Discussion in 'Soccer' started by Evilo, Mar 16, 2017.
I think he quite clearly is.
You are really underrating Alderweireld. I know he doesn't play for a big team, like those others, but he has been the best defensive player on the best defense in the Premier League two seasons in a row.
He's way better than Koscielny, I don't even know how thats a comparison. I'm also a fan of Koscielny, but Alderweireld is miles better. He gets no respect for being better defensively than almost every defender in the world.
He has been rocked in Europe. Worse than Koscielny in fact. I'm pretty sure Koscielny was the consensus best CB in the EPL on this site a year ago.
And have you not paid attention to David Luiz' season? HE's been the best CB in the EPL this year, by all accounts.
Apart from Hazard, Evilo hates Belgians
But I would definitely pick Toby over Luiz any day of the week as well
Totally not. I rate a lot of players on that belgium squad. Love Courtois for instance who is their second and only other world class player.
But to say Tobi isn't a top 10 player isn't hatred. Again I say the same thing about Koscielny and have for years even when on this board, people were claiming him to be top 5.
I guess I hate french players too.
I don't think you understand.
Croatia is being coached by a puppet installed by the corrupt FA.
A guy who was coaching my friend's college squad before the FA guy (Mamic) picked him to coach Dinamo, fired and hired him 2 or 3 times and then got him to run the national team.
And as usual, calling up Mamic-managed players etc.
When they beat Turkey and Spain etc., they got by because they squad is actually filled with quality players and that quality will tell at times even in the worst systems... but eventually, the system wins. Always, no matter the team.
If you can't appreciate how important a great or a terrible manager can be to any team, I don't know what to tell you.
In Croatia's case, if it wasn't so tragic, it'd be hilarious.
We're wasting Modric and Rakitic's best years with this bafoon of a manager.
What makes me think Croatia is better than Portugal?
Did I even say that? Pretty sure I didn't.
What I said was that this Croatian team has the quality to be up there with the big boys. And why?
Midfield. Modric, Rakitic, Brozovic, Kovacic, Badelj, Perisic, Rog, Pjaca, etc.
"Everyone complains" in no way guarantees that everyone's coaching evens out in the end. Not even remotely.
International tournaments are very random. You play three matches and then it's single elimination. All sorts of randomness in that sort of format.
The US talent pool is in no way comparable to Croatia's. Not sure how you could watch their non-Modric players and not think that a bunch of them are clearly better than any American player. I certainly can't. Sure, it doesn't matter which club they play for, but if Americans were capable, they'd be playing for Real, Barcelona, Atletico, Juventus, Monaco, Leverkusen, etc. as well. The whole football world isn't conspiring to keep Americans out.
Corto and other Croatian fans complaints re:corruption and personnel choices go way beyond anything American fans deal with. Klinsmann preferring German-trained players over MLS players - or whatever else the controversy of the day may be - is not even close.
Croatia's issues have been that almost all of their talent is concentrated in overlapping positions. Modric, Rakitic, Kovacic, and Brozovic is a world class collection of midfielders, but there's no world class talent around them. Mandzukic was an absolute hound in pressing, Perisic is a legit attacking talent, and Pjaca is extremely exciting; but none of these guys are of the same caliber as their midfield. And things are even more drastic when we compare those midfielders to the backline.
When you combine this with questionable selection practices that limit their already limited talent pool, and the poor coaching; that sought to use this midfield strength to try and patch over weaknesses elsewhere...instead of building everything around this advantage in the middle...that didn't even give them the attacking structure that would let their advantage in midfield dictate play enough to make up for the issues elsewhere; and their results aren't out of line with what should be expected. They've been in the lower end of the reasonable expectations range, if you don't put much weight in their poor structure given how poorly structured most NTs usually are; but they haven't been massive underachievers or anything.
They've been a team with a chance to make some progress in the knockouts, but who'd probably get eliminated by most actual contenders. They haven't made that progress, but they've never been a lock to get far.
What? Where did I say American players were better than Croatian?
The whole point is that none of this really matters. All of the talk about players, coaches, corruption is all just talk. Everyone will always try to rationalize why their excuses and points are more valid and why others aren't. Its not for you to decide or for me to decide. Results are what decides. Croatia is overrated due to results, no one questions the talent of their players, their results are what get questioned. And I think you'd find that many of these second tier European teams are perpetually overrated.
I've maintained that Croatia is overrated due to results. I don't think I've questioned their talent once, and I'm not going to try to get into silly debates over which countries are best fit to use excuses. Everyone wants to use them, yet these types of things on average will always even out. So maybe Croatia got bad results due to corruption or a bad coach one tournament, but if they are really so good, they should have no problem competing at the level they are supposedly at for the next few tournaments.
Yes and no.
The midfield is world class, yes, and most of the quality is concentrated there.
Perisic is definitely a top player, and I assume if he comes to the EPL people might realize that. Noone watches Serie A anymore, apparently.
