The counter argument to ''Ronaldo makes up for it with his scoring ''

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Post by Adit on Fri May 24, 2013 3:22 pm

I have been calling Ronaldo to move to CF for a long time due to his defensive aspect of the game.It keeps costing us big games and the good he does on the pitch clearly does not make up for this....fantastic article on guardian.



http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2012/nov/28/cristiano-ronaldo-strength-weakness

Real Madrid stand 11 points behind Barcelona in the league only 13 games into the season. They looked distinctly second best in taking just one point from two games in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund. Pressure is mounting, it seems, on José Mourinho: six previous Real Madrid managers have found themselves more than six points off the lead at this stage of the season; none have made it until May. Yet it may be that the criticism is being directed at the wrong Portuguese.

Cristiano Ronaldo's goal stats are preposterous: 165 in 164 games since he joined Real Madrid in 2009. Physically he is monstrous: he has an explosive pace but also balance and deftness; he is strong enough that many opponents simply bounce off him and he is good in the air. He is exceptionally gifted with both feet. He is an extraordinary footballer, by many measures one of the greatest handful the world has known. He may also be the reason this Real Madrid team never wins the Champions League.

To an extent, of course, such a statement is ludicrous. With a fair enough wind, anybody who reaches the last 16 can win the Champions League – hard though it is to imagine Ronaldo accepting a role as an auxiliary wing-back as Samuel Eto'o did for Internazionale in the 2010 semi-final or driving himself to exhaustion with the sort of selflessness Didier Drogba showed at times last season. The point is more that no side that contains Ronaldo can reach the level that Barcelona did under Pep Guardiola or Milan did under Arrigo Sacchi, or Liverpool did under Bob Paisley, or Ajax did under Rinus Michels and Stefan Kovacs – when they are so good that it's almost a bigger story when they fail to win the European Cup than when they do.

Those sides, who stand as the greatest club teams there have been in the past 40 years, share the fact that they were about the collective rather than the individual. Valeriy Lobanovskyi took the principle so far that he argued that the coalitions between players were more important than the players themselves.

For Marcelo Bielsa, whose theories have shaped the modern football environment more than anyone else's, this issue is clear. "We can't have anybody in the squad who thinks they can win games on their own," he said. "The key is to occupy the pitch well, to have a short team with no more than 25m from front to back and to have a defence that is not distracted if somebody moves position." After recent changes in the offside law he may revise that figure upwards but the basic point remains: the team is a system that is at its best when compact.

With Ronaldo, though, it's always all about him. Take, for example, the 2008 Champions League final. Ronaldo, playing on the left side of midfield, headed Manchester United into the lead. For half an hour or so he dominated Michael Essien, who was playing at right-back for Chelsea that night. But then Essien started running past him. Ronaldo didn't track him. One Essien surge led to Frank Lampard's equaliser. Chelsea had the better of the second half and extra-time, in part because Essien's advancement gave them an extra body in midfield.

Much has been made of the fact that Ronaldo ended the evening, having missed his penalty in the shootout, sitting and weeping alone on the halfway line while his victorious team-mates celebrated in front of the United fans at one end. Perhaps that does speak of a certain self-centredness, a need always to be the one who claims the glory; far more significant, though, was that it was his indiscipline that had allowed Chelsea back into the game.

That was why Sir Alex Ferguson used him so often as a centre-forward that season: there his abilities could damage opponents without his laxity damaging United. Wayne Rooney, a lesser player than Ronaldo in many ways – and less disciplined in terms of staying in shape off the pitch – could be trusted to track an attacking full-back. The last-16 game with Porto was emblematic: in the first leg Ronaldo played wide, Rooney central and the Porto full-back Aly Cissokho caused untold problems; in the second Rooney and Ronaldo switched and Cissokho was kept in check.

The lesson has not been learned. When Ronaldo comes up against a strong driving right-back, Real struggle. Dani Alves, for all his defensive flaws, has generally had the better of him in Clásicos over the past three seasons. Philipp Lahm, in the first leg particularly, was key as Bayern Munich won their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid last season – his overlap led directly to Mario Gómez's winner. Ronaldo was still good enough to score twice in the second leg; the question is whether the problems he causes the team shape are worth it.

