Ignazio Abate: Progress Report

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Ignazio Abate: Progress Report Empty Ignazio Abate: Progress Report

Post by dostoevsky Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:16 am

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The first and most important thing to note is the consistency with which Abate has performed over the past six months, consolidating the initial fine form he displayed since being trusted by Allegri with the job of shackling Ronaldo in the Champions League. Defensively, he must still make the same adjustments, given training to contain fine dribblers who may pass a player with guile rather than pace. A few games such as against Palermo or Roma remind us that Abate still has to grow to be considered a top class rightback, however it is important that he is playing these sorts of players and gaining opportunities to learn.

In that sense I am beginning to be excited by the chance Abate has in the Audi Cup to learn on the job when he potentially faces players like Ribery, Muller and Lahm, with a potential education against Villa, Iniesta and Pedro awaiting in the final if these players are used. In a situation that will mean little to Milan's success, Abate has a golden chance to learn how to play against these players and give Tassotti and Allegri a greater insight into his progress and weaknesses that must be addressed in training. These two games might be the most valuable training session for the year if strong squads are fielded.

What are the most significant changes we have seen in the past six months however? The team now trusts Abate during offensive phases in the game, whereas before there was a certain hesitancy to afford him chances on the ball, however Allegri now needs to get the most out of Abate's qualities. A very simple example of play against Roma in which Abate drifted across the top of the box highlights the potential benefits of encouraging greater diversity in his attacking play to become more personally effective as well as using his pace to open up space for other players in more dangerous areas.

Abate generally receives possession in a fairly static state but importantly also it his responsibility to either beat a man or pass it off if he himself wishes to sneak in behind the line. It is no wonder almost that Abate's default response is still: "Hmm, I wonder what I should do? Better blow past the left back again." Abate can create space through the use of raw pace to try and pull the backline out of shape, however now that he is potentially going to be more involved in the attack, it is important that Abate also pose a diverse threat and also afford opportunities to attack when the opposition backline hasn't withdrawn to the top of the box. In the manner of Alves or Isla who are often utilised on the run with balls over the top of a backline or into space, Abate can potentially be allowed to use his speed in open space with the ability to cut in for a more simple pass or encourage panicked fouls. Abate can be more than a fullback who simply hits the byline, however it is up to the coaching staff to ensure that each player understands his role and this is merely a theoretical suggestion for how his qualities may be developed into a greater attacking threat. Allegri's pre-season skills training sessions such as a game where only headers may count as goals, as well as focusing on crossing, passing and shooting for different squad elements will hopefully reap rewards on the pitch from our fullbacks and midfielders throughout the next season.

Another facet of Abate's play that I wish to discuss is his ideal state throughout a game. Personally I wish to see a very withdrawn stance, almost flat with the centrebacks encouraged initially throughout the majority of games in the league and in Europe, as opposed to a high position such as Bonera or Balzaretti hold at left back around twenty yards up the pitch or Cassani on the right, about ten yards up. Particularly if a player with less discipline than Gattuso such as Boateng, Flamini or Poli/Montolivo is placed ahead of Abate, then this flat stance would ideally be held for around 60% of the game in Europe against a top team, adjusting depending on the opposition and Abate's ability to diversify in attack. If he is to remain a more one-dimensional option then it is not essential that he venture forward unless the attack is stagnating or to keep the opposition fullback honest, whilst if he can become a danger cutting to the top of the box or sneaking around the back of a defence onto a through ball then it would be a waste to hold him back. Until this develops further however, the use of Thiago Silva and Abate's pace on either side of Nesta will help to ensure stability and allow Taiwo to sit higher up if necessary.

So where does this all leave Abate? The insanity around this topic always concerns whether he should be called up for the national team, so I'll now address this in detail.

National Team

The main factors which should affect a call-up are the raw ability of the player, his potential, the competition, a need for variety within the squad and the stability of the national squad in question.

His raw defensive ability? Perfectly adequate, whilst as a player who has demonstrated a fantastic ability to learn and improve on his weaknesses, whilst having guaranteed exposure to the highest training ground for a defender in the Champions League, his potential has not yet been reached and he can potentially become a wall for the national squad if given time to develop chemistry with the rest of the national defence before Euro 2012 or World Cup 2014.

