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Messi, CR9, AVB, City etc........

Messi, CR9, AVB, City etc........

Just a collection of thoughts over the past few weeks of footy:

1 - False 9 is here to stay - zonal marking defines the false 9 as:

'A unconventional lone striker, who drops deep into midfield. Francesco Totti perhaps invented it for Roma in 2006/7, Lionel Messi played here when he swapped positions with Samuel Eto'o for Barcelona in 2008/09, and Robin van Persie played the role for Arsenal at the start of the 2009/10 season.'

Spain just won the Euros this summer with Fabregas leading the line in a similar role. Arsene Wenger has deployed Gervinho in a similar role for Arsenal. Gervinho in the false 9 position has notched up 5 goals and 1 assist for Arsenal in 8 games. Neymar was deployed in the same position against Iraq (I know it's not a competitive team). He assisted Oscar for his first goal, released the ball to Kaka who assisted Oscar for his second goal and also assisted Lucas for his goal as well.

So in one way or the other like Messi for Barcelona, the False 9 is involved in a significant portion of goals and attack launched by their respective teams. Will the rest of Europe and international footy adopt this in the future?

2 - Manchester Defences: Not sure why people don't talk about this more often but both United and City's defences are shambolic. Also very surprising to me is how United (Ferguson especially) has no answer for any team that presses excellently (Spurs first half, Barcelona, Bilbao, or Benfica) as well as Mancini. Klopp and Mourinho have outfoxed Mancini back to back by exploiting City's flanks and it seems the blueprint to beat them is the same as Man U.

It may be easier said than done, but the blueprint appears to be flood the centre of the pack and press intensely and then hit them through the flanks or middle. Cristiano Ronaldo was the problem against City. Although Reus was the scorer, Mario Gotze worried City a lot in that Dortmund game.

3 - Messi vs. Ronaldo: This debate will go on for so long, but the last El-Clasico proved one thing: Cristiano Ronaldo has stepped up his game so much at Real Madrid that he is likely on par RIGHT NOW with Lionel Messi. This is coming from a Messi fan. I am NO BARCA fan, but in the Messi vs. Ronaldo debate for years, I always chose Messi.

Both players are totally different. Messi is a specialist in what he does which is pretty much everything while Ronaldo is a specialist in his own thing which is scoring. Over the last 3 years, Cristiano has improved at so many levels including, but not limited to:

a.) Scoring in the important games

b.) Improving his finishing ability i.e. %age of his shots which are on target.

This year's world player will be a tough one. Very tough one and could be marred in controversy. Thank the stars I am not making the decisions.

4 - Falcao Stats that keep impressing me: According to back page football: 'a combined striking record of 117 goals in 143 games in just over three seasons for Porto and Atlético has meant that Falcao is behind only the un-sellable Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo'.

5 -) FA's beef with Chelsea: Don't expect this to end any time soon. Terry and Cole are just the first. Bertrand just joined. I am pretty sure Hazard or RDM will join them soon. Probably after an outburst as a result of the non-penalty calls we don't get any more in matches.

6 - Slow down with the AVB praises and increase the volume of the RDM praises: AVB wins four games back to back and all of a sudden he is a messiah and better than Harry while RDM is just a coach who benefits from a talented squad. There are also those out there who link RDM's success to foundations supposedly set by AVB.

There is an article which actually supports such suggestions. You can read it here:

I only have one word for this: RIDICULOUS!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday October 14 2012
Time: 3:24PM


