Where would a returning Fabregas play for Arsenal in 2013/14?

If the prodigal son returns where to play him?
If the prodigal son returns where to play him?

Just a quick piece today as  I find myself excitedly writing as I read reports about the possible return of one of finest in Cesc Fabregas. Frustrated at the Camp Nou and with a World Cup season ahead of him it is widely being reported that Fabregas may seek a new challenge in 2013/14 and regular first team action.

If he does leave Barcelona it is hard to believe his destination will be anywhere other than N5, due the buyback clause at a set price cleverly inserted in the deal when he left the Emirates in the summer of 2011. With a market value of £40 million or so Arsenal can purchase their ex-talisman for a reported £25 million. Add to this the fact the Barcelona still owes us money from the Alex Song deal we could be picking up the bargain of the decade.

There are still some Arsenal fans that are hurting over the manner of his departure, and reports of his refusal to play. I am not such a fan and I’m personally not convinced by the stories he went on strike to force a move. I am more convinced that he has a long conversation with his mentor; Arsene Wenger in the summer of 2011 and Le Boss persuaded him to stay one more year and try to win something for Arsenal in 2010/11. Had injury not struck I am certain with Cesc leading us out at Wembley the Birmingham result would have been markedly different. Al of this is supposition of course.

So if we put all that to one side the only real question is; would a return this summer of Fabregas improve Arsenal and our chances in 2013/14? The answer of course is yes so it is imperative that if the player does wish to move from Spain and return to London, where I understand his partner and child live then Arsenal MUST uphold their option. Allowing ourselves to dream then the question that most intrigues me as a fan and a writer is where Fabregas would play?

As I consider it, increasingly I see there as being 3 possible styles/formations that Wenger could choose from to energise the team and illicit the maximum from Cesc, whilst being mindful of how creative and influential his friend Santi Cazorla has been this past season:

Option 1 – Play Cesc where he played in 2010/11

Back where he left off in 2011 as CAM?
Back where he left off in 2011 as CAM?

The team post Thierry Henry had evolved between 2009 and 2011 around Fabregas as the key playmaker and creative force, into the 4231 we operate today. This saw Cesc at the centre of a creative threesome operating behind a sole striker. Ramsey initially, then Rosicky, Cazorla and occasionally Wilshere have all has stints in this position, with varying degrees of success, since he left. It was in this position that Fabregas had his best season for Arsenal from a goal scoring perspective in 2009/10 when he bagged 19.

Here is how the team might look if the Spaniard came back and slotted seamlessly into his old CAM role:

 

Option 2 – Play Cesc where he played in 2005-2008

2007/08 at his creative best with 23 assists in a 442
2007/08 at his creative best with 23 assists in a 442

The team could revert to the formation that brought the club so much success in the early Wenger years and this of course saw Fabregas merely taking over from Vieira at the head of a midfield four. Here he operated behind 2 strikers; a Number 10 and a centre forward and had an out and out defensive midfielder in Gilberto or Flamini alongside him. Whilst Wenger abandoned this system in 2009 it was arguably using the old way in 2007/8 that saw our best campaign since the 03/04 campaign and announced Fabregas onto the scene as the most creative footballer in the Premiership. In 2007/8 Cesc provided a quite incredible 23 assists for Arsenal, 20 of them in the league.

Here is how the team could set up with Cesc at the head of the diamond:

 

Option 3 – Give Fabregas the Bergkamp No.10 role in a 4411

One day when I grow up I can be you!
One day when I grow up I can be you!

Option 3 is effectively not hugely dissimilar to option 1 but is closer to the old system in which Bergkamp operated behind the main striker, mostly Henry. However this position whilst being largely a creative role carries with it the responsibility to drop back into the midfield to make it a central 3 when Arsenal are not in possession. This role certainly would give Fabregas full licence to roam and effect the play as Bergkamp once did but I feel it would require a fast Henry type striker and is Walcott yet that man?