His competition? The beginning of many a crass shouting match covered by the veneer of a debate. A simple run through of defensive qualities which are more prominent in Abate than Cassani. He's a better man marker in the box, be it in tracking off the ball runs or dealing with a set-piece, an area in which Cassani's tendency to hesitate before committing or a lax attitude to ensuring physical contact with an opponent lets him down. Abate's aggression and spirit is a huge advantage, not only in defending but in rising to an occasion instead of being overwhelmed and fighting to the end, which can greatly affect success at the highest level. Physically, Abate is less susceptible to both pace and strength simply thanks to his raw attributes, whilst his aerial play has also greatly improved to the point that he has passed Cassani. The example of Abate's challenges on Peter Crouch is wonderfully illustrative of this point; despite being physically at a great disadvantage, Abate showed that he understands that one can win a challenge whilst losing a contest for the ball. Jumping with and into a much taller opponent, a legal manouvre if done correctly, provides enough nuisance value to effectively reduce an opponent's ability to direct a header to nought, ensuring that despite his height, Crouch wasn't allowed easy headers.

It has been said that Cassani is more experienced than Abate, which is meaningless without providing the correct context. Cassani has been around Serie A for years, however what significant top flight experience has he gained from this? He's played a single minute in the Champions League, some nine years ago, with most of his "experience" of Europe coming in the UEFA Cup/Europa League. This past season, for instance, Cassani played six Europa League matches, including two games where he came on as a substitute. I didn't watch them, so I can't comment on how he performed individually, however suffice it to say that Palermo were routinely thumped in this competition. Abate meanwhile has clocked up time in the Champions League over the past two years, however the matches he has excelled in are the most important observation, as he gained crucial top flight experience against important oppponents and showed that he could cope and excel against different styles as he clashed with strong teams from Spain, England and the Netherlands. Cassani's opponents have been far less of a barometer of the challenge of international football against the best sides in the world.

What of Cassani's international appearances? The fullbacks have thus far not been impressive enough to guarantee a first team spot for any player, with a fairly unproductive showing from Cassani from an attacking perspective, whilst his hyped Germany match was not impressive at all unless Italy has drastically lowered its standards for the future. Cassani allowed Klose to slip in front of him for the goal, lacking the pace to pull back any ground when he was second to react. For the first ten minutes he was consistently hesitant and showed that he required a true leader to tell him where to go, losing track of Podolski, being unable to prevent German possession deep down his flank and failing to marshall Montolivo's defensive movements when he should have been communicating and leading his area. Offensively, to his credit, he provided one beautiful long ball into Cassano and had a shot blocked, however his performance was average, nothing more. He was up against top opposition and he deserves to be given chances based upon his form and any improvements he shows, however Italy needs a fullback who is comfortable when we are not in possession and Abate is a better choice than Cassani when it comes down to this.

Cassani and Maggio are currently the options in the squad, however they provide neither the necessary variety, nor have they earnt the right to rest on their laurels uninterrupted by challengers. The qualifiers are always a piece of cake, we topped our qualification group for the World Cup in 2010 by 6 points over Ireland. Didn't that end well. There are still many adjustments to be made to the national squad and the squad stability for fullbacks is frankly underdeserved. Of the more attacking options between Cassani and Maggio, my personal preference is for Maggio for his work rate, better last ditch effort, ability to cut inside in attack and his goal threat. Not to mention the fact that Maggio will be more consistently exposed to the types of opposition he will have to cope with for the national team when he plays in the Champions League, to add to an excellent Europa League campaign in the season past, however this isn't what I wish to dwell on and it's less important than the presence of a proper defensive right back.

A few 'criticisms' of the national team argument

If he deserved a call-up he'd have received it by now.
Motta, Molinaro, Antonini. These are all call-ups under Prandelli's reign and all demonstrate that call-ups under this coach can be late, undeserved or both. Prandelli has the same evidence that we have before our eyes and there is no reason to consider his opinion to be divine. A coach who uses a midfield trio of Aquilani-Ledesma-Mauri - I'm quite curious as to how he ever expected to win the ball back - can not be given blind support. Sacchi and Lippi were far more proven coaches than Prandelli, it does not mean that if they were here instead their decisions should not be questioned.

