Luso Football

Blog dedicado às Camadas Jovens/Futebol de Formação do Sporting Clube de Portugal.

domingo, julho 16, 2006

Is The Wait Finally Over?




Is this it? Will this finally be the year where Carlos Martins finally fulfills his potential?

It was back on September 16th 2000 that Augusto Inácio gave him his debut appearance Vs Alverca (1-1 Draw) in which he got to play his first 32 minutes as a professional at the age of 18 years and 138 days.

The talent is obvious to the naked eye. Carlos Martins has the athleticism and willingness to go in hard on a tackle that a player like Hugo Viana lacks. No doubt Hugo Viana and especially Quaresma are tehcnically better and smoother but Martins compensates with explosiveness of his sprint and physical strenght and sturdiness.
He is the modern day Nº10 as exemplified by Francesco Totti, Roberto Baggio and António Cassano, a playmaker that doesn't restrict himself to being a creative unit and passing the ball but does go out to score goals as well as assists, it's what is regularly known as a 9 1/2.

Martins' talent is phenomenal, the problem is we rarely see it in 2 games in sucession. In the fall of 2004 he had a run of 3 games where he was breathtaking, when Sporting beat Guimarães 4-2 (with him scoring 2 goals) he was at his best, a playmaker explosive enough to sprint past defenders in a way reminiscent of how Ronaldo used to be back in Barcelona in the mid 90's once he was "fed" while already acelarating forward.

That Carlos Martins in particular if he can show up and show up regularly he is a National Squad calibre player but if he only unleashes his genius once or twice every season then there's not much use for him. I hope Paulo bento keeps his faith in him and let's him play, gives him as many minutes as necessary for him to finally hit his stride and get hios confidence because if and when he is able to duplicate his best form in several games in a row he can be the match winner, the creative unit who finally builds goals for Liedson and scores those that Deivid doesn't seem able to.

3 years ago and man about 85 years of age came to me to talk about Rochemback, Polga, Ricardo and I interrupted him and told him "Sporting's best player is Carlos Martins" and he asked who that was to which I replied "you'll see". A few times over the past 3 year Mister Taborda has rung me up to tell me "you were right, he is very talented". hopefully this is the year where rather than a "few times" I'll get to chat with Eduardo Taborda about Carlos Martins many, many times.

The talent is there, if he can't fulfill it then it's not my fault but it will be tragic that so much talent remains hidden and uncelebrated. I've been supportive of him through and through, he may not be the fantasista Quaresma is but his speed, his passing with the outside of the foot his ambidextrous ability (the left is better), his ability with FKs from 40-50 yards out, etc. Let's hope this is the year in which he comes out of the shadows and goes from an unknown to one of the most celebrated midfielders in Europe as he has shown he can be.

2000/01: Sporting, 1 League Game (32 minutes):

2001/02: Campo Maiorense, 27 League Games, 1 Goal

2002/03: Sporting, 15 League Games (623 minutes).

2003/04: Sporting, 14 League Games (478 minutes), 2 Goals.

2004/05: Sporting, 22 League Games (1128 minutes), 5 Goals, 6 Yellow Cards.

2005/06: Sporting, 21 League Games (1113 minutes), 2 Goals, 4 Yellow Cards.



André

8 Comments:

At 06:25, Anonymous Mourovsky said...

Thank you for answering, André. I´ll try to comment here in English to practice my written English. Thank you for inviting me to make analysis of tactics or players, and I will try to correspond it for sure, as soon as I end my internship this year… Now the time is short. According to what you´ve said, and correct me if i´m wrong, you like the diamond formation and a general 4-3-3. I enjoy the diamond formation too, and I think is very effective with 2 pacey side backs. I´m amazed that Mourinho won the Champions League with 2 slow side backs (P.Ferreira and Nuno Valente), but in the way to the final I noticed the lack of pacey side backs specially in the games against Deportivo in Dragão and with Lyon in Dragão. But…he managed to do it. I think this year he wants to have sufficient options to alternate between a diamond formation and a 4-3-3 and hiring Roberto Carlos, I think, is to compensate the lack of pacey side backs. But, in the right, with Ferreira or any other player, the right will be less pacier. What do you think about that? What´s your opinion about Mourinho´s ideas about Chelsea of 2006/2007?. Paulo Bento´s diamond formation is very safe in defence, but I think we miss pacier side backs too. In some games I noticed the lack of it, and i´m afraid that in next season will lack more tactical options in Sporting. We don´t have fast players (only Liedson maybe). I remember when Mourinho wrote in Record Dez that the fastest player in sporting midfield was Rochemback at the time. Now we even don´t have Rochemback I missed other tactical options and fast players specially in Sporting-0-Porto-1 in Alvalade, and I think that with these new players we have a more consolidated diamond formation witht several options for it, but we don´t have other variants for our game (well, we have Douala, but only because Borough didn´t want him). In that game against Porto, when we found a good team that didn’t give us space, i noticed a team that was short in width. Ok we have Nani, but the global movements of the team is short in width. I think this was and could be in the future the major problem of Sporting, but we never know, Mourinho´s diamond in Porto was very well calibrated and the global movements of the diamond compensated the lack of pacey sidebacks and fast players. But I don´t find it in Sporting. The team seems is slow and short in width, and is slow when tries to canalize the game through the wings (I noticed it so much against Porto…). What do you think about Bento´s diamond version 2? And, more important, how can we make a good dynamic of the diamond to compensate the lack of fast side backs and fast players in the diamond, specially to make the team grow fast in width and canalize a fluent game in wings. As I said, mourinho did it in a way, but I missed something more in the games of the CL that i told you. Even in Chelsea, I think it was against Liverpool in the 2nd leg of CL, correct me if i´m wrong, they missed fast alternatives and dynamic movements, specially in the wings. What do you think about all these? Um abraço. Gonçalo Moura

