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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It's the question every man/woman asks themselves. Is bigger better? ;)

Why do some national team coaches insist on selecting big men even if they are fairly limited players with average ball skills and relatively low scoring rates? (Based on Marc's thread in the English NT forum on Heskey)

I know that it's good for a player to be pose an aerial threat at set pieces, and that many of these big target men are good at holding the ball up for their team mates. i just think it would probably be better to field your most skillful players and not worry too much about their size. the increasing number of tall forwards has led to the introduction of more tall defenders with limited skills like Materazzi, Laursen or Zebina in response, further lowering the quality of the players in action.

What do you blokes think?

note: i'm not asking about big players who score lots of goals and are good finishers (eg. Henry, Bierhoff, Adriano or Koller) but just the ones who seem to get picked by managers because they're big in the hope that quicker or more skillful forwards can "play off them".

These are some examples of the style of player I'm talking about to get you thinking.
(sorry if the pics don’t work, I’ll try to find some others)

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:star: Emile Heskey :star: (England; Birmingham City; 1978; 188cm; 86kg)

Likeable but limited England forward who has been a regular feature of SGE England squads. typically used along with quicker, more skillful strikers such as Defoe, Rooney or Owen. He is big and strong but not very effective and leads me to wonder why he is considered such a good option at international level.

:star: Bernardo Corradi :star: (Italy; Valencia; 1976; 190cm; 86kg)

Primitive and virtually useless striker who is probably one of the most untalented men to ever represent Italy in over a century. He has maintained a poor scoring rate at almost every level and yet has been selected by both Trapattoni and Lippi. Why did Valencia even sign him. He does his best for club and country though and I respect that.

:star: Carsten Jancker :star: (Germany; Kaiserslautern; 1974; 193cm, 90kg)

Tall as a medieval German church steeple, and unfortunately (for himself and the church), even less mobile. I like this player because you can tell he cares and puts a lot of effort into his game, but surely he is not a good enough to player to be selected for a prestigious country like Germany.

:star: Grizzly Bear :star: (Origin and Birth Date Unkown; c. 250+cm, c. 300+kg)

Not overly responsive to instructions and known to be fairly temperamental and lose his head on occasion, but with an unrivalled aerial presence. Arguably also possesses superior ball skills to any of Jancker, Heskey or Corradi. Defenders from Nesta to Raul Bravo will run for cover.
 

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I'd say that size only matters in two positions; center-back and striker.
 

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lili said:
I would say, size doesn't matter at all,
Most girls would disagree.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
oh well, i can't get these pictures to work. i've got to go to a class now :( so hopefully you can use you imagination instead :). i'll have another go at it later.
 

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Jan Koller is probably the most technically gifted big man in the game, hes a bad ass !
 

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what would be the requirement of being big(insert sexual inuendo).... :howler:

but seriously other than the obvious, is it being over 6ft tall....

does zidane,batistuta,ballack and guys in the past like the dutch teams in the 70's, carlos alberto ,bobby moore come under this category..
 

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At the highest level size is not all that important, although it does make a big difference if you have a player in your team who poses an aerial threat.

If anyone has watched English lower league football then they will know that clubs often field a team of giants. Many are well over 6ft. This isn't because they don't play football but because the games tend to be very physical. Smaller players would just get brush aside.
 

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I saw Peter Crouch play a few times and I actually think he's like a slightly less skilful version of Zlatan. This guy has got potential.. and he's tall alright. :)
 

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Russell said:
At the highest level size is not all that important, although it does make a big difference if you have a player in your team who poses an aerial threat.

