Last Sunday, seven out of the eight original drafters got together and discussed each team. Afterwards, we voted to see which one was the best. Whether or not they deserved it, these are the teams that finished in the bottom three of voting.
A solid amalgamation of talent, but the big issue is how they’re all going to work together. For one, in defense, Kolarov is not really a center back. Ramos has more experience there, but if he shifts inside, there’s not one of Schmelzer, Clichy and Kolarov who would be a natural in that spot.
The good news is whoever the team does play there would have de Jong and de Rossi in front of him screening and/or fouling anyone coming through the middle.
Further forward, the attacking line of Van der Vaart, Kaka and Iniesta looks loaded, but the trio of playmakers offers less variety and more redundancy, and having to play at least one of them out of position on the right doesn’t help.
What they said
The Good — Eric: “He [Gomez] scores the kind of goals those three could theoretically serve up for him…
The Bad — Eric (cont’d) “…if they don’t trip over each other and die first.”
Adams: “Unfortunately, his defenders are all left-heavy, so if Ramos plays in the middle who fills in for him on right?”
The Ugly — Stefan: “Couple de Rossi’s elbows with de Jong’s high kicks and you’ve got yourself some Mortal Kombat action right there.”
Another team with a loaded offense, but one that our drafters couldn’t see gelling. Put simply, we couldn’t figure out how the players picked were going to make each other better. We envisioned Bale and Bastos running each other over on the left flank, but not having anyone with the aerial ability to meet their crosses. Or Sneijder picking up the ball in the center and having only Suarez in front of him to pass to. That said, they’d probably score some great individual goals.
In the back, Bastos’ defensive characteristics didn’t impress, especially when his mistakes are going to be covered by the pair of Dawson and Luiz, which may be the weakest centerback pairing in the draft.
What they said
The Good — Wes: “I think Bastos and Bale would be really potent together.”
The Bad — Ogo: “Unfortunate thing is that both him [Wilshere] and Banega do a lot of same things in midfield, so you’ll end up with a Lampard-Gerrard conundrum.”
The Ugly — Ogo: “Sagna & Hart best defenders in there.
A team full of intelligent, but essentially unproven picks. In other words, when we look back on this team a year from now, Ogo’s could be far and away the best. All of his players are properly placed in positions designed to get the best out of them. Undoubtedly the Busquets/Schweinsteiger midfield will work on a more comprehensive level than the majority of midfields in the draft. That, coupled with a potentially explosive attack and a good to great back line makes for a team that should have finished higher in the draft than it did.
The sticking point for most seemed to be the inability to evaluate a handful of the players (Neymar, Zapata, Martin) on the big stage of a UCL/World Cup situation. Perhaps the slight queasiness produced by such (as I said, potentially very intelligent and incisive) picks seems to be what most of the other drafters dwelt on.
What they said
The Good — Adams: “But Busquets and Schweiny in the middle is orgasmic to borrow the wording of Ray Hudson.”
The Bad — Eric: “It’s more the Neymar, Martin, Gervinho trio that I think is a weakness.”
The Ugly — Wes: “ I mean, Gervinho was almost signed by Aston Villa. What does that say about him!”