World Cup: National Team threads

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by Evilo, Mar 16, 2017.

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  1. cgf

    cgf FireBednarsSuccessor

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    Their possession was organized horrifically, and because they have few elegant midfielders not named KdB; this made them easy to bunker against. Ultimately having too many workers & too few artists in midfield will prevent them from challenging Germany & France.
     
  2. Corto

    Corto Faceless Man

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    Not sure why question marks with Vertonghen, he and Toby are rocks for Tottenham. Other than Hummels+Boateng, there's not a more steady CB pairing in the world.
    On paper, Ramos+Pique or Silva+Luiz, but both of those pairing are prone to some disastrous breaks every few games.
    Vermaelen is up and down, I can agree with that.

    Dembele up and down? Gotta say no, dude is horribly underrated and very few folk who don't watch the EPL every week realize who good this guy is.
    Nainggolan overrated? Fair enough, I can agree to a point, I definitely think the odd long distance goal made the hype go overboard, but the guy is still a high quality player.

    Either way, as far as starting 11 goes, I wouldn't put anyone over Belgium at the moment.

    ...

    Like cgf, Wilmots' system and lineup had them playing some really bad football compared to their talent level.
    If Martinez sticks with Dembele and Nainggolan and KDB in midfield instead of putting Witsel and Felaini there, all of a sudden they look so much more dangerous.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  3. Luigi Habs

    Luigi Habs Captain Saku

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    On paper I don't see Spain top 3 in Europe anymore. That would be Germany, France and Belgium IMO.

    For me next WC favorites looking like:

    1. Germany
    2. Brazil
    3. France

    If Dembele and Mbappe can get into WC category as soon as next season then I'd bump France to clear favorites.
     
  4. YNWA14

    YNWA14 Onbreekbaar

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    I dunno, Belgium have all the talent to be one of the top teams, if not the top team, in the world. They just need a coach that can get the best out of them.

    Mertens
    Hazard - De Bruyne
    Carrasco - Nainggolan - Witsel/Dembele - Meunier
    Vertonghen - ????? - Alderweireld
    Courtois

    ????? - Kompany, Alderweireld, Lombaerts, even Fellaini, etc.​

    That's how I would roll.
     
  5. Wee Baby Seamus

    Wee Baby Seamus Yo, Goober, where's the meat?

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    Vertonghen and Alderweireld are a great CB pairing, but to call them the second best CB pairing in the game right now is overselling them.

    As someone who does watch the EPL week in week out, "up and down" is the perfect way to describe Moussa Dembele. When he's on, he's incredible. When he's not, he's pretty mediocre. He's having a good year, but he's historically very streaky.

    No starting XI that claims to be the best in the world should have Thomas Vermaelen in it. Belgium have a strong squad on paper, but that hole in the backline that has to be filled with Vermaelen is a major one.
     
  6. Deficient Mode

    Deficient Mode Registered User

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    Hmmm I definitely wouldn't put Belgium above Spain. De Gea, Alba, Pique, Ramos, Carvajal, Busquets, Thiago, Iniesta/Herrera/Isco, Silva, Pedro, Morata... still a better group imo. The players there who may be having off seasons (Iniesta and Busquets) are offset by the players having resurgent years (Thiago, Pedro).

    The Belgian front line is great, but their back line is a notch or two below Spain's, and their midfield even further below imo.

    I like and rate Lopetegui far more highly than Roberto Martinez as well.
     
  7. cgf

    cgf FireBednarsSuccessor

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    i just don't see Belgium in Germany or France's level. Their backline has more question marks (at FB or the 3rd CB spot) and their midfield isn't of the necessary caliber, although Dembele and Ninja are strong runners and KdB is exquisite. They just don't have the deep midfielders or depth in quality defenders to build up consistently against the true favorites.

    Plus I've never been hugely enamored with Lukaku.
     
  8. Evilo

    Evilo Registered User

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    Can't see Belgium's XI over France's or Germany's either.
     
  9. Moncherry

    Moncherry Registered User

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    Players in bold are the players that are truly elite. A lot of good players there but not the all-star team that they're professed to be.

    Your assessment of Croatia is blinded by homerism as well. The most consistently underwhelming team at international tournaments. They have never shown that they deserve to be mentioned with the favourites like you so claim.
     
  10. Evilo

    Evilo Registered User

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    I don't consider Vertonghen elite. Alderweireld borderline.
     
  11. Moncherry

    Moncherry Registered User

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    As a CB pairing I think there's few that are better. But if that isn't the case, more credit to me.
     
  12. Evilo

    Evilo Registered User

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    I'd say their european pedigree leaves a lot to be desired to be judged as elite.
    Look at Real, Barca, Bayern, PSG, Juventus, etc... CB pairings and those are better and more proven over the years.
     
  13. Corto

    Corto Faceless Man

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    You don't consider Dembele, Carrasco or Lukaku to be elite players?
    I'm not sure what to say to convince you otherwise.
    Even Nainggolan, though slightly overhyped, is a proper top midfielder, just plays in Serie A which very few people watch.

    ...

    France and Germany managed to keep a fantastic level of young players coming in and they're now way ahead of England and Holland and Italy.
    Spain has gone back a step, but going back from "legendary" to "very good" is no disaster. I do think the current Spanish team is not as good (or as promising) as the French and German squads.

    ...

    @Evilo: Alderweireld is widely considered the best CB in the EPL; it'll be interesting what Levy does now that he's apparently asked for a raise to match Kane's pay.
     