The media don't care, so he's not good enough.
This is nothing more than an attempt to establish truth by consensus, which has no actual relvance to football. During the last world cup a media circus was kicked up concerning Lippi's selections, however the personalities involved make news what ever they do. Balotelli and Cassano make headlines whenever they go for a drive, let alone if they're out of the national team, whilst the difference in quality between an attack of Pepe-Gilardino-Iaquinta and Cassano-Miccoli-Balotelli is simply ridiculous and is naturally going to attract attention, however this was a self-propogating media storm which happened to be right for once, not a method for selecting the national team.

The difference between Abate, Cassani and Maggio is not enough to be worried about. Also: Abate is not good enough offensively, therefore he is not good enough for Italy.
A defensive option is necessary for Italy to have versatility within the squad and particularly it is necessary to have at least one defensive fullback who is comfortable when the team is not in possession. It is preferable to have two walls in defence who can't cross to save their lives than two Gareth Bales. Also noteworthy is that Abate's potential far outstrips the others and it is also necessary to give opportunities to the player who can learn the most, especially given that we are grooming a new generation for the next European Championships and World Cup after the retirements of the likes of Cannavaro, Zambrotta and Grosso.

One assist last season makes him a poor fullback.
Do you know who else had one assist in their league last season? Samir Nasri. It's a misuse of statistics to try and prove the worth of a player simply through numbers on a page without considering their ability to defend in the box, in the air, against different types of players or against a counter-attack. Otherwise we may as well start using players like Eto'o or Di Maria as fullbacks and hoping for the best against top opposition when you aren't winning the midfield battle.
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Post by dostoevsky Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:18 am

To compare changes at your leisure if you wish from the thread last January.

Our fullback situation has often been highlighted in discussions concerning Europe as Milan's major weakness, combined with the average age of our midfield, so I think it's appropriate to discuss Abate's progress now, especially given that we are in the middle of the January transfer window and people's minds are ticking over searching for the perfect addition to our squad, when we search for new defenders should a serious alternative to our right back slot also be considered?

Firstly, in order to be considered a first class right back Abate must address the issue of Gattuso dependency. Ringhio, our faithful warrior, has to play two positions in effect during some matches, which whilst strengthening our team through his incredible work rate and ensuring through example that defence is the job of the team not the back four must remind us that Abate must mature and prepare for a time when he may have a less savage midfield ahead of him.

Gattuso's cover extends beyond the positional responsibilities of a player such as Perotta when Riise is bombing up the flank for Roma, or even the way a defensive midfielder such as Palombo or Zanetti will drift across to his full back because of the incredible success that Gattuso has in successfully halting a push up the flank when compared to the number of challenges made.

Gattuso will take every opportunity to himself challenge any player trying to take on Abate, also making a two on one in Milan's favour to allow either Gattuso or Abate to cover in case over commitment is made and to act as a sweeper when the battle for possession usually ends in the ball being knocked clear but not out of danger, whilst also preventing the backline from losing their shape - the latter a signficant point in considering Antonini's position, where many of his poorer matches occur when Seedorf or Prince are occupying the left midfield slot, providing less support positionally and in themselves recovering balls.

Such activity from Gattuso is not tactically uncommon, however the distinguishment I wish to make, and you may disagree with me on this, is that the effectiveness of the cover provided masks Abate's true success during each game, that what is being masked is insecurity from Abate in situations when pressure from the opposition has neither been prolonged nor involves great numbers, and that whilst Abate is a superior defender to Antonini, the difference has been exacerbated by the support offered to each fullback. If Antonini were protected by Gattuso and Abate by Seedorf - or Prince, though I do not wish to unnecessarily criticise Prince as he has been shifted around our midfield constantly and is still learning and growing; his tendency to disappear in a match as well as his understanding of position and movement will increase as he returns and plays more (this sentence is waaay too long) - then our fullbacks would appear far more equal. Abate is still undoubtedly the stronger fullback and has performed a fine job of putting in consistent performances, covering for his team mates in defence and making a minimal number of mistakes across the entire season thus far. However Abate must learn how to hold a flank without help if necessary, especially for when we may need to sacrifice Gattuso for another forward in order to chase a game, which leads me to my next point.

