Recently I watched this video;
It’s an interesting debate, with Gordon Watson and Mina Rizouki both making interesting points about the Euro’s , but what really grinds my gears are the first and last clips in the video, when they discuss Group C and more specifically, Italy’s prospects of making it through to the knockout stages.
Watson makes his point that he feels the Italian players are not mobile enough and will struggle to break down a disciplined Ireland side, only to be interrupted by Rzouki laughing at him. When asked why she feels Italy will come second in the group, she begins to talk of the Italian players as though they are world beaters. She says Antonio Cassano ‘is probably one of the most creative geniuses we have in modern day football’. This is quite frankly wrong*. He is good but I can name many similar players much more deserving of that praise.
So why has she said Cassano is, what he is not?
*Messi, Rooney & Tevez all play Cassano’s role better .
In the last part of the video, the group are discussing players comparable to Andrea Pirlo. Andrea Pirlo has had a fine season with Juventus, and is quite rightly considered as one of the best midfielders in the world right now. But the way Rzouki dismisses players like Yaya Toure and Mesut Özil as not coming anywhere near to Andrea Pirlo is unfair. Both have had astounding seasons for their respective clubs and played an essential part in both title wins, in a similar way to Pirlo. Why is his accomplishment any better than what they have achieved?
So why is Pirlo being heralded as some kind of divine entity by the rest of the world?
Luka Modric is quality player with tremendous ability, yet the reason Rzouki criticises him is because he played poorly in a few games towards the end of the season. The explanation: he was rarely rested, played out of position and with Rafael van der Vaart not playing to his full potential, had to carry too much of Tottenham’s creative burden. Had Modric had the Juventus team built around him like Pirlo had I believe that he would have done just as well if not better.
It is amazing that Paul Scholes is the only Premier League player who goes down on peoples list of the all time greats. Is Frank Lampard’s goalscoring record not valid, because they weren’t scored abroad? Has any player carried their team like Steven Gerrard has? Why is Oxlade-Chamberlain not in the same bracket of young talent as Mario Götze or Thiago Alcantara?