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dolcem
Post #1
Wednesday November 13, 2013 11:11pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,805
It's never easy to be a contrarian when it comes to opinions on players highly regarded by the public and media. Does anyone here have the cajones to challenge the commonly accepted view of any of the greats?

I was talking with a couple Spanish friends the other day (one a Madridista, the other a Cule) and they agreed that one player of our generation was incredibly overrated: Michael Ballack. He didn't score goals, he didn't create anything, and he didn't defend, they said. And he was the captain of the German national team for 15 years yet never won anything...how many players captained the German national team for so long and never won anything? This is what I've been saying all along about him and it was very refreshing to hear someone else agree.

Another one I think has always been overrated is "Fat Frank" Lampard. Sure he can succeed at the highest level and poach a lot of goals but I never thought of him as a great player. He's not the type of player who could create chances for his teammates and he never made the people around him play better. He was just the box-to-box CM you could stick on a good team that could make late runs and score loose balls bouncing around the 18. His mediocrity for the English NT I think exposed his true colors: he's a pretty average player when put around other average players. He could never take the game by the scruff of the neck the way Gerrard could and I think many of the English NT's problems over the years stemmed from the fact that they didn't drop Lampard in favor of Gerrard (the two couldn't play together).

I think both of these players are examples of guys who could do well on a very good team but aren't really the types who were great individuals themselves, not the type who could carry a team the way some of their less-rated contemporaries could (Riquelme, for example, who was twice the player as those two yet never got the accolades). Americans like both of these players though and the style of play their teams utilized (physical, defensive, traditional route one soccer); even Michael Bradley modeled his game after Ballack. I think you'll find that most American players and coaches try to imitate this style and I think this is one of the things holding us back, for a variety of reasons. One is that American players can succeed at a very high level but we've never really had one individual who can carry the team on his back. There's a lack of creativity because in a style that utilizes box-to-box mids doesn't really encourage or allow it. This is fine for an individual player but when you put all of them together, there is something missing. And that something has always been missing in the final third for us, that bit of creative spark, the killer instinct or "nastiness" Klinsmann has wanted from us. Even though we have been much better at passing the ball and playing positively, we still are missing that something in the final third, the ability to finish attacks. Someone like Dempsey can do well on a good team but he's not the #10 we need. He can't really create chances for others or carry the team on his back. But I digress.

Of course there's also David Beckham but everyone knows he's overrated because of his celebrity status and professionalism (apparently he's a really nice guy), so he doesn't count.

Any great players that you thought were overrated?
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2tone
Ten-Towns
Post #2
Wednesday November 13, 2013 11:35pm

Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts: 10,452
Michael Owen.

EKneezy
Atlanta
Post #3
Thursday November 14, 2013 2:08am

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 3,160
Frank Lampard most def. He's a good goalscorer. Nothing much else. One of my real good friends is a Chelsea fan and I tell him what you just wrote ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Chelsea legend just not as good as most think and always thought Gerrard was the better player.

MSantoine
Post #4
Thursday November 14, 2013 2:25am

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,723
Michael Essian. He came to Chelsea right when the African nations started to send talent to EPL. Was supposed to be the poster boy for the movement. Had some untimely injuries but definitely have to say he didnt live up to his potential

skangles
DC
Post #5
Thursday November 14, 2013 3:31am

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 5,444
David Beckham. Don't get me wrong, he was a very good player with world class crosses but he was talked about as one of the best players in the world for a good chunk of his career as was a perennial finalist for the FIFA World Player of the Year award. He was definitely the most marketable player in the world throughout most of his career but that marketability caused many to create an image of his ability that did not reflect reality.

skangles
DC
Post #6
Thursday November 14, 2013 4:07am

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 5,444
Actually, the common thread here is England. They have some really good players that they vehemently try to convince themselves are great players. This isn't merely a current phenomenon, this happens every cycle. England is the country that a few years ago tried to convince the world that they should fear their deadly new striker: Peter Crouch.

Sadly for us, the US media often bites at the BS coming out of England.

EKneezy
Atlanta
Post #7
Thursday November 14, 2013 4:11am

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 3,160
Original post from skangles

Actually, the common thread here is England. They have some really good players that they vehemently try to convince themselves are great players. This isn't merely a current phenomenon, this happens every cycle. England is the country that a few years ago tried to convince the world that they should fear their deadly new striker: Peter Crouch.