Here is how this might look in 2013.14 with Fabregas at No.10:

 

The answer I suspect is that should Cesc return he will be give the CAM role occupied on the 2012/13 primarily by Tomas Rosicky and the formation will remain the same. It is however worthwhile considering the options his quality would give us and make no mistake he is better than anyone we currently have in the squad. This being the case it may leave Santi on the left and a fully fit Podolski vying with Oliver Giroud, or indeed a new addition for the sole striking position.

Suffice to say whatever Wenger decided I hope he first decides that bringing Cesc back to his true footballing home is the right option. Because if he does wherever Fabregas plays on the pitch he will make us a better team than we have been and I will happily argue that point with anyone. Arsenal winning again is about squad depth but depth with quality and Cesc can be the first huge step back to where we all want Arsenal to be again in 2013/14

I would love to hear your views on whether I have looked at the right 3 options or if you feel there are alternatives so please leave a comment. I am under no illusion that my options are exhaustive or indeed where I have positioned others to fit around Cesc the only options. Perhaps you feel Cesc could play wide of we could adopt the False 9?

Lastly if he does come back I would make him Captain which I know many would not agree with but I am not convinced by the alternatives at present.

Like what you read? Agree/disagree? Leave a comment below or follow me or comment on this blog on Twitter – http://twitter.com/goonerdave66

 

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73 comments

  1. Hi i personally agree with you, but we should not forget the guy called Joventic surely our striking force need somebody like that. If we get Cesc back with that guy we are sorted out, so Wenger should not loose these two please better spend the 7o on those. my commend gunners

  2. Hello Sir Dave,

    Excellent choice of topic and excellently put together. Enjoyed it. Thoroughly.
    Of the 3 options, I would pick option 2, as I would like him to run the show from the middle again. I know this means perhaps buying a very efficient DM to provide sufficient cover, as that is not one of Cesc’s strong points. Cesc has really improved his finishing over the years and his runs into the boxes can still happen when needed. But for most of the game I would like to see him around the centre line, commanding play, spraying passes. For me it would be orgasmic to see this line-up. And in this I would like TR7 & Santi to keep switiching positions. Its a slightly lopsided formation which is right heavy but I like that 🙂

    http://this11.com/topics/add/abESuetafl

    This of course is the ideal XI for me, but depending on the opponent we could shuffle this a bit to add more defensive cover, by bringing in MA8/AR.

  3. Yes. Guillem Ballague said he isn’t moving, and seeing as poor guillem almost never gets it right we can assume he probably is

  4. Would be a great statement of ambition from Arsenal if they pull this off. I’d be very surprised though as the main competition in his spot, Xavi, is 33 already. – If he returns maybe we can get RVP and Nasri back too, as their hunger for medals is not top priority anymore and think the football they can produce at Arsenal is closer too their hearts. 😉 anyway… –

    Think your third formation would be ideal, but like BVB, Spain and Barca, with this players there is no need to hold positions. With Julio Cesar, a disciplined/intelligent holding midfieldplayer and a topclass striker (Rooney, Higuain, Jovetic) we will not fear anyone.

    1. I am on record as liking Morgan Schneiderlin for the holding role if Ramsey/Arteta not deemed suffficient

  5. you all full of shit still hoping fabregas to come back to lousy and cupless gunners. gimme a break!! he won’t return to a losing side like gunners. i am so fed up with the board and AW.

    1. Thanks so much for you aggressive response. Maybe I am full of shit or maybe I know more than you.

    2. sorry mate but u r sense-less to comment like this if u are an AFC supporter. Genuine fans support their club weather the club is winning trophies or not. We all hope to win trophies, which doesn’t mean to abuse AW or board.

      1. God bless you for this reply to that questionablesupporter. I would have abused d hell out of him but let’s not be as foolish as he/she is. People just feel they can run their gutter holes d way they like

  6. Hi. IMO, option 1makes most sense. Arteta, Ramsey and Wilshere can all play ahead of the back four. Then we can have Santi on the left and Theo on the right. Fab can occupy the CAM with Giroud and Poldy fighting for the striking position.
    Oh,and one more thing, I believe that T.Vamaelen still has a lot to offer both as a leader on the pitch and as a defender.

