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The Importance of Alphonso Davies

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36 minutes ago, Bertuzzi44 said:

I just remember watching the American feed for the last game against the USA, and the commentators basically saying "thank god Canada put Davies in the back four." They know how much of a threat Davies is, and want him to stay as far as humanly possible from their goal...

So yeah, for me Canada shouldn't use Davies in defence. 

I still can’t believe this is legit conversation.  Davies plays as a winger forces teams to keep 2-3 players pinned back on that side. Look at the home game against the states. They were scared shitless to jump the fullback forward because of his speed.

As funny as this may sound, Davies playing winger actually helps us defensively. 

Edited by TOCanada115

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14 hours ago, SthMelbRed said:

Your thesis betrays an utter lack of understanding of modern football at the highest levels. 

Liverpool is almost universally regarded as the current best club side in the world. Their two fullbacks have one less combined assists in the league this season than their world-class front three. Modern fullbacks are an integral part of the attack for the best teams in the world, yet you're looking at the position as where your house league team used to hide the fat kid who couldn't run. Every decent team has at least one fullback who is contributing greatly in attack. 

I understand that modern fullbacks are different than I was in the 80’s and 90’s. They have gained in importance but I still think in general they are the least important. I even said in my comment that there are outliers, so you pointing out outliers doesn’t discredit my opinion.

It seems many people disagree with me, but nobody is willing to either name a position that is less important, or tell me that the entire premise of positional importance is wrong because all positions are equally important. Unless your Liverpool assist stat was meant to imply that the front 3 (do Liverpool play a 4-3-3?) are less important than fullbacks?

Apologies to everyone for how far off topic this is getting. Hopefully we find out about some friendlies in March soon and we can start to debate based on the opponent if Davies should be playing LB or further up the field.

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19 minutes ago, Kent said:

It seems many people disagree with me, but nobody is willing to either name a position that is less important

It's not really a fair thing to ask. Players playing in the 'same' position will be given completely different responsibilities. Importance is rather subjective anyways

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3 hours ago, TOCanada115 said:

I still can’t believe this is legit conversation.  Davies plays as a winger forces teams to keep 2-3 players pinned back on that side. Look at the home game against the states. They were scared shitless to jump the fullback forward because of his speed.

As funny as this may sound, Davies playing winger actually helps us defensively. 

I noticed in the game against RB Leipzig that their defenders panicked anytime he was in open space and running. Bundesliga defenders are literally getting nervous at the prospect of having to defend him 1v1, he rarely loses his duels.

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1 hour ago, Lansdude said:

We need modern goalkeepers who like to get forward.

I actually liked to do that when I had to play in net in U16 and U18. If most of their team was in our box and I caught a cross, I'd try to start a counter attack by running out with it. Usually I'd just get to half and try to send a through ball to someone but I'm sure it was entertaining for everyone.

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8 hours ago, Bdog said:

I actually liked to do that when I had to play in net in U16 and U18. If most of their team was in our box and I caught a cross, I'd try to start a counter attack by running out with it. Usually I'd just get to half and try to send a through ball to someone but I'm sure it was entertaining for everyone.

One time in indoor soccer (not futsal, the kind with boards and 2 minute penalties) my keeper was given a penalty so obviously someone else had to serve the 2 minutes for him. During the penalty kill he intercepted a pass with his feet and ran up field. Did a give and go with a teammate and then scored during his own penalty :D

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14 hours ago, Aird25 said:

His decision making was poor against the US and he took unnecessary risks in his own half.

You need to understand why this happened to understand why Davies at LB for Canada is not a great idea: Davies knows that he's one of the top players on the field when he's on the pitch.  That is not the case when he plays for Bayern.  Therefore, when he takes the pitch for Canada, he's under pressure to drive the play and control a match, all from a LB position.  That is ludicrous.  When he plays for Bayern he's free to freewheel because Bayern's backline will bail him out and he's always got at least two options offensively that can get him out of a jam going forward.  That is not the case for Canada.

Also, people need to stop with the Liverpool and modern game fullbacks ********.  That is fine for a club team that can go out and buy solutions to problems in their lineup and build their starting 11.  That is not the case for Canada on the international stage.  For Canada, you need to start with defenders defending and attackers attacking.  Anything more than that is gravy, but that is where you have to start.

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The first 2 articles on transfermarkt are about Davies!

https://www.transfermarkt.com/market-value-update-davies-in-the-top-10-among-left-backs-haaland-up-by-euro-15m/view/news/354578

Just had his value increased to 40 million euros! Top 20 in Bundesliga and 148 in the world. 3rd in CONCACAF.

