Best/Greatest 'Playmaker/s' Ever

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by PDG1978, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    This is very interesting. I never heard of this statistics. That's crazy number for a defender, for sure!
     
  2. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    How about George Graham's Arsenal? Rocastle as wide playmaker, and Merson as that or playmaking second striker both seem questionable I think, in terms of definitively qualifying (perhaps more akin to Lampard and Robben indeed, or Gudjohnsen/Smertin/Tiago when in midfield). I wouldn't say Michael Thomas was really a playmaker but maybe nobody was closer in the midfield although Paul Davis might be suggested? Generally that team didn't play through it's midfield anyway did it?

    Blackburn Rovers 1994/95 perhaps too?
     
  3. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Good point. I think Merson can be classified as a playmaker though, although I'd agree, no one else can. Blackburn 94/95 is another good example, although someone would argue Tim Sherwood was a pretty good passer and midfield general.

    I don't think Blackburn was quite elite though. At least Arsenal had some success in Europe. Mourinho's Chelsea was dominant in the league, and was able to complete with Europe's finest. So good in fact, his blueprint remains with the team long after he was gone.
     
  4. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yeah, I suppose the Arsenal example (like Liverpool of that era too of course) is lacking the European competition test really in the period they won English league titles (no European Cup participation). Arsenal and Chelsea did win more league titles than Blackburn to be fair, but curiously Arsenal were playing in the European Super Cup but finishing mid-table the season Blackburn won the league.

    Agree that it would be Sherwood or nobody at Blackburn that season, and I'd tend to say he wasn't an outright playmaker, or classic playmaker as you put it before.
     
  5. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Two interesting cases of noted attacking/footballing and very successful teams arguably without one true/classic playmaker, could be Liverpool and AC Milan both from 1987/88 until 1989/90 or so.

    Liverpool (John Barnes? Peter Beardsley?) had played with Jan Molby as deep-lying or central midfield playmaker, and even Dalglish himself as player manager and advanced playmaker in 1985/86 when they won the league and FA Cup double, but in 87/88 Molby didn't play a lot at all, and still wasn't an absolute fixture in the team in the following seasons.

    AC Milan (Carlo Ancelotti? Ruud Gullit?) would later under Capello play less adventurous football overall, but would have Albertini as deep-lying playmaker and Savicevic as advanced playmaker for example.
     
  6. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Merson in the Cup Winners Cup final played on the same position (in a 4-4-2) as Petit in the 2000 UEFA Cup final.
     
  7. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I wouldn't have known or remembered that!

    Petit himself is probably another good 'playmaker or not playmaker?' case I'd think, in the scheme of things. But obviously at club level Bergkamp was in his team if we're talking about the Arsenal period, and at International level Zidane most of the time. So his teams would not be playmaker-less generally and neither would he be the main playmaker.
     
  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord

    Yes, that is a more interesting remark than it seems at first sight. I think that actually says just as much about Zidane/DB10 than about Petit and his '???' case. Zidane is of that breed who really was a midfielder and not a semi-forward. If you talk about the usual top 100 all-timers (the ~250 who are often named for that), not too many do fit into that bracket. As previously shown, Zidane at his best was an involved horizontal player while Platini - for better? - was more vertical. Which I think is more usual for players of that level and into that discussion.


    [​IMG]



    DB10 might be said was a special type too, as Gary Lineker did in a Daily Telegraph opinion piece at his retirement. "Bergkamp isn't the sort of player you look at and think, 'Oh, he reminds me of so-and-so'. He's a one-off."
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2336512/Superlative-Bergkamp-enhanced-our-game.html

    That idea is arguable but not totally without substance: he is one of six EPL players to have reached 50 goals but more assists, one of three to have reached 50 non-penalty goals but more assists; and when one takes out all set piece goals he's one of two together with Ryan Giggs (who ofc played there his entire career). It means: it is highly unusual to have more assists than goals, but still being able to score at a half decent rate. Also his percentage of weaker foot goals (all competitions for Arsenal) is unusual with 35%. I think he played deeper after 1998; with more pre-assists.
     