If anyone has watched English lower league football then they will know that clubs often field a team of giants. Many are well over 6ft. This isn't because they don't play football but because the games tend to be very physical. Smaller players would just get brush aside.

yes it is, it's because they don't play football, stick Zola in the lower leagues and see whether he would get brushed aside. :shades:

basically it's shit picking players for the size, and English football has been the biggest criminal in this respect, especially picking our younger teams, the size of the player was the most important factor for many year with our pathetic coaches. :yuck:
 

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Great Outdoors said:
I saw Peter Crouch play a few times and I actually think he's like a slightly less skilful version of Zlatan. This guy has got potential.. and he's tall alright. :)

To compare Peter Crouch to Zlatan is pushing the definition of the word 'talent'. ;)
 

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Forget players, Most people aren't 6'5 plus, They are rare in the world and to be a top flight footballer at average height its like 1 out of every million chance so its obvious that these giants aren't going to common in the game, And its going to be even more rare to find supertalents that are tall, Finding them at normal height is extremely rare.

Jan Koller is like 6'8 right? This ain't tall this is giant stuff, Its like saying why aren't there any dwarfs playing for Brasil, Its rare because these people are rare in the world anyway. Im about 6'5 same height as Carew and he would be a good striker if he had more composure infront of goal, Thats confidence and nothing to do with height. Guys like Vieira Zlatan Kanu etc show that its not a big deal but doing freakish stuff like pure giants like Koller or Crouch isn't really fair because like I said you won't find many people in your street this height even if they aren't players.


Anyway football is way more universal than a 2nd rate sport like Basketball for example.


BTW Jern great point about the stupid coaches in England, Seriously it should be about developing the individual talent and not all about how their academy teams do in those meaningless leagues.No point going for 11 year olds who look 14 just based on the size factor and not real talent when they can't keep this advantage up come 18, And thats when the team is important.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
SOC_FAN said:
what would be the requirement of being big(insert sexual inuendo).... :howler:

but seriously other than the obvious, is it being over 6ft tall....

does zidane,batistuta,ballack and guys in the past like the dutch teams in the 70's, carlos alberto ,bobby moore come under this category..
well my thought was that big would be something like 6'2 or 6'3 and over.

in a sense there is a clear advantage to being big. Adriano is a great example, because he's nearly perfect as a striker (aside from not using his right foot) and on top of that he can function as a taget man and has a massive physical presence in the box due to his height and build.

on the other hand, there could be a striker with a similar level of ability, but smaller, like Owen, that could risk his place in England's side because of this. for example, if SGE decided that he would prefer to partner Rooney with someone tall (not that he would it's just an example), he would possibly prefer a limited player like Heskey just to meet this requirement.

personally i think it's better to field as much quality as possible and not worry about the physique of your strikers, maybe missing out on a bit of height in the process. of course this could compromise the team if you are winning a lot of corners or free kicks though.

the Italian NT has a problem in this regard because there is a notion that you should not field two strikers with similar qualities up front. if Rooney and Owen were both Italian for example, and they were the best we had, one would probably sit on the bench anyway and the other would often play up front with someone like Heskey.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Faisal, that's exactly my point. 6'5 + people are uncommon, but increaingly they are being picked ahead of shorter players.

if i have a team with a tall forward like Ibrahimovic (6'4), and i am playing against you, than you will want someone tall in your side to mark him for set pieces. let's say all the good tall CB's are taken (more or less true), than you may field someone like Dellas (6'6) or Zebina (6'3) even if they're not the best defenders going around.

overall, sometimes it seems like teams are competing to have taller defenders than their opponents forwards and vice versa. and with the limited supply of big, talented players, like you mentioned, it's inevitable that the quality of football matches even at the highest level will decline to the point where Italy would rather take Corradi (big and useless) to Euro 2004 than Miccoli (all the talent in the world, but only 5'6).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Faisal said:
I find it funny how people bring up Heskey into this when Adriano is the same height and he is the best striker in the world.
Faisal, Adriano is excellent and his height is just a bonus.

but Heskey is often preferred to more talented players in England just because of his size (i'm guessing, i can't imagine why else). this is what my thread is about. i'm suggesting that the size of forwards and even defenders these days may be a bit overrated.
 

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Well thats tactics.

Same can be said about fast players too, But let me just point out that there are some fast players that are talented just like there are some tall people that are talented.

Physical advantages will always be there mate,We are born in different shapes and sizes but talent is talent, You get it and you ain't born with it.
 
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