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Who should wear #10?

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Discussion Starter #1
We really haven't had one since Boban. Kovac is just a guy who wears #10 and it's really inappropriate if you ask me. It's a number of prestige and should be reserved for a special type of player.

We now have 3 players capable of wearing that shirt, not many teams can say that. Vote!
 

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I voted for Ivan Rakitic. What gives him the edge in my eyes is his aggressiveness. This is a player who truly is the essence of attacking football. He's always looking to move the ball forward and he does it quickly. He's very good at passes both in the air and on the ground, he makes great off the ball runs, he seems to know what he's going to do before he gets the ball and he's got a great shot.
 

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Kovac wearing #10 is totally crazy, and stupid, I agree with that.

I think Kranjcar should take it because of his creativity and technique. Rakitic is more of a #7 the way I see it, while Modric should have a Zidane like #5.
 

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We really haven't had one since Boban. Kovac is just a guy who wears #10 and it's really inappropriate if you ask me. It's a number of prestige and should be reserved for a special type of player.
I agree. I still don't know how Kovac got the sacred #10...

My vote for the #10 goes to Niko. He is the complete package.
 

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its not a really big deal to me, luka is world class, rakitic is world class in the making, but for some reason i think niko deserves it. maybe just because of how we have watched him persevere and develop from "the coaches son" to one of our most solid players for the NT as well as for Pompey
 

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It's too early to give it to Rakitic so I think that out of Niko and Luka, Niko is more the classic #10 even though Luka may be more the modern #10. Still, I'm a classic kinda guy. :)
 

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right now the closest think we have to a #10 player is kranjcar..
 

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Well, we had Dario Simic wearing our sacred #7, so an number doesn't mean much all these days ;)

In old terms, Kranjcar certainly fits the stereotype of what an #10 should be :) Personally, i would like Rakitic to get it, but doesn't really matter as long as the boys give 100% for the shirt, i'm happy.
 

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I doubt Krunchie would want to part with his no.19 so give it to Rakitic, unless Modric wants it instead. :smileani:
 

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#10 Modrić - Given the freedom to play a free role in the NT he'd easily be the most deserving of the desetka.

#8 Kranjčar - If Prosinečki wore it, so can Niko. :D

#7 Rakitić - If Asa wore it...:smileani:
 

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Gallas took the #10 at Arsenal after Bergkamp retired, so numbers mean s.hit all in todays soccer. I would say give it to Modric because he is the team and the motor behind it, i would even strongly consider giving him the captaincy after Euro 08.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I agree that numbers don't mean as much these days but still, it's nice to keep some traditions. It's sad to see guys like Crespo (at Lazio) and Owen wearing #10.
 

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Modric.
 

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Niko Kranjcar is the most elegant player, he's also our most creative player imho (don't start a discussion about this topic again! ;)), but I voted for Modric, since he deserves it the most. He's the machine, our whole game is based on him.
 

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Modric maps a future for the old-school playmaker

Classic No10s such as Riquelme may remain a glorious anachronism in the best Argentinian tradition but Croatia's creative figurehead points the way ahead in Europe

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/may/06/croatiafootballteam.europeanfootball

* Jonathan Wilson
* guardian.co.uk,
* Tuesday May 6 2008
* Article history

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This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Tuesday May 06 2008. It was last updated at 10:34 on May 06 2008.
Luka Modric

Modric is ready to make his mark at Euro 2008 ... and then at White Hart Lane. Photograph: Ian Kington/AFP/Getty Images

Until last week, the only time I had seen Juan Román Riquelme in the flesh was when England beat Argentina in that friendly in Geneva in 2005. That night he was superb, embarrassing Ledley King, and it was almost as though the surge of relief after he was withdrawn with five minutes remaining carried England to score two late goals and win a game in which they'd been outplayed. But even that is not really to see Riquelme.

No, to see him truly you have to see him in his natural habitat, playing for Boca Juniors in the Bombonera, at the court he holds in his thrall. I saw him in Boca's 2-1 win over Cruzeiro in the Copa Libertadores last Wednesday, when he was very, very good; then on Sunday in the superclassico against River Plate, when he was very, very bad (although he was still far better than poor, broken Ariel Ortega).

In both games there was a palpable thrill in the crowd when he came into possession, a sense of expectation, a desire for him to do something, anything even vaguely constructive so they could sing his name. Riquelme once commented that when his side lost, it was always his responsibility. That is neither self-pity nor arrogance: it is simply the truth.

To a British eye at least, the way he plays is astonishing. He is the creative fulcrum, rarely venturing back into his own half, despite Boca fielding two orthodox centre-forwards in Martin Palermo and Rodrigo Palacio. This is a position – the "enganche" (literally, the "hook") – that simply no longer exists in western Europe. Perhaps in Argentina, where there is a self-conscious artistry to the football, the role will linger, but the comparison with Croatia, another nation where the No10 has historically been revered, is instructive. Evolution is never linear, so this is an over-simplification, but it could just be that while Riquelme is the last of the old-school playmakers, Luka Modric is the first of the new.