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  9. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yes, I see what you mean in both cases.

    Probably this thread is the best place to put my first video in a while, which I made for Michael Laudrup away at Dynamo Kiev (91/92 European Cup). It is not so outstanding as the home game for him overall, but I thought worthwhile to add to Youtube as the display in the away leg vs that opponent (although in a group of 4 that led to one qualifier for the Final - the Kiev games following each other in the middle section of fixtures). The home assist and away assist show two different aspects of his 'playmaking' anyway:

    Noticeably playing as a second attacker, or very attacking midfielder, tending to be a bit left of centre on average, in this game, whereas he was more the roaming false 9 in the home game, with an extra Barcelona attacker in the team (as normal).
     
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  10. Louis Soccer

    Louis Soccer Member

    Flamengo
    Brazil
    Apr 17, 2017
    The deep player and the advanced player have different but complementary functions. For example, players like Xavi and Pirlo were great at keeping the flow of play, in pre-attendance and attendance. Messi and Kaka have been great in the imbalance, in the assists and goals. These are just emblematic examples.

    Soccer is a flexible sport, there is no black and white, there are many nuances. Therefore, there are players who can have some characteristics of both the deep and advanced player, I agree that Platini and Zidane represent these cases, I think the same happened with Rivelino, Brindisi, Van Hanegen, Overath, Socrates and recently Iniesta. They are not completely deep or advanced, we could qualify as Mixed Playmaker.
     
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  11. Louis Soccer

    Louis Soccer Member

    Flamengo
    Brazil
    Apr 17, 2017
    #111 Louis Soccer, Mar 16, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
    Let's see the presence of Playmakers in the big teams (Midfield-Forward):
    Brazil 1970: 2 Advanced Playmaker (Pelé and Tostao), 1 Deep-lying Playmaker (Gerson), 1 Striker (Jairzinho), 1 "Mixed Playmaker" (Rivelino) and 1 Defensive Midfielder (Clodoaldo).
    Brazil 1982: 1 Advanced Playmaker (Zico), 1 Deep-lying Playmaker (Falcao), 1 Striker (Serginho), 1 Wings (Eder), 1 "Mixed Playmaker" (Socrates) and 1 Defensive Midfielder (Cherry).
    France 1984: 2 Advanced Playmaker (Platini and Giresse), 1 Deep-lying Playmaker (Tigana), 2 Strikers (Lacombe and Bellone) and 1 Defensive Midfielder (Fernandez).
    Milan 2006: 1 Advanced Playmaker (Kaka), 1 Deep-lying Playmaker (Pirlo), 1 Strikers (Inzaghi), 2 "Mixed Playmaker" (Seedorf and Ambrossini) and 1 Defensive Midfielder (Gatusso).
    Barcelona 2014-15: Advanced Playmaker (Messi and Neymar), 1 deep-lying Playmaker (Xavi), 1 Strikers (Suarez), 1 Mixed Playmaker (Iniesta) and 1 Defensive Midfielder (Busquets).

    Brazil 1970 and Barcelona 2014-15 used up to 4 Playmakers !!!! That explains the great quality of his game. However, to maintain the effectiveness and dynamics of the game, there was a predominance of some Playmakers over others, in Brazil 1970 was Gerson-Pele, in Barcelona 2014-15 was Xavi-Messi, statistics support this conclusion.
     
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  12. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
  13. JoCryuff98

    JoCryuff98 Member+

    Barcelona
    Germany
    Jan 3, 2018
    Honestly, Ozil could’ve been a greater player tbh
     
  14. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    If he was playing in the 90s, he might have been a decade great, but in the current climate, I think he's done as well as a player of his profile could be expected to.
     
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  15. Danko

    Danko Member

    Barcelona
    Serbia
    Mar 15, 2018
    Ozil has been a pretty fantastic player to be honest but he kind of fell into obscurity playing at Arsenal for so many years, a team that hasn't accomplished much of anything. Payet is kind of underrated and has been for years and Fabregas had a few great seasons. He's not really an all-time great player all-around but he is a fantastic creator.
     
