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Old 10-08-2010, 02:52   #5321
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too bad I dont see pirlo's name mentioned in that article.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:12   #5322
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I despise those articles.
Really? At least ZonalMarking usually knows what the fuck they're talking about when it comes to tactics. Sure some articles I disagree with, but I believe it's one of the better websites out there.


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Old 10-08-2010, 11:54   #5323
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Interesting post, and you sum things up rather nicely. Your point about modern, more complete CM's is interesting, although I disagree slightly. A few years ago before the likes of Makelele and Gattuso emerged as quality holding midfielders, football was dominated by complete CM's e.g Davids, Nedved, etc. etc, whereas before that we had the likes of Matthaus, Rijkaard, etc etc.. If anything people were noting the opposite to what you said. A move AWAY from complete CM's to "specialised roles" of anchor men, supporting AM's. It's just different fads.. every system and every type of player works in any era.. as long as the conditions and blocks to fit into a system are right. The current fad seemed to be 4-3-3. This is the *new* fantastic formation that everyone MUST play, and the 4-4-2 is seen as less useful/versatile, etc.etc. but in a few years a coach'll come along and be very successful with it, and suddenly it's back in fashion again.. Same applies to player-types, it's simply the quality of the players involved that matters. Rijkaard was an amazing DM, but he would not be play as CM today, bcos the team would change according to his strengths.

Anyways, Pirlo is and always will be a rarity as a deep-lying PM. Therefore the question that has to be in in the current Milan management's mind is how to utilise his quality. He is not redundant in "modern football" but rather being misused in this Milan team, as you rightly point out, but he can most definitely go back to being useful.
I think it was Milano who pointed out somewhere that the thing that made Milan great was making Pirlo fit into the team, and so that needs to be figured out again, so that we don't get knee-jerk reactionary peeps, slamming a legend because he doesn't provide the same number of assists/goals anymore, when in reality his skills haven't degenerated and his workrate has marginally increased.

All in all great defence of Pirlo's contributions by both of you. Forza Pirlo!
Forza Pirlo indeed. You bring up great points ... points that I have been thinking of and thought of when I wrote that post. I generally agree on the phases of football you talk about; systems being popular for the moment just because successful teams use them. Mourinho, for example, plays it defensive ... well, maybe thats too harsh a term, but his teams are very organized and work very hard at giving little space. The world cup saw quite a few teams approach games with this kind of attitude ... teams that were criticized for stepping away from their traditional style of play. Even Spain, for all their flamboyant play, fielded Alonso and Basket.

IMO, the only way this trend will stop is if an attack-minded team - and by saying that I mean a team whose primary aim is to score rather than not concede - is very successful against these organized outfits. In all honesty, I don't see this happening.

Mainly because, football has become so precise that every inch of space (Every Given Sunday ) has to be fought for; offensively speaking, be it every touch when on the ball, through the needle passes, intelligent runs and positioning, etc.

These aspects have always existed, but nowadays, not only are these specialized players hard to find - is there any striker that moves like Pippo? - tactics and organization are the rule of the day more so than footballing skill.

Its not only central midfielders who are becoming more complete ... you have wingers who are tactically aware of the game, sensing when the defense or midfield requires their help. Forwards dropping back to serve as an outlet for teams under pressure. Almost every player making overlapping runs, with others covering for them when they do so. Its all in the detail of how the team functions as a unit.

When you have players tactically aware of the job requirements, then it becomes more beneficial to have more complete players who are comfortable with or without the ball in many positions on the field. Wingers capable of defending flanks ... wingbacks capable of cutting in, crossing, etc. And in terms of CMs, capable of scoring, passing, defending, etc ... pretty much everything as I've always felt the most important part of a team is its central midfield.

I think football, more so now than ever, is a team sport. Of course, individual players of great quality are important, but it all depends on how they work in tandem with the rest of the team as a unit. I believe a team with good players all round working together will be a lot more effective than one with 2-3 star players.