It was a similar story against Dortmund this season. Essien, playing at left-back in the game in Germany, was widely blamed for his inability to handle Marco Reus but Ronaldo's failure to check Lukasz Piszczek's surges from right-back were just as much to blame. You wonder what might have happened at the Euros had the Czech Republic had the courage to attack Ronaldo with Theodor Gebreselassie.

In a world in which systematised football is de rigueur, Ronaldo is an anachronism. Collective pressing was devised in the USSR in the 1960s by Viktor Maslov, who culled from his Dynamo Kyiv team anybody who refused to fulfil their share of defensive work. That included a hugely popular and skilful but dilettantish left winger – Lobanovskyi; Ronaldo, it's fair to say, is unlikely to follow a similar path to the Colonel, beguiling as it is to think of him in 30 years glowering from beneath a leather cap in a dugout having redefined the use of science in football.

Only one player, the attacking midfielder Andriy Biba "retained full rights of democracy"; playing centrally he didn't have to attack the opposing full-back. Had Ronaldo moved into the middle, his lack of defensive work might have been possible to accommodate; by insisting on playing wide, it becomes, given the importance of attacking full-backs in the modern game, a liability.

To an extent, this is the Real Madrid way. Since the presidency of Santiago Bernabéu, it has favoured stars over system, something that led Sacchi to walk out after being appointed director of football in 2004-05, complaining about the insistence on "specialists" – that is, players who could function in only one way.

Ronaldo will continue to bully lesser sides and occasionally good ones. In a one on one with a defender he is formidable. He finishes magnificently. He is an awesome player. But at the highest level, against the best opposition, his way of playing becomes a weakness for opponents to exploit. He said recently that he thinks he doesn't get the credit he deserves because of perceptions about his personality; the problem is that, whatever he is really like in private, that perceived character pervades the way he plays. He should be a great strength for Real Madrid – he is a great strength; but he is also a flaw.

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Post by Zealous on Fri May 24, 2013 3:34 pm

Fantastic article because you agree with it? Doesn't make it true or accurate though.

This team is built around Ronaldo and I'm going to be brutally honest here but it's the others that are going to have to step up to his level not the other way around.

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Post by Mr Nick09 on Fri May 24, 2013 3:36 pm

while i agree with you Zealous, other need to help out, his position far on the left wing makes it very unorthodox. It's easier to deal with a star player that doesnt want to work when he is positioned centrally. Outwide it's a bigger problem, something Fergie saw when he pushed him centrally in his biggest CL games.

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Post by halamadrid2 on Fri May 24, 2013 3:50 pm

interseting article

we used to be alright with his defensive liability problems with Alonso helping Marcelo out and covering when he made his runs

This season it was more exposed because Alonso is running on his last legs and can't cover as good anymore, I am not going to go all orthodox and say everything he does is wrong but the guy has to realise he needs to help out in defence and for thia fact I don't want anybody showing me his scoring stats because if they do it fuels the need even more than he should move to a position where his tracking back won't be needed aka CF

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Post by Zealous on Fri May 24, 2013 3:51 pm

@Mr Nick09 wrote:while i agree with you Zealous, other need to help out, his position far on the left wing makes it very unorthodox. It's easier to deal with a star player that doesnt want to work when he is positioned centrally. Outwide it's a bigger problem, something Fergie saw when he pushed him centrally in his biggest CL games.

Except this idea that he does no work is not accurate imo. Ronaldo today is not the same player he was that night in Moscow that is being used as an example of Ronaldo being a liability. (United don't even reach the final without Ronaldo that year btw)

Maybe we should rearange our whole squad? Ozil, Alonso, Benzema and Pepe have been a liability defensively at times, Di Maria, Arbeloa, Khedira have been a liability to offence at times as well.

The whole point is to cover the weaknesses of some players with the strengths of other players. That is what a team is imo, not robots who all attack and defend with no defects. That's not realistic at all.

You have a player who scores 50 goals a season from the left and you want to make that a major flaw behind no success? Wut? Fair enough it can be exploited but it can also be compensated for.