  16. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Just to highlight this again: the definition of a 'chance' per OPTA is here a pass that leads to a shot.

    That stat is not useless for descriptive purposes, but shouldn't be seen in isolation (how is the team set up etc.). In itself it says very little about player influence/impact and what he contributes. In combination with other facets it is helpful.

    If one looks at his through-balls per 90 minutes (0.4) then that is not so special. 60% of his assists on WhoScored are the result of a cross or a set piece (30% cross accuracy).

    Whether the 1990s would have been more favorable, maybe. That depends on the 'moments', but for a 4-4-2 he perhaps should be more of a scorer (from open play) or do more off-the-ball (on defense) for midfield (Ozil does run a lot but not great in transition). This is also a topic in Michael Cox's book. See also this very interesting and intruiging video.

    I think he was/is a very good player, but perhaps could have shined in more tournaments (2010 his best, in 2014 actually one of the weakest performers of his team). Real Madrid became overall better without him and there's a danger the same will happen with Arsenal now.

    Don't want to be overly harsh.
     
  17. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    There is certainly a case that despite his many flaws ozil is the best playmaker of his era
    In the 2010-2013 period for Real Madrid he most certainly was IMO

    I think ozil became a wasted talent in Arsenal but there are a lot of misconceptions and myths about him(ie being lazy and disinterested)
    605E4FA5-2326-4247-8E78-3B82F0933873.jpeg

    Of course being lazy is a reputation (concocted by the media) that he comes with.
    however untrue it doesn’t matter,what cannot be proven becomes facts while what can be proven will be regarded myths

    I believe ozil is the standout candidate for best playmaker of his era despite his many flaws (being hardly impactful in the CL QF to final rounds and the same stage of the World Cup)
    At league level there is no contest-he is the best in chances created+assists made per 90
    Over a 12 year period which is a large enough sample size for one to make such a claim

    What is even more amazing is dimitri payet appearing so high on the list clearly this guy has been slept on And underrated
    Before he came to England I never heard of him and even since he’s left it isn’t as if he’s been making huge waves in ligue 1
     
  18. poetgooner

    poetgooner Member+

    Nov 20, 2014
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Good point about the stat. One of the reasons why I thought KDB was perhaps at least on par with Salah last year was because he was leading the big-chances created stat (a better stat for judging playmakers, imho) by a country mile, IIRC.

    Ozil is lazy in defense, not in attack. He moves A LOT in attack, because he is always moving to find space. I've watched 100+ games of him with Arsenal already. He doesn't do enough defensively, but he's everywhere when we have the ball. He drops deep to pick up the ball (this is actually a systematic problem for us once we lost Cazorla), he drifts wide to find space, he roams around to lose markers, and even make runs into the box.

    The reason I mention the 90s is because in the current climate, I don't see a single elite team that actually utilize a player of his profile.

    First of all, most of the elite teams play 433 now. He's not athletic or a good enough scorer to play in the front 3. He's also not well-rounded enough to play in central midfield. When you see the amount of things the modern CMs like KDB/David Silva or Modric/Kroos have to be able to do, he's never shown to be as well-rounded as they are. I'd argue peak Fabregas would be a much better fit than him.

    Even among teams that play 4231, they don't play a player of his profile in the no.10 role. You have Alli at Spurs, Hamsik at Napoli, and Muller at Bayern Munich. Managers just look for a different type for that position now.

    The 90s had players like Zidane, Rui Costa, and Mostovoi flourishing. I think Ozil could have played similar roles and truly flourished as well.
     
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  19. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
  20. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Interesting suggestion.

    He's often not associated as a 'playmaker' perse, possibly because of his position and motion style, and lack of orthodox dribbling style.

    When he left the league, he was third in 'assist per minute', behind Bergkamp and Cantona (Bergkamp maintained that standing until his retirement at 37).