  7. Waiting for Wenger to say he haven’t heard of Fabregas…

    Arsenal need to buck up, should Fabregas leave and join another EPL team, it will be the biggest blow in the last 10 years. Not simply a matter of squad quality, but a slap to all Arsenal fans which could ultimately end fans support, particularly any sort of monetary sales.

  8. Option 1 clearly for me. I am still skeptical if he would be let go. But keeping that aside. There isn’t a doubt about if we are better with him or without him. The biggest advantage with Cesc is , he understands the English game and what it takes to win. We have very few in the team with that knowledge. To make it even more enticing, I’d say Cesc plus a quality striker can be the basis of league winning teams. Giroud and Podolski are quality , but we will need another striker.

    Let’s hope this happens. Surely we are the favorites to sign him back, with the reported buy back clauses, Nice one Dave.

  9. Sorry – i’m still getting over that photo of ‘God of Football’ Berrgkamp with ‘God of Hair Disasters’ Fabregas … but I agree with you, I would love to see Cesc back in an Arsenal shirt dictating play and agree with Yoiii that option 2 would be best – jsut being on the pitch would be best 😉

    If he is going to leave his Mum’s cooking then lets hope its not to Man U – cos as Arsene said after RvP went into AFC’s dressing room ‘he came into our dressing room because the food is better’. Hxxxx

  10. hi excellent decition there,i will choose option 2.let the guru handle the middle.my prayer is arsenal manager will bring him back.

  11. D 3 formations ar superb, dat is if we cn get fabregas back again nd wit a sharp attacker lyk jovetics, den we ar gud 2 go, bt i will pick d no3 formation dat has rosiscky in d play team, bcux d man is superb!

  12. Fabrigas will improve us anywhere he’s played from CM, AM to hole behind top 9
    With Fabrigas back, Jovetic is no longer needed, all needed are prolific goal getter, experience goalkeeper and a DM, provided we don’t lose anyone in the 1st team

  13. Sz
    Sagna. Mert. Kos. Gib.
    Arteta
    Rambo. Wilsh. Cesc

    Santi
    Theo
    Maybe rosicky for Ramsey and the reason for not putting cesc behind theo is that cesc is more deffensive than santi and a deeper role allows him to dictate games like he used to. Also unsure whether we need a dm we do lack height and muscle in the midfield and I would like a dm for added depth but I do not believe buying one is desperate this is because arteta is the most important player in the team when he doesn’t play we struggle to win as he is the one that makes us play and chooses the tempo. He has made the most passes in Europe this season and is the most experienced in the current team he is being played in the way juv play pirlo or barca play xavi he is a leader and since he has taken over as captain we are unbeaten he has also given up his own position for the team without complaining never in trouble and sticks to his position to let the other midfielders roam we have conceded 4 goals in 11 games do we really need a change arteta for captain and come home cesc.

      1. Me too!!!! Adam pleasewhats your twitter handle I’d like to follow you, you write like you really know football very well, d kind of people I love to follow.

  14. I’ll pick option 2. With CFab on the pitch confidence is always there. I will love to see him roaming all over the pitch in a free role. I just hope Arsenal and Barca can strike a deal.

  15. Just keep cazorla on the left wing and fabregas can take the central attacking role Rosicky has been playing in. I love Rosicky but fabregas would be less injury prone

  16. I suspect the reason Wenger has been playing Rosicky in the Cam role and Carzola on the wing, is to prepare Carzola for the imminent arrival of a new CAM. because rosiscky is aging and Carzola can play on the wing. I hope that new CAM is fabregas. i can only dream. And the silence surrounding this fab saga from both the arsenal and player sides is deafening.typical wenger transfers.

