I don't envy the 2020 central defender.
In the seven years since I retired, football's requirements for modern defenders-of course at the highest level-have never been higher.
The multi-tasking nature of the central defenders has reached the extreme. They need to have the skills and ball control capabilities of midfielders, and they need to compete with the fastest forwards in the world. They must also have the traditional qualities in this position, such as courage and tactical acumen. , Physical superiority and air superiority.
The consequence of this is to make European football feel that there is a lack of first-class central defenders. I do not think so. We now have a higher evaluation standard for them. We feel that the lack of such players is because it is almost impossible to find multiple players who meet this strictest standard, and those who have proven themselves are already in the biggest clubs. Got a long-term contract.
That's why Manchester City recruited Ruben Dias from Benfica this week, making their total spending on the back line more than 400 million pounds. His arrival is more stressful than any signing since Guardiola coaches Manchester City. He is a late replacement for Vincent Kompany.
Dias will be a crucial deal. Because Guardiola's signings record in central defenders has never been as good as his vision when recruiting offensive players. In Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City, he is too obsessed with the technical requirements of the central defender. He often uses a midfielder in this position-Javier Mascherano, Xavi Martinez and more recently Fernandinho. This shows how unattractive a traditional "stopper"-a defender who might have been praised ten years ago-is for him in his defense.
Dias将是至关重要的交易。因为瓜迪奥拉在中后卫的签约记录从未像他在招募进攻球员时的愿景那样出色。在巴塞罗那，拜仁慕尼黑和曼城，他对中后卫的技术要求过于着迷。他经常在这个位置使用中场球员-哈维尔·马斯切拉诺（Javier Mascherano），哈维·马丁内斯（Xavi Martinez），以及最近的费尔南迪尼奥（Fernandinho）。这显示了传统的“塞子”（可能十年前就曾被赞扬的防守者）对他的防守没有吸引力。
Playing a central defender for a coach like Guardiola is more difficult than under the elite coaches of the previous generation. Like many innovations in modern football, his coaching in Barcelona from 2008 to 2012 was the main reason.
When his team won the Champions League in 2011, Mascherano was one of his central defenders, and the general view was that this would make Barcelona's defense weaker. But this has never become a reality, because Barcelona have the ability to dominate the ball, and choke the opponent's offense in their own half to win the game. Since then, teams all over the world have begun to follow suit, and naturally, they have achieved different results.
Although the method is different, Klopp's Liverpool is doing the same now. He compresses the game into the opponent's third defensive zone, so he will leave a huge space in his own defense. Only the bravest and best-skilled teams can do this.
The defensive position of Liverpool when I was playing was ten to twenty yards behind now. In my 17 years of professional career, the midfield line is like a symbolic wall for defenders. No matter how much advantage we have in the game, and no matter how we oppress the opponent's defense line, I intuitively know where I should stand to prevent the possibility of the opponent's counterattack.
This is no longer the case. Top teams will not use the midfield line as a reference point, they will push the opposing forward as much as possible back to their own half and try to penetrate them.
Before the offensive tried to get close to the goal, they were all masters in protecting the penalty area. They will not set offside traps on the midline, that's for sure!
Of course, this is the way Bayern chose to play, which made them European champions. This is what many top coaches currently yearn for. In terms of culture and philosophy, tremendous changes have taken place in a relatively short period of time.
Young coaches hope to implement high-position presses and organize from the backcourt.
Modern Liverpool are willing to sacrifice at least one clear opportunity to the opponent in a game, because they know that they can create more opportunities in the third area of attack. This may give the impression that the team has obvious weaknesses, but this is not the case.
In the past two seasons, Liverpool's record of conceding goals is comparable to that of the best defensive years under Houllier and Benitez. The big difference is the number of opportunities Liverpool now creates in each game.
Manchester City, under the leadership of Pep, also maintained this balance during the championship season.
Manchester City are not the only team struggling to find a central defender that fits their ideals.
Manchester United was looking for it all summer; Chelsea chose 36-year-old Thiago Silva instead of taking action against any young man who is gradually emerging in the Premier League.
Arteta signed Gabriel and is insisting on continuing to cooperate with David Luiz. There is no doubt that this is affected by the scarcity of substitutes; Mourinho chose to push Eric Dale back to the defense. ; And Ancelotti has been looking for suitable players in Everton to partner with Michael Keane.
阿泰塔（Arteta）签下了加百列（Gabriel），并坚持继续与大卫·路易斯（David Luiz）合作。毫无疑问，这受到替代品稀缺的影响；穆里尼奥选择将埃里克·戴尔推回防守。 ;安切洛蒂（Ancelotti）一直在埃弗顿（Everton）寻找合适的球员与迈克尔·基恩（Michael Keane）合作。
It seems that everyone is trying to find the perfect defender. The biggest reason why Liverpool look so strong is that they are the only team in the Premier League with such a central defender.
Manchester City need Diaz to reach a similar level, otherwise the champion is destined to stay at Anfield.