We didn't lose three CL semis because Ronaldo played on the left. More often than not Ronaldo being on the left forces the opposing right back to stay at home, we saw that against United. Rafael stayed at home and needed Jones's help to double team creating space elsewhere (Di Maria in the first leg, Modric in the second)

We had one semi where a stupid red card fcked us, one where we lost out on penalties after conceding two stupid goals over two legs and one where we conceded 4 stupid goals in one game. That has nothing to do with the efforts of one player (although Pepe was seriously trying to prove me wrong in that BVB game) that has more to do with the team not being set up in the right way and our players not making the best of their chances on defence and offence.

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Post by Zealous on Fri May 24, 2013 3:53 pm

@halamadrid2 wrote:interseting article

we used to be alright with his defensive liability problems with Alonso helping Marcelo out and covering when he made his runs

This season it was more exposed because Alonso is running on his last legs and can't cover as good anymore, I am not going to go all orthodox and say everything he does is wrong but the guy has to realise he needs to help out in defence and for thia fact I don't want anybody showing me his scoring stats because if they do it fuels the need even more than he should move to a position where his tracking back won't be needed aka CF

He already does enough defensive work as far as I'm concerned. A lot more than other star players on other teams.

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Post by Onyx on Fri May 24, 2013 4:00 pm

The next manager just needs to tell him to track back at all times. It's simple. He has to listen.

In terms of him moving to CF, I don't think he should. There's certain things that he can do from the wing that's different to what he'd have to do from CF. Just because he scores goals, doesn't mean he has to play CF.

If he does move to CF, we'll just have one goalscorer. I think a team should have at least 2 goalscorers in the side.
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Post by Zealous on Fri May 24, 2013 4:02 pm

Yohan Modric wrote:The next manager just needs to tell him to track back at all times. It's simple. He has to listen.

In terms of him moving to CF, I don't think he should. There's certain things that he can do from the wing that's different to what he'd have to do from CF. Just because he scores goals, doesn't mean he has to play CF.

If he does move to CF, we'll just have one goalscorer. I think a team should have at least 2 goalscorers in the side.

That would be silly.

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Post by halamadrid2 on Fri May 24, 2013 4:03 pm

a random track back here and there is not going to cut it. Sometimes Coentrao was burnt so bad Mourinho switched DiMaria to that wing to help him out

Games are won from the back remember. the less we concede the more chance we have of winning. We can't keep using our method of trying to outscore our oppositions because our defending is so haphazard without thought for known reasons

And it is not only Ronaldo but Ozil as well but we have less problems from the middle than the wings

Ronaldo can still have that free roaming job from the CF position and thats what the likes of Ibra do. You don't need a player to score 30 plus games to win you trophies and thats what we all want right?? and not some personal accolade you get by taking all the chances a team gets

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Post by Onyx on Fri May 24, 2013 4:07 pm

@Zealous wrote:
Yohan Modric wrote:The next manager just needs to tell him to track back at all times. It's simple. He has to listen.

In terms of him moving to CF, I don't think he should. There's certain things that he can do from the wing that's different to what he'd have to do from CF. Just because he scores goals, doesn't mean he has to play CF.

If he does move to CF, we'll just have one goalscorer. I think a team should have at least 2 goalscorers in the side.

That would be silly.

I don't think tracking back is an optional thing. It's part of the tactics.
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Post by Mr Nick09 on Fri May 24, 2013 4:19 pm

@Zealous wrote:
@Mr Nick09 wrote:while i agree with you Zealous, other need to help out, his position far on the left wing makes it very unorthodox. It's easier to deal with a star player that doesnt want to work when he is positioned centrally. Outwide it's a bigger problem, something Fergie saw when he pushed him centrally in his biggest CL games.

Except this idea that he does no work is not accurate imo. Ronaldo today is not the same player he was that night in Moscow that is being used as an example of Ronaldo being a liability. (United don't even reach the final without Ronaldo that year btw)

Maybe we should rearange our whole squad? Ozil, Alonso, Benzema and Pepe have been a liability defensively at times, Di Maria, Arbeloa, Khedira have been a liability to offence at times as well.