  17. good article , we love fabrigas, and we will get him position if he come …but lets pray to come back arsenal
    and bring other world class finisher
    suarez , higuain , rooney , or last jovotic

  18. I am kinds shocked pple still worry abt strikers with Fab4 back. One of the worst strikers in the EPL had 30 goals in 1 season due to Fab’s creativity. You can just imagine how many chances will be created with Santi and Fab! I don’t wanna stress myself over where he is played as long as he is on d pitch, he will do just fine. OG, Podli and Theo will score baskets of goals with him arnd. Now AW jusr has to sign d cheque

  19. Hi dave!
    I think so far no strong reason that CF4 will leave Barca. Just like some of gooners, including me, predict that he had deadwood for a while for being Xavi’s replacement. But then Pep, incidently by Villa’s injure, found the way out for him as false no.9. You can’t say his failed for this role. Some Barca’s title and Euro 2010 silverware as the proved. More further, I haven’t hear about Barca seeking new top playmaker. Without it , Cesc it’s the best left for Xavi’s position than the unfortune young talent Thiago Alcantara. But maybe you know more Dave.
    By the way, just in case that I’m wrong (weird, I hope so) I like options number 2, with involvement with our new players like Jovetic, Higuain, Gonalons, Grenier and maybe Piszcek (offcourse the dismiss of some familiar face). WOW it will be.

  20. Suspicious timing with relation to Geoff ‘s news. Are you ITK. Lol. I’d think about the formations later, first get him. But good article nevertheless.

  21. Suspicious timing with relation to Geoff ‘s news. Are you ITK. Lol. I’d think about the formations later, first get him. But good article nevertheless. We will have squad depth which is required for winning titles.

      1. I know, I read the blog before Geoff posted that tweet. Surely you must have some inside information to have written about this. Hence the ‘suspicious’ Lol.

      2. Thanks so much for you aggressive response. Maybe I am full of shit or maybe I KNOW MORE THAN YOU. That says it all. Dave knows something he isn’t saying

      3. Report says today that fabregas isn’t coming to England at all after he had a chat with tito villanova. Mmmmm wonder who knows better.

  22. Any formation for me, just bring him back, I know he would fit in anywhere and would defo boost the team, we need some one of his calibre. Good piece, as always, Dave.

  23. They are the same positions that Jovetic would play, so it’s either Jov or Cesc, and I know who I’d have. It would explain why the talks of Jov have quietened over the last few days.

  24. I think he’ll leave barca,with the arrival of neymar this will further reduce his playing time cos both the fans and manager will favour neymar ahead of him…so come back home fab…open arms await you.
    Good piece from you dave. Let’s get him back 1st then we worry about the formation.

  25. I’d love to see him back, provided he actually leaves Barcelona…
    I’d play the same formation
    (4-2-3-1) as past seasons…
    Szczesny
    Bac Per Kos Gibbs/Monreal
    Arteta Wilshere
    Santi Cesc Poldi
    Walcott

  26. This is the best option

    Shez

    Jenk Per Kos Gibbsy

    Arteta.Ramsey/New Signing

    Wilshere Fabregas Santi

    Walcott

    4-2-3-1

    Look at the creativity in that team. Pace with Walcott and the full backs. Hard working arteta and Ramsey or Gundogen I hope we can sign.

  27. Would gladly welcome cesc back,still not found any creative player like Cesc in the league.if Van Persie was ever fit to play alongside him,I’m sure we would have settled our drought of silverware.I’m also not of the opinion of buying players for the sake of Buying,this team showed guts to claim fourth. Personally,I’d wanted Wenger to go,but ii ate M̶̲̥̅γ̲̣̣̥ words.if this team could just start the season like the way they played the last part of this season,who will win them in the league????let’s support the team and I’m sure next season we will smile.

  28. It is always a nice pleasure to read about Cesc and to remember all those fantastic assists and passes from him. In my opinion, there are very few gunners who don’t want him back at Arsenal and even they will be happy once the deal is completed (IF). So this leads to the question where will he play? Simple and effective: as a CAM in 4-2-3-1. But I wont mind him playing in any attacking positions as long as it is for Arsenal.