false 9 in a player like rooney wil suit us better for our game
14/10/2012 15:47:00
mou has improvd cr7 and pep made messi what he is today but dont look tito can improv messis game, peps style suits best for messi me think thoug he is stil scorin loads of goal.
14/10/2012 15:52:00
I was convinced prior to the start of the season that Utd's defence would struggle, but I'm surprised by City's troubles. As for the false 9, I'm not sure what to make of it. I think you're right in that it will only become more common, though I wonder about the limited number of players available who can do it well. I was unconvinced about Fabregas' performance in the role at the Euros. Messi can do it well but he can do almost everything well. And well said about RDM--he's made tough and smart decisions, all of which were independent of feckin AVB. He deserves praise.
14/10/2012 16:03:00
You can't compare RDM with AVB. One is a European Champion and another one is learning his trade with some mediocre team. One is tactically sound and the other one is out of depth... RDM is just too good to be compared to AVB. As for Messi and Ronaldo, i think Messi is far better. Messi is the only player on this planet who can be second to Neymar.
14/10/2012 16:04:00
I've read a lot of articles where our supposed "defensive frailties" were the topic and how we would struggle against quick playing teams. Funnily enough, in all those articles, the argument commonly used by the writers to back their point was our 4-1 thrashing against Atletico. Such hypocrisy and bias. Yes we were handed our own arses on a plate against Atletico but in fact nobody that day played well - nobody. So, if they were consistent in their arguments they should have pointed out how a struggle it would be for us this season to score goals and dominate the midfield too. We should remind these****s how many goals we've conceded so far in the PL I think. 4 clean sheets in 7 games and 4 goals conceded. United conceded 3 at home against Spurs, two against Fulham and JUST won the game, same story against Southampton, had a lucky escape against Liverpool too. City conceded two at home against Southampton, were totally outplayed against Arsenal, were shambolic against Dortmund and nearly fluffed the Community Shield against us with 11 v 10 + we were nowhere near the level we are right now. Double standards at its best. Let the media continue like this actually. We always prove them wrong when we are prematurely written off. Remember the CL last year? Some of them still think that the title race will be a straight contest between the two Mancs. We'll see what will happen come May. If we are still at the top of the tabel come January-February we'll officially be in the mix as well.
14/10/2012 16:06:00
@BOTUM You must be PELE incarnate! Messi can be second to Neymar? BUHAHAHAHA
14/10/2012 16:17:00
Thinking of comparing Ronaldo and Falcao to Messi is a crime.Messi is a typical La Masia product.
14/10/2012 16:20:00
Who is this puyolbarca fella? You claim to only visit this website 2wice a week. Since you made that claim, you've posted at VC everyday which does not support your claim. I implore you to not taint this article with your regular attacks and back and forth with other fans.
14/10/2012 16:26:00
comparing ronaldo and messi i think both are in the a big messi fan as well as ronaldo but for me ronaldo has improved a lot his scoring rate is thing that goes in ronaldo favour in term of comparison is that ronaldo has played in epl which is the toughest league in the world and he has scored lots of goal here he has showed that not only he can score in laliga he has scored goals in epl also and about messi we all know how good he is in laliga but we dont wether he can score that much goals in epl also....i know he can because he is too good but still he hasnt played in epl... and about false 9 if chelsea has to play that system than i think there is one player who can play that system very well and he will cost us free also and that is piazon....i think he can easily play that role we dont have spent million on neymar or anyother player for that....piazon has been with chelsea now for more than one year and he knows epl better than other he is perfect if we have to play that system...
14/10/2012 16:30:00
1; The false 9 is a tactics i find a little bit ridiculous,it undermines the role of a striker in a team. Its understandable when the opposition sits deep and defend for their lives,and you have the 'false 9' rotating through the defence line of the opposition in other to disrupt their shape. Pardon me but i feel its something strikers 'top 9' can also learn to do. We have noticed the flexibility in Torres of late,he drifts around and out of position to disrupt opposition set up in defence.
14/10/2012 16:31:00
@FrLamp, I think January-February will be too far to tell if we'll be in the mix. I believe we will know this sooner rather than later. Our next 8 games are as follows: Chelsea's next 8 games: Spurs (A), Man Utd (H), Man Utd (CC), Swansea (A), Liv (H), W'Brum (A), M.City (H). If we are still on top of the league and CL league table after these 8 games and Terry has served his ban, then they better take us seriously.
14/10/2012 16:36:00
1; The false 9 is a tactics i find a little bit ridiculous,it undermines the role of a striker in a team. Its understandable when the opposition sits deep and defend for their lives,and you have the 'false 9' rotating through the defence line of the opposition in other to disrupt their shape. Pardon me but i feel its something strikers 'top 9' can also learn to do. We have noticed the flexibility in Torres of late,he drifts around and out of position to disrupt opposition set up in defence. 2; Fergie and Mancini of late believe the best form of defence is to have a strong and potent attack...\something thats obviously going to be their undoing. 3; This ones somewhat of a huge debate...Its easier to score 40+ goals playing as a false 9,as you have lots of chances to take shots on goal,but its harder when u play from the wings and end up scoring 40+ goals...They are both different kind of players,but i feel Ronaldo's abilities are being undermined. I hate to pick and compare players especially those that play in different positions,so ill just say both players are great players and miles ahead of everyone else. 4; Great player,arguably the best striker in europe right now...but he still has a lot to prove,to get to Messi and Ronaldo's level...It takes consistency to stay up there,lets see how long he stays consistent. 5; Its a witch hunt i tell ya!!! They don't affect us,they only ,make us stronger as a group. 6; Outright ridiculous.
14/10/2012 16:41:00
False 9 only depends on the quality of the team.. Ronaldo is Good while Messi is Great. AVB is an average good coach.
14/10/2012 16:53:00
KAKUfrank.We are not kids to count how many times I visit.Not more than three times did I visit this week.Check out if you want.Today is Sunday.Free from work.And,I am not tainting your article.I just gave my opinion and you shifted away from the subject.Ronaldo and Falcao are not on the same level as Leo.
14/10/2012 16:57:00
just as @kakufrank has listed the games, after those games we'll know if we still need (someone like)falcao.
14/10/2012 17:04:00
I'll never understand why a Barca fan bothered to sign up on a Barclays Premier League related site. Jog on you complexed kid.
14/10/2012 17:19:00
I agreee with chuck and kaku.if we get maximum points in the next one or so month,we should not be taken we know what to expect from the media which is good for us in far as we are winning games!
14/10/2012 17:21:00
I have said it times without number, ManU and City dont have a defence, City depend on their midfield and attack to push teams back and ManU depend only their attack and hope to outscore their opponent. Get a clinical forward, 2 pacy and creative wingers, a midfield that can keep the ball, a solid defence with good full backs and you will destroy City and United effortlessly.
14/10/2012 17:22:00
@FrLamp.To check out what is going on in the camp of European rivals like Man UTD,Chelsea,Bayern,etc.Maybe,you are too young to understand.
14/10/2012 17:24:00
If we dont destroy United at the bridge I will cry cos our attacking 4 are just too much for slow Rio and poor Evans, no need to talk about Evra.
14/10/2012 17:26:00
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