Also, as pointed out by transfermarkt 7th most valuable left back.

Excited to see David's next update, as so far their values have almost been identical.

Edited by Stryker911

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It seems to me that the answer, as discussed here previously, is to adapt our formation to the tools we have. 

A 3-5-3, with a narrow string of 3 CBs and Davies / Laraya on the outside of the 5. Allowing them the wings to do their thing, but pushing them up moreso than they would be in a FB position in a more traditional backline. 

David and Larin or David and Cavallini are okay as a duo up front. I think our formation adjusts so Davies can have more attacking freedom. We seem to have the pieces to do this. 

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4 - 3 - 3 is how I build out any team without being too specific. For me it's the most flexible formation that can easily change in to another formation at any point.

With Canada the first thing I do without thinking is put Davies Cavallini and David up top and then go from there

Edited by SpursFlu

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59 minutes ago, Copes said:

It seems to me that the answer, as discussed here previously, is to adapt our formation to the tools we have. 

A 3-5-3, with a narrow string of 3 CBs and Davies / Laraya on the outside of the 5. Allowing them the wings to do their thing, but pushing them up moreso than they would be in a FB position in a more traditional backline. 

David and Larin or David and Cavallini are okay as a duo up front. I think our formation adjusts so Davies can have more attacking freedom. We seem to have the pieces to do this. 

Nice idea in theory, but in practice I very much doubt it would work. See the above post made by @El Hombre.

I think Davies is best with as much freedom as possible. We have seen him switch sides when he plays wide forward in a 4-3-3. Even better was the 4-4-2, where he and David could roam around up front. They are two of our most dangerous attackers also. Playing them close to goal makes sense.

We need to get away from this idea of playing Davies as a wingback or full back in order to fit other talent players on the field. If Cavallini and Hoilett must start from the bench...Tough titty. 

I remain convinced the box with Davies and David up front is best for this team. 

Edited by Obinna

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By playing him further up as a winger we limit him offensively by taking away the space he needs to accelerate. His close control and dribbling has come leaps and bounds, but he's still most effective in open space and from deeper starting positions. We also limit his effectiveness as a ball winner and as a "get out of jail free card" with him chasing down runners. When played as a defender he'll get fewer opportunities in front of goal and in behind the defense. 

I don't think we need to tie him to one position. When teams are sitting deep and swarming the wingers, he might be more effective as a defender so the winger distract their wide players. If we're playing on the counter or attacking from a deeper starting position he might be better as a winger. 

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4 minutes ago, Aird25 said:

By playing him further up as a winger we limit him offensively by taking away the space he needs to accelerate. His close control and dribbling has come leaps and bounds, but he's still most effective in open space and from deeper starting positions. We also limit his effectiveness as a ball winner and as a "get out of jail free card" with him chasing down runners. When played as a defender he'll get fewer opportunities in front of goal and in behind the defense. 

I don't think we need to tie him to one position. When teams are sitting deep and swarming the wingers, he might be more effective as a defender so the winger distract their wide players. If we're playing on the counter or attacking from a deeper starting position he might be better as a winger. 

He had plenty of space to accelerate at BMO when he played up front in the 4-4-2

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3 hours ago, Stryker911 said:

The first 2 articles on transfermarkt are about Davies!

https://www.transfermarkt.com/market-value-update-davies-in-the-top-10-among-left-backs-haaland-up-by-euro-15m/view/news/354578

Just had his value increased to 40 million euros! Top 20 in Bundesliga and 148 in the world. 3rd in CONCACAF.

Also, as pointed out by transfermarkt 7th most valuable left back.

Excited to see David's next update, as so far their values have almost been identical.

Here's the top 10 list.  Robertson is at $88M

1. Robertson
2. Alaba
3. Chilwell
4. Gaya
5. Sandro
6. Alba
7. Davies
8. Telles
9. Mendy
10. Grimaldo

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Wow, where to play Davies is such a wild discussion. So many different ideas.

Personally, i think its even crazier to have him play as a striker than it is to have him at LB. Need his athleticism on the wing, going wide, cutting in, making runs, etc... thats where he can stretch out D’s. Sticking him in the box seems like a waste of his skills. We want him running the ball up and creating and threatening. Not being a target man for hoof-ball. 

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7 minutes ago, costarg said:

Wow, where to play Davies is such a wild discussion. So many different ideas.