  29. From GeoffArsenal, reliable twitter source
    ‘Just had a 15min telephone call with someone i trust implicitly. This person is telling me the Cesc Fabregas to Arsenal could happen soon!’
    ‘I am surprised as i thought he may stay in Barca for another year but from what i’m told, there is a good chance. Its complicated tho.’
    ‘Lets all take a deep breath and see what happens. And keep fingers crossed. Like i said, its complicated but it “could” happen.’
    Heard Cesc to return Arsenal story from 3 different places now. We’ve been promised “signings of intent”.

  30. hi

    i think IF cesc comes back then he should play as the CM in a mid field trio with santi as CAM and arteta as holding mid field. That would be dreamy.

    Cesc was most effective as a deep lying play maker with accurate long balls.
    Santi is definitely more mobile, twists and turns so suited to CAM role.
    They would obviously alternate according to open play.

    Cesc theo combo is always going to be major threat, accurate long balls and speed to get behind defenders. this would also give santi bit more space down the middle.
    we’d be a threat from more angles

  31. Hi Dave
    You know how much i love Cesc, ive never seen somebody so young have such an impact, who can forget his performance at Highbury against Viera and Juventus in 2005/06 thats when we knew we had something special, get him back and build time around him, a winner and at 26 would get his best years, like everybody else just keeping my fingers crossed. My call would be option 3

  32. we are also buying a new striker…..Cesc just doesnt seem to fit in. Had either of Ramsey’s resurgence or Cazorla’s signing not taken place, it would have been a different story totally. With Ramsey, Jack, Rosicky, Arteta, Cazorla we already have too much depth in the Attacking MF area. We need a DM…..Cesc would be a burden on wages I think. But then again, we all love Cesc. SUCH A DIFFICULT DECISION. *SIGH*

    1. Depends if we want to win. Those players you mention ate top level but Cesc is much better than all of them in truth

  33. honestly… i doubt he will return. And its time for us to move on. I believe there is more chances of Wayne Rooney ending up in Arsenal shirt than Cesc.

    I hope (pray) i am wrong though 🙂

  34. Here is what we should do with Fabregas: Buy him back, and then do exactly what we should have done in August 2011: Sell him to Real Madrid for one pound.

    A big fat F.U. to both the ungrateful traitorous little snot AND Barca. He is not fit to wear the Arsenal uniform. He is not man enough. He is not worthy to tie Aaron Ramsey’s shoelaces.

  35. Allowing myself a few more minutes in this dream ….

    I actually like option 3 best. I think Santi is best in the middle with Jack in more of a holding role. The thought of Cesc and Santi working forward in the middle to Theo is very tasty. I also lets Theo run through the box as opposed to along side it.

    Just five more minutes, Mum. Please.

  36. Just reading about d possibility of Cesc coming back is giving me butterflies in my stomach and has kept me awake when its way past my bed time. I love most of the comments I read and I quite agree, I would also love to go with position 3 bcos Cesc has grown into a player who scores lot of goals and he scores most of them from that position, however Dave for the 1st time I think I disagree with you on giving him back the captain’s armband, as much as I love him I think he disrespected that band when he left us, I say Arteta should maintain it the team seem like they listen to him when he talks to them. *deep sigh* please dave if u know something about this deal KINDLY tell and put me out of my misery please. God bless The Arsenal. al

  37. I don’t think too many gooners would not welcome cesc back . But we badly need at least 3 or 4 other players. She’s is not good enough, we need a top striker, remember arsenal strength in the past was a solid defends and a world class stiker. We have never fully replaced Henry. A holding midfielder is needed and possibly no make that proberly a central midfielder. Lose the dead wood from the squad but keep hold of the majority of players and maybe just maybe we may have a squad not just a team capable of winning again

  38. She’s was meant to b shez. Sorry and PS lets not lose out to the likes of Chelsea again arsene Remember hazard and mata

  39. Has anyonr noticed that Fabregas is the facr of Puma? And with the reports of Arsenal-Puma partnership, this could be all interesting

    you can never take away quality. Cesc is quality and we all know that. The once haters among the MU fans are wetting themselves. What more to say we gooners.

    anyways, he basically grew up at London. Sounds about right should he moves, home will be the first option.

