The difficulty of comparing/ranking players

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by schwuppe, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I agree, I think they've done a really good job. My work will be to flesh out why the players have been included rather than to radically alter the lists I think.

    That's interesting and will be very interesting to see. I look forward to it.

    It's huge. It also requires a great degree of subjectivity as those 5-15 leagues all change in quality and prestige on a constant basis, competitions gain and lose importance. It makes it a hugely difficult task.
     
  2. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Yeah, the Italians operate in an incredibly narrow range. Very little outside 5-7. Their use of the half-marks is helpful.
     
  3. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    He received a 3 with none of his outfield team-mates getting higher than 6.

    [​IMG]

    I didn't watch the full game but there seems to be a consensus on Fernandinho being great.




    Fernandinho prevented just that weakness and was often also standing/playing 2 vs 1 from what I have seen.

    Now Lovren is injured and them playing a 16 years old kid doesn't bode well... (of course another one of many signed for free; what's the point of investing in academies? no surprise investments have declined in comparative terms and academies have been closed)
     
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  4. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord

    I have by the way also spelled this out in detail against him, how the number of inclusions are actually lower than the actual achievements like national team results and how often a nation managed to deliver a starter/sub in a CL final as an indicator - admittedly not so often for the big two Spanish clubs (as you perhaps know, this 'achievements vs ranking' is sometimes the other way round, not the least the turn of the century lists), and he also bumps down the historical players across the whole range.

    Especially how Netherlands ranks a galaxy behind England for 1995 - 2015 is an affront, and another sign of the tendency to push to the margins of history. He even admitted this, with saying fairly consistently strong/solid national team performances says "not so much" about player quality.

    But then again, it wouldn't be so 'bad' if the other parts of the equations add up. If someone would say: "it is down to "system edge" [as Dearman calls it], the referees [not that this is backed up by an expert as Declan Hill but anyway] and their easy draws, not player quality", then you have a logically coherent whole and a proper talking point... One can disagree, but it adds all up then. Generally it doesn't.

    As said above, more probably it is a side-effect of priorities and focus elsewhere rather than an intentional ignorance. If SA players like Hulk get a bump for playing in Portugal, then eventually others have to make room. If some 'backgrounds' get put higher than 'usual' or the time itself (a time that's already reflecting certain markets), then automatically others end up at the other end.

    Just my 2c.

    Either way, good to see your take on Figo, Rivaldo, Iniesta and Xavi :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    (Iniesta btw another one for which he tends to be lenient; what did he do in 2016??)
     
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  5. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    Club:
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    Didn't know Van Gaal is a pundit nowadays. :thumbsup:
     
  6. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #31 PuckVanHeel, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    I wasn't too sure whether I remembered this correctly, but this is also confirmed by him in the 'take the ball, pass the ball' documentary. He also says that for some seasons he was the 'cancer of Barcelona' [sic] according to the press (I guess around 2003 as the Football's Greatest episode says, and in 2007-08 when he and the club thought about parting ways?).

    As I said I'm in the 'Xavi camp' but interesting to think his career might have taken a turn like Thiago Alcantara I guess (who is a classy midfielder but so far not a 'great' one with zero international medals as starter). Maybe.

    That is a fairly good (and entertaining) movie btw, except for some cringy moments by Thierry Henry and Dani Alves. Henry does show/demonstrate however there is little point in playing football at that level if you haven't the physique, and it's true his many dummy runs make it in turn 'easier' for Iniesta to do his thing (or play a man out, even). Overall it is a good and fairly accurate movie.
     
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  7. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes, he is that sometimes. Also was sometimes pundit between 2005 - 2009 when he was coach of AZ. He has a talent for keeping things 'simple'; that is his background as a school teacher.

    Now, there are ofc sour faces here keen to say who he is with his garbage United to 'criticize' supercharged City, but he did have a good/strong record against the top six in fairness.

    From time to time he remains funny and occasionally he 'invents' new names for players. The 16 years old kid Hoever was renamed Hauer by him and previously also 'Schell' became turned into a footballer.... Funny to see an overview of that in the newspaper ("famous persons turned into a footballer by Louis"). LvG says he doesn't do it intentionally and perhaps shows function/execution is more important than names (and let's be fair, he has a history of clashing with 'big star' players, including Rivaldo who in his eyes did not bring enough, or later Ribery).
     