The whole point is to cover the weaknesses of some players with the strengths of other players. That is what a team is imo, not robots who all attack and defend with no defects. That's not realistic at all.

You have a player who scores 50 goals a season from the left and you want to make that a major flaw behind no success? Wut? Fair enough it can be exploited but it can also be compensated for.

We didn't lose three CL semis because Ronaldo played on the left. More often than not Ronaldo being on the left forces the opposing right back to stay at home, we saw that against United. Rafael stayed at home and needed Jones's help to double team creating space elsewhere (Di Maria in the first leg, Modric in the second)

We had one semi where a stupid red card fcked us, one where we lost out on penalties after conceding two stupid goals over two legs and one where we conceded 4 stupid goals in one game. That has nothing to do with the efforts of one player (although Pepe was seriously trying to prove me wrong in that BVB game) that has more to do with the team not being set up in the right way and our players not making the best of their chances on defence and offence.

yes i think we have to think about it, and rearrange what needs to be rearranged.

while i agree that CR works harder nowadays, i will say that he picks and chooses when to do that. Barca are in general the team he works the hardest against, given the spotlight. but you cant argue that he abandoned his wing vs gala, or vs dortmund and in la liga he is not always doing his share of defensive work. when lham rampaged our win last year he wsnt there helping. that's why the article is asking whether he can compensate with goals. there is some consistency about that defensive work that he is lacking.

No one is putting the blame on him alone of course that would be silly. We are a great team, we can agree to that, but we are also lacking that little extra that makes us better than everyone else. That's how i look at this conversation. Against teams of similar level and talent, those statistics however go out of the window and it's how well you have built your squad that will determine the outcome, how much balance you have. talented players can always make the difference individually, but that should be a plus, not something you live by.

i think if we look at things objectively, teams like Bayern and Dortmund are so revered because they have achieved great balance. Barca also achieved great balance before, and they had messi on top, but now you can see a team that lost that equilibrium and they take 7-0 in semis lol. Just a matter of balance really, if you want to become a truly dominating european side you are to reach that equilibrium, one way or another.

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Post by sportsczy on Fri May 24, 2013 4:28 pm

CR7 cuts into the middle and often ends up right in front of goal... that's the big issue. His play takes him so far away from where a normal player on a wing is supposed to be that tracking back is not even possible at times.

More often that not, the player blew by Alonso like he wasn't even there and the Coentrao was left to cover 2 players on his side and Ramos had to cheat over.

Don't worry though... Carlo won't allow for that. He'll either play 3 in the mid, force CR7 to track back or put CR7 at CF.

It's going to again be tough transition for Ozil because, like Pastore, he will need to play defense. Everyone but the CF must play defense with Carlo.

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Post by Zealous on Fri May 24, 2013 4:30 pm

@halamadrid2 wrote:a random track back here and there is not going to cut it. Sometimes Coentrao was burnt so bad Mourinho switched DiMaria to that wing to help him out

Games are won from the back remember. the less we concede the more chance we have of winning. We can't keep using our method of trying to outscore our oppositions because our defending is so haphazard without thought for known reasons

And it is not only Ronaldo but Ozil as well but we have less problems from the middle than the wings

Ronaldo can still have that free roaming job from the CF position and thats what the likes of Ibra do. You don't need a player to score 30 plus games to win you trophies and thats what we all want right?? and not some personal accolade you get by taking all the chances a team gets

It has to be a collective effort. CR already puts 100% into his game demanding more of him at this rate is not fair. It's up to the rest to step up and be counted. I agree that Ozil needs to step up much more if he wants to be the next guy this team is built around (he is the heir apparent if you ask me)

Ronaldo not tracking back as much as a traditional left winger may not be ideal but it's not the reason we haven't won the CL or the reason we missed out on the league this season.

Leaders need to take responsibility and Cristiano is not exempt but I don't think this particular piece of criticism is warranted, it certainly isn't the reason we haven't won the CL like the article is suggesting either.

Yohan Modric wrote:
@Zealous wrote:
Yohan Modric wrote:The next manager just needs to tell him to track back at all times. It's simple. He has to listen.

In terms of him moving to CF, I don't think he should. There's certain things that he can do from the wing that's different to what he'd have to do from CF. Just because he scores goals, doesn't mean he has to play CF.