Sadly for us, the US media often bites at the BS coming out of England.


You're exactly right. People say the US hype machine is bad? England is 10x worse.

Know Nothing
Post #8
Thursday November 14, 2013 5:21am

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 1,702
Original post from dolcem

Another one I think has always been overrated is "Fat Frank" Lampard. Sure he can succeed at the highest level and poach a lot of goals but I never thought of him as a great player. He's not the type of player who could create chances for his teammates and he never made the people around him play better. He was just the box-to-box CM you could stick on a good team that could make late runs and score loose balls bouncing around the 18. His mediocrity for the English NT I think exposed his true colors: he's a pretty average player when put around other average players. He could never take the game by the scruff of the neck the way Gerrard could and I think many of the English NT's problems over the years stemmed from the fact that they didn't drop Lampard in favor of Gerrard (the two couldn't play together).



Sorry mate, your argument lost all credibility with me when you said Gerrard was able to take a game by the scruff of the neck. I have never seen a player so wasteful in possession as Gerrard. And the two cannot play in the same midfield because Gerrard has no tactical sense...he runs himself all over the pitch putting himself in poor positions, making hopeful passes that look productive but only gives the ball away. I would say that Stevie Me is far more overrated than Lampard.

Yes, Lampard benefitted by having a lot of talent around him, but I will give him credit for working hard at his craft to become a better player. I do believe you are being unfair to Super Frank when you say he does not create chances for others...he does. I think you are focusing more on his penchant for taking a lot of shots, which he does...but you can't score if you don't shoot.

Know Nothing
Post #9
Thursday November 14, 2013 5:30am

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 1,702
Using Dolcem's logic, Xavi and Iniesta would certainly be considered overrated. They both benefit from being on well stacked teams and I dare say if you put either on a mediocre team they would not be as effective.

dolcem
Post #10
Thursday November 14, 2013 10:22am

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,805
First, I'll throw in another one to see what you guys think...I met a Villa fan from Birmingham who said the most overrated was Paul Scholes. His reasoning was that he can't tackle (true), he never scored, and that anyone playing alongside Beckham, Keane, and Giggs would look great. Which is exactly why Nicky Butt, a horrible footballer, played well when he was the CM. I don't agree with him but I respect that opinion. Makes some sense.

Original post from Know Nothing

Sorry mate, your argument lost all credibility with me when you said Gerrard was able to take a game by the scruff of the neck. I have never seen a player so wasteful in possession as Gerrard. And the two cannot play in the same midfield because Gerrard has no tactical sense...he runs himself all over the pitch putting himself in poor positions, making hopeful passes that look productive but only gives the ball away. I would say that Stevie Me is far more overrated than Lampard.

Yes, Lampard benefitted by having a lot of talent around him, but I will give him credit for working hard at his craft to become a better player. I do believe you are being unfair to Super Frank when you say he does not create chances for others...he does. I think you are focusing more on his penchant for taking a lot of shots, which he does...but you can't score if you don't shoot.


Well I guess your choice would be Stevie G because I know a lot of people that would totally disagree with what you said...he's not the player he used to be but you've never seen him take a game by the scruff of the neck? There have been so many times he has absolutely carried that Liverpool team. I've seen him completely take control of games (this was 5-10 years ago). I've never seen Lampard take control of games. My thing with Lampard is that he's not really good at anything other than long-range finishing. He's not creative and not a great passer. Stevie G, on the other hand, for me, was the most creative English player of his generation and a very good passer. For what it's worth, one of my friends is a diehard Evertonian (from Merseyside) and he thinks Stevie G was the best English midfielder of this generation and that he was twice the player Frank was.

At the end of the day though they're just opinions, and ones that most coaches would disagree with. We'll agree to disagree.

Original post from Know Nothing

Using Dolcem's logic, Xavi and Iniesta would certainly be considered overrated. They both benefit from being on well stacked teams and I dare say if you put either on a mediocre team they would not be as effective.


