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Home -> Blogs -> Free Kick -> Kroos Better than Reus? Busquets Better than Ozil?

Kroos Better than Reus? Busquets Better than Ozil?

Dec 15, 2015 09:04

We have seen the likes of Toni Kroos, Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano maintain a better passing percentage than most outfield players. Along with this they also have a good interception and tackling ratio than other midfielders and some defenders game after game. The question arises, Is it that they are more talented than others? No. Marco Reus, Mesut Ozil, Mario Gotze are also highly talented individuals. What needs to be considered here is the fact that their statistics have a lot to do with their playing position. A position that is often overlooked by many but is key in nature, The aforementioned players were Defensive Midfielders. So What is this position? Let us dig deeper.

A CDM or a central defensive midfielder can very well be described as the heart of the game, their role is generally underappreciated and they have to work tirelessly all around the pitch. They are usually neglected in today’s game but are as important as any star player as they help add a certain level of balance to the team. While everyone looks at Ronaldo’s tricks, Messi’s Dribbling, Ibra’s finishing, and numerous players’ crosses, It’s the defensive midfielders who work throughout the game to provide support to the defense as well as help the offence if need be. The important factor that most people ignore is that without the defensive midfielder, most teams fail to perform in the long run.

The position has seen many changes over the years and can be classified into three categories. Full Defensive Midfielder, holding midfielder and a hybrid amongst the two.

1. Defensive Midfielder

Their main job is to break the oppositions play. Rely mainly on ability to read the game as well as good tackling. They are generally strong in nature. However, it is not necessary as a CDM with a smaller stature can be combative as well.

Eg: Xabi Alonso (strong CDM, good passing ability & great tactical awareness)

Eg: Javier Mascherano (smaller CDM, combative in nature, great at last minute tackling)

2. Holding Midfielder

These arehighly technical defensive midfielders; their primary job is of the offensive nature. They have the luxury and willingness to roam a little farther up the pitch. They are capable of performing defensively as well even though they may not be able to play as physical as a classic defensive midfielder.These midfielders mainly ‘hold’ their position in front of the defence while tactically making key interceptions so as to nullify opposition threats. Their main strength is anticipation and even though they may not be good tacklers, they get the job done by putting pressure on the attacking players.

Eg: Andrea Pirlo. He is also known as the architect because of the aforementioned reasons.

3. Hybrid

These Midfielders receive the ball from the defence after which they set up the play by passing it to the players ahead. They are both physical and the technical by nature, but do not necessarily possess the physical attributes as a Defensive Midfielder. This is why they can both be categorized as a defensive midfielder or a holding midfielder. The holding midfielder can affect the game by going ahead, well into the oppositions half unlike the Volante who like to stay a little more towards the defensive side while making ample space ahead of them.

Eg:- Barcelona’s Most Under Rated CDM, Sergio Busquets is the prime example of this type of midfielder. He can tirelessly perform his defensive duties while being able to push forward if need be. Claude Makalele was less technical but was could set up the play very well. Michael Carrick is much less physical but can provide his team much more technically as well as through his passing. Makelele is a defensive midfielder type Hybrid, while Carrick is the Holding midfielder type Hybrid.

Now one may wonder what makes a good CDM? A Good CDM has to be strong with his interceptions. They depend upon their ability to read the game so as to provide cover to the defense. They also possess good communication skills which helps them break down attacks with the help of his defense lines. Strong Ariel Presence, Vision, Composure, Stamina, Long Passing and Ball Control are some key attributes which help the midfielder function efficiently. Strength, Speed, Balance and Long shooting abilities are all additional traits and aren’t necessary but they would help a CDM more lethal.

From players who are completely defense oriented to players who are attack minded, the role has seen a lot of changes over the years. Claude Mekelele had been revolutionary for the role and was considered as one of the best Defensive Midfielders of all times, Sergio Busquets has been a part of treble winning Barcelona squad both times. Most CDM’s go unnoticed because of their role in the game but if one breaks down the game, they play one the most important roles. Watch Busquets contributions for Barcelona and Spain.

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