly. So in effect, you are not losing the attacking talents of Gerrard, merely controllng them better. You could even argue that the SS receiving the ball with the options of Torres in front or Gerrard bursting through would be better suited than Gerrard receiving the ball and having a choice between Torres forward or Masch/Alonso back.
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  22. #82  
    Target-Man is offline Academy prospect
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    Quote Originally Posted by BabuYagu View Post
    Well, this really is a piece of gold amongst the crud on here!

    Rep for the OP, T-Bain, Gazza, Target-Man, Snipes and many others for excellent contributions.

    Firstly, I think regardless of what is said, I cannot see us changing from the current 4-2-3-1 formation as the basis for our game. Perhaps, when injuries or tactics require it, this will change, ala Portsmouth. But for the large part of his managerial career, this is Rafa's tried and trusted formation.

    Secondly, I don't think Rafa is an "all the eggs in one basket" manager. He wouldn't build his team around one player, as when they aren't available you have problems. When they retire/sold, you have a period of transition to find a suitable replacement or to change your style of play and the pinacle of your attack. I think this is where we will always differ from Manchester United. They seem to always build their team upon a "star". There was Best, Cantona, Giggs, Beckham now Ronaldo. Sure, they have other great players, but when these guys were missing, they struggled. As per Tomkins article, even this season they have struggled without Ronaldo collecting 5 points from 12 without Ronaldo in the team at the start of the season. I remember when Giggs was the golden boy their attacks looked completely disjointed when he was injured.

    I agree with those who say we need a "Desequilibrante" style player. For me it's the only thing we don't have at the moment. Sure, could upgrade on the full backs etc, but we just don't have that attacking playmaker in the mould of Zidane/Riquelme etc.

    It's worth remembering, that when we talk about attacking teams, flowing football, beautiful football etc, we think about the 1970 Brazil team... or the Arsenal team that went unbeaten for a year.

    Now the Brasil team in 1970's was a team packed with the top players in the world at their footballing peak. After this tournament, Brasil struggled to succeed with the same style of football without these top players who had since retired. They best the accomplished was 2 semi finals in the next 5 tournaments. And they weren't without great players in this time, they had Zico, probably the greatest player not to have won a world cup.

    In fact it wasn't until 1994 that they actually looked like winning again, and of course did. And it wasn't the emergence of better star players, it was a change in style from Carlos Alberto Parreira taking players like Bebeto and Romario and insisting that they defend from the front. Transforming Brasil into a defensive unit as much as an attacking one.

    With Arsenal, it's pretty much the same as the 1970 Brasil team. A carefully constructed team of star players at their absolute peak. Look at them now.... the same manager, the same style.... however without a wealth of stars to carry it out, it dies on it's arse more often than not. To be honest, until Wenger learns that you need to defend to win, he won't be seeing anymore league titles!

    The point I am making is that we are not doing too much wrong at the moment. We are coming towards the end of our building process which is the starting point of any great side. We do lack some pace on the right side that needs to be addressed for certain games. But, IMO, we still have the best option for the big games in Dirk Kuyt on the right. He seriously disrupts the opposition in his own way without the ball. Just watch the first half of the Chelsea game to see how by half time, the Chelsea team wasn't interested in building attacks at the back anymore.... the trademark of their attack. How can you attack if you cannot begin to attack?

    I would like to see a player like Sneijder, Van Der Vaart, Ribery, Silva, Iniesta, Deigo, Modric... someone in the traditional "Desequilibrante" mould. Of course, a lot of these players originate from Brasil so just to throw in a few names supporting my new home, Thiago Neves, Renato Augusto, Guilherme. One player I would like to mention especially is Rafael Sobis who, for whatever reason, things aren't working out for him at Real Betis at the moment. But he has amazing technical ability, vision, pace and is a great finisher also. He was more highly rated than Pato by the coaches at Internacional and I do believe he would thrive in an environment of success, instead of having to battle at Betis for every point.