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  8. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    Club:
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    His successor at United helped him to make his time look better in hindsight with his recent 3rd year meltdown.

    The work Van Gaal did wasn't fantastic by any means, but Mourinho seems more hated by the supporters just for the attitude he had and negative atmosphere caused at the club.
     
  9. celito

    celito Member+

    Palmeiras
    Brazil
    Feb 28, 2005
    USA
    Club:
    Palmeiras Sao Paulo
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    Coaches indeed can have a different view. Not sure if biased. They value when a player does well with the ball, but also obey their tactical instructions .. specifically off the ball play. So I am guessing that's what Guardiola was counting. Then again, he could be just pumping up his player to increase his confidence.
     
  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    I thought this article, that I saw on twitter, also relates to some of the things discussed in this thread:


    [​IMG]

    [...]Oliver Schmidt is 47 and thus almost twice as old. He lives in Cologne, is one of the guest jurors. He is known among fans of Bavaria as "Breitnigge", so his blog is to fill it for time reasons ("family, job, volunteer") is no longer. He was one of the football pioneers on the net.

    Schmidt did not want to become objective but to remain subjective. "I can not get out of my skin". The list he submitted most differed from what was the official end result.

    Schmidt's winner was not Gerd Müller, but Arjen Robben ("Has defined an era with his attitude"). His second was not Beckenbauer, but Javi Martinez ("With his conduct in politically difficult times, emotionally he caused an explosion with me"). Roy Makaay was also high on the list ("The first transfer involving a lot of money, ice-cold playing on the pitch, super-friendly next to the pitch") and the goalkeeper he appreciates most is Jean-Marie Pfaff (not Maier, Kahn, Neuer). Schmidt has taken into account some players from the 80s: Roland Wohlfahrt, Hans Dorfner, Brian Laudrup, Norbert Nachtweih. Breitner, who was one side of his broad-nigge existence, put on four. Rummenigge, the other, appear as little as Uli Hoeneß or Franz Beckenbauer. "Because of the roles they played after their careers." Oliver Schmidt says, "I'm not the tactical fox like anybody else. My choice is very emotional."[...]
    Ramm has another explanation in terms of Thomas Müller: He also recognizes with him "the Toni Kroos phenomenon. A player who is not the best of his team, but only the fourth or fifth best. "


    https://www.merkur.de/sport/fc-bayern/beste-bayern-aller-zeiten-11139891.html
    (use google translate or so if one can't read)

    [​IMG]

    Looking at the website itself there are also some discussion points, in particular about players from the same era (e.g. many comments on Schweinsteiger too high, see the links below, or that Matthaus had his best body of work in two other shirts).

    https://miasanrot.de/top-15-maier-augenthaler-robben-breitner/
    https://miasanrot.de/top-15-schweinsteiger-matthaeus/


    Personally (but who am I?) I think some of the within-era placements are messed up.
     
  11. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    Club:
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    I think Robben should be ahead of Schweinsteiger and maybe even Lahm, just a more effective player/role that is generally higher rated.
     
  12. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    He Should also be ahead of KHR aswell if We’re being honest
    Robben was the best player in the world during 2014
    (In a world that doesn’t contain Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi)

    What great competition did KHR face from His European counter parts in 77-81
    This is a question for Bayern fans but I would genuinely like to know what made KHR a higher quality player than Arjen Robben(by 1982 the German was effectively finished as a world beater so we can compare these players in terms of length of prime)

    Robben was at a elite world class level in
    2009/10 including a good World Cup
    The 2nd half of 2012/13
    2013/14 including a very good World Cup
    2014/15


    That is roughly 3 and a half club seasons and 2 major international tournaments where he is firmly in the discussion for top 6-7 player in the world and in some seasons as high as 3rd

    Is that a shorter peak than Thierry Henry?
    Is that a shorter peak than Karl Heinze Rummenigge?
    Is that a shorter peak than Xavi Hernandez?
    Is that a shorter peak than Ronaldinho?
    Is that a shorter peak than Rivaldo?

    It seems arjen robben is usually given credit for the phenomenal player that he was in Germany but the wider footballing community are yet to be convinced
     
  13. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    I say this with some reservation but see that for every era I think;

    Yes Lahm as #1 of his team makes more sense (12 goals and 46 assists in 332 league games). Also think Ribery merits it to be ahead of Schweinsteiger. Better footballer overall and I think also more good years - other than around 2009-2010 was there a phase a fit Schweinsteiger was better as a fit Ribery? Ribery was possibly 'better' (more impactful) in pretty much every year, bar 2010.