Personally, i think its even crazier to have him play as a striker than it is to have him at LB. Need his athleticism on the wing, going wide, cutting in, making runs, etc... thats where he can stretch out D’s. Sticking him in the box seems like a waste of his skills. We want him running the ball up and creating and threatening. Not being a target man for hoof-ball. 

Nobody suggested he plays as a target man, did they?

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20 hours ago, Bertuzzi44 said:

I just remember watching the American feed for the last game against the USA, and the commentators basically saying "thank god Canada put Davies in the back four." They know how much of a threat Davies is, and want him to stay as far as humanly possible from their goal...

So yeah, for me Canada shouldn't use Davies in defence. 

At least not against quality sides. If playing true minnows, then one could see some value in playing Davies at LB. But against tough CONCACAF competition, we need him causing havoc up the field, keeping our opponents on the back foot. 

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54 minutes ago, Obinna said:

Nobody suggested he plays as a target man, did they?

Well when you mention him playing up top in a 4-4-2, you're pretty close to target man/striker.  I just don't see the point of playing Davies as #10 or #9.  I just feel its a waste of his skills, I'd rather see him further down and on the wing, creating, building up the play, stretching the D's, joining the attack on the odd rush, instead of having him chase balls all night.

Looking at it the other way, if we say we bench Cavallini in order to play Davies up top, who do we bring in to replace Cavallini as a starter?  I'm assuming a midfielder right?  So like Osorio?  Piette?  Hoilett?  They're all below Cavallini based on pure talent and effectiveness.  So we're effectively weakening the total 11.  

I still feel we need to field our best 11 to have any chance of competing with the best of CONCACAF.  I see the best 10 as:

Davies
David
Cavallini
Arfield
Kaye
Laryea
Vitoria
Cornelius
Miller
Borjan

Anyone of these is the 11th depending formation and opposition:
Hoilett
Piette
Osorio
Hutch

 

 

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3 hours ago, costarg said:

Well when you mention him playing up top in a 4-4-2, you're pretty close to target man/striker.  I just don't see the point of playing Davies as #10 or #9.  I just feel its a waste of his skills, I'd rather see him further down and on the wing, creating, building up the play, stretching the D's, joining the attack on the odd rush, instead of having him chase balls all night.

Looking at it the other way, if we say we bench Cavallini in order to play Davies up top, who do we bring in to replace Cavallini as a starter?  I'm assuming a midfielder right?  So like Osorio?  Piette?  Hoilett?  They're all below Cavallini based on pure talent and effectiveness.  So we're effectively weakening the total 11.  

I still feel we need to field our best 11 to have any chance of competing with the best of CONCACAF.  I see the best 10 as:

Davies
David
Cavallini
Arfield
Kaye
Laryea
Vitoria
Cornelius
Miller
Borjan

Anyone of these is the 11th depending formation and opposition:
Hoilett
Piette
Osorio
Hutch

 

 

I was referencing the win against the USA when David and Davies played up top together. Would you say that was a waste of his skills? I would argue his skills were on full display in that game.

I think it worked out very well. Davies got on the ball, had space to run at people, caused all sorts of havoc and his threat caused anxiety for the USA backline.

David was a great complement and was/is very good at sniffing out mistakes (that Davies' threat created). Not to mention David has fantastic movement and provided an outlet. He is not your traditional target man, but he helped the team in that regard.

Surely there is room to play in different ways under different circumstances, but so far the USA win was the best game we have seen from Canada so you'll excuse me for believing in the David-Davies partnership up top. 

------------------Borjan-------------

Laryea---Vitoria---Cornelius---Miller

----Hutch/Piette/Eusaquio---Kaye-------

----------Arfield---------Osorio-----------

-------------David------Davies-------------

To flip your argument around, Cavallini and Hoilett are two "tier 1" players (as Herdman would call them) off the bench and very few concacaf teams have such a luxury. Our starting 11 is arguably weaker on paper, but if the team is playing a system that works better then it's worth it.

Thus far we haven't been able to fit all of our best players on the field in a system that works anyways, unless we are drubbing Cuba 6 or 7 nil.

Davies at LB was a loss against Haiti and the USA. Do we really need more evidence this doesn't work against the better teams?

 

Edited by Obinna

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2 minutes ago, Obinna said:

I was referencing the win against the USA when David and Davies played up top together. Would you say that was a waste of his skills? I would argue his skills were on full display in that game.

