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Atiba Hutchinson

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Glad that we can put those Atiba to MLS rumours on the back burner for a few years. He was never coming home on anything less than a DP deal, and with Toronto seemingly only interested in American int'l DPs, there was nowhere for him to go. Better money, and almost certainly a better league. He will be THE key player for this upcoming WCQ campaign.

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I'm sure TFC thought they could get away with offering Atiba a non-DP deal, just as they did with Cheryou, who is also a quality vetern midfielder who was at a club of comparable level (Marseille). Difference of course was that Cheryou was not being used while Besiktas relies on Hutchinson.

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^ You are sure it was TFC lowballing him, are you? Yes because they are so notoriously cheap <rolls eyes>.

My guess would have been the Impact since it is Barker reporting it.

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^ You are sure it was TFC lowballing him, are you? Yes because they are so notoriously cheap <rolls eyes>.

My guess would have been the Impact since it is Barker reporting it.

I'm speculating I am not literally sure. TFC could absolutely be low-balling him. Low-balling him as in "offering him a non-DP deal". Given how much he was just offered with his Besiktas extension, even the maximum wage for non-DP's would be considered "low-ball".

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If it was a Canadian team it seems like it would have to be Montreal as we are the only team with designated player spots open and the team that would have the most need for him in our midfield either as an upgrade in DM or more likely as the central attacking midfielder we have lacked since joining MLS. I think Hutchinson's skill sets would fit MLS a lot better than those of say JDG and he would be a very good player. Hutchinson as central attacking mid with Piatti moving to his natural wing position and Mapp/Romero on the other side would be an incredible offensive midfield. The problem from an MLS point of view though is to pay him the type of money he is getting at Besiktas he would probably need to be a bigger name.

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I don't think it necessarily had to be a team with a DP spot Grizzly. A low ball offer would most likely be a non-DP deal, something not commensurate with his level of quality. That said, it could definitely be Montreal and i wouldn't be surprised if it was TFC either.

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If Atiba got offered a 2.5 year at $1 million per year, I fully understand why he would refuse because he hasn't even paid his taxes. I would consider that a lowball offer because he gets more to stay at Besiktas.

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I don't think it necessarily had to be a team with a DP spot Grizzly. A low ball offer would most likely be a non-DP deal, something not commensurate with his level of quality. That said, it could definitely be Montreal and i wouldn't be surprised if it was TFC either.

I guess it depends on how lowball we are talking but if any team was thinking they could sign him in the sub $400 000 range they are not really making a serious offer. I think a lowball offer would be around $600 000 or $700 000. Less than he is worth but maybe not totally out of the realm of reality if he really wanted to come play in Canada or MLS. And given the lack of name recognition it is probably what he is worth in MLS terms though below what he is worth in world football terms. 

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I always see people envisioning Hutchinson at CAM... is he really suited there?

 

I've never seen Hutchinson play CAM at the club level and when he's been there for the MNT he's underwhelming.. match against Armenia comes to mind, his worst match for the MNT imo.  I think because he's so versatile and well rounded people assume that you can throw him anywhere and so obviously they choose the most influential role .. #10.  But Hutchinson really isn't a CAM imo... I would play him up top before that position.   Even at PSV the main knock on Hutchinson was always that he didn't have the flash/creative attacking game that they craved when he was employed centrally.  Another point I want to point out too is that Hutchinson, like Teibert and other incomplete midfielders we have centrally isn't a threat from distance.  I've said it on this board, you can not play CM at the highest level without that weapon (and I'm not talking Stevie G, I'm talking any basic go from range when given a step).  Johnson, Piette and De Guzman have all been threats from CM in the past (though JDG not so much since his injuries).  So the two highest leagues he's ever played in they have moved him to right back.  And there is no shame in that, he is a great great right back... maybe the best in CONCACAF.  But instead of playing him there we bemoan our lack of one, it's pretty funny.    

 

For me Hutchinson is CM, CDM, RM or RB.   

