Originally Posted by cashy
and thats where I think you are rating wrong, you deduct waaaaaay too many "points" from defenders for their oftentimes avg offensive skills
Their priority is defence and they should be judged by that or the list is becoming very one sided (in favor of attacking/creative players)
Cesc for example while being a genius going forward is very avg defensively and needs a workhorse behind him to balance it out, Sagna is a beast defensively but very one dimensional going forward and therefore needs a proper winger to help him out.
The defensive weakness of Cesc doesnt really goes into your rating much while the offensive weakness of Sagna is the main point of his very low ranking. Do you see the problem?
You expect way too much from defenders(they have to be great at everything) while the attacking players can have a lot of weaknesses(riquelme for example has soooooooo many weaknesses) but still get ranked very high.
Heading for bed soon so I'll take something of a shortcut and repost my introduction to the list.
First of all though I don't think I expect too much from them. Maybe too little even if we're talking central defenders. I'm happy as long as they're not bad and don't make bad mistakes! With fullbacks it's a little different though but more on that later. I remember Jonathan Wilson had some interesting articles on the growing importance of fullbacks and how important they've become to the attacking game.
But with central defenders, I just don't give them as much credit for what they do compared to positions that i think generally do more. Including contributing to the team defending as talked about in the first post of this thread.
Fabregas when he was one of two central midfielders did this pretty good for an example I thought.
And I think that's, if not more important then at least just as important as the defending the central defenders do. As long as it's not Silvestre bad. So if there is a midfielder doing that really well, as well as contributing a lot to the attack then he'll get a lot of credit.
On the other hand pure defensive midfielders in some ways are ranked like the central defenders in that their contributions also lean heavily towards one part of the game. Generally though they're a little higher since most will have some kind of other strength and the ordinary ones didn't make the list (Lorik Cana maybe a mistake).
Here is something from the introduction:
There are also not that many defenders!
Especially central defenders who for their team compared to the other "outfield" positions generally have more limited roles. A job to defend so to speak.
Now it's been somewhat fashionable to criticize football player awarding almost always benefiting the attacking players, and I used to do it too, after all defending arguably is just as important as attacking, the thing is though that this is something very much done now by the team and not really "just" by individual central defenders standing all tall and brave through adversity.
It may look that way sometimes sure, but fact is that even the very best defenders in the world will come up short if isolated against good attacking talent.
They need help!
And they get it, from almost the entire team very often, dropping behind the ball or applying pressure, narrowing space, defending their zone. You name it, a good defensive team, do it!
If enough of that defensive play isn't working very well, even the best defender at the time, and according to FIFA the best player even, Fabio Cannavaro, is someone we've seen can go from looking his usual dominant self on a well balanced Italian World Cup winning team, to quite amateurish for his club team, Real Madrid, where exactly the defensive side of the game often wasn't very good.
Simply, if the team doesn't defend well, likely not even the best defender will have a great positive impact, not even at what they do best.
Instead I think there is a very large number of good central defenders out there who on a team that defends well could do a fully adequate job without much of a drop in quality, and of course that has some value too, but replace an elite forward or midfielder like Messi or Xavi with a say number 25 to 45 player at their position and you'd see a real negative impact and a team definitely less capable.
So even though I definitely admire excellent defending and think there are a lot of defenders capable of it, I just don't see them adding the same value to their teams as some of the great players in other positions do.
Therefore not THAT many central defenders on this list!
I did have a whole bunch loosely ranked around the 250 area but in the end only defenders doing their job extraordinarily and thereby adding real value to their team will have made the list.
The central defenders defend. A lot of players in other positions also defend and do more on top of that!
Maybe that's too simple and then if we take Riquelme you could ask is his contribution to attack at a higher level than Samuel's contribution to defense? But then I think it just become a position by position ranking and if it's not that, yes it would easier, then you sort of have to compare and make a judgment on what's more valuable, what's more difficult. Requires more individual talent maybe.
And there I think for all his weak points Riquelme creates for and make team-mates better while Samuel relies heavily on the team defending (for him actually) or he doesn't bring much value at all. As good as he is at it, Samuel is just part of the collective effort that is defending as a team, while Riquelme certainly but attacking players generally add more individual quality I think in that they create.
Sagna being a fullback is different in that they're very much part of the attack on most teams so the majority of fullbacks on the list will be good attacking players. It's part of the job description. And if it isn't, lets take a very solid looking fullback defensively like Cuellar, and all they do is defend then they probably won't make the list for all the reasons above.
Sagna is probably the closest to that but if I thought he was bad going forward he wouldn't have made the list. I don't think he just defends. If that was the case he would have to be an extraordinary central defender to get on.
Like I say in the writeup he is always there as a passing option for 90 minutes and is skilled enough to never give the ball away, it's just that when I compare him to the really good attacking players, including a few other fullbacks, some underrated defensively I think, he just comes a little short, when up against people who create goals.