    I understand many people do not want to disrupt the Torres-Gerrard partnership but I am still of the opinion that we would be more effective with a true "Desequilibrante" playing behind Torres than merely taking our best player and moulding him into the job. Gerrard is brilliant wherever you play him. He was perhaps MOTM against AC Milan where he played at RB most of the game. But he isn't a true Desequilibrante and just because he is the best Liverpool player at this job, does not mean he is the best person for the job.
    Gerrard is sort of a luxury problem. As you say, he's great wherever you play him, but finding out exactly where he does the most damage is not easy.

    You're right that he's not really a true "desequilibrante", and in a way it's a testimony to versatility that he has filled in the role so well. It would be interesting to see, if we would improve overall if we had someone more naturally attuned to that particular role playing the position. That would probably being Stevie back to midfield, adding some firepower to that area, but it would take a very good player to replace him in his current position.

    Stevie, to me, is more of an "Antreiber" - a driving midfielder - than a playmaker. While he is technically very well rounded and has very good vision, it's power, determination and leadership which sets him apart from everyone else.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but what I think you are saying is that we might do better if we move Stevie back to central midfield and get a more nimble, more purely creative and less powerful player to take his current role. I can agree with that. Stevie's leadership is required in order to drive the team to victory over duration of a long campaign, but in some matches, I think a little more guile in that position would help us.

    When you look at the Gerrard/Torres partnership, it seems like it is at its most deadly when there is space to move into. When the opposition parks the bus, Stevie's best weapon is his excellent long range shooting, but he is more likely to surprise players by doing something unexpected when he has more space. He doesn't make outrageously creative passes, and he's not the type, who can take on and beat defenders in a phone booth until they are reduced to numbers in the phone book.

    All this is not to criticize one of the best players in the world. It's just to say that he is an untraditional type of player for the role he is playing, and I agree that it would be interesting to see how we would do with a more traditional "desequilibrante" and with Stevie back in the role that originally seemed his most natural one.

    Your other point seems to be that Brazil only started winning the World Cup again when they realized that football is not about ideological purity but about having a solid all round game, including defense. I agree that Benitez has been building exactly that, a solid all round game, strong in defense and getting close in offense, and that will most likely be the best recipe for success with this club. For that, sometimes you also need a "grinder" like Kuyt, a top class blue collar type of player.

    Football is a game of uncertainties, and there is no simple cause-effect relationship. We don't know what would happen, if we made the switch behind Torres and moved Stevie back to midfield, a move which I think might be good in the long run. We also don't know what would happen if we took the hardworking Kuyt out of the equation replaced him with a more traditional right winger, but in that case I think we might see that his absence would leave a gap.

    -----

    BabuYagu:
    Now that I have posted (and hereby edited) this, I see that you have more or less responded to it in another thread. Just shows how long it took me to write this...
    Last edited by Target-Man; 13-2-09 at 17:03.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Target-Man View Post
    Gerrard is sort of a luxury problem. As you say, he's great wherever you play him, but finding out exactly where he does the most damage is not easy.

    You're right that he's not really a true "desequilibrante", and in a way it's a testimony to versatility that he has filled in the role so well. It would be interesting to see, if we would improve overall if we had someone more naturally attuned to that particular role playing the position. That would probably being Stevie back to midfield, adding some firepower to that area, but it would take a very good player to replace him in his current position.

    Stevie, to me, is more of an "Antreiber" - a driving midfielder - than a playmaker. While he is technically very well rounded and has very good vision, it's power, determination and leadership which sets him apart from everyone else.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but what I think you are saying is that we might do better if we move Stevie back to central midfield and get a more nimble, more purely creative and less powerful player to take his current role. I can agree with that. Stevie's leadership is required in order to drive the team to victory over duration of a long campaign, but in some matches, I think a little more guile in that position would help us.