If he does move to CF, we'll just have one goalscorer. I think a team should have at least 2 goalscorers in the side.

That would be silly.

I don't think tracking back is an optional thing. It's part of the tactics.

I'm not saying it is or isn't but ALWAYS tracking back is just not wise. It means you're not taking advantage of a possible gap in behind if a fullback goes up. There is a reason that fullbacks don't ALWAYS go up.

Having your main attacking outlet go farther away from goal wouldn't make sense, especially since you have more to gain from Ronaldo staying up than lose from Ronaldo following a player back to goal. It's all about turning potential threats into potential opportunities.

Ronaldo tracks back just fine as is. He's gotten much better at it too and yet I don't see people (besides Hala) mentioning Ozil or Benzema for their lack of work rate.


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Post by Zealous on Fri May 24, 2013 4:38 pm

@sportsczy wrote:CR7 cuts into the middle and often ends up right in front of goal... that's the big issue. His play takes him so far away from where a normal player on a wing is supposed to be that tracking back is not even possible at times.

More often that not, the player blew by Alonso like he wasn't even there and the Coentrao was left to cover 2 players on his side and Ramos had to cheat over.

Don't worry though... Carlo won't allow for that. He'll either play 3 in the mid, force CR7 to track back or put CR7 at CF.

It's going to again be tough transition for Ozil because, like Pastore, he will need to play defense. Everyone but the CF must play defense with Carlo.

This got over shadowed by Pepe's master class in Dortmund but Ozil was super disappointing in that game. Left his bro Ramos completely exposed every single time. In general his defence isn't where it needs to be as a midfielder.

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Post by sportsczy on Fri May 24, 2013 4:40 pm

CF is not supposed to track back. He's supposed to stay at the level of the CBs or the center line and pressure the ball when it's in that specific area. You typically have the keeper, 2 lines of 4 defenders and the 2 forwards staying close to the center line. If you decide to pressure the ball, it's based on zones.... ball comes into your zone and you're supposed to put pressure and the you have your teammates shift over a bit to keep gap control.

Our problem has very seldom been the middle of the pitch, where the CF covers loosely. We get beat on the wings and the shape gets destabilized. Our other problem is that ALonso and Khedira lack pace and cannot recover quick enough.

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Post by halamadrid2 on Fri May 24, 2013 5:05 pm

@Zealous wrote:

It has to be a collective effort. CR already puts 100% into his game demanding more of him at this rate is not fair. It's up to the rest to step up and be counted.

I agree that there are certain others who haven't exactly stepped up. Ronaldo puts 100% into his offensive game and I have no complaints on that part. But he puts about 25% into his defensive game, alot of goals we have conceded have come from crosses from coentraos wing, just like cacktrao provides another body to help ronaldo get past players ronaldo should do the least decency thing and help out coentrao when his side gets abused. As I mentioned before Mou has been calling for DiMaria whenever Cacktrao has needed overwhelming help. It pains me to see Mou use Dimaria as his personal slave to help out our defense as if he is a dm why can't he just let him play like he does for Argentina? ?

I agree that Ozil needs to step up much more if he wants to be the next guy this team is built around (he is the heir apparent if you ask me)

yeah this is the second season in a row Ozil has only got going in December and he still has a tendency to be exhausted after a period of time and he loses the ball alot. But I have high hopes for this guy but he better step up hopefully with the addition of isco he will

Ronaldo not tracking back as much as a traditional left winger may not be ideal but it's not the reason we haven't won the CL or the reason we missed out on the league this season.

we could have avoided penalties against bayern and he could have done more to help coentrao against dortmund. lopez also really saved his skin with that save. Alot of it we might ignore because we won but it all starts to touch the surface when we lose or win with 'luck'

as I said before it is not going to hurt him if he was moved up and it won't hurt us so lets make the move


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Post by Zealous on Fri May 24, 2013 5:12 pm

Ronaldo isn't even that great a defender btw lol him tracking back doesn't exactly guarantee an attack is stopped.