 
At 06:53, Anonymous Mourovsky said...

I know that the elements of the diamond must compensate each other very well. Costinha was the element that compensate everyone, and balanced the whole team, Deco and Maniche appeared everywhere, in the left, right, middle, outside and inside the area, and scoring goals. Pedro Mendes and Alenitchev were perfect to certain and different rythms of the team. Generally the 2004 Porto´s diamond was like this and I would like you to talk more about it. Do you think, that Sporting with the 9 elements (I think) we have in the squad, have players to create a good dynamic and don´t feel “stuck” in some games? How can we create such dynamic? And Benfica? 2 fast sidebacks and experienced players in midfield, do you think they have more advantage than Sporting for that tactical schema? I hope these are not too many questions for you  . Abraço.

 
At 06:54, Anonymous Mourovsky said...

9 elements of the squad, i mean, 9 elements that could play in the diamond midfield....

 
At 14:46, Anonymous PortoManiac said...

Love your blog it's on my favourites list. I'm not a Sporting fan as Porto is my first team, but I do enjoy watching them play. I hope Martins finally shows his true self and gets past his muscular problems. One of the best free kick takers in the league.

I usually post on this forum and you're welcome to join.
http://z14.invisionfree.com/FPF_Futebol/index.php?

 
At 18:05, Blogger André179 said...

"correct me if i´m wrong, you like the diamond formation and a general 4-3-3."

A system is only as good as long as it has the right players in the right positions to make it work. The diamond 4-4-2 if it has the right men, especially on the 3 lower vertices of the diamond can be a very tactically safe system with a lot of strength in midfield, and Mourinho's diamond in at Porto in mid 2004 was perfectly balanced with Costinha, Maniche and Pedro Mendes and Deco. It was a good system and it had the exact right players in order to make the most of it.

I'm also a big fan of the doule pivoted 4-4-2 (or 4-4-1-1 of Arsenal's), Lyon's 4-3-3 is also quite interesting tactically and not enough coach's use the 4-1-3-1-1 but I like it as well. In today's football the wingers and playmaker don't really play like they used to and football is a lot less creative and with less speed.

"I enjoy the diamond formation too, and I think is very effective with 2 pacey side backs. I´m amazed that Mourinho won the Champions League with 2 slow side backs (P.Ferreira and Nuno Valente),"

Paulo Ferreira was the attacking FB, Nuno Valente always stays behind in order to help the DM or become the 3rd CB, he's tall, tactically very solid and cold headed, he is not as flashy as PF but defencively he is very solid.

"but in the way to the final I noticed the lack of pacey side backs specially in the games against Deportivo in Dragão and with Lyon in Dragão."

Mourinho was close to the CL final and he got tentative and started playing surer and surer bets, by that stage he didn't want to dazzle, he wanted to win. Mourinho 2003/04 was much more defensive than he was in 2002/03 where his 4-3-3 was a lot flashier and offensive.

"But…he managed to do it. I think this year he wants to have sufficient options to alternate between a diamond formation and a 4-3-3"

Without Tiago he's lost passing quality in midfield going forward and they still don't have a quality LB and Makelele is now 2 years older than in 2004. It's 3 major problems he needs to address and Ballakc, Shevchenko, Kalou aren't directioned towards fixing those. I think Chelsea was clearly inferior in 2005/06 and the problems have not been fixed as they head into a new season. I think defensively Chelsea will be even less impressive in 2006/07. I prefered the 2004/05 version by far.