Coming back to Pirlo, you'd have to wonder whether it will be worth it for Milan to reassemble a side to his strengths. Especially if, as we have all seen, opponents strive to give him little space with every coming season. They know his strengths, and always look to stop him. Case in hand, Sir Alex didn't bother giving Dinho - a player much further up the pitch - exclusive attention as compared to Pirlo. Last season it was Park ... in 07 it was Scholes.

With this in mind, perhaps Milan should go back to the fundamentals of the game. Its no secret we're overspending on wages ... maybe a more simple + effective layout is just what we need; Namely, a holding midfielder, good defensively, to play the holding role; a winger, who attacks the wings with pace + covers for his wingback to play on the wings. Both Pirlo and Dinho are players of immense quality ... both of them can create something out of nothing. Yet, on the flipside, these specialized roles do have their drawbacks which bigger, more organized teams, have exposed.

We are in a transition phase ... with a lot of changes soon going to happen - be it now or in the near future. I believe Pirlo showed us, last season, that he is still capable. His work rate was decent by the standards of several midfielders in Serie A. But against the heavy weight midfields, he is pushed back so deep + given little time and is always under pressure.

I think we have to weigh our options and bring at least some competition for him. Some upcoming youngster who brings different aspects to the game than Pirlo. A more conventional CM with decent technical ability, yet with energy, pace and more defensive abilities. The same would apply to Dinho and the other veterans, as the Milan I'd like to see in the future is one of balance, organization as well as being sound technically in every position on the pitch.

Last edited by GreatKalu; 10-08-2010 at 12:00.
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Old 10-08-2010, 16:42   #5324
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I wish half of you were as smart as the bear. Then I could keep my post count down by not having to constantly educate you idiots....


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Only Milan can punish it's own fans by qualifying for CL. I'm off to sleep, another year wasted. When will this fucker be fired..
#RnB
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Old 10-08-2010, 16:50   #5325
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I wish half of you were as smart as the bear. Then I could keep my post count down by not having to constantly educate you idiots....
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I'm not suggesting that we sell Ronaldinho, no. I gave my reasons in the other thread but how difficult is it to understand that Pirlo's lack of Xavi-like assists wasn't the team's problem last season? Properly utilising him, Ronaldinho and Pato together instead of having the team centered around Ronaldinho (as Leonardo stupidly did) should be Allegri's first task as coach.
Words.

I don't hate leo, but I hate to admit berlu right about him, some of his decision is very ******ed. Better not play Pirlo if you cage him in anchor with old and slow CMF around him dammit, but can't hate the guy, our management too ******ed to begin with.

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Old 10-08-2010, 17:09   #5326
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Forza Pirlo indeed. You bring up great points ... points that I have been thinking of and thought of when I wrote that post. I generally agree on the phases of football you talk about; systems being popular for the moment just because successful teams use them. Mourinho, for example, plays it defensive ... well, maybe thats too harsh a term, but his teams are very organized and work very hard at giving little space. The world cup saw quite a few teams approach games with this kind of attitude ... teams that were criticized for stepping away from their traditional style of play. Even Spain, for all their flamboyant play, fielded Alonso and Basket.

IMO, the only way this trend will stop is if an attack-minded team - and by saying that I mean a team whose primary aim is to score rather than not concede - is very successful against these organized outfits. In all honesty, I don't see this happening.

Mainly because, football has become so precise that every inch of space (Every Given Sunday ) has to be fought for; offensively speaking, be it every touch when on the ball, through the needle passes, intelligent runs and positioning, etc.

These aspects have always existed, but nowadays, not only are these specialized players hard to find - is there any striker that moves like Pippo? - tactics and organization are the rule of the day more so than footballing skill.

Its not only central midfielders who are becoming more complete ... you have wingers who are tactically aware of the game, sensing when the defense or midfield requires their help. Forwards dropping back to serve as an outlet for teams under pressure. Almost every player making overlapping runs, with others covering for them when they do so. Its all in the detail of how the team functions as a unit.

When you have players tactically aware of the job requirements, then it becomes more beneficial to have more complete players who are comfortable with or without the ball in many positions on the field. Wingers capable of defending flanks ... wingbacks capable of cutting in, crossing, etc. And in terms of CMs, capable of scoring, passing, defending, etc ... pretty much everything as I've always felt the most important part of a team is its central midfield.

