Alaba - Best Left Back in the World

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Post by Tomwin Lannister Thu May 02, 2013 3:43 pm

I'll agree he has crazy support with Ribery there as opposed to say playing at Juve where you need to work the flank on your own. But still, full backs today are so bad it's shocking. He's a quality LB which actually means he's one of the best these days No



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Post by Kaladin Thu May 02, 2013 4:10 pm

AbraKebabra Alacalamb wrote:I'll agree he has crazy support with Ribery there as opposed to say playing at Juve where you need to work the flank on your own. But still, full backs today are so bad it's shocking. He's a quality LB which actually means he's one of the best these days No



Agreed, quality of fullbacks today aren't really all that, if they are they, only focus on the attacking aspect of their play

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Post by Forza Thu May 02, 2013 4:11 pm

Alaba is not a traditional left back in my eyes. He's a left wing-back. And yes, he's the best in the world at that.

Interesting question: Is the defensive left back past it's use-by date? Is it going the way of the sweeper? Should all players in a left defensive position be expected to run box-to-box?
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Post by Tomwin Lannister Thu May 02, 2013 4:27 pm

If you don't have wingers you need an attacking full back to give you width.

I think the more defensive full-backs are less common because if you look at formations these days there's much less shall we say 'out and out' wingers. When one goes, the other one suffers too.
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Post by Forza Thu May 02, 2013 4:30 pm

AbraKebabra Alacalamb wrote:If you don't have wingers you need an attacking full back to give you width.

I think the more defensive full-backs are less common because if you look at formations these days there's much less shall we say 'out and out' wingers. When one goes, the other one suffers too.
Really? I would argue that wingers facilitate attacking full-backs by providing defensive cover for them on the overlap.

Contrast E.g. Alaba-Ribery with De Sciglio - nobody.
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Post by Tomwin Lannister Thu May 02, 2013 4:38 pm

Yeah no doubt an attacking full back and a winger can work well together but what i'm saying is that without any winger, the only players that can give you proper width is a full-back. And for the full-back to give that width they need to be pushing up and attacking.

For example Chiellini is a great defender who can play left-back. But he's useless when it comes to pushing up and we can't use him there because we don't have a winger to help him out with the attacking.

What i'm saying is that defensive minded full-backs are not really good enough if your team doesn't have wingers. Because you end up with a very narrow team.
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Post by Forza Thu May 02, 2013 4:46 pm

Can this be compensated for by wide forwards?
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Post by Tomwin Lannister Thu May 02, 2013 4:56 pm

In my opinion it could help a little. But at the end of the day a wide forward isn't going to want to spend his time hugging the touchline and supplying crosses. Although they can stretch defenses.

Basically if you don't have wide attacking players and your full-backs aren't willing to push up, your entire threat will be coming directly through the middle and teams can just become compact without worrying about a wide threat.

If you're playing with a legit 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2 you wouldn't have to worry about your full backs getting forward as much. Of course they can overlap the winger but it's not as vital as if you're playing something such as a 3-5-2, where if your full-back/wing back doesn't push up then you have no width at all.
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Post by The Franchise Thu May 02, 2013 6:10 pm

Rarely agree when people say things like "absolutely no argument " and "head and shoulders"...it rarely ever is the case.

He is up there, but slow your roll in my opinion.

I like Felipe Luis for example, I dont think anyone is "head and shoulders" above him. You maybe can argue better, I dont think I would, but yeah.
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Post by Tomwin Lannister Thu May 02, 2013 6:12 pm

Yeah I agree with that, I don't think there is a stand out left back in the world at the moment.

The current lack of quality means that any decent full-back isn't miles behind the supposed 'best LBs in the world'
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Post by Kaladin Thu May 02, 2013 6:14 pm

What about Baines? How highly do you guys rate him?
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Post by Tomwin Lannister Thu May 02, 2013 6:30 pm

He is a solid player. But once again, due to the lack of full-backs he's at a higher standing than where he would have been even 5 or 10 years ago.
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Post by The Franchise Thu May 02, 2013 6:50 pm

Baines is alright, bit limited but cant fault his crossing, energy, effort and attitude at all.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Thu May 02, 2013 6:53 pm

I really rate Baines, his positional sense is a bit meh though.

I have noticed that a lot with fullbacks these days though, he's not alone.

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Post by The Franchise Thu May 02, 2013 7:07 pm

Got a feeling part of it is simply many fullbacks arent actually defenders anymore. Pretty sure someone like Baines might of been a Beckham-ish winger back in the early 90's, especially in the PL.

Crossing, energy, small but works his tail off to get back in. Can fire a shot..





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Post by VivaStPauli Thu May 02, 2013 7:31 pm

Agree with Franchise there, the same in the Bundesliga as well. There's only a select few fullbacks who are still mainly defenders, and also very few who are actually good at defending. It's basically just Lahm, Alaba, Pisczek and Jung now - the others are mainly glorified wingers, or converted CBs.

Most evident when for example Schmelzer or Pisczek get withdrawn for Dortmund for some reason, and they just sub in Gro├čkreutz, who is basically what most fullbacks would've been a few years back: a winger with massive lungs.
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