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  • jim w jim w Aug 25, 2011 09:41 Flag

    Congrats Arsenal

    Transferred their two 'best' players, lost the latest wonderkid to injury, only won one away CL game in years yet won their crucial match.
    OK they had some good fortune and a penalty save, but it does show how we can all get bamboozled by the tyranny of the 'big name' player(s). Its a team game, and if 11 good players go out to play well together they take some beating.
    Well done Arsenal.

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    • Syco. We have great players and a great team ;-)

      Nice to discuss things with you.

    • Yes. That is, of course, the other side to the superstar argument.

      As Stefan has alluded to on another thread, its something England fail to comprehend!

    • Syco, yes, you could ague that, just like my old barber argued that George Best wold not have been able to get around Tony Adams :-) But it is still a reasonable argument.

      Don Bradman was once asked by an interviewer how he thought he'd do in the era of Lillee and Thomson. The Don replied "I think I'd average around 50", to which the startled journo asked 'why is that?' "I'm in my seventies, you know."

      I agree with what you say about a team needing at least one great player. Compare a team with one great player to Real Madrid (Galacticos), who had lots of stars, but no trophies ;-)

    • Conversely Ralf, could you not argue how many of those players you mention would get into the current team? The game has changed, and I wonder whether they would survive in cricket today. Like Football, comparing players of the past ot those of the present is a near impossible task.

      I think the example you make of the England cricket team is a pretty sound one because, in my opinion, there is no greater example in world sport at the moment of a more complete team. However, it would not be the team it is without the star individuals.

      For me, a team of 11 average players will always be that, average. However, replace just one of those average players with a great one (a 'star') and it would undoubtedly improve them.

    • Neil

      Different opinions make for interesting dscussions ;-)

      I think the point is that the team is more important than the individuals, but I completely accept that a great team wth great individuals will win more than a great team of average individuals.

    • Ralf, I'm never going to agree with you on this.

      It's hard to compare across different sports and eras.

      Let's move back to football and the point of teamwork being more than the sum of the team then.

      I don't agree with this entirely, but it does have something in it that I agree with. Teamwork is essential for success. Morale, luck, ability, guile, hard-work all play a part too. And that is my point - it can never just be about teamwork.

      You could have a hard-working, in-it-together team but, without those special talents, would probably never win much. Great teams have great individuals too. Teamwork can calve out openings but on days when luck is against you or the opposition are countering your approach, it's one spark of genius that opens up and/or wins the game.

    • Neil

      The point is that England is the #1 team in the world and not by accident.

      Do you know that they have won more games under Flower and Strauss than in the entire decade of the 1980s? A period where Boycott, Gooch, Gower and Botham played, players who most people would say were 'greats' and who would get voted into an all time team ahead of their rivals from today's team. Botham v Bresnan or Broad and Boycott/Gooch v Strauss/Cook?

      Thus the team performance may include fantastic individual efforts, but the sum of the whole is what counts.

      Dravid is probably the batsman I most enjoy watching (although Bell runs him close), but his efforts cannot make a disjointed Indian team perform ad England never let them.

      My friends all tell me that Utd won the PL with the least talented team for years, last season.

      I don't see it that way, we won by 9 points and great individual performances are not mutually exclusive to great team performances.

    • Comparing England 2011 to an all-time England is beside the point really. I'm not sure how this supports the argument of a team over individual talent - especially when you are trying to construct an all-time Best 11 of.. er 'Stars'?!!!

      And if it weren't for someone like Dravid (a Star), India would have/could have been completely humiliated in the last test.

    • Hi Neil

      Yes, you name a number of top performances and I would be the first to recognise that good team performances also need to generate good individul perfrmances.

      How many of this Engand team would get into an Engand 11 (let's say since 1945?

      Strauss - no
      Cook - can make a case, although Hutton, Boycott and others would be very stiff competition
      Trott - not yet (although he may well have a shout for #3 in a few years, he is the most solid England #3 I've seen since Ken Barrington, who was bloody good)
      Pieterson - per Cook
      Bell - hard to make the case on his overall track record, but looks like a great player at the moment
      Morgan - not yet
      Prior - a very talented individual, would have a good shout against Alan Knott
      Bresnan - not yet
      Broad - not yet
      Swann - Arguable, I rate him highly
      Anderson - No

      My point is that this team has played as a great team for a while (South Africa will show us what they are made of), without a Warne/McGrath or Richards/Marshall/Holding axis.

      All in the England team have pulled their weight, contributed and played for each other. This is what I meant.

      Look at India's 'stars', apart from the magnificent Dravid, they were a rabble.

    • re: "The current England cricket team makes a strong argument to support Jim.

      How many great players? And clear #1 in the world, thrashing the previous #1 by playing as a machine."

      I think Cook, Anderson, Bell, Swann and Prior are top players in the world. Swann took important wickets in the final test, Bell, Cook and Pieterson all scored heavily in at least one game. Yes England are a well-oiled team but you still need outstanding individual performances to win matches... Cook's 292 (ish), Bells 225 (ish) and Swann's 6 wickets in last innings all did alot to win tests.

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