I think football, more so now than ever, is a team sport. Of course, individual players of great quality are important, but it all depends on how they work in tandem with the rest of the team as a unit. I believe a team with good players all round working together will be a lot more effective than one with 2-3 star players.

Coming back to Pirlo, you'd have to wonder whether it will be worth it for Milan to reassemble a side to his strengths. Especially if, as we have all seen, opponents strive to give him little space with every coming season. They know his strengths, and always look to stop him. Case in hand, Sir Alex didn't bother giving Dinho - a player much further up the pitch - exclusive attention as compared to Pirlo. Last season it was Park ... in 07 it was Scholes.

With this in mind, perhaps Milan should go back to the fundamentals of the game. Its no secret we're overspending on wages ... maybe a more simple + effective layout is just what we need; Namely, a holding midfielder, good defensively, to play the holding role; a winger, who attacks the wings with pace + covers for his wingback to play on the wings. Both Pirlo and Dinho are players of immense quality ... both of them can create something out of nothing. Yet, on the flipside, these specialized roles do have their drawbacks which bigger, more organized teams, have exposed.

We are in a transition phase ... with a lot of changes soon going to happen - be it now or in the near future. I believe Pirlo showed us, last season, that he is still capable. His work rate was decent by the standards of several midfielders in Serie A. But against the heavy weight midfields, he is pushed back so deep + given little time and is always under pressure.

I think we have to weigh our options and bring at least some competition for him. Some upcoming youngster who brings different aspects to the game than Pirlo. A more conventional CM with decent technical ability, yet with energy, pace and more defensive abilities. The same would apply to Dinho and the other veterans, as the Milan I'd like to see in the future is one of balance, organization as well as being sound technically in every position on the pitch.
I agree with you, balance is needed, but isn't that exactly what we had 4-5 years ago? Pirlo hasn't degenerated massively -physically- from that point, as the stats prove time and time again.. tactically his role has changed a little bit, but his reading of the game is still impeccable, it's simply up to the coach to utilise him effectively.

It's not a case of assembling the side to his strengths. At the moment even a quality trequartista might not get the best out of the team, because like you said there is simply no movement. His weakness isn't that he loses the ball in key positions.. his weakness is that he tries to PLAY the ball out of trouble, in the past players would take up positions that allowed him to do this with ease, however now he is forced to hold onto it for too long, or is given the ball as a go-to man far too often and expected to conjure an escape route: viz he gets caught in possession and is blamed for being a "useless maestro" But at the same time that kind of play is EXACTLY what Xavi and Iniesta do week in week out.. they have defenders around them who can pass well and move too, the whole team is built with the philosophy of being comfortable with the ball, and creating space for each other. THAT is what needs to change regardless of whether we keep Pirlo or not. Therefore injecting some pace and movement into the midfield will allow Pirlo to shine because his specific skill set of passing accuracy, vision, in addition to positional awareness coupled with hardwork on the defensive end, is rare.

Also the key thing to note about any comparison with Xavi, and how "inferior" Pirlo is, is that Xavi has Iniesta right alongside him doing essentially the same thing.. They work in tandem and are both comfortable on the ball, so if a team closes one down and pressures him excessively, it leaves the other open to create. THAT is what is missing in Milan's midfield. Gattuso, Ambro, Flamini, Strasser etc. are nowhere near as comfortable on the ball, or have anywhere near the vision necessary to be creative outlets, and so ALL the burden falls on Pirlo. You introduce Seedorf into the mix, and suddenly (occasionally) he looks amazing again.. coincidence?

The reason Pirlo gets pushed out of games with top teams is the same against weaker teams too, it just depends on how effective and dedicated each team is in stifling him, and how good their man-marking is on him. It's no secret that the solution to beating Milan is stifling Pirlo. The reason for this is simply that we are too reliant on him as the only man to create from deep. In fact him and Ronnie are the only creative sources on the entire team, except when Seedorf is up for it.. In the past it was either him or Kaka, now it's either him or Ronnie. Gattuso and Ambrosini can't both play, because their first reaction after winning the ball is quite often to just "give it to Pirlo" let him create something from nothing.. So every team knows that if you cut off Pirlo you cut off Milan.