""and hiring Roberto Carlos, I think, is to compensate the lack of pacey side backs."

At Chelsea PF is the contention FB and he needs an attacking FB on the left to add depth to the attack but neither Bridge nor Del horno provided that and as a result Chelsea started loosing attacking depth and defending more.

"But, in the right, with Ferreira or any other player, the right will be less pacier. What do you think about that? What´s your opinion about Mourinho´s ideas about Chelsea of 2006/2007?.

I think he needs to see if Diarra is really a credible new Makelele because Claude Makelele despite what the media say about Lampard and terry the truth is Makelele has been Chelsea's best player this past 2 years, without him Chelsea is a completely different team. Zambrotta or Roberto Carlos could give the sort of dynamic that Chelsea needs on the left. Chelsea whether they play in 4-3-3 (they won't unless they are desperate) or diamond 4-4-2 they need somebody in the middle to provide a passing link between the DM and the creative units and since Tiago left they don't have one. Essien is too similar to Makelele and technically inferior to Tiago.

"Paulo Bento´s diamond formation is very safe in defence, but I think we miss pacier side backs too."

Abel is the attacking FB and MC the contention one. MG can be the right's contention FB and Ronny the left's attacking FB (Edson could have fit in here as well). In modern football the 2 FBs don't come up at the same time, one always stays behind to double the CBs. Ferreira stays these days, Valente stays, Caneira stays, etc.

"In some games I noticed the lack of it, and i´m afraid that in next season will lack more tactical options in Sporting. We don´t have fast players (only Liedson maybe). I remember when Mourinho wrote in Record Dez that the fastest player in sporting midfield was Rochemback at the time. Now we even don´t have Rochemback I missed other tactical options and fast players specially in Sporting-0-Porto-1 in Alvalade, and I think that with these new players we have a more consolidated diamond formation witht several options for it, but we don´t have other variants for our game (well, we have Douala, but only because Borough didn´t want him). In that game against Porto, when we found a good team that didn’t give us space, i noticed a team that was short in width."

Unlike Mourinho PB still has problems changing from 4-4-2 diamond to a more ofensive system and partially because he doesn't have the options, when he subbed Abel in the game VS Porto he costed us the game. Had Abel stayed in we would get a draw and would still be a few points behind. PB needs to starts sacrificing one of the 4 midfielders whenever he wants to add another attacking unit ans shift to a 4-3-3 without a playmaker. But I'm not anti-PB, he's the best coach we've had in ages, he's sensible and astute and we need him more than any player. I rather have a great coach and mediocre players than 5 galácticos and a José Peseiro.

"Ok we have Nani, but the global movements of the team is short in width."

The modern game is played with less and less width these days unless the teams are desperate, you don't really see wingers employed in the same way as 15 years ago because teams today are more compact and there's less space between the 3 sectors. Mourinho's 4-4-2 doesn't have wingers, only when desperate does he change to a 4-3-3 with a fixed striker and 2 wide playing wingers.

"I think this was and could be in the future the major problem of Sporting, but we never know, Mourinho´s diamond in Porto was very well calibrated and the global movements of the diamond compensated the lack of pacey sidebacks and fast players."

Mourinho didn't play with wingers either. in 2002/03 he barely used Clayton and Capucho was often used as "Forward-Right" and Derlei as "Forward-Left". In 2003/04 he completely abandoned wingers except for the odd experiment with Peixoto. In 2003/04 Porto played with even less width but added density to their midfield.

"But I don´t find it in Sporting. The team seems is slow and short in width, and is slow when tries to canalize the game through the wings (I noticed it so much against Porto…). What do you think about Bento´s diamond version 2? And, more important, how can we make a good dynamic of the diamond to compensate the lack of fast side backs and fast players in the diamond, specially to make the team grow fast in width and canalize a fluent game in wings. As I said, mourinho did it in a way, but I missed something more in the games of the CL that i told you. Even in Chelsea, I think it was against Liverpool in the 2nd leg of CL, correct me if i´m wrong, they missed fast alternatives and dynamic movements, specially in the wings. What do you think about all these? Um abraço. Gonçalo Moura

I think the MAJOR problem of Sporting is the lack of a creative unit linking the diamond to the forwards. It's tough to play a 4-4-1-1 with Liedson because he's too small to play alone so we need to keep the 4-4-2 but the upper vertice of the diamond needs to be a true Nº10 and preferably a fast and attacking minded modern Nº10 that adds speed and goals to the XI and there's only one player like that in the cub and that's Carlos Martins. If we can add CM at his very best to last years' formation then we will be a better team, other than that I don't really see any major weaknesses in Paulo Bento's ideas and I'm quite optimist even though I think Porto will win the league and looking better than last year but we will also be better than last year and I'm fairly confident we'll get past the group stages of the CL for the first time since GOD knows when.

