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Is defending a dying art in the top-level game??


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This has been a question I have liked to hear a response from people..

We all hear that C.Ronaldo and Messi are breaking scoring records of the past, but when you are scoring hat-trick after hat-trick against poor defences, I don't see it as exceptional as people make it out. It's good don't get me wrong, but I can only see it as relative to the times, I remember seeing Ronaldo at 19 years old score 47 in 49 for Barcelona and 34 in 47 for Inter in a time where Serie A was a tough league to score in which I thought was easily as impressive as what Messi and C. Ronaldo have done.

I mean even 10 years ago we had the likes of: Maldini, Nesta, Thuram, Stam, Lucio, Alex, Juan, Cafu, Carvalho, Mauro Silva, Ayala, Terry, Puyol, Roberto Carlos, Cannavaro and many more as top defensive players in the world.

I mean the only top class young defender we have now is Raphael Varane, apart from that we have aging John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho, Cahill, Thiago Silva Kompany, plus Pepe and Pique who I don't really rate as solid defenders personally.

I believe the game is geared more for attacking, that is why we are seeing stupidly high scorelines against top teams in EPL.

Additionally I believe diving is another reason, as defensive players will not commit into tackles against players as penalties and free kicks and cards are given out left right and centre.

Also the evolution of ball physics have given goalkeepers absolutely no chance when the ball is hit well when it swerves in ridiculous directions.

It's only something I believe I've noticed over the years, but i'd like to hear your views, do you also believe it has effected the way local football is played??

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I still like to see a hard fair tackle , it's part of the game , but as other posters DIVING NO what has the game become? As suggestions on MOTD a panel to retrospectively look at the incident and start banning players for a game with a fine would stamp it out , my other pet hate holding before a corner is taking , it's more like a rugby scrum , if refs just waited until the ball is in play and then penalise either the defender or forward with a penalty or free kick , they would soon think twice about grabbing each other, if the refs were given an instruction on this problem and all stuck to it within a few weeks it would be sorted , but what do I know ? Simple idea .

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It's not just about diving though.

Alex Bruce hit one of the Chelsea players with a hard, but perfectly timed tackle - Got booked for it

If the plan was to take the physicality out of football to allow lightweight skilful players to dominate the game then it worked

Not everyone ( me included ) think it's better for the game - Then again I'm a product of a bygone age

The answer to the question though is definitely yes

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Thanks for your opinions, personally I think the EPL, Serie A and Bundesliga are still leagues that have defensive principles, but La Liga is awful.. The standard of defending is terrible at times, it's like watching Sunday League kickabout haha.. But I think EPL has seen a slip in defending, when top teams are clashing there have been some massive scorelines over the past few years.

I think diving, and the reduction in physicality in the game has contributed. But I think there are a lot of defenders out there that are a physical presence but have no technique and make wreckless mistakes, I mean Maldini, Nesta, Lucio and Carvalho were a gold standard of physical presence and great timing and technique, they would barely have to commit to a hard challenge and made few mistakes. I just don't think we have as many defenders of that calibre, maybe because teams play with a more attacking mindset to entertain the public, because many people don't appreciate the defensive game and care more for seeing goals.

Ball Physics annoys me too haha, let's see if Cristiano Ronaldo could hit a ball made from the 60's-90's with the same velocity he hits one with now..

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