Worlds best defence.....

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by King Rooney, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. King Rooney

    King Rooney New Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Leicester
    Who has the worlds best defenders.....not just the 1st choice defence but also the backup. The teams that I think are the best are:

    England
    Argentina
    Italy

    In that order......is there a better team or would u put these in a different order?
     
  2. Dark Savante

    Dark Savante Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Become the Tea Pot!!
    In Europe Greece apparently...

    Seriously, you'd have to add more to your initial question to get a debate out of this. Are you asking who has the best individuals or are you asking which team has the best 5man unit? (inclusive of keeper)

    Surely the best defence will be the one that concedes the least in a major tournament and to a lesser extent what they do in qualifying for said tournament? And if that is the case then you usually don't have to look much further then Semi finalists, Runner Up or winner for your answer...big names have been known to flop...for example what basis would Italy have to be named in a top 3 for World Defences apart from former reputation and/or Nesta and Buffon? are they alone enough to have Italy still be an elite defensive unit?

    etc
    etc
     
  3. Spartak

    Spartak Member

    Nov 6, 1999
    Philly
    Club:
    AC Milan
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think Argentina's backline is currently the best. With players like Zanetti, Heinze, Ayala, Samuel, Coloccini, Sorin, Burdisso, etc. they have both quality and quantity. And it helps when you have good defensive midfielders like Mascherano, Cambiasso, and Lucho Gonzalez playing just in front of them to help out.
     
  4. DarthTrickster

    DarthTrickster New Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Inverness, Scotland
    I think you must be wearing rose-tinted glasses if you think England has the best defence in the World. Has to be Argentina at the moment. Take it we're not to include goalkeepers in this eh Rooney!? ;)
     
  5. Prenn

    Prenn Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    Northern Ireland
    Club:
    Bolton Wanderers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    What's wrong with Paul Robinson?
     
  6. DarthTrickster

    DarthTrickster New Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Inverness, Scotland
    No idea, didn't even know he was ill.
     
  7. Prenn

    Prenn Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    Northern Ireland
    Club:
    Bolton Wanderers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    *groan*
     
  8. DarthTrickster

    DarthTrickster New Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Inverness, Scotland
    Well I thought it was funny. I suppose you're right though, if you stick with Robinson you might actually be in with a chance. :eek: What have I just said!?
     
  9. RandyNA74

    RandyNA74 Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Argentina has to be considered #1 in defense these days. Aside from Nesta and Zambrotta, Italy is not living a great moment in terms of defenders. Materazzi? Hello. Our back ups are frightfully mediocre too. Ferrari etc. We have several good youngsters as we saw in the Olympics, but Nesta is in a class of his own and will be (in Italy) for a while...
     
  10. nicephoras

    nicephoras A very stable genius

    Fucklechester Rangers
    Jul 22, 2001
    Eastern Seaboard of Yo! Semite
    If England had a better RB than Neville, they'd be at the head of the pack. Otherwise, I think its about even between Argentina and England, although I'd give the nod depth-wise to England. Coloccini has never impressed me. I think he lacks pace, although, of course, that's debatable. Also, we'll see how much more Ayala has in the tank.
     
  11. Dark Savante

    Dark Savante Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Become the Tea Pot!!
    And this was part of my point...Argentina were miserable at the last world cup and to give this thing a sense of perspective what other competition should a NT defence be judged on?

    Names are meaningless if they don't produce the goods..Should a continental tournament be used to guage such things as 'World's best' when only 1 continent is involved?
     
  12. Forza Badger

    Forza Badger New Member

    Aug 29, 2004
    i'm
    Exactly.
     
  13. dna77054

    dna77054 Member+

    Jun 28, 2003
    houston
    I would not say miserable, but unfortunate. They did not play poorly, but things just did not work out in their favor. That is the nature of the game somedays.

    As for their defence. In the WC they gave up 2 goals, one a somewhat dodgy PK and the other a magnificent long range free kick. Defense was not the problem.

    FWIW, they won the olympic gold without conceeding a goal. According to Fifa this was the first and only time any team has won any "major" tournament without conceeding a goal. What was more remarkable about that accompishment is that they did it with a 7-8 players almost exclusively in their opponents half of the field. Granted the have some very talented defenders at the moment (who can all go forward quite well, this I say gives them the nod over England), but they seem be an example of the old saying that the best defense is a good offense.

    Are they the best as a unit. I do not know, a lot depends on how you define defense and best. Eg, Greece put up a herculean defensive effort in the Euros to win a lot of 1-0 games. Whereas Arg would more likely be looking for a 3-1, 4-2 victory.
     
  14. Dark Savante

    Dark Savante Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Become the Tea Pot!!
    Argentina sent out an eite squad to play against boys. Their feat would have been impressive if that was against A-teams but it wasn't so it can hardly be used to gauge their defence against the very best attacks in the world can it?

    How's about Ronaldo's solo destruction of their backline in the WCQ does that count? I think judging a defence on names alone wont get you far. What should work and what does work in the premier competition is two different things entirely.

    Before the Euro's people would have laughed if you said Greece would have a near impregnable defence..yet, come tourney time it was rock solid and all of a sudden people were calling Dellas a great defender etc.. more like an average player in a rock solid system. Not one of those Greek players would make Argentina's 1st defensive unit..yet, come tourney time is there much difference between them?
     