Sporting lacks a playmaker and it needs one that not only provides creativity but can break forward and provide goals, we need Carlos Martins, he can be pivotal.

Romagnolli despite what the critics say he is a very technically gifted player with agreat vision but he lacks athleticism and physical strenght, he'll be better this season but he's not the answer.

André

 
At 18:17, Blogger André179 said...

I think Custódio will almost certainly start in the diamond as DM.

Moutinho will play always regardless of where, in any of the 3 upper vertices.

The other 2 positions are less clear. Carlos Paredes will likely play as "Inside-Right" and not DM and João Alves will be an option for that position.

As for the playmaker, PB will try Nani, CM and Moutinho in it and even Romagnolli and I really don't know if Nani is ready or if CM can finally grab his opportunty. I suspect Nani will take a quantum leap in quality on the coming 5 months, I think he's ready to take it up another gear and he and Liedson will be our best ofensive players.

It could very well be this diamond.

----------Nani----------
Moutinho----------Carlos Paredes
----------Custódio----------

I honestly like Benfica's diamond, even losing Manuel Fernandes and Simão I think it looks very interesting. It's a dimaond with less dynamic of movement than previous Benfica midfields but it looks VERY mature in th ay it plçay and I think Karagounis and Katsouranis will both impress a lot of people. People are alreayd bitching about last night's loss but Benfica's mifield was NOT to blame and I really like that game and the previous one, the midfield looks very interesting.

----------Rui Costa----------
Karagounis----------Katsouranis
----------Petit----------


André

 
At 23:52, Anonymous Mourovsky said...

You´re absolutely right. In these days, the diamond needs a side back that attacks more and the other stays more in the back, as a 3rd central sometimes. Even though i think Paulo Ferreira is not the right guy to play as attacking side back, thats why Mourinho wants Roberto Carlos ( i myself prefere philip lahm). Do you think that in Benfica he will use Alcides and Leo or 2 attacking sidebacks like Leo and Nélson?. I think katsouranis is a fantastic player, i loved the greek dynamic in euro 2004, that midfield seemed to know always what to do, and katsouranis, like basinas , zagorakis and karagounis or giannakopoulos, they not always helped to a double marking in defence, but when they recovered the ball they look like a flower blossom, the team opened with fluent movements. Katsouranis is a perfect guy to balance a team, and in a diamond formation, he´s perfect to mantain the equilibrium of the team.

If you think Mourinho will only use the 4-3-3 in a extreme situation, don´t you think it´s a problem to mantain duff and robben, 2 players that won´t like to stay that much in the bench, and even wright philips.

To center midfield, i think he can use lampard for it, and ballack as nº10. don´t you think lampard could be a good CM, with good passing ability (when he uses 4-3-3… in a diamond formation he will be in one of the side vertices).

About Sporting, ok, Carlos Martins could be a nº10, and a good one, but what I was saying is that in the game against porto, I felt the team stuck, and low in some transitions. For instance, I don´t remember of any cross that we have made in the ending line. We were very slow to canalize the game through the wings, and escape the pressure of porto midfield, and I noticed that against other teams, but they were not that good as porto. In a diamond formation, the lack of wingers don´t mean that the team can´t go to the wings and cross, of course that should happen, but I think sporting is slow in their movements, and we notice that against team that pressure our midfield, like porto did, we got stuck and couldn´t do 3 or 4 passes in a row.

Benfica can alternate to a 4-3-3, can use a fast side back in the left or right, with alcides or Ricardo rocha being the other side back, and has good players for the diamond. Yes, i´m very curious to see what game benfica can make, they have the players for it, it should be interesting. We also have interesting players, but I think we can be a bit predictable, specially because we don´t have an alternative tactic solution.

Gonçalo
.

 
At 00:53, Anonymous Mourovsky said...

Don´t misunderstand me. I like paulo Boento and i also think he´s the best think that happened to Sporting in recent years. He brought stability, players trust him, brought a stable tactical schema, etc. Sporting is also good for him, because he´s in a learning stage, and Sporting, with few options, makes him use and improve what he knows. Maybe in a team with lots of options he would have more difficulties. So they´re good for each other. Its good to have a tactic definition that players know what to expect from them. But because of all of this, maybe sporting looses some versatility in their game, just that.

 

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