  40. I’ve hoped for this since the night they lost to bayern and I read the barca fans’ assessment of him on Twitter. There is no better club and manager for fab than arsenal and Wenger. You could go as far as to say the bulk of the emirates was built on fab’s intelligence. For me he is hands down the most intelligent footballer in the world.

    The trouble for fabregas at Barcelona was that they had a much more measured, less spontaneous system than at arsenal. Fabregas at the hub would have set a different rhythm to xavi which would have affected everyone. At arsenal the system was based on his spontaneity and decision making… which made us very flexible, but also very fragile since everyone looked to fabregas and sometimes neglected their own responsibilities. At barca the system was so intricate and based on so much understanding of xavi and his methods, that to change the hub would be to change the system. Personally I think fabregas behind the striker with Wilshire and Ramsey behind him, caz to his left and theo to his right, with potentially jovetic ahead of them, would be the basis for a truly world class team. Fab jack and Rambo would be very difficult to break down. All 3 can and have played in all 3 roles. Each can sit and dictate from deep, each can play ahead, and each can play box to box. Ramsey is to the cam as jack currently is defensively, to the b2b. But one is 20 and the other is 22/23, plus they can find a balance that doesn’t expose the other to what they’re not comfortable with. The intelligent movement of cazorla, Theo and a jovetic ahead of him

  41. I’ve hoped for this since the night they lost to bayern and I read the barca fans’ assessment of him on Twitter. There is no better club and manager for fab than arsenal and Wenger. You could go as far as to say the bulk of the emirates was built on fab’s intelligence. For me he is hands down the most intelligent footballer in the world.

    The trouble for fabregas at Barcelona was that they had a much more measured, less spontaneous system than at arsenal. Fabregas at the hub would have set a different rhythm to xavi which would have affected everyone. At arsenal the system was based on his spontaneity and decision making… which made us very flexible, but also very fragile since everyone looked to fabregas and sometimes neglected their own responsibilities. At barca the system was so intricate and based on so much understanding of xavi and his methods, that to change the hub would be to change the system.

    Personally I think fabregas behind the striker with Wilshire and Ramsey behind him, caz to his left and theo to his right, with potentially jovetic ahead of them, would be the basis for a truly world class team. Fab jack and Rambo would be very difficult to break down. All 3 can and have played in all 3 roles. Each can sit and dictate from deep, each can play ahead, and each can play box to box. Ramsey is to the cam as jack currently is defensively, to the b2b. But one is 20 and the other is 22/23, plus they can find a balance that doesn’t expose the other to what they’re not comfortable with. The intelligent movement of cazorla, Theo and a jovetic ahead of fab, and I’d go as far as to say giroud and podolski would also improve dramatically as strikers with his service and movement…

    This has to happen *prays*

    Fab is 25/26. A couple of years under arsene who really gave him the space to go create, and he could finally be regarded as one of the best in the world and a bona fide arsenal legend.

    Class again, Dave

  42. Nice analysis.

    I am in full agreement and cannot understand the naysayers who feel that he ‘betrayed’ us and therefore should not be allowed back through the door.

    Cesc will add quality and drive played in whichever formation we use and indeed he has such versatility that we could switch easily within a game as necessary.

    I only differ in the captaincy question and here I display a little of the ‘slighted suitor’ syndrome. I would have Arteta as captain until his legs have gone and he loses his regular spot. I don’t think Cesc was a brilliant captain first time round though an older and wiser Cesc may bring more to the role. I don’t think the timing of his departure was necessarily the act of a natural captain and I believe that he should earn that role before it is offered again.