  15. aek chicago

    aek chicago Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    I would not say so. Their outstanding showing in the EURO 2004 was more a byproduct of collective effort than the brilliance of their backline. The key to Greece's success is that they were able to collectively stay compact (all 10 field players) and that their midfield was able to maintain possession (not necessarily go forward) at critical times under intense pressure. Look at how Greece's backline fell apart againt Russia when their midfield, Basinas and Katsouranis in particular, were in bad form. Rehagel inserted Tsiartas right before half to control and dictate the tempo and flow of the match, and suddenly Greece's defense looked a lot better.

    Greece has no keeper to speak of-Nikopolidis is a decent shot stopper but weak in the air-and Fyssas and Kapsis are entirely ordinary, even by Greek club standards. Fyssas in particular lacks pace, although he is technically gifted, and Kapsis lacks the pace to play on the flank, where he originally started with AEK, and also the height to play in the middle.
     
  16. aek chicago

    aek chicago Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    See my earlier post. That being said, even though I don't rank Greece's unit amongst the best in the world, I believe Seitaridis can arguably play on any side in the world. If there was a better RB in the EURO, I didn't see it.

    As far as Dellas is concerned, I think you may be unduly harsh. His composure and technique on the ball were first rate at the EURO. Was even voted player of the tournament by FourFourTwo magazine. I would agree that he may be suspect as a man marker in space, but then again, many sweepers would be also. IMO, Dellas is a lot more than just an average player. The Greek defense looked superb primarily as a result of Dellas' efforts, not vice versa. If you're looking for average players who look a lot better in a solid system, try England's G. Neville.
     
  17. AleJuventino

    AleJuventino New Member

    Nov 2, 2004
    belgium
    maybe you shoud also take out your glasses (or put them on for that matter). the best defense is (and has always been) italy. why? because we invented defending and we're darn proud of it. just take a look at the names (buffon: best goalkeeper in the world, nesta & cannavaro: need i say more?, zambrotta: unstoppable and massimo oddo). no other country has these "artists" in their team. not even brazil (the best team in the world, i'm not affraid to admit that). and england having the best defense is a total laugh.
     
  18. imasyko

    imasyko Member+

    May 16, 2002
    Spring City, PA
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am constantly surprised in how little the English value GN. I just don't see it myself, but won't pretend to be as knowledgable as many on this forum. But it wasn't two weeks ago that I read a column in the Guardian (by Strachan perhaps) extolling the virtues of Neville. Along with Rio, Sol and Ashley Cole, England has a formidable backline, and at least Cole is a definite threat going forward as well. The US should have such problems at RB.
     
  19. Mobile

    Mobile New Member

    Jul 29, 2002
    Melbourne
    Gary Neville has suffered to a certain extent from being extremely successful without being exceptionally talented.

    He is one of England's most-capped and reliable players. In fact I cannot remember the last time he made a mistake for the national side.

    He's no Cafu but he's certainly one of the first names on the team sheet. If you're looking for a solid, reliable performer with experience then G.Neville is your man.

    Personally I think England have the best defence in the world but then I'm hugely biased. I certainly don't see any team with a defence that is clearly better.
     
  20. hoss23

    hoss23 Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    The only goals scored against Argentina in 2002 were 1 penalty and 1 free kick...not sure if that qualifies as "miserable". I like Ayala, and he gets a lot of great press, but he gave up the 2nd goal against Holland in the '98 World Cup and the 2nd goal against Brazil in the Copa America final this past summer...two big goals since they both came at the end of the game.
     
  21. OmiKell

    OmiKell New Member

    May 2, 2004
    Tarrytown/Luxemburg
    No south american nation has a good defence.

    In Europe, Italy has the best regular defensive line, Holland and England have the worst and rely to their high scoring ability to win games.
     
  22. Mobile

    Mobile New Member

    Jul 29, 2002
    Melbourne
    Haha - brilliant.
     
  23. Dark Savante

    Dark Savante Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Become the Tea Pot!!
    On both accounts do the greatest of defences concede penalties and Fk's around their box for goals to be scored off of? Is that not clearly a sign of a defence cracking under the pressure?

    Set piece defending is just as important as open play after all, you can get knocked of a competition if you are inept at clearing corners etc.

    Ayala is indeed an exceptional talent...the best defender Argentina have imo. Samuel is prone to heavy handedness which can put his team in trouble..he also discards his CB position a bit to often he relies alot on good cover in front of him rather then being brilliant 1on1. I think Argentina are vulnerable down their left side - or whicheever side Zanetti is not playing on in that particular game - and as they are no nonsense defenders alot of penalties are conceded via an attack getting in behind them. It's a wealness top teams and top players can exploit.

    England have a fragile GK when James plays and an inexperienced one when Robinson is in...As far as I can remember G Neville hasn't made a blunder in the NT shirt although he isn't the best of RB's he is reliable and consistent...A Cole however is the side of the defence that can be exploited. He makes rash tackles in the box which is a dead cert penalty if he doesn't get the ball...he also attacks alot in a game where England have no left sided cover for him in midfield it leaves a problem on that flank.

    Italy as shown in Euro 2004 have a lot of problems.... Buffon and Nesta alone cannot save a whole backline...

    I wouldn't say there is a single best defence in world football right now. All have a weak link and none come close to some of the legendary defences of the past..the last of which was France '98.

    Off the back of Euro 2004 Greece are as good as any even if they don't have 'names' all across their backline.
     
  24. Dark Savante

    Dark Savante Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Become the Tea Pot!!
    I thought the same thing.
     
  25. OmiKell

    OmiKell New Member

    May 2, 2004
    Tarrytown/Luxemburg
    I did not say I prefer italian full defence play. I rather watch a 3-2 game than a 0-1 one
     

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