There wasn't really any 'logic' in my evaluation on these players, it was all "the eye test." Of course I'm not a scout so my opinion doesn't mean shit, it's just a bit of fun. Any player is made better by those around them. Some players though are the kinds that only succeed when surrounded by talent (Ballack, Lampard, and Beckham...it was especially obvious for the latter when he was in the MLS). Others can carry a group of mediocre players around them (Riquelme). I prefer the latter type of player. You want both types on your team. Our problem is we only have the former (at all levels of US soccer).

As far as Xavi/Iniesta, IMO they are the 3rd and 4th best players in the world and Xavi is possibly my favorite player of all time. Of course I think they're amazing because of "the eye test" but if you want logic, here's my logic. They are the second and third most important players of the best club team of all time and the first and second most important players on the best national team of all time. Look at the 2010 WC...if I remember correctly, in every single goal for Spain in the knockout rounds, Xavi and Iniesta were the main protagonists. If that doesn't prove your worth as a player, I don't know what does.

Also, while Xavi and Iniesta would do worse on a worse team (just about any player would), I bet you they would carry their teams much more than Lampard or Ballack could.
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MSantoine
Post #11
Thursday November 14, 2013 12:45pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,723
Original post from skangles

David Beckham. Don't get me wrong, he was a very good player with world class crosses but he was talked about as one of the best players in the world for a good chunk of his career as was a perennial finalist for the FIFA World Player of the Year award. He was definitely the most marketable player in the world throughout most of his career but that marketability caused many to create an image of his ability that did not reflect reality.


Sorry you dont have to like Beckham but you cant say he's over rated. He was one of the best players on 6 EPL champions, 1 La Liga Champion, and 2 MLS champions. He led England to 2 World Cup QF in 3 tries, and the only time he didnt he got a questionable red card and they lost in PKs. Not many resumes stack up next to his. When you are clearly one of the top 5 players of an entire decade I dont think you can be over rated

Live490
Texas
Post #12
Thursday November 14, 2013 2:37pm

Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts: 1,174
Lol if Iniesta and Xavi are on that list, then might as well throw in Messi.. Unless people think he can pull a D10S during his Napoli spell..

richieJkulesaNY
Post #13
Thursday November 14, 2013 2:56pm

Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts: 1,016
Beckham is definitely not overrated as a soccer player. Scholes!? you cant be serious. One of the most underrated players of all time. He's also scored some of the greatest goals you'll ever see. When you say that players around him looked great when they played, I think that says a lot, in a complimentray fashion, about Scholes.

Know Nothing
Post #14
Thursday November 14, 2013 4:36pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 1,702
Original post from dolcem

Well I guess your choice would be Stevie G because I know a lot of people that would totally disagree with what you said...he's not the player he used to be but you've never seen him take a game by the scruff of the neck? There have been so many times he has absolutely carried that Liverpool team. I've seen him completely take control of games (this was 5-10 years ago). I've never seen Lampard take control of games. My thing with Lampard is that he's not really good at anything other than long-range finishing. He's not creative and not a great passer. Stevie G, on the other hand, for me, was the most creative English player of his generation and a very good passer. For what it's worth, one of my friends is a diehard Evertonian (from Merseyside) and he thinks Stevie G was the best English midfielder of this generation and that he was twice the player Frank was.



Sorry, I must be missing something then. To me, Gerrard is all industry, running all over the place, sometimes to great effect other times to the detriment to the team. I would say this is the reason he and Lampard could not play together as one always had to cover for the other and with Gerrard running all over the place Lampard was left to play a more limiting holding role. As I am sure you can tell, I prefer the more cerebral type of player who puts themselves in good positions.

Also, it is easier to shine when a team is built around you, as your argument is suggesting. Lampard has not had that luxury where Gerrard has, so to suggest Lamps could not have carried the team is pure speculation. Switch the two and perhaps Lamps would have shined more.

Scout92
Lone Star State(Gun State)
Post #15
Thursday November 14, 2013 7:12pm

Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts: 1,424
Agree that all Barca players individuly are overatted, they have a certain style they play that plays into their own attributes. And have a pack together and anticipate where the others will be..busquets, messi, xavi, inesta. Dont get me wrong they are fantastic players but a bit overrated. Something I notced is that Bayern are becoming the same way.

Players that def arent overrated Ibrahimovic, has had success at every club if coach isnt stupid..Cristiano Ronaldo has proved to be consitent his whole career while carrying Real Madrid. Sucks only one is going to WC..its a sad thing for any football/soccer watcher..

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