    Granted, a number of assists came from set pieces and crosses (often seen as an 'easier' skill), but have a look at this, a collection of 'clear' chances out of a variety of situations:




    He also had great stamina and other teamwork capabilities, something that cannot be said about all playmakers (those like Riquelme, Ozil might find themselves in trouble at top teams, if their production isn't there to compensate for it).

    Overall an interesting suggestion.
     
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  21. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid

    I stumbled upon this great find whilst on a unrelated search
    90 mins of Micheal laudrup playmaking.
    He had the touch of genius no doubt,I won’t comment about the consistency or lack thereof but there is quote from his coach that on his day he was the best player in the world
    I actually find that very believable even in an era with the likes of savecivic and baggio
    The weight of pass is just completely ridiculous and the consistency with which he produced those passes
    Amazing player
     
  22. JoCryuff98

    JoCryuff98 Member+

    Barcelona
    Germany
    Jan 3, 2018
    It’s kinda sad that Laudrup isn’t even recognised around the world like Zidane even though he was clearly the better player. Ask any random football fan and they’ll be like “Who tf is Laudrup?”
     
  23. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    As a advanced playmaker (number 10) yeah probably laudrup was more gifted(a better chance creator/team player)

    With Zidane a lot hinges on what he did with les bleus (and he was legendary for them no doubt)
    History could’ve looked more favourably upon laudrup had he been part of that Denmark 92 side (and he was at his peak then so I cannot see how he would’ve not improved the team even more)

    I would go with laudrup every time except in KO rounds at CL level and international level
     
  24. Estel

    Estel Member+

    May 5, 2010
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    IIRC Laudrup did play along with the core of the Euro 92 winning Denmark team in WC 90 qualifying though, but without as much success. So maybe his improving the Euro winning team was not a given. .

    For me the Zidane-Laudrup comparison has always been very interesting, although I see Laudrup at his best, operating more like Messi does now rather than how Zidane did in his prime. I have also always wondered how a team consisting of both these players would function, though the real loss IMO was in not seeing Redondo and Zidane feature together when they were active.

     
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  25. Ariaga II

    Ariaga II Member

    Dec 8, 2018
    I'll have to give a respectful LOL at the thought of M. Laudrup not improving the 92 team.

    Denmark 92 is the perfect argument against the fatalistic thinking that permeates football discussion. Fatalists ignore the role luck plays in football, and refuse to see past the results. This will come as a massive shocker to some people, but Denmark around WC 90 was actually a better side than in 92. What many tend to forget is that Denmark actually failed to qualify for Euro 92. Here's a look at their qualifying results, removing the results against the point dispensing Faroes to get the same amount of matches:

    90:
    6 3 2 1 15 6 +9 8

    92:
    6 4 1 1 10 6 +4 9

    Yes, that's a massive difference of one point, the difference between glory and despair. The problem in the WC-qualifiers was that Denmark was in the middle of team building, after the dynamite generation had gone over the hill, and started the qualifiers with two disappointing draws. After that, the new team began to click and results began improving. Denmark eventually finished second in the group, which with any fairness should have earned them a spot in a 24-team WC. Unfortunately, the system has always been rigged against European teams (nowadays also against the South Americans), so they were out.

    Moreover, the team was playing well, and it legitimately looked like the dynamite was back. It was considered a massive injustice for them to not qualify. Flash forward two years, Piontek was replaced by Moller-Nielsen. How were the performances? Well, they caused both Laudrups (and Jan Bartram :D) to quit the NT, so that should say something. Denmark failed to qualify, but then got a free ride through the back door and won the tournament (with 2 actual wins, BTW). Cue result-obsessed revisionists to rush in to say the best team always wins and the one who wins is always the best, lazy analysts to yammer about brilliant displays, ballon-votes to come pouring in, and one poor poster to wonder whether having Michael Laudrup on your team improves it or not. ;)

    As for how a team with Laudrup and Zidane would function together, maybe similarly to how Juventus with both Laudrup and Platini functioned (not that I know how that was :D)?
     
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