The best players of the season 1983/4

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by comme, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    Wanted to post a few other things:

    I found an interview with Gullit from November 1983 where he says that he sees Ceulemans as an example for his game. He says he isn't his idol but the type of game he plays has served as an example to improve himself.
    Gullit has said a lot of contradicting things of course but I thought, maybe an interesting anecdote.

    Ceulemans expressed before euro84 his frustrations about the problems in the team while he says that he was better than ever. He also discusses how hard it is to form an unity. "We should also not forget that Yugoslavia and Denmark have an excellent team and good players too." He mentions Soren Lerby in particular as player he feared the most. "A beast", he said.

    I also found it noteworthy that he briefly mentions the Netherlands and how they missed qualification on goal average (Spain qualified instead thanks to a 12:1 win over Malta on last matchday). He says: "The Dutch are utterly naive. Playing 4-3-3 is not a matter of pragmatism for them but one of the ten commandments. They need some pragmatism, this is not the 1970s. The game has changed and besides, in the 1970s they had the most talented generation on earth. They aren't an organized unity but they have never been."
    He even briefly mentions the 'farewell tour' of Cruijff indeed. He memorized the friendly played between Ajax and Belgium NT shortly before 1982WC. "Cruijff only played the first half. After that first half we were 1:2 down against a club team on our home ground. After full-time we had won with 4:2. That says everything I think. Pelé is the greatest but Cruijff was the best."

    also two things in spoiler:

    as addition to the players mentioned before who had good skill but performed irregular I can add this one too.
    Show Spoiler

    He was the partner of the more consistent Thoresen at PSV. Both scored 23 goals each but I mentioned Thoresen at #1 for PSV for consistency. I thought I post it because it is an entertaining one and a half minute.


    And this spoiler is for James (schwuppe, comme etcetera can skip this)
    Show Spoiler

    James,

    You need to take this into account:

    It hints that his impact was OK in the league. In that respect it is incomparable with Ronaldo at Real Madrid in 2006.

    Also consider that he scored 11 goals and that those 11 goals were field goals, so no PKs or free kicks.

    On top of that, consider that he scored a goal in the European campaign too (as attacking/central midfielder) and that he did well in friendlies. The team depended on him for a large extent. Feyenoord had not anywhere the same success in the seasons before or after (it took almost another 10 years before they would win another title in 1993 and seven years before they won another domestic cup in 1991).

    You can of course say: that are just friendlies but Ajax lost with 3:1 against AS Roma in their own stadium in that very same season. A few days later Roma played against Feyenoord and it ended in 1:1.
    I agree that friendlies are not as important as regular games but it does give a hint. Sometimes friendlies also had a hidden caveat like European teams not wanting to injure Pelé (for example) but overall I think it gives a hint.

    To conclude a few videos to give a hint:


    Vs Ajax




    Vs PSV
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xt15yu_psv-1984_sport#.UKqB34faVY8
    [/quote]


  2. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    Oganesian was named by Eric Batty of World Soccer either in his world XI or as first reserve. This wasn't a team of the season but just general players he rated highly. Scored tons of goals as well in 1983.
  3. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    Maybe interesting to post those all star teams in a separate thread in the future.

    What is the easiest way to get all volumes/issues of a magazine like that?
  4. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    I definitely will do when I complete the collection. Still need about 15 out of 600+.

    I got all mine on eBay. I did once see a completec collection available for £5,000.


  5. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    It is good but it requires quite a bit of reading between the lines and interpretation. There are often minor references to people playing well or statements that someone is a promising player. It's difficult to then interpret that into a clear rating.

    It's a starting point at least. Once I get to the 90s I can start using he European Football Yearbook which is a far better basis.
  6. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    How does the EFY word it? Do they give exact ratings or all star teams?

    I saw once an early 90s version in the library, looked good but rating players was still hard. It is hard anyway. Take the 1990-91 Milan team, they had a disappointing season with a sacked coach and the European Cup scandal against Marseille. I think hardly anyone in the team reached the level of the seasons before. Should one 'punish' them all equally or also look at who performed the least worst?
    It remains a team game after all - performances of others have an effect on the level of play of the best individuals, generally (famous exceptions exist though). Looking at who is the least worst in an incoherent team is also interesting though.

    Indeed, it is my impression with WS too. I tried to say it politely though with "journalists exaggerate it a bit sometimes".
  7. frasermc

    frasermc Take your flunky and dangle

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    Not 100% certain about either Miller or McLeish. If the listing was for best CB partnerships then I'd place them near the top but, for me, their sum as a whole was far higher than their sum of their parts.