Alternatively he could be pushed further forward into the trequartista role, but we already have seedorf, roni, and potentially merkel for that. The same we had under Carlo which forced him and Pirlo to decide to play him infront of the defence, to ensure quality of touch and technique throughout the midfield.

Basically what I'm saying is if we had dynamic, technical, physical midfielders as "jack of all trades" as I like to put it.. (kinda like Flamini but with a bit more tactical awareness) with Pirlo, and a defence that was encouraged to play the ball around (as we are now under Allegri and Leo before him) we could well see Pirlo shining as before. He's never had the side tailored to fit him before, it simply worked with him there. If anything he's an example of a player who tailored himself to fit the side! He chose to become a deep-lying playmaker because he realised he could be very useful to the team there, with Rui Costa, Seedorf, all ahead of him, providing alternative sources of creativity, thus never allowing him to be "smothered" as he is today.. A player of Pirlo's qualities as long as he still maintains them is always going to useful to ANY side, modern or classic, as long as the other players aren't specialised ball-winners ala Gattuso and Ambrosini.

Alternatively (I'm giving a lot of alternatives, cos there really are a lot! As opposed to just axing him, and not replacing him with sufficient quality..) if we had a younger, leaner, more energetic Seedorf, our problems in midfield would probably be solved. I remember how well Pirlo and Seedorf found each other in space, and constantly moved for each other back in 2005 when we were the best team in the world.. Good times.


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Old 10-08-2010, 17:31   #5327
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I wish half of you were as smart as the bear. Then I could keep my post count down by not having to constantly educate you idiots....
LOL. Sidenote - you probably have the most posts in the forum.


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Old 10-08-2010, 17:43   #5328
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“Andrea Pirlo is a player one should always focus on, as he has character, quality and it’s difficult to find someone with his characteristics.”

by Cesare Prandelli in the eve of his debut as Italy coach.
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Old 10-08-2010, 17:52   #5329
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Good post again Billsyboy1986. We pretty much agree on the same things; though you've put certain points well.

Specifically, the point of Pirlo "tailoring his game to suit the side" is spot on. From the 4-1-2-1-2 to the XMass tree under Carlo ... and even the 4-2-3-1 under Leo, Pirlo has played varying roles albeit in a similar position in front of defense.

I also agree that he hasn't degenerated physically recently. If anything, he looks a lot more buff nowadays, a reason why I think he's lost a step or two. However, with the opponents knowing his weaknesses, the game has changed quite a bit from his perspective. He's constantly put under pressure against top sides, usually by opposing forwards or attacking midfielders. In addition to the lack of mobility within our team, the opponents' putting Pirlo under a lot more pressure, than in the past, is also a major factor.

You rightly point out that Pirlo used to have Kaka', Costa and Clarence in the past to take some of the work load ... much like Xavi has Iniesta. But there's a big difference between Xavi and Pirlo - namely, Xavi moves forward into attacking positions, leaving Yaya or Biscuit behind. In Milan, its the opposite ... Pirlo stays back while Flamini/Gattuso/Ambro push forward into the opposition half. This is one criticism of Pirlo's game that I have ... maybe its just the coach's orders, but still, ultimately, just doesn't seem right.

Other than that, pretty much agree with everything. It will be interesting to see how Allegri plays him, and also, with the potential arrival or KPB, how our midfield will shape up this season. Hope Pirlo rediscovers some of the lost magic ... because if he does, whether you hate or love him, it would be immense for Milan.
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Old 10-08-2010, 19:03   #5330
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Look guys all these skyscraper long posts where you circle jerk over Pirlo’s nonexistent contributions which would have hypothetically existed if the team were built around his strengths are unnecessary and quite frankly massively out of touch with reality.

I have no personal beef with Pirlo as some may assert and I was actually a FAN of his not too long ago as Wet Ones likes to remind me when he was in my list of favourite players.
However the FACTS remain that he is a FRACTION of the player that he was in almost every respect.