Abate is a fullback well equipped to deal with pace and strength, however it is against players who rely on close control, deception and changes in acceleration to bypass opponents that Abate still struggles, as he is too easily turned and blind sighted, something that will ultimately only be identified as a major flaw against excellent opposition. However this has been highlighted not as a glaring flaw but as an area that needs to be addressed in training in order for Abate to progress another level. Cassano and Robinho, our two most skillful dribblers who like to turn in from the left, must be used to twist and turn Abate, under the watch of Zambrotta, Nesta and hopefully Maldini, until he becomes more comfortable with handling the pressure of a skillful winger without the back up plan of a defensive midfielder if he overcommits and is left for dead.

Abate has simply not faced opponents such as Menez often enough in competition in his short career at right back and lacking this education normally suffered by a much younger player and often in less stressful situations than playing for the league leaders we must ensure that he is run ragged in training. This weakness is the major deficiency masked by Gattuso's help but also the only signficant reason to fear Ringhio's absence from the midfield in a big game. When Abate masters a tricky dribbler we will witness the end of his Gattuso dependency.

Thirdly Abate must improve in the air and particularly focus on his man marking in the box, a responsibility he has at times been relieved of I have noticed, often waiting on the periphery of the area during a set piece. He has shown a marked improvement this year, aided by his ggressive nature, however it is an important facet of his play that must be developed. Where as players such as Bonera are too timid to attack the ball or even Thiago Silva who is almost too clean at times - though he makes up for this in most areas - Abate has the potential to be a fantastic man marker in the box if his aggression and concentration are well trained.

Abate's general play in his own penalty area has improved despite his high profile mistake against Roma - unfairly dwelled upon as it directly led to a defeat - and he will continue to grow in confidence with experience and time. In effect we have a very promising defender, however the following questions need to be asked.

How ready is Abate to face a team such as Barcelona or Arsenal, or even perhaps Germany for the national team? An excellent performance against Real Madrid may have won confidence from the fans, however was the failure of Ronaldo to beat Abate down to a growth in maturity or a lack of ideas from the Madrid winger?

Given that only against excellent opposition Abate's weaknesses may be exposed, do you believe that the appropriate steps will be taken in training to improve Ignazio as a defender? Will his eventual education in big game situations be enough to improve Abate gradually without costing Milan too much? Would the introduction of a new right back able to provide signficant competition to Abate hasten improvements or would a new first team option be a good idea if available for a reasonable price?

Or am I simply being too critical and over analysing the situation? Abate has done a fantastic job and I personally think that he will continue to improve to cover his weaknesses, however I wrote this as I believe it's important to recognise where he needs to improve but also to remind ourselves that he is learning a position and must be forgiven mistakes as he is a player who learns and improves based upon his past errors.

There is also the question of his offensive qualities which need work. His crossing is incredibly inconsistent however again this is something that merely needs to be addressed in training and will improve as he plays more and our attack settles and whilst our midfield and defence have been fairly stable the forward trio rarely play more than three games in a row without a signficant change and the incredibly varied nature of Cassano, Pato, Robinho and Boateng mean that Abate and Antonini have not had a clear idea of how to work with our strike force when advancing forward.

Both fullbacks however need to be more confident in their abilities and attempt to terrify by heading for the byline. Abate in particular can often achieve more through ball carrying than attempting a passing game with an attack that has not yet fully established an understanding and a permanent style of play. A twenty-five yard burst from Abate can do more to cause an accidental tear in the shape of a back line or invite movement into the box from our midfield than the current movements from the back. Not only Abate but Antonini look to be suffering from stage fright whenever they go forward and a bit more self belief is necessary, otherwise all their work in training is worthless without at least the courage to take someone on.

Additional comments from that thread:

Abate I believe has reached a level where he will be perfectly able to shackle the majority of teams in the league as it requires an excellent individual to take advantage of his weaknesses, as he is well built to deal with the common advantages of an average winger and stable enough to deal with mid-table 'stars.' No offence to Di Michele but I'll take Menez any day.

