Post by shrewinjapan on Jun 19, 2012 0:25:24 GMT 1
Was just thinking, what happened to this position/system? A mainstay of late 80's and early 90's football, but you never hear of it anymore. One to make a comeback with the current Chelsea/England type deep ultra-defensive counter-attack based anti-football?
Post by Rusholme Ruffian on Jun 19, 2012 9:48:21 GMT 1
Italy have been kind of playing it with DeRossi and across europe a number of central midfielders are being converted into centre backs - i'm thinking busquets, mascherano, Javi martinez. Position slightly before my time though, although i do remember Lothar Matthaus playing it wonderfully with Germany.
Defensively i think that potential spare man has become a sitting midfielder with much less freedom and don't know how many players could play that role. Especially in English football.
None finer defensively than Franco Baresi. Except perhaps Beckenbauer sometimes played what could be called a sweeper role.
Don't remember it being a negative position though - the best sweepers were good passers. England and English clubs struggled to use it because their defenders tended not to be good enough in possession. Defensive midfielders, like Ray Wilkins, seemed the best bet for the position. Bryan Robson might have become a great one if his shoulder stayed in.
I seem to remember reading that outlawing keepers picking up the backpass played a part in its demise - perhaps because teams played a higher defensive line and compressed the play?