Even in Argentina, where the 4-3-1-2 remains the default, Riquelme is regarded as slightly old-fashioned. "Riquelme's brains," Jorge Valdano said, "save the memory of football for all time … he is a player of the time when life was slow and we took the chairs out on the streets to play with the neighbours." It is not quite true to say he never attempts to regain possession once it is lost, but he certainly doesn't prioritise chasing and harrying.

To watch Boca is to be reminded of an excessively unionised workplace in which no one dares go beyond the precise remit of their job description. At one point on Sunday Boca's holding midfielder Sebastian Battaglia, who headed the only goal and was generally excellent, won a tackle, steadied himself and began to advance into space, only to tap the ball needlessly to Riquelme when he reached the halfway line. He could have kept going, Riquelme could have made a run, there would have been options: but that is not the way things are done at Boca.

In Croatia the default formation, at least until very recently, has been the 3-4-1-2, a formation that places a similar creative burden on the number 10. That was the shape Zlatko Kranjcar employed in the 2006 World Cup, with his son Niko as the playmaker. In Germany the set-up was made to look sluggish and outmoded, partly because playing three centre-backs is only really effective against two out-and-out forwards and the majority of sides now play with only one striker (so instead of two markers and a libero, you get a marker, a libero and a redundant player, with the wing-backs forced back to deal with the opposing wide-men), but also because when there is only one creative outlet, it is relatively easy to stem the supply.

For years football was about individual battles, but since the Sixties it has become increasingly systematised. Valeriy Lobanovskyi always insisted that a team was "a dynamic energy system" in which the energy of the collective was greater than the sum of the energies of the individual units within it. In a sense the bonds between the units were of greater significance than the units themselves. What that means in practical terms is that whereas previously a playmaker could flourish if he could get the better of his marker, now he could find two or even three men on him – and this is the crucial part – without his team-mates being left dangerously free elsewhere on the pitch.

There were never 10 battles going on simultaneously; a systematised approach tries to move the players whose battles are not taking place at that specific time to over-man in key areas – essentially near the ball – rotating and moving accordingly. As Arrigo Sacchi puts it, a player should move not according to where he thinks a player in his position should move, but by assessing the position of the ball, his team-mates, the space and his opponents. Nothing is fixed, everything is relative.

All of which means that the classic playmaker is doomed. In Argentina, where the victory of system over the individual is not yet won, and in international football, in which a lack of training time means systems are necessarily less sophisticated, perhaps he will continue to prosper, but essentially Riquelme is a glorious anachronism. In Croatia too, system has yet fully to take hold, and Modric operates in a similar way for Dinamo Zagreb.

What has been striking about him, though, is the way he has changed his game at international level. When Slaven Bilic replaced Zlatko Kranjcar as national coach, he announced he was doing away with the 3-4-1-2 in favour of a Dutch-style 4-3-3. That created panic amid traditionalists, who see the playmaker as central to Croatian football, but they need not have worried. In the end Bilic settled on a 4-1-3-2, and managed to fit into that two players who have in the past played as No10s – Niko Kranjcar and Modric. Kranjcar is now happily adapted to a left-sided attacking midfield role, but Modric too has had to change his game.

"For Dinamo he plays in the hole but for the national team he's another midfielder, playing in the middle with Niko Kovac," Kranjcar explained. "He showed against England when he played against Barry, Lampard and Gerrard that he can cope in the middle of the pitch against English opposition. I don't think it will be a problem. He's maybe not going to push players around, but with his quickness of feet, and his balance and his vision he'll cope. He's really special. He's a player who's really comfortable on the ball. People enjoy having him in the team. He's quick of thought. Good with both feet, can run all day long, and he plays football. He's got a great future."

The Tottenham-bound Modric himself has spoken of the "increased defensive responsibility" he has with the national team, and that is what marks him out as a different kind of playmaker. He can take his place within a system, rather than living apart, having to have the system built around him as was the case with old-school No10s like Riquelme. None of that, of course, means that his apparently frail physical frame will necessarily be able to cope with an English season – it is a very different thing to survive a physical battering over the course of 38 games than in a one-off qualifier – but it does suggest the sort of intelligence and adaptability he will need to prosper in the Premier League. There is, to use that word so beloved of Lobanovskyi and Sacchi, a "universality" about him that marks him as a thoroughly modern player.
 

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^^^Great find, and totally on point.



It's too early to give it to Rakitic so I think that out of Niko and Luka, Niko is more the classic #10 even though Luka may be more the modern #10. Still, I'm a classic kinda guy. :)

I would agree with this. Again, not my team but I know what it takes.

Personally, you give it to your main man and that is Luka. I do understand what you are saying about him being more of a modern guy. No question.

I don't know that N. Kovac is the classic 10--but he deserves to wear the shirt no doubt.

Rakitic does show that he can do everything well for Schalke. But can he really pull the strings in an effective way??


Its too early to take it away from Niko, although I see some of you have voiced that you would like to maybe see it done because it seems out of tradition.

I don't think so, like it or not, he is the soul.

I don't see Modric changing from his familliar Cruyuff number anytime soon.

But, I have not seen anything from Rakitic to indicate that he should wear it--and I will be unconvinced untill 2012 when maybe he has seen a better hairdresser.
 

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