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Post by sportsczy on Fri May 24, 2013 5:15 pm

It's not that he needs to defend great... just needs to get in the way so that you don't have 2 guys going in full steam at your fullback.

Btw, CR7 to CF is a non starter. He'll never agree. But it's a nice hypothesis.

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Post by Adit on Fri May 24, 2013 5:18 pm

If Ronaldo put 5 % he puts to his offensive game to track backing he will be fine, but the problem is he dont. That article has clearly called out the games and situations so nobody can pretend as if Ronaldo not tracking back is not a problem in big games.

Z you say defending is a collective effort but gives Ronaldo a not track back status ? wut?

It is not easy to cover for winger who doesnt track back as showed by the Madrid side.

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Post by Zealous on Fri May 24, 2013 5:20 pm

I wouldn't make assumptions on what Ronaldo is willing or not willing to do just yet. If Carlo wants him to play CF and gives him a clear well explained idea on his role I think he'll surprise you.

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Post by Adit on Fri May 24, 2013 5:25 pm

@Zealous wrote:
not robots who all attack and defend with no defects. That's not realistic at all.


May be we can learn from Bayern and BVB that whole team defending and attack like robot can take you to CL finals?

That is exactly what was special about them,defend as a team and attack as a team...while here we are with our '' defend with out ronaldo attack with only ronaldo'' tactics ...it is not productive enough against the big sides.


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Post by sportsczy on Fri May 24, 2013 5:25 pm

He would ask to leave in a heartbeat. I remember that when Higuain got his back hurt and that we hadn't bought Ade, CR7 was asked if he would play CF. His answer went something like this.... i could. I have done it in the past. But i don't feel that it takes advantage of many of my qualities and i'm sure Mourinho agrees with me.... something like that.

I don't think CR7 is into sacrifice unless it's very short term if at all lol.

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Post by Zealous on Fri May 24, 2013 5:29 pm

@Adit wrote:If Ronaldo put 5 % he puts to his offensive game to track backing he will be fine, but the problem is he dont.

Lol at adding numbers and percentages

He already puts in "5%" but you won't be satisfied until he puts 100% into tracking back when no winger in the world does that (except maybe Di Maria and doing that basically turned him into a full back btw. Sometimes he looks like he forgot how to play in attacking positions this season)

@Adit wrote: That article has clearly called out the games and situations so nobody can pretend as if Ronaldo not tracking back is not a problem in big games.

Just stop, seriously. Ronaldo has been carrying this team of mental pussies and back stabbers on his back for the entire season. He is doing enough, it's up to the others to stop playing like retards every time a crucial game shows up.

@Adit wrote:Z you say defending is a collective effort but gives Ronaldo a not track back status ? wut?

You're saying the player who 90% of our offence revolves around needs to carry an extra defensive burden? Wut?

You're saying the player scoring 50 goals a season is a reason behind us not winning the CL? Wut?

@Adit wrote:It is not easy to cover for winger who doesnt track back as showed by the Madrid side.

It's not easy to carry a team on your back either. It's not like Coentrao has helped Ronaldo unlock defences.



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Post by Error on Fri May 24, 2013 5:31 pm

Moving CR to CF and having LF who tracks back or forcing CR to track back are not the only solutions.

Marcelo's (or any FB's) forwards runs and CR's laziness could be covered with a midfielder. But to this thing to work, it's kinda required to have 3-man mid. With current 4-2-3-1 formation the center will be exposed really badly and vulnerable for quick turnovers if one mid leaves from his position to cover FB. And to fill this hole we need a AM to drop down in CM position, but this again requires even more coordination and awareness from players, and it would become quite complicate to execute all these things flawlessly. Therefore having 3 midfielder would make us much more stable by having cover ready without a big changes. I don't think it would even make us more defensive since forward trio could also have more freedom to things they want and CM's and FB's could push up when they get a chance (making us more unpredictable).
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Post by halamadrid2 on Fri May 24, 2013 5:33 pm

@Zealous wrote:Ronaldo isn't even that great a defender btw lol him tracking back doesn't exactly guarantee an attack is stopped.

well we can all agree on this eco smile

I still think if we can replace Alonso with somebody like Kondogbia we will just be fine like we were when Alonso was great

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