As for Abate's tackling, his technique was always excellent, even last season, just watch our game against Napoli - the one where he was sent off - however the problem was his positioning which squandered this and making his aggressive tackling volatile and dangerous. Now that he has improved his positional sense this quality is more readily apparent.

Abate's ability to slide tackle shouldn't be under-estimated, especially given his courage to slide in the box if necessary. We might be singing his praises in some very big situations. Or not, of course.

The point you made that I wanted to discuss concerned the nature of his attacking play. Whilst I have stated that I believed the signficant changes to our front three have stunted his development in terms of the team's natural play, the refusal to either attempt something new or different in a match rather than continually restart the same tired pass is inexplicable.

That Abate does not always move up enough or whether he is supplied with the opportunity often enough I feel I am not in a position to necessarily explain at times as he may at times be under orders or as an article posted in a link here opined he is not trusted enough, however questions still remain over Abate offensively.

What I will say is this though. If Abate solidifies entirely then we should be satisfied with defensive stability from our right back and not ask more from him, and as the team stabilises going forward and Abate works on his crossing this should make him more than adequate. As BigBoban's point about Maldini made clear, Abate has other ways of winning our love, so for now we should just hope that Abate continues his progress defensively first and then offensively.

I don't believe that Gattuso's job is any harder against the majority of teams, however in a game such as the Roma match the importance of his coverage against top opposition was apparent. It required the joint efforts of Gattuso and Abate to prevent Menez from breaking through, and had Abate been facing Menez alone - like Antonini was whilst poor Seedorf charged back at 5 knots per hour - then he would have been beaten around four times at least, not to mention that Roma would then have been using this flank more often when met with success.

This is not to unduly criticise Abate, as his performance was still a lot more honourable than that of Antonini, who looked timid in the face of his tormentor and it shows the difference between them.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:04 pm

How can someone who is perfect possibly progress? scratch
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Post by M99 Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:30 pm

Excellent post dos. Now everytime Abate haters come up, I'll quote you Very Happy
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Post by Eivindo Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:40 pm

Ignazio Abates`calendar goes from march 31st to april 2nd cause nobody fools Ignazio Abate. :coffee:
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Post by M99 Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:41 pm

BY the way dos, how did you qoute stuff from the old forums?
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Post by dostoevsky Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:44 pm

milanista99 wrote:BY the way dos, how did you qoute stuff from the old forums?

I saved the text of a few threads that I thought might come in handy when we moved.
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Post by IzzyC08 Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:48 pm

Fantastic post Dos, as usual.
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Post by ciro1316 Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:00 pm

abate is growing and will continue to grow

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Post by fadjriemilan Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:51 am

Nice post!

Hope those "unbelievers" could read this. Thumbs up
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Post by Rossoneri Ninja Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:12 am

Awe guys been a long time since i've been on here

At last one of my favourite posters posting about one of my favourite topics.
Im a bit pressed for time , but you make lots of valid points Dosto, which i will be sure to comment on a little bit later on when i have more time.

Amazing that you kept some of our previous discussions saved, i lol''d when i read my old post just now.
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Post by Luca Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:41 am

I was challenged to be here.
I don't think Abate is as good as some of you believe but I have nothing against you being enthusiastic towards your own player, it's better than the other road.

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Post by dostoevsky Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:46 am

Luca wrote:I was challenged to be here.
I don't think Abate is as good as some of you believe but I have nothing against you being enthusiastic towards your own player, it's better than the other road.

I'm so glad you came. I don't expect anyone to write up an extended answer this quickly as you'd need to be a ridiculously efficient typist, however I am not at all satisfied with this answer. No reference to any specific quality is made, nor a comparison to who you believe might be a better option for the national team, in fact not a single reason is given.

As I said, take your time, however if people are to contribute I want an actual answer to the points made.