  43. Hey…do you mind if I tell you, respectfully, that you don’t know what you’re talking about? I don’t mean to criticize your rush to pin the mark of the scapegoat onto Thomas Vermaelen but, instead, whatever you’re trying to say about Fabregas.

    First of all, the idea of Cesc playing the Bergkamp role is one that would cause me to cancel any football channels I have. That you would throw it out there means there’s a chance you’re making someone else aware of it and means you should cancel yours. Don’t offend the game with that.

    Second, what the hell are you talking about? Replace Vieira at the head of the diamond? Really? So you’re telling me that Vieira played that position? Really? The best DM who’s ever played was really an AM? Calling him a CM because he goes box-to-box is already a stretch, but whatever you’re saying is incredulous. With respect, there’s no need to clear that up either. Vieira was a ball-winner, an enforcer, a defensive-minded midfielder by position and positioning. That’s that. Yea, he played Gilberto a lot. He also played with Parlour and with Edu.

    Lastly, I’ll overlook Walcott as a RM/RW combination and the fact that when he finally got to play striker he showed everyone that he is, in fact, a striker. I’ll overlook that you don’t even have him on the same front line. I’ll overlook you looking forward to Arteta playing DM (what a world, Arteta is a DM and Cesc is behind the striker…on the same team no less). Arteta is a CAM playing way out of position…just a btw.

    Cesc played the same way in the 4-2-3-1 as he played in the 4-4-2. The difference was having two guys behind him instead of having just one. But he played the same way, dropped just as deep, ran box-to-box, laid deep. The only thing he did differently was he made more aggressive runs on the counter. You don’t need to play him behind the striker and off two other guys in order to insure he does that…especially not when you consider that Song was playing the DM position like he thought Zidane would play it (and wouldn’t play it). You put a guy who actually plays and is responsible for the position and you give Fabregas the same freedom.

    And the truth is that Cesc became one of the best 1v1 scorers in the world…at any position. If not for that there would be much less clamoring for him playing this stupid and made-up position. When he first got to Barcelona and he played deep in the midfield for them (he was playing for Iniesta a lot, at first, as he was injured) he was making the same runs and scoring a lot of goals…from deep. He doesn’t need to be all the way up the field. You’re just taking particular skills and qualities and concluding that those need to be featured, instead of hoping guys play where they’re best and hoping they just play football. It’s the same as with film criticism, music championing…blogging is going to kill this game.

    1. So I guess teams don’t play with 2 DM’s then.

      Either that or they do.

      With all due respect -as this is your site- of all the terrible and negative views I’ve ever heard this is the first time I’ve ever heard Vieira referred to as an AM, in any capacity. I wonder if Vieira can even really play the position. He was an out and out box-to-box enforcer who had amazing skill, flair and elegance. He made great runs into the box. But where he became an AM is only in your description. We are not arguing semantics but the problem is that you’re saying something that makes no kind of sense. Cesc wasn’t even an AM, until he was a hybrid in the 09/10 and 10/11 seasons. But Vieira was never close to it.

      He was the 2nd midfielder, just as Cesc was. Pires wasn’t a LM. Freddie wasn’t a RM (same goes for Hleb and Rosicky). They were AM’s, who played outside-in. There is a huge difference. They weren’t on the same line as Vieira and they certainly didn’t play behind or in support of him. He and whoever his partner was held down the middle, while the two AM’s attacked up from the outside-in. I’m sorry, I’ve heard wrong opinions but the Vieira one was ridiculous.

      1. The difference is in the terms not the views. I feel the old formations was 41311 and yes I agree therefore that Vieira, Pires and Freddie all midfielders. Paddy certainly box to box. Me referring to him as an AM is not more odd than you calling him a DM. Take care and I will carry on being ridiculous.

    1. The difference is in the terms not the views. I feel the old formations was 41311 and yes I agree therefore that Vieira, Pires and Freddie all midfielders. Paddy certainly box to box. Me referring to him as an AM is not more odd than you calling him a DM. Take care and I will carry on being ridiculous.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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