The Rise and Decline of the Number 10

Discussion in 'Personal Articles' started by outlaw_member, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. outlaw_member

    outlaw_member New Member

    There is no other position in football that has enthralled the audience quite as much as the attacking midfielder, and his more offensive counterpart known as the deep-lying centre forward. Also referred to as the number 10, the role is considered to be the most difficult to execute for any footballer. At his finest, the player displays a degree of mastery that is simply beyond those of another position. As he performs his duty with consummate ease, he links the attack with the rest of the team through natural intelligence and dexterity. Whether it's executing passes with exceptional precision or meticulously probing with deft touches and close control, the attacker exudes authority and presence as he attempts to carve open the opposition defence. Most importantly of all, his perspicacity allows him to instantly manipulate play in the breakneck speed of the football match. Some of the greatest players have etched their names into the history books by excelling in this intricate, yet captivating role

    Owing its birth to a trade unionist organiser from the murky regions of Eastern Europe. Gusztav Sebes in conjunction with his staff sought to revolutionise tactical theorem by introducing a new genre of player roles, a free moving player who wasn’t confined to the rigidity of the strict zonal roles of the time. A prelude to the total football strategy created 20 years later by the Dutch, Sebes introduced this inspiration with an elite class of Hungarian footballers as his vehicle and together they enraptured the minds of the footballing world. The inaugural exponent of the role was Nandor Hidegkuti whose innovate approach saw him later referred to as the father of total football. Capable of controlling the game from midfield, as well as finishing off a move in the final third, Hidegkuti caused havoc by attracting rigid defenders out of position, which in turn created space for the potent duo of Sandor Kocsis and Ferenc Puskas deployed up front. Together, they constituted arguably the greatest national side of all time as they affectionately came to be known as the Magical Magyars.

    The talented Hungarians comprising the national side were corralled between the countries two premier clubs, MTK and Honved, where Sebes’s methods were further enhanced and maximised to its full efficacy. Little did people know that the modern fluid role wasn’t created in the sunny climate of South America amongst flamboyant Brazilians, but instead in the cold, Stalinist backwaters of the Communist world within clubs that were sponsored by the Hungarian version of the KGB. Football has come full circle since then and it's now entering a new dawn where roles are becoming less and less defined and versatility is becoming the name of the game. Modern day tactics has placed a large emphasis on players capable of executing tasks in more then one area of the pitch, a change which hasn't been too favourable towards our free willed attacker. The evolution to a more fluid game where roles are rigid in design but have the prerequisite of having to contribute to both phases of play has given rise to a new breed of playmaker that is expected to perform the attacking duties, whilst also adhering to defensive responsibilities. As a consequence, the number 10 finds his existence threatened by the cautious managers that are prevalent in today’s game.

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  2. Ron Burgundy

    Ron Burgundy New Member Elite

    Nice article, Outlaw. It does seem as if the number 10 is dying. For better or for worse, I'm not sure. As well as bad, change can also be good.

    For me, Riquelme was the best, and perhaps last, classic number 10 of recent times.
  3. outlaw_member

    outlaw_member New Member

    Thanks mate. Your right, Riquelme could quite possibly be the last classic number 10 and we've all witnessed the problems he has faced for his desire to play in his natural role. I guess it could be seen as a good thing that they are being asked to do more then just create, but at the same time it feels like they are being domesticated to the requirements of today's heavily tactical and negative game.
  4. Asterix

    Asterix New Member Elite

    Did you read Jonanthan Wilson's piece on a similar topic recently in The Guardian? Worth checking out.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2009/dec/23/the-question-football-tactics-develop-decade" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/20 ... lop-decade</a>
  5. outlaw_member

    outlaw_member New Member

    Yep, Wilson is a very knowledged writer.
  6. ibby

    ibby New Member

    The two things I came in here to say have already been said. :lol:

    Exactly. It wasn't like the likes of Riquelme weren't effective either.

    Outlaw I feel you could have mentioned how the number 10 role has sometimes been undertaken by the clubs number 9. Henry, Ibrahimovic and Totti for example were not only their club's main goal-scorers but main creative force as well. The number 9 and 10 have sort of emerged to create these new types of strikers I think.
  7. outlaw_member

    outlaw_member New Member

    Yeah, I think the article lacked depth as I could have written more about the closely related subjects, such as the one you mentioned.
  8. flobaba

    flobaba New Member

    Hardly ever come in here, but glad I did if only for that article.

    Really good stuff.

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