  14. cgf

    cgf FireBednarsSuccessor

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    Carrasco & Lukaku are highend players, but they're not World Class. Dembele there is an argument for simply because the competition isn't as strong amongst physical box-to-boxers as it is for wingers, forwards, creative 8s, or ball playing 6s...although the likes of Tolisso & Keita are certainly making it harder for your Dembele's, Matuidi's & Khedira's to be the best in their role by default.

    But if you're calling Dembele an elite midfielder without the specification about role, we're going to have serious disagreements. He's a very useful player, one who I often would select in fantasy drafts while building a pressing-intensive side, but he has no wear near the impact that Modric, Kroos, Busquets, a healthy Gundogan, etc., do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  15. Deficient Mode

    Deficient Mode Registered User

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    Italy is quietly having a resurgence in talent as well, with Donnarumma, Gagliardini, Belotti, and world class players like Verratti, Bonucci, and Insigne in their best years (or close to it). Lots of other very good players as well. I wouldn't write them off just yet.

    I don't really consider Tottenham Dembele a physical box-to-boxer. He likes to dribble and is much better at it and more pressing resistant than Matuidi and Khedira. I think it's more his shortcomings in passing and decision making that hold him back from being world class.
     
  16. cgf

    cgf FireBednarsSuccessor

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    We may have to get into a semantic debate here because I fully agree that Dembele's dribbling is on another level from Matuidi/Khedira. But their passing advantage and how quickly someone like Khedira moves the ball to other players, makes them not much less pressing resistant. Sure they're more likely to lose the ball 1-on-1, but they're also more likely to get the ball out before you can isolate them. If Dembele had the passing skill of just someone like Kramer, who's brilliant at tight 1-2's and has a nice eye for throughballs, then he'd be in that discussion with the truly top tier 8s. But he doesn't, so he isn't.


    Italy and Brazil are two of the teams I'm most curious to see develop. With Rugani-Romagnoli and Donnarumma it seems like the center of the Italian defense will be set for a long time to come once Bonucci & Buffon pass the torch. With Veratti they have a midfield maestro, and with Belotti they have the kind of striker they haven't produced in a while now; a striker who should compliment Insigne & Bernardeschi / Sansone / Berardi up front very nicely. In sheer quantity of top end talent, they don't compare to Germany or France; but they could be able to put together a strong starting 11 in time.

    While Brazil is intriguing because with Jesus & Neymar they finally have two truly world class forward talents to drive their team again...since they refuse to use Raffael...and they have a good cast of supporting attackers with Costa / Firmino / Gabigol / Malcom / etc. The midfield isn't overwhelming, but some combination of Coutinho / Fabinho / Rafinha / Allan / Gerson / Maia / Casemiro, should be sufficient talent to put together a unit that does enough to keep the attacking line from being starved of the ball. If someone rises to claim the spot next to Marquinhos, Brazil could have the talent to become contenders again in a cycle or two as well.
     
  17. John Pedro

    John Pedro #JackHughes

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    I honestly think Brazil is the deepest country in the world when it comes to CBs and FBs. Some notables CBs Tite could use next to Marquinhos: Miranda (his current partner), Thiago Silva, Rodrigo Caio (beast alongside Marquinhos in the Olympics), David Luiz, Jemerson (really underrated), Felipe (Porto), Pedro Geromel has been amazing since his return from Europe... Gil is good, too.

    Now, we could use an upgrade over Renato Augusto. Not a fan of Paulinho, but he's working well in Tite's system so hard to complain. Fabinho should be called up ASAP, tho.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  18. Deficient Mode

    Deficient Mode Registered User

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    Yeah, I suppose. Matuidi and Khedira are very good players as well. it's just that a lot of Dembele's best actions are to escape pressure with dribbles. Not something I normally associate with box-to-box midfielders. I'd probably take both Matuidi and Khedira over him actually.

    Re: the bolded - Sad!

    Brazil's LBs are a lot better than Brazil's RBs right now imo
     
  19. John Pedro

    John Pedro #JackHughes

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    had to edit it to change to FBs instead of RB... agreed, other than Dani Alves there's not a single world class RB playing in Europe right now (Zeca will be there soon and he can play both sides).

    Miranda and TS are still really good players. I don't watch Serie A so can't comment on how Miranda's season is going, but Silva has been great to really good for PSG (his performance against Barça was *****, though).
     
  20. Deficient Mode

    Deficient Mode Registered User

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    I'm not sure if Dani Alves should still be considered world class. For the World Cup, Marcelo+Felipe Luis looks a lot better.

    I don't dislike Miranda, but the mismanagement of the last few years of Thiago Silva's national team career was really just sad.
     
  21. John Pedro

    John Pedro #JackHughes

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    I don't know, from what I've seen from them, Alex Sandro is better than F. Luis right now. Alex Telles would be a good backup and he's younger than both, too.

    RB could be Dani and Mariano, but Fagner is Tite's pet, so he probably gonna make it.
     
  22. Deficient Mode

    Deficient Mode Registered User

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    I mentioned Filipe mainly for the contrast between him and Marcelo... you could field one for any sort of game plan you wanted. Both are great players and among the best at their positions. Alex Sandro is very good as well.
     
  23. Pavel Buchnevich

    Pavel Buchnevich AV AND GORTON OUT

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    Euro 2020 and World Cup 2022 winners.

     
  24. John Pedro

    John Pedro #JackHughes

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    I see... makes sense. That's why I'm not concerned about those positions, there's plenty of talented players to choose from. Same with wingers. Midfielders with good passing range and vision for through balls is what we are lacking right now. Renato Augusto is getting the job done but would be good to have some younger players ready to step in.
     
  25. Deficient Mode

    Deficient Mode Registered User

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    Varane is already too good. We shall see with Dembele, Martial, and Mbappe.

    4-4-2 doesn't suit them though
     
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