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For years Barca's tried-and-tested midfield model was the king:

Busquets/Toure as holding DM, Xavi/Fabregas as balanced CM and Iniesta as creative AM.

It was an excellent model with gifted players able to make it work - it meant Barca always dominated possession because with shorter players they had a lower level of gravity meaning the ball stayed low and passes were short and quick. Lionel Messi is the epitome of this - he's not actually THAT skillful, but his positional sense and one-touch play along with his pace is top dollar and in front of that midfield it reaps rewards.

Finally I get to Milan - is it just me or is there a possible swing in this direction? Regardless of a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 or whatever formation we go with it seems to me we're trying to cultivate that classic 3-man midfield.

De Jong as the tough and gritty DM holding in front of defence, Montolivo the robust, classy, and creative all-round midfielder (CM) with Poli the attack-minded pacey and skillful AM.

Going by what we know of these players and their pre-season start last night, this could very well be the model we're going with.

Thoughts?

I'd half-agree with your statement (disagree completely about Messi though. He's very, very skillful, he's just not a showboat like other skillful players like Robinho, Neymar or Ronaldo. His close control of the ball at any speed makes him dangerous even if it was a 11 against 1 game. But yeah, his pace and one-touch game makes him evades so many challenges that he doesn't even need to make those flicks and tricks).

I think that after so many years having that great complete midfield, where we could easily play 5 excellent midfielders if we wanted to, now we're definitely going through a dry spell in the midfield and spending on the striker department. So a 3-man midfield could work wonders.


On short, I think we, instead of replicating Barcelona, now have a midfield more similar (forget about the quality) to Chelsea's under Mourinho first spell when they had Makelele, Essien and Lampard (later they had Essien, Ballack and Lampard).
The gritty DM, the tough, physical all-round midfielder and the creative one, classy. (The exception here is that Lamps was the one who makes the runs into the box, in our model, Boateng/Flamini/Nocerino/whoever (the physical one) is the one trying to get the goals)

I haven't seen the Trofeo TIM games where you said Poli really impressed you, but from what I've seen before he isn't that similar to Iniesta like you said his role would be. To me, he's sort of a Montolivo, less-vision, more pacey like you described. That means he could play the AM-role, just wouldn't be suited to it, just like Monto isn't.
(07-24-2013, 03:08 PM)Androgynous Wrote: [ -> ]I'd half-agree with your statement (disagree completely about Messi though. He's very, very skillful, he's just not a showboat like other skillful players like Robinho, Neymar or Ronaldo. His close control of the ball at any speed makes him dangerous even if it was a 11 against 1 game. But yeah, his pace and one-touch game makes him evades so many challenges that he doesn't even need to make those flicks and tricks).

Messi can't beat players with sheer skill, never could - for him it's always been about, as you say, close control and sheer pace. He drives past players - not strictly BEATING them but just outpacing them and appearing to teleport into positions. He doesn't do the showboating because he can't - it's not part of his game. And if you watch Ronaldo closely he hardly showboats at all now - that rather vulgar part of his game has been vastly reduced in his Real days.
BUT this isn't about Messi or Messi v Ronaldo haha.

Quote:I think that after so many years having that great complete midfield, where we could easily play 5 excellent midfielders if we wanted to, now we're definitely going through a dry spell in the midfield and spending on the striker department. So a 3-man midfield could work wonders.


On short, I think we, instead of replicating Barcelona, now have a midfield more similar (forget about the quality) to Chelsea's under Mourinho first spell when they had Makelele, Essien and Lampard (later they had Essien, Ballack and Lampard).
The gritty DM, the tough, physical all-round midfielder and the creative one, classy. (The exception here is that Lamps was the one who makes the runs into the box, in our model, Boateng/Flamini/Nocerino/whoever (the physical one) is the one trying to get the goals)

I haven't seen the Trofeo TIM games where you said Poli really impressed you, but from what I've seen before he isn't that similar to Iniesta like you said his role would be. To me, he's sort of a Montolivo, less-vision, more pacey like you described. That means he could play the AM-role, just wouldn't be suited to it, just like Monto isn't.

Kaka never had great vision but played the Treq role well for us.

That said it WAS only Sassuolo last night, not Bayern, but I still felt Poli showed more than just pace in the hole - he spread the ball well, kept his head up, and showed good skill protecting the ball from defenders.

May be a different story against top-class Serie A opposition next season.