Edited by Keegan

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I always see people envisioning Hutchinson at CAM... is he really suited there?

 

I've never seen Hutchinson play CAM at the club level and when he's been there for the MNT he's underwhelming.. match against Armenia comes to mind, his worst match for the MNT imo.  I think because he's so versatile and well rounded people assume that you can throw him anywhere and so obviously they choose the most influential role .. #10.  But Hutchinson really isn't a CAM imo... I would play him up top before that position.   Even at PSV the main knock on Hutchinson was always that he didn't have the flash/creative attacking game that they craved when he was employed centrally.  Another point I want to point out too is that Hutchinson, like Teibert and other incomplete midfielders we have centrally isn't a threat from distance.  I've said it on this board, you can not play CM at the highest level without that weapon (and I'm not talking Stevie G, I'm talking any basic go from range when given a step).  Johnson, Piette and De Guzman have all been threats from CM in the past (though JDG not so much since his injuries).  So the two highest leagues he's ever played in they have moved him to right back.  And there is no shame in that, he is a great great right back... maybe the best in CONCACAF.  But instead of playing him there we bemoan our lack of one, it's pretty funny.    

 

For me Hutchinson is CM, CDM, RM or RB.   

 

I completely disagree with this. First of all, Hutchinson does not play right back for Besiktas, their starting right back is Serdar Kurtulus, an occasional Turkish national team player. They played a couple of other players at right back this year but Hutchinson only subbed in once at right back when they needed a goal. He plays right defensive mid for Besiktas though occasionally he plays on the left or more advanced. Also Besiktas' midfield is quite fluid so he is often advanced on the pitch. His first year with Besiktas he did play right and left back at times but was still mostly a defensive midfielder.

 

Yes he is versatile so that is why he has played in many positions throughout his career but in general if he is on a team with a lot of offensive talent he plays defensive mid and when he is on a more defensive team he will either be a CAM or on the wing plus filling in wherever he is needed due to injury. PSV were the only team to make him a regular RB and even then he often played DM and CM and the conversion was mostly due to the needs of PSV and their lack of a quality RB. His skill set is much more suited to midfield than as a fullback. If I remember correctly he was not very happy to be playing as a RB for PSV and that was one of the reasons he transferred.

 

As for Canada he has played CAM for us quite a lot and been quite good in my opinion. Indeed the problem with our attack has never been Atiba at CAM but has been poor strikers ahead of him and not very good tactical plans by our semi-pro level national team coaches. He has been the best CAM I have seen for Canada in quite a while and we do not have anyone else capable of playing this role at his level (nor does the Impact for that matter, Piatti has a great skill set but it is the skill set of a winger not a CAM). If we had a CAM equivalent to those at a top Turkish or Dutch club then I would be fine with putting him in a more defensive position of need but right now he is our most offensively creative player. And since we also have a good coach and seem to have some young strikers of decent quality and to be fine on the wings as well I think he could be quite effective as our CAM for this WCQ.

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When has Atiba played well for Canada at CAM?  I'm actually wondering because I can't recall right now.  Was he CAM in the Ukraine match 5 years ago?  I'm not sure if it's by choice or design but even when we've seen Hutch at that position he tends to drift back.

 

For Besiktas I've seen Hutchinson played at right defensive mid and right back this season in the half dozen games I saw.  I think it is telling that at the highest level he's played he has been used in defensive positions but of course this was the case with Stalteri too.  I thought he was great for Besiktas at RB and was really great at getting forward with their system, not sure we could replicate that fluidity with the CMNT.  

 

If you were to break down Hutchinson's career he would be considered a DM/RB.  Is he our best CAM?  Obviously, but he's probably our best player at 10/11 positions on the pitch.  Interesting conversation, I've wanted to see Hutch be that dynamic attacking force for us for years I hope you're right that he can break out this WCQ.  For as weak as the attacking options have been around Hutchinson over the years to say they are the reason for his lack of success is a cop out because even when we have scored Hutchinson has never consistently been that creative force or finisher.  