People cry crocodile tears about the team being built around Ronaldinho (which is bullshit but I digress) . Ronaldinho is by an appreciable distance, our most skilful player on the team so in simple terms, even though it may be a bit myopic, it makes sense to build the team around him. However my complaint about Pirlo is not driven by any twisted evil desire to not see him do well. He is a Milanista and a champion of our heyday…..I’d love to see him dominate as he used to. However:
1. He is pathetically slow,
2. His tackling, which is a massive part of defensive ability no matter how well you can read the game IS SHIT, as is his marking.
3. Free kicks dried up. Yes Ronaldinho didn’t score any fk’s either however Pirlo misses badly generally and it doesn’t inspire any confidence.
4. Goals 0 in the league. Whatever the position this is poor unless you’re a keeper. Our centrebacks have outscored him.
5. Long passes are deteriorating.

The five bullets above represent what IS currently taking place re: Pirlo. It’s not my projection of what would happen were circumstances to change for his favour. It is my humble opinion that Pirlo is increasingly more and more irrelevant to the game as a whole and to Milan itself. Even if you remove all his flaws as a player the idea of Pirlo isn’t working either. If our midfield looks pathetic then we of necessity should point fingers at the supposed orchestrator of it. Yes I get that there is the complaint that we aren’t dynamic enough but surely the puppet master should be able to pull the strings a bit to get the players to move. I accept that Ronaldinho needs to be far more dynamic but I refuse to believe that Borriello, Hunt and Pato aren’t willing runners/workers for the team.

Finally as regards Milan, yes I’d also like to see Ron being replaced by someone that gets the team as a whole working better. However in MY personal list of priorities I’d like to see, Kaladze, Oddo, Janku, Pirlo, Dorf THEN Ronaldinho being replaced in that order.
No any random CM won’t be able to fill his shoes or the grand reputation that he’s built here at Milan but a change is needed
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Old 10-08-2010, 19:18   #5331
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dru has never played football before.

Go away, stop sullying the only real skilled footballer left at milan's thread.

"Pirlo is just pure football. That guy is SO smart. The weight of his passes...his defensive effort is always very economic and always very efficient. He's not the kind of guy that's going to go in for a hard tackle and that's what Gattuso's for, but the passing, the rhythm of play that he brings to the table is why he's one the best players in the world, one of the most overlooked players in the world."
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Only Milan can punish it's own fans by qualifying for CL. I'm off to sleep, another year wasted. When will this fucker be fired..
#RnB
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Old 10-08-2010, 19:21   #5332
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3. You don't judge a player on his free kick scoring ability. It's a bonus to have, but not something you can use against a player.

4. Pirlo hasn't been prolific since 04/05, where he scored 8 goals. He's only had 3 seasons in his career where he's scored more than 6 goals. He can't move up and down the pitch as much as he used to due to his age. It's natural that his goals have dried up.

5. The players he has infront of him are pretty immobile, bar Pato. Ronaldinho, Klaas, Seedorf, Borriello - these aren't players who will move around and create space for themselves and for others.

But I'll leave it at that.

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Old 10-08-2010, 19:25   #5333
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3. You don't judge a player on his free kick scoring ability. It's a bonus to have, but not something you can use against a player.

4. Pirlo hasn't been prolific since 04/05, where he scored 8 goals. He's only had 3 seasons in his career where he's scored more than 5 goals. He can't move up and down the pitch as much as he used to due to his age. It's natural that his goals have dried up.
Dru's point was his game has declined(a Lot). Both show how his game has dropped in terms of shooting. As I posted before he is won the most shots/no goal ration in Serie A last season.


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Old 10-08-2010, 19:39   #5334
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1. Yes, everybody know that.
2. True, but he not that bad tbh, go watch Riquelme games where he play in pirlo position as proof.
+ WHY the hell there a coach that play him as main ball-chaser anyway especially when he play alongside declining MF too.
3. Beckham only score once/twice (can't remember) at here anyway, and in overall our set-pieces play is way too shite.
4. yeah ? who the fuck can score many if playing as anchor anyway, and we're never hire him for his scoring capabilities.
5. that you get when playing slowest and static version of bartha football.