    From the turn of the century team (with 2 CL finals and semi final in the middle) Kahn and Scholl are put in (and the back end of the ageing Matthaus). Kahn understandably gets bonus points for his penalty saves, but think some outfield players maybe merit it to be ahead of Scholl. It looks a bit 'messy' to me that Scholl ends up as #1 outfield candidate for that team, when was he the best player of his team? His rough statistics are not really amazing; only one league season above 10 goals and zero above the 10 assists barrier, and never rated 'world class'. Isn't he seen as a classic example of an eternal talent? Not as good a footballer but had guessed Effenberg (who was captain, too) among the 15. Also looks messy Kahn is so much higher as Neuer.

    Would think G. Muller shouldn't be #1 of his team, and guess this #1 placement is not the conventional view. Yes there are many goals, those win trophies, and I've read the argument on the blog why he's ahead of Beckenbauer, but the same author has noted on twitter he was less successful against the best two rival teams of his league. And there were also club finals where he didn't score (scored in 2/4 of the domestic cup finals; 1/4 in european finals, excl. the added 90 minutes of the replay).

    The article itself is more about the 'difficulties' of placing/perceiving players and thought that relates well to your starting post.
     
  14. ManiacButcher

    ManiacButcher Member

    Palmeiras
    Argentina
    May 23, 2004
    Brasil
    Club:
    Palmeiras Sao Paulo
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    I agree 100% with this.
    And talking about player-rankings in forum discussions, one unbearable thing is posters with the "truth-bearer" attitude. I just can't stand it. lol
     
  15. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #40 PuckVanHeel, Jan 20, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
    Had a more closer look again since you said and that's definitely true. :thumbsup:

    How on earth is Maradona the single best domestic performer ever before Messi came along? Sheer mythology and steamrolling/snowballing machinery. Newsflash: he joined and 'failed' at a big team (that did not perform worse at all in the games he was out) before he joined 'minnows' and did the 'impossible'.

    I'm not in a situation to elaborate now but since it has been discussed 1000 times there is not an immediate need.

    See also:
    http://clubelo.com/2018-10-01/Napoli
     
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  16. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    Club:
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    Probably just playing around with the individual ratings to get the desired outcome.
    I think a purely numbers based ranking just doesn't work.
     
  17. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    #42 comme, Jan 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
    It's a pseudo-science because behind it is pure subjectivity. I do understand the need for criteria and it helps to show your workings but anything overly prescriptive needs refinement.

    Edit: That's not a shot at Dearman, who I think has tried very hard in his efforts.
     
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  18. schwuppe

    schwuppe Member+

    Sep 17, 2009
    Club:
    FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih
    Same for me.

    While the order/methology might be debatable, his site should have the majority of top players from each era (except pre WWI from what I've seen) covered which is useful.
     
  19. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    To say it harsh;

    There is a tendency to hide behind own technalities when you try to engage a discussion with on certain points.

    And similar to Peru FC there is an unwillingness to 'learn' (Peru FC refused to read my thread and then spreads his own wisdom-without-substance around NED players) and directly address specific points.

    It is the 'professor' tactic. Don't explain too much, suggest wisdom, hide behind numbers. All the while Thailand truly loves Hitler and that cult, and Peru has an average IQ of 80. Or the truth bearer attitude, indeed.

    Just impossible to get to a logical reasoning despite all the hiding behind 'system edge' and 'presidential bonus'. And if you point out a logical flaw, there will be a mist curtain in return.


    "One of the secret weapons of the British upper class during Empire was to look and act the part, in particular to make themselves look superior without effort. Do not let them see you sweat. Do not complain, do not explain."
     
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  20. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

    Feb 27, 2002
    Bolzplatz
    Regarding that Top 15 of Bayern players: if pre-Bundesliga players had been electable, I would have supposed the following three players worthy of consideration: Josef Pöttinger (1920s centre forward), Conny Heidkamp (1930s defender) and Ludwig Goldbrunner (1930s centre-half).
     
