Thiago created 0 big chances from open play for Bayern last season.

If you think Liverpool's data analysis and scouting teams sat down and picked him out as a player that would 'solve creativity' then you have zero understanding of football.
Thiago is a controller. He helps teams impose the will on the opponent by winning the battle in midfield - keeping the ball away from the opponent, forcing the opponent to surrender the ball if they get it.
He is also a ball progressor. His numbers stand out in terms of moving his team up the pitch and getting the ball into the final 3rd where your more creative players and finishers take over.
The problem is a lot of people don't watch the Bundesliga. They didn't know what he does - so sat down and watched a compilation packaged that showed his best 10 passes resulting in goalscoring chances and thought - wow, he must do that all the time.
There is also a need on FT to criticise players for what they are not which entirely ignores the point of a team needing a mix of skills.

A midfield with all creators is every bit as dysfunctional as a midfield of all destroyers - the dysfunction just looks different.
If you have a guy that breaks up play and recovers the ball at a high level, as well as being one of if not the best at linking play in the world and offers decent penetration to get the ball into the creative players and scorers - he is a good player.
That describes Alonso, Pirlo and so many other deep-lying controllers.

The 'deep-lying' part of that implies they tend t perform their tasks far from the opponents goal hence why they usually are in the low end for goals and assists themselves. This isn't a problem - you don't
want your whole midfield trying to get into the box for their own numbers. Who then is breaking up counters and giving you structure behind the ball to defend transitions if everyone piles into the box.
It's fine to criticise and not rate players. However, if you are justifying this by listing things that are not important to their role then it suggests you don't understand what makes a midfield functional and what his role is in that.
- top 1 percentile for progressive passes
- top 2 percentile for passes into the final 3rd
- top 5 percentile for through-balls
- top 8 percentile for shots created in open play
- top 13 percentile for passes into the box

This is progressive, penetrative and creative passing
- top 4 ball carries
- top 5 carries into the final 3rd
- top 9 progressive carries

This is advancing the ball up the pitch carrying the ball

These things are valuable. I know English football perfected the art of bypassing the middle of the pitch with Allardyce-like hoofball
for years. But it proved ineffective and detrimental to your chances of winning the game. Now we use midfielders to move the ball from defence to the final 3rd. And Thiago excels at that.

To be clear - top 4 = top 4 percentile. I got tired copy-pasting that word at some point :D

All numbers listed here are percentiles.

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More from @babuyagu

26 Apr
I don't know how to quantify what a deep-lying playmaker does.

Playmaker implies creativity.

So assists then?

He has no assists, he must be shit at being a deep-lying playmaker.

He didn't have many last season either. He has always been shit then.

The highest rated
deep-lying playmakers of all time don't have many assists either (Alonso, Pirlo, etc).

So they are all shit then too.

You see people fall into similar traps ALL THE TIME on here. Even people who are usually very good at using data.

From @CraqueStats radar launch article 👇

To help anybody struggling with the Thiago conundrum. This is what you need for a functioning midfield. Which of these functions do you think Thiago excelled in at Bayern? Which of the 3 players is he most similar to?
Read 5 tweets
26 Apr
This is something that came up in a podcast that became redundant as we finished recording as the English clubs pulled out.

We are seeing it as greed but for those 12 clubs it is survival. They are looking for solutions to serious financial problems which the death of FFP will
only exacerbate and instead of UEFA doing anything to solve it - they are talking punitively. What will that really do? How does that solve ANY problem?

Meanwhile Bordeaux go into administration, many other teams will follow and the sole focus remains on 'those 12 bastards'.
As a society, as are experts at being distracted into focusing on symptoms rather than the problem.

Greed and corruption is a cancer in the game. The ESL is a symptom of that - a group wanting to collectively solve the problems unique to them. Because the model in football is
Read 13 tweets
25 Apr
Assuming our budget for a forward is in the Jota price range this summer, who do you think might be on our shortlist.

I have seen Daka, Vlahovic, Pedro Neto (pre-injury) and Raphinha linked. Any others that the media have mentioned or that you think might fit the bill?
Btw please don't make a list of 14 players we could sell to raise the money to sign Mbappe.

As a Betis fan, I gotta hate :D

Didn't know we had been linked. Interesting one.
Read 4 tweets
25 Apr
Why is it that the big sports media accounts start every article or tweet with

"last week 12 billionaires tried to wreck/destroy/steal football for no reason than their own greed".

Honest question, if I asked your assessment of football 2 weeks ago what would it be?
IMO, it's shite.

FIFA & UEFA are corrupt governing bodies profiteering off of it.

The 2018 & 2022 World Cup votes were awarded purely based on corruption and bribes - as proven by guilty pleas in court. The suits to replace those guilty pleading suits did nothing to reverse
the illegal awarding of these world cups - because they are complicit. This despite 6500 and counting slaves dying to get the Qatar world cup ready - in a country where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death.
Read 13 tweets
25 Apr
Klopp should voice his opinion on this. Until it goes against the mob. Then he is no longer allowed to voice his opinion because he is 'tone deaf' and should 'read the room'.
It was the same shit with Hendo in the program notes.

*Yes, Hendo spoke up about the owners. FSGOut!!! They are worse than people who chop up dissenting journalists*

"In my first hand experience, the owners are good people and good for the club"

*Read the room Hendo FFS!*
It will never cease to amaze me that a mob will always assume it is right and any information or voice that goes against it is wrong. Even when their dumb mob mentality brings us Brexit.
Read 4 tweets
24 Apr
I don't fully buy the 'bad subs' 'game management' stuff today. Feels like hindsight analysis.

When watching the game for the hour Jota was on the pitch I thought our press was an absolute mess. And the space between our lines was awful. There were times someone would spin a
forward and then have 40 yards of space between them and the next player in our shape. One of the things I loved about Dortmund was assymetry. They didn't have flat lines anywhere in their shape other than the defence. But today we often ended up in a 424 with the two having an
absolute OCEAN to fill. And that isn't an inherent problem with this formation - plenty of sides including Klopp in the past have played 4231 and it is an excellent and compact shape for pressing. Today it was a mess.

Jota was excellent when we had the ball in making and
Read 17 tweets

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