    Both players had terrific longevity and seemed almost ever present for both club and country but on the occasions they were separated they never looked as good as they did together.

    But considering this in only for the 83/84 season my argument against ranking either would depend on how often they played apart that season.
  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    Hello comme,

    This is my last contribution regarding the Holland/Belgium thing but I try here to make a combined ranking for myself.

    Regarding Belgium it is a good starting point to look at the squad and who they missed.

    They missed the following names in particular: Eric Gerets (right-back), Walter Meeuws (libero) and Gerard Plessers (left-back and central defender). Of those three the national team coach said that they certainly would have played and that those are the firm first choices. Vandersmissen would have played too as 'holding player' in midfield despite not having a good season but he had improved in the last parts of the season. He was hardly seen as a WC player though and they missed an energetic midfielder without sacrificing Ceulemans.

    They also missed Preud'homme, Millecamps, Renquin (left-back, replaced by Georges Grün who made immediately his debut), Daerden and Swat van der Elst.

    In test games the NT coach experimented with this backline: De Greef (right-back), Clijsters (libero - could also play as stopper; excellent player IMO), Lambrichts, De Wolf.

    He also thought about using Vandereycken or Coeck as libero because Belgium had surplus of good left-footed midfielders in their team (apart from those two also Mommens, Vercauteren etcetera). He experimented with Coeck as libero against Hungary in a friendly in June 1984.

    But at euro84 Lambrichts was replaced by Georges Grün (moved to right-back), who had convinced the coach.

    The coach remained optimistic and said that he had still players of 'international caliber' in his team. He named Pfaff, Coeck, Ceulemans, Vercauteren and Vandenbergh. Scifo was a 'rookie'.

    Hence, certain fixes in the team were Ceulemans as attacking midfielder (and captain instead of Gerets) behind the strikers, Scifo on the right, Vercauteren on the left and Vandenbergh as striker.

    The other striker position was battled between Claesen, Czerniatinsky and Voordeckers. The coach was remarkably not a big fan of Claesen (it turned out that Vandenbergh was over the course of years indeed more reliable and consistent).

    The defensive midfield position was a question mark; he doubted between Vandereycken and Coeck who had both their merits. He eventually opted for Vandereycken in order to maintain the core of Anderlecht players and because he wanted to have more "security". Coeck was also not entirely fit.

    National champion of that year was Beveren. Defenders Lambrichts (central defender) and Baecke (left-defender) were included but not first choice. Also midfielder Theunis was included in the preliminary squads and squads for friendlies earlier in the year but eventually coach Thijs felt that he had enough good midfielders in his team.

    My final take (in order to cut some names):

    Best defenders of low countries (no particular order): Walter Meeuws, Lei Clijsters, Danny Blind

    Best midfielders: Ceulemans, Scifo, Gullit, Cruijff

    Best forwards: Vandenbergh, Claesen, Vercauteren (also ended fifth in the vote as you can see), Van Basten


    It is hard to get a clear picture, I have to say. I also read a quote of Guy Thijs where he says that he lacks an "excellent man" like "Rijkaard or Tigana" on his midfield. But it is safe to say that Ceulemans, Scifo and Vercauteren were untouchable in the tactical scheme of Belgium. It is also hard to rate the Belgian defensive players but one thing is clear, if available Gerets (played a limited amount of games for AC Milan in 1983-84 but has a surprisingly good rating) and Meeuws were untouchable. Meeuws even was captain in his last cap (ahead of Ceulemans or Coeck).
    Pfaff was untouchable because he was the default goalkeeper; Preud'homme was already equally as good if not better.

    I hope this helps. Wrote down some more information than necessary in order to form your own thoughts or cross-check it with your sources.
    comme repped this.
  9. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    New additional info:

    The rating list that served as basis for the final ranking is this one after the final round:

    [​IMG]
    [this is a very harsh one in the sense that they had to play a minimum of 31 games out of 34]

    But the journalists made one big alteration/correction afterwards, which is the inclusion of Gullit in the final top 5.

    As you maybe have read on wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Footballer_of_the_Year ) or elsewhere, the colleagues named Gullit as footballer of the year of 1984, comparable with the PFA award.

    Major discussion point was whether it was a vote on the 1983-84 season or the 1984 calender year - it became the latter one but with an emphasis on the season (which is sometimes the case with the Ballon d'Or as well of course).

    I also managed to find all three nominees by the board of the 'player trade union' (to give it a name; essentially a players representation board formed by the players itself):

    Vanenburg
    Van Basten
    Gullit
    [which is not listed on wikipedia]

    The players playing in Eredivisie voted for Gullit. The successes he had for his club, form for national team, consistency in level and the amount of games played gave him the decisive edge. Van Basten lacked the amount of games; Vanenburg lacked the consistency in performance.


