Xabi still relevant in a formation change?

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Xabi still relevant in a formation change? Empty Xabi still relevant in a formation change?

Post by Giovanni10 on Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:51 pm

Ok here's my controversial statement for the week. I agree with Huntsman from another thread to an extent, Xabi Alonso is dispensable, we don't really need him. With Sahin and Ozil, there are enough ball carrying players in the midfield, than to resort to Xabi's long distribution. I prefer a ball carrying midfield/short passing midfield.

Don't get me wrong, Xabi is great at what he does and his short pass is not to bad either, but his play is not incisive/inventive enough. That would be fine if he made up for it defensively but he is very soft physically.

If we're going to play 3 in midfield next year then Xabi won't cut the mustard defensively. We all know his best position is in a 2 man DM pivot.

We won't lose the long ball as an extra option, Pepe can be asked to to play the long ball from defense (his long ball is amazingly accurate).

If we play a midfield 3 I think most of us agree that a destroyer/ball winner needs to sit in front of the defense and not Xabi. Disscuss?
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Post by Guest on Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:03 pm

I love you man... but you are vastly underrating Xabi. He does everything for the team. He can be a good destroyer if asked, CM and even AM in an emergency. He's that good. You can never, ever replace a guy like him because he's so versatile and good at everything.

He does a lot of a the dirty work at Madrid and goes unnoticed unless things are not going well. The midfield is usually struggling because a) Xabi is not in there or b) he's not playing at his best.

I agree that we will not be as reliant as in the past on him to make the link in the midfield. But i think we will see him showing his talent even more. He will have more room to pick out his teammates with his passing because other teams will have to respect Sahin as another creative passer.

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Post by Giovanni10 on Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:23 pm

@sportsczy wrote:I love you man... but you are vastly underrating Xabi. He does everything for the team. He can be a good destroyer if asked, CM and even AM in an emergency. He's that good. You can never, ever replace a guy like him because he's so versatile and good at everything.

He does a lot of a the dirty work at Madrid and goes unnoticed unless things are not going well. The midfield is usually struggling because a) Xabi is not in there or b) he's not playing at his best.

I agree that we will not be as reliant as in the past on him to make the link in the midfield. But i think we will see him showing his talent even more. He will have more room to pick out his teammates with his passing because other teams will have to respect Sahin as another creative passer.

Consult the highlighted. I believe Mourinho is building a more functional team and he likes his players to have defined roles. Players with great versatility he prefers for the bench, to plug holes when they arise.

For me Alonso does not do everything well, he does everything ok. His main quality is his long distribution. He used to pick up a few goals from deep when he was at Liverpool but that he hasn't carried through to Real Madrid.

If Mourinho wants a DM in his side, he is going to put a proper DM there, whose first and foremost attribute is physicality. An Essien or a Costinha. In a midfield 3, you cannot have Xabi shielding the back four, we are going to be exposed. To cover this, Sahin/ or Whoever is going to have to play alongside Xabi. This puts you in a position where if you were going to play a DM,CM and an AM then you need to convert back to 2 DM's and only one AM.

If Xabi plays, there will be more pressure on Sahin to defend. He will end up sitting deep with Xabi and exchanging more passes with Xabi than with Ozil.
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Post by Sushi Master on Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:01 pm

The one sitting in front of the defense would be Khedira, in most cases. Sahin could pull it off with enough cover, as a sort of deep lying playmaker, since his defensive skills aren't too bad, but the only true workhorse you have is Khedira.

I can also imagine Mourinho putting Altintop as a part of that midfield, just because of his immense workrate and drive.
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Post by Jeps33178 on Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:44 pm

Time to debunk this stupid topic once and for all

Everyone thinks Xabis role is to distribute the ball when in fact his role is much more defensive, he leads our midfield in steals and has more than Lass and Khedira put together (Lass and Khedira also put in together more minutes)

Xabi has more steals per minute than either of Khedira or Lass, and more steals per minute then both put together

Xabi is also much more reliable

Source: Realmadrid.com

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