There are a lot of points made in here. If Abate isn't as good as you think he is, then it should be pretty obvious where the fallacies lie.
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Post by Luca Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:56 am

I don't know man.
Truthfully, I don't see Abate as this super gifted RB you make him out to be. I believe he is still young and definitely a solid player I just believe him not being on the national team is just. He may deserve his chance but if everything in this thread is true then it must be some crime against nature for Prandelli not to agree with you.

Cassani and Maggio have been preferred and as of now, they have done nothing to jeopardize their spots. In other words, if it is not broken don't fix it. If Abate will make a massive difference then I am all for it but as of now I just don't see it.

If one of Cassani/Maggio were injured or unavailable for whatever reason, and Abate gets called up and rightfully claims his spot then that is fine. Until that day there is nothing more to discuss. I can sit here and say Giovinco was brilliant last season and deserves to be in the starting 11 but the reality is he has been called up and been used sparingly, even to the likes of Cassano who did not have a great domestic year by any means.

I can say nothing against his play, I consider him a solid full back but not worthy of this much praise. Again though, you are enthusiastic towards your players and it is admirable. If he was this top right back and by the margin you claim then it is a crime against nature to not have him in the national team. However, I still believe Prandelli is just, for now, if Cassani or Maggio's performances really drop off and he gets his shot we'll then see. Right now I guess Prandelli sees no reason to give him a chance and that is good enough for me.

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Post by dostoevsky Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:03 am

Luca wrote:I don't know man.
Truthfully, I don't see Abate as this super gifted RB you make him out to be. I believe he is still young and definitely a solid player I just believe him not being on the national team is just. He may deserve his chance but if everything in this thread is true then it must be some crime against nature for Prandelli not to agree with you.

Cassani and Maggio have been preferred and as of now, they have done nothing to jeopardize their spots. In other words, if it is not broken don't fix it. If Abate will make a massive difference then I am all for it but as of now I just don't see it.

If one of Cassani/Maggio were injured or unavailable for whatever reason, and Abate gets called up and rightfully claims his spot then that is fine. Until that day there is nothing more to discuss. I can sit here and say Giovinco was brilliant last season and deserves to be in the starting 11 but the reality is he has been called up and been used sparingly, even to the likes of Cassano who did not have a great domestic year by any means.

I can say nothing against his play, I consider him a solid full back but not worthy of this much praise. Again though, you are enthusiastic towards your players and it is admirable. If he was this top right back and by the margin you claim then it is a crime against nature to not have him in the national team. However, I still believe Prandelli is just, for now, if Cassani or Maggio's performances really drop off and he gets his shot we'll then see. Right now I guess Prandelli sees no reason to give him a chance and that is good enough for me.

From my previous post:

What of Cassani's international appearances? The fullbacks have thus far not been impressive enough to guarantee a first team spot for any player, with a fairly unproductive showing from Cassani from an attacking perspective, whilst his hyped Germany match was not impressive at all unless Italy has drastically lowered its standards for the future. Cassani allowed Klose to slip in front of him for the goal, lacking the pace to pull back any ground when he was second to react. For the first ten minutes he was consistently hesitant and showed that he required a true leader to tell him where to go, losing track of Podolski, being unable to prevent German possession deep down his flank and failing to marshall Montolivo's defensive movements when he should have been communicating and leading his area. Offensively, to his credit, he provided one beautiful long ball into Cassano and had a shot blocked, however his performance was average, nothing more. He was up against top opposition and he deserves to be given chances based upon his form and any improvements he shows, however Italy needs a fullback who is comfortable when we are not in possession and Abate is a better choice than Cassani when it comes down to this.

Cassani and Maggio are currently the options in the squad, however they provide neither the necessary variety, nor have they earnt the right to rest on their laurels uninterrupted by challengers. The qualifiers are always a piece of cake, we topped our qualification group for the World Cup in 2010 by 6 points over Ireland. Didn't that end well.

I don't agree with the notion of our fullback selections being strong enough to justify not changing anything. They haven't performed exceptionally well to achieve such security within the squad, nor has a rule of not constantly challenging our best options helped before. Our World Cup 2010 squad comfortably topped their qualification group? Yet we thought they were broken? I'm merely applying a simple comparison of strengths and what is necessary to have within the squad to come to my conclusions. Why should Maggio and Cassani be considered superior simply because they received the first call-ups? Why are they more defensively stable in your opinion, in which areas are they better defenders?
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Post by Luca Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:08 am

Well you have to consider the fact that players need to learn to play with each other.