But either way we do agree on the 3 man model. However it is utilised. I just think we have the players to do it.
The key is the quality of players. It has always been that. Hate to say this, but even Montolivo isn't good enough in creating chances. Poli is certainly not up there yet.
(07-24-2013, 03:53 PM)Danny Wrote: [ -> ]Messi can't beat players with sheer skill, never could - for him it's always been about, as you say, close control and sheer pace. He drives past players - not strictly BEATING them but just outpacing them and appearing to teleport into positions. He doesn't do the showboating because he can't - it's not part of his game. And if you watch Ronaldo closely he hardly showboats at all now - that rather vulgar part of his game has been vastly reduced in his Real days.
BUT this isn't about Messi or Messi v Ronaldo haha.

I see what you mean, we may have different opinions of what the word skill describes though (like I'd say close control and body balance as great skills). And I agree with you about Ronaldo (in fact I'm a big fan of his, I'm always rooting for him since Messi won the Ballon D'Or twice a in row – come on FIFA, that prize was already boring before, now it's just a routine day at the end of the season)

Quote:Kaka never had great vision but played the Treq role well for us.

Oh, but we have to agree that we may (assuming we're fit Big Grin) catch Poli on a 30m run. Would you get near Kaka in those days?
But besides his pace, Kaka also had a greater range of skills (mine and yours definition) and was more agile (technically and thinking) than Poli, which makes him much more suited for the Treq role. (This last part is what I think is essencial to the Treq, fast thinking. Think Riquelme, for example. Pretty slow (even a little bit fat nowadays) but the guy will release a lovely ball before you can even get to him.

To me, that's what makes Poli (not to say that he's not capable by any means) different to Iniesta (and an all-round CM to an attacking CM/AM), but hopefully he'll show us that he's better than all those we mentioned Big Grin

P.S: Please guys, keep posting. I have 3 long hours at job and nothing to do Big Grin

(07-24-2013, 04:19 PM)Androgynous Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-24-2013, 03:53 PM)Danny Wrote: [ -> ]Messi can't beat players with sheer skill, never could - for him it's always been about, as you say, close control and sheer pace. He drives past players - not strictly BEATING them but just outpacing them and appearing to teleport into positions. He doesn't do the showboating because he can't - it's not part of his game. And if you watch Ronaldo closely he hardly showboats at all now - that rather vulgar part of his game has been vastly reduced in his Real days.
BUT this isn't about Messi or Messi v Ronaldo haha.

I see what you mean, we may have different opinions of what the word skill describes though (like I'd say close control and body balance as great skills). And I agree with you about Ronaldo (in fact I'm a big fan of his, I'm always rooting for him since Messi won the Ballon D'Or twice a in row – come on FIFA, that prize was already boring before, now it's just a routine day at the end of the season)

Quote:Kaka never had great vision but played the Treq role well for us.

Oh, but we have to agree that we may (assuming we're fit Big Grin) catch Poli on a 30m run. Would you get near Kaka in those days?
But besides his pace, Kaka also had a greater range of skills (mine and yours definition) and was more agile (technically and thinking) than Poli, which makes him much more suited for the Treq role. (This last part is what I think is essencial to the Treq, fast thinking. Think Riquelme, for example. Pretty slow (even a little bit fat nowadays) but the guy will release a lovely ball before you can even get to him.

To me, that's what makes Poli (not to say that he's not capable by any means) different to Iniesta (and an all-round CM to an attacking CM/AM), but hopefully he'll show us that he's better than all those we mentioned Big Grin

P.S: Please guys, keep posting. I have 3 long hours at job and nothing to do Big Grin

Sounds like my dream job. Is your company hiring? Sagrin
Lol, should have stated "I still have 3 long hours". And hopefully they're hiring, we could talk of Milan and everything except work for hours then Big Grin Will recommend you Xu Big Grin
As follows is an incomplete list of my expertise:

1. making silly jokes;
2. looking up Internet for silly Youtube videos;
3. getting off-topic, ruining a perfectly good discussion;
4. grammar policing and name checking;
5. getting caught with my own spelling mistakes while conducting (4); Icon_lol2
6. what else? Big Grin

Icon_lol2
(07-24-2013, 05:08 PM)xudong Wrote: [ -> ]6. what else? Big Grin

Icon_lol2

6. A master of the self-irony art? Sagrin

But yeah, this topic went badly. Hopefully Danny will fix this up Okmilan
I think you're kind of on the mark with the model. I'd say we're looking to have a destroyer (De Jong), creator/director (Montolivo) and mezzala (Poli?), which is the equivalent of your DM, balanced CM and creative AM. This is a fairly normal set up for a 3 man midfield, so it's not a surprise we're following it.

What's more interesting is where we're headed. The young players coming through are much more technical. Cristante, for example, is a player with all the attributes in one, as he's can be a destroyer, director and push up as a mezzala. For me, this is the ideal, as we lose the specialists in midfield and have players who can adapt to different scenarios and requirements.
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