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  21. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

    Feb 27, 2002
    Bolzplatz
    #46 Gregoriak, Jan 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
    They should have done a Top 20 instead of a Top 15. In my opinion there are 17 "must-have" players in Bayern history that should be featured (beginning in 1965) and if it's only a Top 15 you leave out deserving players like Effenberg in this poll (it's ridiculous that Scholl is in from that era but Effenberg isn't - much more crucial player for the team - typical for a fan poll).

    In my opinion there have been the following defining eras in Bayern history (since 1965) with the crucial players in order of importance:

    "The classic era" (1969-1976): Beckenbauer, Müller, Maier, Schwarzenbeck (Hoeness, Breitner)
    "Breitnigge" (1979-1982): Rummenigge, Breitner
    The Lattek/Heynckes era (1984-1991): Matthäus, Augenthaler, Pfaff (Lerby - crucial player but only three years at Bayern)
    The Hitzfeld era (1998-2001): Kahn, Effenberg (Elber, Lizarazu, Scholl)
    The van Gaal/Heynckes/Guardiola era (aka "Robbery era") (2009-2016): Robben, Ribery, Lahm, Neuer, Schweinsteiger (Müller, maybe Lewandowski, Kroos)

    And Michael Ballack - the only notable player that was not part of an era-defining team.

    Leaving out Effenberg is a grave mistake.
     
  22. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
  23. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    @PDG1978 @peterhrt @comme

    Something else I'd like to 'discuss' and very much related to this subject of 'vantage point'.

    Why are many 'great players' not good pundits? Then not only those where athleticism was a predominant feature, but also the ones where some level of intelligence was inferred.

    There are some who can be good pundits, whose quality varies, or who are a chunk better if they speak in their native language and native terminology.

    To make matters more confusing, there is even a considerable size of (successful) managers who aren't seen as great as pundit (Van Gaal an exception; also in the way he gets things across).


    Then there are some who were successful in both capacities. Didier Deschamps won the World Cup as player and coach, but is generally not seen as a good pundit. Same even applies to Beckenbauer.

    "But when I watched Beckenbauer roam around the pitch, I could finally understand why Beckenbauer’s unsubstantial blah-blah as a TV-pundit"
    https://footballarguments.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/team-of-the-decade-1970-1980/





    I'm not fully sure about Zagallo but might well be the same story and 'consensus'.

    But if assessing players is so subjective and difficult (and it even takes some time to see a Robben, Modric, Seedorf indeed made their teams 'more winning' when they played), how to assess the pundits and experts? Some of the pundits have been quite successful, though perhaps less so outside their comfort zone, or in terms of nurturing players and making them significantly better.

    I hope you get 'puzzle'. The subjective perception of pundits who have to make subjective calls. At the same time, I also feel/think the work pundits do is not all just relative and 'if they stand on their head it is also good'. Best seen if they make (non-banal) predictions about how a match will play out (before match or at half-time).
     
  24. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I think some pundits would be more talkative than others, more analytical and more enthusiastic about looking at why things happened and what they feel could/should have been done better. Maybe that is part of it. Certain great (and very clever) players are maybe used to simply assessing what they should do on the pitch too I suppose, and not having an overview about what their team-mates should be doing (how high a defensive line should be or whatever). Sometimes vision and cleverness is more instinctive and also a 'talent' rather than a sign of IQ too?

    But various pundits also find out it's easier to have the answers when watching games rather than when managing a team I think - Gary Neville, Thierry Henry, Graeme Souness (retrospectively speaking). Trevor Brooking did relatively well compared to expectations at West Ham but didn't want to carry on - and was his success due to fairly basic principles and installing great team spirit or whatever rather than massive insight? I don't remember him being particularly analytical but more observational ("what a nice move that was", "the football was a bit aimless" or whatever - those are not direct memorised quotes though!). But the era was different and there was less time dedicated to analysis - it was more like post-match commentary rather than really detailed and critical comments probably, even though Alan Hansen did often talk about terrible defending lol!
     
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  25. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #50 carlito86, Feb 17, 2019 at 12:18 PM
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019 at 12:26 PM
    Alan Hansen and the good old days of MOTD
    I don’t think they have successfully replaced him as of now (shearer was loosely contributing when he was still there if I remember correctly)

    My brain just goes into shutdown mode when I hear Jermain jenas or even Danny Murphy imparting their “expert” knowledge
    The drivel that comes out of their mouth is usually painful to listen to(moreso with jenas who was clueless as a professional and even more clueless as a pseudo expert)
     

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