    Sorry for another post but I just found it very recently in the break.
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  10. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    It basically gave out "awards" or nominations for the players of the season from each European league with write ups on why they were good. It varied from sometimes none for minnow nations to five or six for Italy etc.

    It doesn't give you everything, but it is a major start for countries like Portugal etc.
  11. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    OK thanks. Would be great if you mention those names in an appendix or so when you get to those yearbooks. Especially because they are more or less accurate reflections apparently.
  12. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks again for the excellent information. It is invaluable. As soon as I get to a year with a European Football Yearbook (the first was 1987-8 before it went away for two years) I'll post up all their nominations. I don't have all the yearbooks but hopefully should have acquired them before long.
  13. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting. I completely agree on the partnership point.

    Miller was of course the player of the year for this season and McLeish was normally alongside him.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983–84_Aberdeen_F.C._season

    Based on this Aberdeen played 63 games (I think) of which Miller played 60, McLeish 59!
  14. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    I have even better news: I have access to all rankings I think since 1980 (Van Beveren) to 1995 (Danny Blind). However, it is more like a consistency ranking and very harsh. 31 games is the treshold. That is why, for example, the same Danny Blind won the prize in 1995 and 1996 but failed to meet the treshold in the 1991-1994 years.
    Also strange is that Overmars and Cocu finish high in consecutive years (Cocu even while playing for Vitesse long before he made his debut for the national team) but that Bergkamp in the same era fails to reach the top 20 while his colleagues saw him as the best in consecutive years and was a hot property on the transfer market (Bobby Robson saw him as the best in the world even). Jari Litmanen made never the list because of lack of games (best was 30 aps in 1993-94).

    Maybe still interesting but it has some limits I firmly believe. Says more about consistency and from that point of view it is interesting that the attacker Overmars reached the top three in three consecutive years (before his knee injury).

    Anyhow, I will start a separate thread if I have all of them complete.
  15. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    On top of that, you see the typical Calvinistic tendency to make the performance gap artificially smaller in all years I've seen so far. As if they think 'he isn't that much better' with as result that they start to rate players harsher in the last 10 rounds.

    EDIT: also funny: Ruud Krol on a lowish 9th place in 79/80. He moved to Italy in the following year and even became best rated player foreign player of Serie A
  16. frasermc

    frasermc Take your flunky and dangle

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    Out of the two I always prefered Miller over McLeish. Not to say I don't rate both but I had a personal preference that leaned towards Miller. In the partnership McLeish would often deal with the more physical aspect of the opposing teams attack leaving Miller with the sometimes trickier task of dealing with the more technically proficient forward.
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  17. frasermc

    frasermc Take your flunky and dangle

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    I'll stick my thoughts down regarding 'Choccy' tomorrow (Brian McLair)
  18. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    I calculated manually the rating of Van Basten in 1983-84. His name appeared in the overall list in the 1984-1987 years despite not playing enough games to end high. But this is not the case for 1983-84.

    His average grade in 1983-84 was a 6.97 - which means he had ended in the top 10 over a full season depending on how much games between the 30-34 games range.

    It is good but significantly lower as the one of Cruijff with a 7.18 and also lower as his best average in 1985-86 when he had an average of 7.5-7.6 (and higher as everyone else including 'winner' Gullit). Gullit had in 1983-84 an average of 6.58.

    But you can wait until I have those lists posted.

    If I have to make a call I would give Van Basten here two stars as Silver Boot winner. I can understand however now a bit better why his colleagues still nominated him despite playing a lowish amount of games.

    Ceulemans and Scifo are two stars candidates as well. Scifo was between 1983-1985 never as good as the years after (maybe except WC1990). He is seen as a 'failed' talent, to put it bluntly.

    Vercauteren and Blind one star at best IMO.
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  19. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    Thanks PDG for your rep.

    Youtube has a few nice Scifo videos by the way. People abroad remember him exactly for that style and for his 1990WC performance.

    Show Spoiler



    It is also worth to consider that Belgium was in 1980s among the top five leagues in Europe although that does not say everything - even more so in the pre-Bosman era.