I think it worked out very well. Davies got on the ball, had space to run at people, caused all sorts of havoc and his threat caused anxiety for the USA backline.

David was a great complement and was/is very good at sniffing out mistakes (that Davies' threat created). Not to mention David has fantastic movement and provided an outlet. He is not your traditional target man, but he helped the team in that regard.

Surely there is room to play in different ways under different circumstances, but so far the USA win was the best game we have seen from Canada so you'll excuse me for believing in the David-Davies partnership up top. 

------------------Borjan-------------

Laryea---Vitoria---Cornelius---Miller

----Hutch/Piette/Eusaquio---Kaye-------

----------Arfield---------Osorio-----------

-------------David------Davies-------------

To flip your argument around, Cavallini and Hoilett are two "tier 1" players (as Herdman would call them) off the bench and very few concacaf teams have such a luxury. Our starting 11 is arguably weaker on paper, but if the team is playing a system that works then it's worth it. And thus far we haven't been able to fit all of our best players on the field in a system that works.

 

+1. 

In the first USA game David played mostly as a target-9/false 9 (dropping into space to receive ball to turn and feed Davies etc) and Davies as a free/channel-running 9 partner. I just rewatched the match and they really are world class and even better playing together - like prodigies in a schoolyard. They see plays develop that none of the other guys can. And together it's magical.  I'll try to post a clip of an incredible sequence that I didn't really notice the first time I watched the game - when Davies receives the ball deep in our end and gets pressed but he and David play give and go all the way up to half where David almost releases Davies on a break but gets robbed by a yellow card tackle. Truly world class and even more world class playing off each other. 

The irony (curse?) is that we have so many strong forwards that JH has felt forced to put Davies at left-back to fit them in.. imagine if we didn't have Cav, Larin, or Hoilett.. Davies would never be pushed to LB.

The ONLY kinda valid excuse JH has given to putting Davies at LB is to help against 'minnows' to have him arrive unmarked closer to goal when our winger drags out two markers to the sideline then can get the ball to Davies making an inside late run. But that really doesn't help as by then the box is filled with players anyway. 

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3 hours ago, Obinna said:

Do we really need more evidence this doesn't work against the better teams?

Yes! Davies has put together a pretty impressive body of work as a LB. I need more than two unsurprising results to convince me that all of his coaches have been wrong to play him there

Edited by Aird25

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3 hours ago, Obinna said:

I was referencing the win against the USA when David and Davies played up top together. Would you say that was a waste of his skills? I would argue his skills were on full display in that game.

I think it worked out very well. Davies got on the ball, had space to run at people, caused all sorts of havoc and his threat caused anxiety for the USA backline.

David was a great complement and was/is very good at sniffing out mistakes (that Davies' threat created). Not to mention David has fantastic movement and provided an outlet. He is not your traditional target man, but he helped the team in that regard.

Surely there is room to play in different ways under different circumstances, but so far the USA win was the best game we have seen from Canada so you'll excuse me for believing in the David-Davies partnership up top. 

------------------Borjan-------------

Laryea---Vitoria---Cornelius---Miller

----Hutch/Piette/Eusaquio---Kaye-------

----------Arfield---------Osorio-----------

-------------David------Davies-------------

To flip your argument around, Cavallini and Hoilett are two "tier 1" players (as Herdman would call them) off the bench and very few concacaf teams have such a luxury. Our starting 11 is arguably weaker on paper, but if the team is playing a system that works better then it's worth it.

Thus far we haven't been able to fit all of our best players on the field in a system that works anyways, unless we are drubbing Cuba 6 or 7 nil.

Davies at LB was a loss against Haiti and the USA. Do we really need more evidence this doesn't work against the better teams?

 

Yes, absolutely, that was a great game, and the best example of what you're suggesting.  I just feel we can do even better with Cavallini on the field instead of Osorio.  

1- Cavallini is a better offensive threat than Osorio.

2- Cavallini works harder up top without possession, in a defensive sense breaking up plays before they happen than Osorio does.

3- I'm not saying Davies should play LB, but he has soo much more to offer than what we saw in that one game vs USA. I've caught a couple of Davies games with Bayern since we beat the USA.  He terrorizes the left side, every inch of it. I prefer to see him play as a winger or even wing-bank,  He'll have more space, stretch the opponents, making space for David and Cavallini at the same time. 

That trident would be a ridiculous show of speed, muscle and skill.  CONCACAF wouldn't recognize Canada.

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