Vrsaljko is a already a top RB in Europe, only going to get better, pushed himself over Juanfran at Atletico.
And Vida and Corluka are sufficient as a CB pairing to play against anyone. The only reason why those two are playing in Russia and Ukraine is that they have ridiculous salaries.
Corluka is the highest paid player in Russia and he's unlikely to get such money anywhere else, which is why all the talks of him moving to Germany and Italy fell through this summer.
(I'm not saying they're world class, Vida and Corluka, but both are definitely good enough to "keep up" with the midfield)
Kovacic, Rog and Pjaca are the future, all 3 have all it takes to be world class players, top-10 at their positions.
It's silly to compare this Croatian team and the team from, say, 2004.
These "2nd tier" European footballing nations will usually put out decent squads, capable of beating anyone, but not consistently and in general they'll always be second favorites to the European "big 6".
But every once in a while, you'll get a team like 98 Croatia or 04 Czech Republic or the current Belgian squad, a generation of players that is actually on par (even on paper) with the "big" teams.
On paper, this could be one of those big teams for Croatia, but like I said, we're wasting away that midfield by horrible team selection and coaching.
In the EUROs, we glided through the group stage, including a win with a reserve team against Spain.
The thing is, by accident, in his rotations, our poor coach put in Rog and Pjaca etc., and had people play in their natural positions.
Then he quickly made up for it by going back to playing Brozovic on the wing (! - he's still playing there for the NT btw), Rakitic in an AM role (he's still playing there btw, and being very average at it), and Mandzukic up front, a guy who is a clear grinder at this stage in his career. A great one, but he's not a finisher.
Our attacking strategy boiled down to if Modric can start something from the back or if Perisic can crate something on his own up front.
TLDR; I agree with the talent level in the squad is unbalanced, but the rest of the team is "good enough" to keep up.
Only real issues are LB and no world class striker (Kalinic is nice, but meh), and it's all magnified by horrible management and coaching.
I'm a german fan who used to watch the RPL more than any non-german league. So don't waste your time trying to sell me on Corluka & Perisic. I know Perisic is a legit talent, but calling him "not world class" really shouldn't be viewed as under-rating him. And Corluka isn't anywhere near the quality your midfielders hold; especially with the ball. That doesn't mean you can't still play some very intriguing football, but it does make it hard to expect you to achieve anything against the true contenders.
You understand why people would continue to hype them up though, right? Coaching issues can be solved far more quickly than player talent issues.
I always thought Corluka was confident with the ball, a good passer and decent dribbler for such a tall man. There was a reason he sometimes played right back in the past.
Croatia's best players are midfielders, but they still have a number of good attacking options, and yeah, Vrsaljko is already one of the best right backs in Europe.
I think some heads will turn if Perisic moved to England, under the spotlight.
Even some people who think they know how good he is.
As far as Corluka goes, like Deficient Mode said, he's really quite good with the ball, and confident too. He played RB for both Tottenham and Man City when needed.
Dude picked money over top leagues, but he's still a quality player, still in his prime.
Achieving "anything against big contenders"...?
It's really hard to gauge in a short tournament every 2 years, where one red card or a dodgy ref call or simply a subpar performance can blow it all up, but the only game against "big contenders" we had recently was Spain in the EURO.
(which was a win, despite resting 5 from the starting 11 and Spain getting a dodgy penalty)
I'm not saying Belgium or Croatia will win the WC. But saying they can't "achieve anything vs true contenders" is, in fact, underrating them.
Corluka not good with the ball?
Not up to par with your midfielders =/= not good with the ball. Maybe he's just been lazy since cashing in in Russia but he'd give the ball away very cheaply and get sloppy with his long passes. With midfielders as crisp and clever as yours, that can be exploited by the real contenders.
PS shouldn't be expected to do anything against the true contenders =/= can't do anything against the true contenders. And that Spain that we saw was not a true contender.
How many central defenders are better than Corluka on the ball? He is slow and at least by PL standards weak, but he is very solid in possession for a central defender. Even for a RB I would argue he is well above average.
If only he could run he would have been an excellent RB.
Compared to what he's shown in the RPL? A lot.
Really like the Tielemans-Dembele midfield for Belgium today. Tielemans really needs to leave Anderlecht ASAP, he's ready.
Also, Russia are pretty bad. I know they're missing some guys but damn.
More video control tech to be tested during France Spain
Spain are doing everything but score here. Great first half from them.
Yep, Spain with a dominant first half.
Griezmann scores in the second half, but goal is denied by video review. Rightfully.
Video review 1 Bad ref decisions 0
But then the ref makes a bad decision with a penalty.
Video Review 1
Bad ref decisions 1
Portugal were up 2-0 at Half with a reserve team (bar Ronaldo) vs Sweden...then didnt show up and lost in the 90+3 3-2...shameful.
Gelson Martins was superb before being subbed off though (setup both goals), great talent.
Now THAT was Roberto Martinez
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