Cassani and Maggio have had time to play in Italy's back line in qualifiers. They may not have impressed but they didn't disappoint either. Therefore, I see no reason for change unless there is a need for change, if the difference in ability is a large as you say then maybe me and Prandelli are missing something? I don't know what else to tell you. Cassani and Maggio deserve their spots, Abate had a great year for Milan but I can't see him taking over without reason.

A better question is how exactly are they weak? How have Cassani and Maggio hurt Italy? I would like examples from qualifiers, something that will prove your point other than player analysis which will only get you so far.

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Post by JuvenelCuore Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:08 am

Abate is not the quality player Milan players think he is and I can go into extensive detail as to why.
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Post by Guest Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:13 am

Well, dos keeps insisting for me to come and so I'm here as I have his permission, although I wanted to avoid this with future problems, but with Giancarlo away I shouldn't fear. This will only be my only post.

Now the problem with Abate is, he is simply not the best. We can not judge a player with one good season and claim he is currently Italy's best RB or some what like to say here in the world. Now of course he does deserve a call up, and there's no doubt about it, but its not a big deal if he isn't as we already have good ones and we don't have any problems with our current full backs. Though, to claim to the best you need to also be part of the national team, in which the best are called up. Sure Lippi didn't do that, but this is Prandelli and he has been doing that, and if he hasn't called up Abate, then he has his own views and ways of what he wants.

One of them being ball possession in which fullbacks need to be capable of doing in which is pushing forward. You already got Maggio who can be both the right back and right winger, then you got the likes of Santon who can do just as that and Cassetti who is great as well. Now Abate, sure he has speed, but no ball control, no dribbling and has not crossing skills. We talk about a player who has only 1 assist this whole season. Yet you got Oddo who played 5 apps, and managed 2... Stats don't lie, if he ain't good at it, then what's the point.

As most of you claim, he is growing as a player... so if he is growing and he is still improving how can he be proclaimed the best? Just curious.


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Post by dostoevsky Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:15 am

@ Luca

I gave examples from the Germany match regarding Cassani, I even requoted them for you above.

I have no idea what you're "seeing" because all that have been made are vague statements. So those who "do not disappoint" deserve to have their spots in the national team protected? Chemistry is a point that may be emphasised, however we are dealing with fairly new additions to the squad, not a partnership such as Nesta and Cannavaro.

@JNC: Then enlighten us.

Also, to those coming in, actually read the entire post before, I don't want to have to simply requote the part of the article relating to your point.
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Post by Luca Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:22 am

dostoevsky wrote:@ Luca

I gave examples from the Germany match regarding Cassani, I even requoted them for you above.

I have no idea what you're "seeing" because all that have been made are vague statements. So those who "do not disappoint" deserve to have their spots in the national team protected? Chemistry is a point that may be emphasised, however we are dealing with fairly new additions to the squad, not a partnership such as Nesta and Cannavaro.

@JNC: Then enlighten us.

Also, to those coming in, actually read the entire post before, I don't want to have to simply requote the part of the article relating to your point.

Sorry, I responded quickly and really just skimmed that quote. My apologies.
You make a valid point about chemistry but my point is this, they may not have impressed but they have not disappointed. I have not sign the position as a very weak one, I have not seen Cassani or Maggio be all out of sorts, yes they have made mistakes but they are human. You think Abate would not make mistakes? It happens, it is a big thing to play for your country and with that comes nerves and with those nerves come mistakes.

The bottom line I was trying to make was just that I don't see any reason for Abate to replace either Cassani or Maggio currently, if he is as good as you say he is then his time will come. If not life goes on.

I am truthfully sorry for my statements being vague, I don't know why I got into the debate tonight, I am in no mood.

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Post by dostoevsky Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:25 am

Actually Sciacca, I told you to send someone else to post for you, but oh well.

Firstly, the point regarding "not being able to judge a player from one season."

