The Man in the Middle

There’s a great article over at Zonal Marking (which you should read every day, it’s the best) about central midfielders which I thought was interesting in light of our recent discussion of the values of Zokora. He doesn’t get the love that more famous players on more famous teams do, but as many were saying on the poll earlier this month, he might be our most important player.

The article makes the point that deep-laying CM’s often prompt people to wonder what exactly their role is because their play is subtle and unspectacular, but Zokora so consistently wins balls out of our own third or in the midfield and then distributes a nice simple pass that he’s hard NOT to notice. In some ways his passing is more notable than defensive mids on other teams (I think) because of the fast counter-based wing play of Navas and Capel/Perotti: When Zokora wins the ball, his apparently simple pass is often the one right before the killer through ball from midfield in behind the opponent’s defenders.

I don’t have a particularly strong point, I guess, other than you should read Zonal Marking, and Zokora does a fantastic job playing a role on the team that no one else on the roster seems suited or as capable of playing. I bet you can make a better point in the comments. Go on, then!