    When you look at the Gerrard/Torres partnership, it seems like it is at its most deadly when there is space to move into. When the opposition parks the bus, Stevie's best weapon is his excellent long range shooting, but he is more likely to surprise players by doing something unexpected when he has more space. He doesn't make outrageously creative passes, and he's not the type, who can take on and beat defenders in a phone booth until they are reduced to numbers in the phone book.

    All this is not to criticize one of the best players in the world. It's just to say that he is an untraditional type of player for the role he is playing, and I agree that it would be interesting to see how we would do with a more traditional "desequilibrante" and with Stevie back in the role that originally seemed his most natural one.

    Your other point seems to be that Brazil only started winning the World Cup again when they realized that football is not about ideological purity but about having a solid all round game, including defense. I agree that Benitez has been building exactly that, a solid all round game, strong in defense and getting close in offense, and that will most likely be the best recipe for success with this club. For that, sometimes you also need a "grinder" like Kuyt, a top class blue collar type of player.

    Football is a game of uncertainties, and there is no simple cause-effect relationship. We don't know what would happen, if we made the switch behind Torres and moved Stevie back to midfield, a move which I think might be good in the long run. We also don't know what would happen if we took the hardworking Kuyt out of the equation replaced him with a more traditional right winger, but in that case I think we might see that his absence would leave a gap.

    -----

    BabuYagu:
    Now that I have posted (and hereby edited) this, I see that you have more or less responded to it in another thread. Just shows how long it took me to write this...
    It's not that Target-Man, I was looking over your shoulder and thought it would spook you out if I replied before you posted your point

    Anyway, another excellent post and I just wish I could rep people more. I think if you look at all Gerrards match saving/winning goals, they have come when he was behind play bursting onto the scene. The Olympiakos and West Ham goals immediately spring to mind. If he is playing in his SS position you would expect him to be in the box on both those occasions, and certainly ahead of the play.

    You are right again, that in the park-the-bus games, space is at a premium and therefore pace is for the most part nullified. This is where we need the playmaker talked about above where his pace is in speed of thought and vision as well as being able to move with the ball at his feet into areas that offer up better options. Basically, I want Zico but would settle for Zidane.
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    For those labelling the libero system as dead and buried, I'd like to update this thread with the fact that Argentina deployed this system against Venezuela and ran out 4-0 winners at very elevated altitude.

    Marcos Angeleri of Estudiantes who is more known as marauding right back, and with Mascherano and Gago in front, there is argument deploying Agger in the same role with our players.

    Food for thought in the whole argument and debate I think. Football has a habit of going round in cricles. Sampdoria, Napoli and now Argentina are strating to develop this older system in the modern game and I say kudos to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by waittillmay View Post
    For those labelling the libero system as dead and buried, I'd like to update this thread with the fact that Argentina deployed this system against Venezuela and ran out 4-0 winners at very elevated altitude.

    Marcos Angeleri of Estudiantes who is more known as marauding right back, and with Mascherano and Gago in front, there is argument deploying Agger in the same role with our players.

    Food for thought in the whole argument and debate I think. Football has a habit of going round in cricles. Sampdoria, Napoli and now Argentina are strating to develop this older system in the modern game and I say kudos to them.
    Nice way to bump your own post
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    I think playing Agger more often would solve a lot of problems, he comes out of defence brilliantly and links with the midfield better than any defender I've seen in a long time. We play a lot better football when he is in the team.
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  27. #87  
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    ^^^

    Bump for Barryvensionsbarnet.
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  28. #88  
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    It's a great discussion from first to last post.
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  29. #89  
    Paullfc1976 is offline LFC Hall of Fame Resident
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fowi View Post
    It's a great discussion from first to last post.
    It was that Fowi,

    Christ just reading through the posts now, I cannot even remember posting that much myself on it.
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    Thanks for bumping this, one of the best threads I've seen on this or any other forum for that matter.

    Of course it's not got the piquant charm of an Owen thread no:15237 or Sunshiners vs Negatives Round 4760 but I like it nonetheless.

    More like this please
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