Conclusion : move him to Xavi position or play him with young men that capable to chase the ball or just sell him dude.

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Old 10-08-2010, 19:40   #5335
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Dru's point was his game has declined(a Lot). Both show how his game has dropped in terms of shooting. As I posted before he is won the most shots/no goal ration in Serie A last season.
Have you got stats for previous seasons?

Because he's never been that prolific. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Pirlo

Is there any evidence of where he was shooting? Naturally you'll miss far more shots from 30 yards out than you would from 10.

Dru's taking a really simplistic view of Pirlo's failings. He isn't scoring much and his passing isn't as good as before - instead of simply saying he's shit he should look at the reasons for it. He clearly isn't as good as he was 5 years ago, something which even Milano admits, but he's playing in a team that does nothing but hinder his style of play.

Just look at who Xavi has alongside him - Iniesta, Messi, Pedro, Alvez, now Villa ect. There is a lot of movement there. Likewise look at United - Valencia, Rooney, Giggs, Nani, Park - again so much movement. To a lesser extent, look at Alonso when he was at his best (08/09). He had Gerrard, Torres, Kuyt (very park-like in his movement), Babel, Benayoun ect. I expect him to kick on this season for Madrid.

Look at Benega, another deep lying play maker. Villa, Silva, Mata ect.

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Old 10-08-2010, 19:43   #5336
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Dru's taking a really simplistic view of Pirlo's failings. He isn't scoring much and his passing isn't as good as before - instead of simply saying he's shit he should look at the reasons for it. He clearly isn't as good as he was 5 years ago, something which even Milano admits, but he's playing in a team that does nothing but hinder his style of play.
his passing is as good. As evident by completion rate and completed passes in other teams half... anyone who says his passing as declined is a moron.

The issue has been evident since sheva left.... NO ONE can make a proper final run except pato who missed half of last year anyway. (also dumb tactic didn't help either).

Seriously i love ronaldinho, but how many runs does he make? Borriello... i mean he's not pippo or crespo. Huntelaar, how is he even a professional? Mancini? Beckham at forward? Seedorf is not the player he was in 2005 (in terms of movement.

It's not complicated

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Originally Posted by fertygo View Post
Conclusion : move him to Xavi position or play him with young men that capable to chase the ball or just sell him dude.
I'm less and less worried about actual midfield positioning... he gets himself in right position, but don't compare him to messi cause he doesn't have iniesta, dani alves, messi, villa, pedro and co making constant movement and runs.


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Only Milan can punish it's own fans by qualifying for CL. I'm off to sleep, another year wasted. When will this fucker be fired..
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Old 10-08-2010, 19:43   #5337
milan1st
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i cant believe how some people think pirlo's slow, or what give them that impression.

He's got a decent speed for a center midfielder he is, tell me what makes this guys only a bit faster than him totti, de rossi, cambiasso, zidane, xabi alonso, aquilani, veloso, carrick, riquelme, veron, van der vaart, montelivo, scholes etc etc,
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Old 10-08-2010, 19:52   #5338
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Originally Posted by Senatore_M84 View Post


I'm less and less worried about actual midfield positioning... he gets himself in right position, but don't compare him to messi cause he doesn't have iniesta, dani alves, messi, villa, pedro and co making constant movement and runs.
Yeah his positioning is good but playing as anchor with our last season squad, made him too exposed in defense.
I'm swear I see pirlo playing really good when he putted in more advanced position and make more roaming in some moment on last season.
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Old 10-08-2010, 19:52   #5339
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Passing completion rate is not the most telling statistic. Many of those pass could just be sideways and backwards. Gilberto Silva had pretty high passer completion rate for his career and he is not the greatest of passers.
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Old 10-08-2010, 19:56   #5340
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Originally Posted by fertygo View Post
Yeah his positioning is good but playing as anchor with our last season squad, made him too exposed in defense.
I'm swear I see pirlo playing really good when he putted in more advanced position and make more roaming in some moment on last season.
He not good enough defensively to be position right in front of the 2 central defenders. He is a liability there.
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