Edited by Keegan

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Evidently I've been watching the same Hutch as you all these years, Keegan. As an aside, does anybody remember some ten or years back when he did play RB for us early in his senior career? I seem to recall posting here that he was decent but that somebody should buy that kid a sandwich or two.

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I agree with Keegan in that I don't see Hutch as a CAM.  It's not that he is not capable in that role, I'm sure he is, but I see Hutch as being at his best with players to pick passes to ahead of him controlling the midfield through good footwork and possession, helping boss the guys both behind him and in front of him.

 

I just think that's where Hutch is more valuable...but I DO believe in having a formation that allows him to gallop forward a bit when the situation calls for it. 

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Last WCQ campaign we played a 4-1-4-1 with Hutch as one of the two CAM's along with Johnson, ahead of JDG and behind Occean. I think that worked well.

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I recall the Greece friendly a few years back when he teamed alongside Johnson with the recently retired DeRo in front of them in an AM position, Occean up top with Jackson and Simpson on the flanks and I liked our performance on that day.  I think that's the best way to use him at this stage of his career, where he can do more linkage and defensive support play as opposed to being the focal point of the attack in the final third (the way I used to think he should have been used).

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If I remember the last WCQ - we played a 4-5-1 V during that cycle and Will Johnson and Atiba were the front CM's with De Guzman as the DM.  Both Atiba and Will were effective at slashing forward as well as setting up runs for the wingers.  I expect we're going to see the same setup this cycle as well in the center of our midfield except Teibert will take over the DM duties as we go.  We're going to be good with this setup this cycle. 

 

At the beginning of that cycle we had Josh Simpson and De Rosario as our main wingers with Jackson as the primary sub until Simpson went down.  Occean and Ricketts were the strikers. 

 

I liked our winger setup last time better than the current setup which will probably have Osorio, Akindele, REB and Ricketts as our wide players.  I do think that Haber and Larin will be better scoring options up front though.

 

Overall just like last cycle I think we're the 4th to 7th best team in CONCACAF.  The current rankings don't reflect that but by the end of the gold cup and the first couple rounds of WCQ it will be reflected.  Unless we make the Hex it's going to be hard for our FIFA ranking to agree with that assessment because of the disproportionate weighting of the CFU and Central America championships.

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I expect we're going to see the same setup this cycle as well in the center of our midfield except Teibert will take over the DM duties as we go.  We're going to be good with this setup this cycle.

 

I don't think Teibert would be effective as a lone DM. VWFC uses him as one of 2 DMs in their formation. His engine and passing/vision compliment a more traditional DM, but he's not a destroyer and he hardly ever goes to ground.

 

I actually see Floro using him in a slightly more advanced role, i.e. as a replacement for Will or coming on as a late game sub to provide a spark and boss a tired opposition midfield.

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One of Hutchinson's best games for Canada was our 1-0 win vs. Panama at home.  Was he AMC in that match?  He may have been.  He was very dangerous coming down the right side in particular that game though which is why I wouldn't mind him at RM and I also remember him playing well for FCK in that position.  I remember him playing on the right and as a withdrawn striker for FCK which may be confused for an AMC.  

 

I agree with A_Gagne about Teibert and his role.  I can't see him in a DM role unless he has a partner and I can't see him as a starter on the wings.  With a full squad Teibert will be a super sub, Floro doesn't seem to rate him in his midfield 3 and he doesn't have the combination of quickness/skill to play the wing either so I think that's where he is.  I'm the biggest Teibert fan here but that's the way it is IMO.  

Edited by Keegan

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So those of you who think Atiba should not be a CAM for us, exactly who are you proposing that we play in that position? As I said before, if we had a CAM of the calibre of those that play at Besiktas or PSV I would be fine with him playing elsewhere but I don't see anyone in our selection pool even close to as capable at this role as Atiba.

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