Might I ask everyone where on earth Pique was whilst he was at Manchester United? Yet look at his first season back at Barcelona. Should his achievements at the end of that season been belittled due to his previous season where he was behind the likes of Johnny Evans and Wes Brown? It's called a "breakout" season. I have never once called Abate one of the best right backs in the world, merely amongst current Italian options.

Abate is a perfectly decent ball carrier and has a decent short pass, however he definitely needs to grow in this area and this is where chemistry will be important.

However, once more, kindly read the article before posting. I addressed the issue of proving points through statistical analysis. Samir Nasri had one assist for the entire league season. Cassani had four or five, if I recall correctly. These are arbitrary figures if they are not viewed in the context of their role. Abate is a primarily defensive full back, such as Sagna at Arsenal - a very offensive team - yet he is apparently being judged on his ability to whip crosses into the box.

Then players such as Santon and Cassetti are being used to discredit Abate due to their ball control. Why don't we play Mauri at fullback then? Not to mention how many times you've mocked Cassetti Sciacca, very selective use of the term great.

Also yes, a player who is still growing can be the best if even at this immature stage he's a better option than players in their prime. Or is Mauri better than Hazard because Hazard is still growing?

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Post by dostoevsky Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:33 am

Luca wrote:
dostoevsky wrote:@ Luca

I gave examples from the Germany match regarding Cassani, I even requoted them for you above.

I have no idea what you're "seeing" because all that have been made are vague statements. So those who "do not disappoint" deserve to have their spots in the national team protected? Chemistry is a point that may be emphasised, however we are dealing with fairly new additions to the squad, not a partnership such as Nesta and Cannavaro.

@JNC: Then enlighten us.

Also, to those coming in, actually read the entire post before, I don't want to have to simply requote the part of the article relating to your point.

Sorry, I responded quickly and really just skimmed that quote. My apologies.
You make a valid point about chemistry but my point is this, they may not have impressed but they have not disappointed. I have not sign the position as a very weak one, I have not seen Cassani or Maggio be all out of sorts, yes they have made mistakes but they are human. You think Abate would not make mistakes? It happens, it is a big thing to play for your country and with that comes nerves and with those nerves come mistakes.

The bottom line I was trying to make was just that I don't see any reason for Abate to replace either Cassani or Maggio currently, if he is as good as you say he is then his time will come. If not life goes on.

I am truthfully sorry for my statements being vague, I don't know why I got into the debate tonight, I am in no mood.

Fair enough, I personally envisioned the debate occurring later when people had been able to read the entire thing and consider it before responding, so I realise that these things will happen.

I have no problem with players still entering into our national team making mistakes as they debut and become used to our style and a new coach, it's the only way in which they'll grow and become a better team. However these things need to be pointed out before they're considered untouchables. At this stage we need to be giving the best players the best chances given our goals. These may differ from poster to poster, as some may considered Euro 2012 as the most important goal, others the World Cup in 2014, as to who has the most potential for a particular tournament or simply generally for the future, however I wouldn't have made this post if I didn't believe Abate had the greatest potential to adapt to the coming challenges for Italy.

Unfortunately the time may not come, as no coach is infallible. Hernanes, Hulk and Marcelo were missing for Brazil in the Copa America yet are arguably in their best eleven, let alone the squad, but I don't believe this should affect how we judge these players overall or whether they deserve their call-ups.
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Post by Rossonero23 Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:00 am

LOL...

Santon? Are we talking about the same Santon who wasn't good enough for Inter, and was loaned to Cesena for playing time?? The same Santon who's spot was taken by Nagatomo? The same player who only has one assist in his entire career? Razz And that assist was back in the 2008-2009 season. Razz

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/player/_/id/121811/davide-santon?cc=5901


No wonder the Italian National team is so bad these days. You have mediocre trash like Santon and Cassani starting ahead of a legend like Abate! Cool
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Post by JuvenelCuore Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:15 am

Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben and Juan Mata were rejected from Madrid and one of them was close to winning a Ballon d'Or, one is a top 10 winger when fit, and the other is one of hottest prospects.

Proves nothing.
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Post by dostoevsky Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:23 am

Feel free to stay on topic and "prove" your statement about Abate not being a quality player, or stay out of the thread.
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