    I'd say Yugoslavia deserves some inclusions too. They had an excellent generation.
  20. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

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    Yes, in some respects considering the World Cup and his goals in that including the excellent disallowed free-kick below 1986 was maybe the year he'd most be to the fore in people's minds until 1990 indeed. He scored a couple in the latter stages of the European Cup earlier in the year too as shown here:
    (1st goal)

    No doubt he was already a star in Belgium though in 83/84 as your thread about the awards and the Radnege article illustrate. He scored a lot of goals in 84/85 in Belgian football too which I guess followed on from his prolific youth career and his "little Pele" nickname.
    (1:12)
  21. frasermc

    frasermc Take your flunky and dangle

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    My opinion of Brian McLair was he was a very intelligent, honest, hard working, down to earth sort of person. And I believe that reflected in the kind of footballer he was.

    McLair wasn't blessed with extraordinary technical abilities. He wasn't a 'flashy' footballer. But he was extremely effective. He was quick without being blindingly fast. He always put a good shift in and he was an intelligent footballer. That intelligence meant he was able to find space in the opponents final third and was excellent at timing runs into the box.

    McLair was well respected by the Celtic support but he was never a fans favourite as such. I reckon this was due to the fact that, after signing from Motherwell, he was always honest enough to admit that he wanted to play in England, which he later did quite successfully for Man Utd.

    Choccy started the 83/84 season slowly as the manager who signed him, Billy McNeil, had been replaced by Davie Hay. McLair found himself behind Frank McGarvey and Jim Melrose at the start of the season but he did manage to finally integrate himself as a first team regular by late September.

    I suppose the fact that he scored 32 goals that season is even more impressive due to missing a fair part of the first couple of months but 83/84 was a barren season for Celtic on the trophy front and I personally feel McLair's best years for us were when he was later teamed together with Mo Johnston (even though they didn't get along off the pitch).

    If this is your definitive list for 83/84 comme then I would give Brian a * star rating for this year but if you're thinking of cutting it down slightly then I would have to suggest that Brian McLair may need re-considering as to whether he squeaks in or not.
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  22. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    comme signaled after I gave my take on the positions that he wants to include some others as Scifo and Ceulemans. This is my take on their position:

    - Scifo was an AM and also played at both sides. It was apart from his form one of the reasons why Thijs wanted to include him; he played on a high level on the left, right and center (comparable with current Mata perhaps?). When Lozano returned though in the following years he played predominantly on the sides for his club (according to some one of the reasons why his talent was wasted even though he had a good WC1990, a tournament where other stars underperformed, and a good 91/92 season at Torino).
    - Ceulemans was used as AM behind the forwards at the NT in this season but for his club it was a different matter. As you can see, despite finishing third in the league, only one other Brugge player was selected in the euro84 squad (and no one was injured or involved in a scandal; Thijs did consider Degryse as late inclusion though). It is no coincidence: Brugge leaned to a big extent on Ceulemans his qualities and inspirational charisma on the field. Hence, for Brugge he did not play as advanced but was generally in the middle of the engine room. Young Scifo his situation was in that respect different because he blossomed in a relatively dominant team. He is btw hard to classify because he could indeed play anywhere in the attack line and in midfield too (in that sense he was the prototype of Gullit, certainly, without the abilities to play at the back). Thijs also considered to use him as the energetic holding player (i.e. as the proverbial Tigana or Rijkaard they missed) but thought that in that case they would miss some scoring and attacking prowess. Here you see him playing with #6 and that wasn't without a reason:
    !

    Finally, a Belgian sports magazine made around that time fictional combined French-Belgian, Dutch-Belgian and German-Belgian squads. It basically confirmed my thoughts: they had Blind in their backline, Van Basten up front and Gullit as right winger (Vercauteren on the left obviously). Forgot to make a photo copy but this is what I clearly remember. They did not include Cruyff among the subs btw because he had retired.
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  23. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

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    That is excellent Fraser. Much appreciated. I think if anything I'm going to add more players rather than take away. Especially as the forwards section is rather sparse at the moment!
  24. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

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    @ schwuppe:

    Austrian clubs did well in the 1983/84 season. Who would you highlight if any?
  25. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

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    I don't know if fraser remembers this game, but here are two Peter Davenport assists from 1983/84 away at Celtic:

    He was seen as a good footballing centre-forward indeed as well as being quick and a good finisher. To get a general idea of his abilities (can't say off the top of my head which of these Forest goals/clips are from 83/84) this compilation is useful I'd say:

    I just tried a search on 'Nottingham Forest 83/84' and there is a longer version of the Celtic game plus extended highlights of games away at West Ham and Tottenham if you wanted to inspect further comme. There's also the away game at Anderlecht via the Scifo page on IBWM too...

    If there would be another Forest player apart from Davenport (still my first idea) then I believe Steve Hodge would probably be most in contention, apart from Anderson who is already in comme's list.
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