Caste tendencies in wide positions

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by Novice, Aug 31, 2020.

  1. Novice

    Novice Newbie

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    Caste-like tendencies seem to be developing with regard to wide positions, particularly wingers. There appears to be bit a of dearth of white players in wide positions across several nationalities.

    In England, although this country produced the superstar Gareth Bale, winger positions appear to be dominated by black players today: Wilfried Zaha in Crystal Palace, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood in Man United, Raheem Sterling in Man City, Jadon Sancho, Demarai Gray in Leicester, Nathan Redmond in Southampton as well as younger players on the fringes like Callum Hudson-Odoi in Chelsea. The only English players I see deployed as wingers today are Todd Cantwell in Norwich, Daniel James in Manchester United, and Harvey Barnes, all of whom are only 22 years old. Jack Grealish has been deployed often as a winger, though he's more of a hybrid #10/winger. Other young English attacking talents deployed in more in central positions rather than as wingers are Mason Mount, James Ward-Prowse, Phil Foden and James Maddison. I think that perhaps the only black player from England deployed in a more central attacking role is Dele Alli in Tottenham. Overall, there is a clear preference for black players in wide attacking roles and white players in central attacking positions.

    In France, which produced the superstar Franck Ribery, the only noteworthy French player who plays out wide today is Florian Thauvin with Marseille, and he has made several appearances for the French national team. Antoine Griezmann started his career as a winger, but after moving to Atletico Madrid, he was deployed in a more central role. Black players appear to have a monopoly in this position in France: Kingsley Coman in Bayern, Ousmane Dembele in Barcelona, Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar in Atletico Madrid. And also small-time players such as Saint-Maximin in Newcastle, Ikone in Lille, and Moussa Diaby in Leverkusen. There are some Ligue 1 players who play out wide that are French, such as Martin Terrier in Rennes and Remi Oudin in Bordeaux, but at this point they're not on the radar of bigger clubs.

    In Holland, with Arjen Robben going down as one of the best Dutch players in history, the winger position appears to be dominated by blacks: Steven Bergwjin in Tottenham, Memphis Depay, journeymen Quincy Promes and Ryan Babel, Calvin Stengs in PSV. The only noteworthy Dutch player playing out wide today is Steven Berghuis, who has made 16 appearances for his country to date.

    These tendencies are even developing in Germany, too: the blacks Serge Gnabry is becoming the face of German soccer and so is Leroy Sane. The brightest ethnically German attacking prospects are deployed in central attacking roles: Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Julian Brandt.

    Even Spain to some extent has hopped on this trend. Spain's latest national team selection includes two outright black Africans named Ansu Fati and Adama Traore, both of whom are wingers. Spain still has some native Spanish wingers such as Ferran Torres, Oyarzabal, Asensio, Suso, Sarabia and Deuolofeu, though they have yet to reach superstar status. In particular, Asensio plays on a Real Madrid squad in which he competes with two Brazilian black teen wingers Rodrygo and Vinicius for playing time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  2. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Master

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    This post touches on my worst fears and something I have noticed that has accelerated in the past few years in soccer. It can be related to so many sports. Like the centerfield position in baseball. Or wide receivers, defensive backs and running backs in football. Or point guards and wing players in basketball. All skewing black.

    With the Premier League starting September 12th it would be neat Novice ( and perhaps other soccer posters) if you could give us a run down on each team while highlighting white talent. And young players to keep an eye on. I know some of the bigger names but it would be nice to have things clarified. I am hoping like crazy Messi signs with Manchester City. It has been all over the news but still nothing has happened. The main reason I am rooting for this is it will give me a greater opportunity to see the genius play. A little past his prime at this point but still a potent force.

    By the way while it delivers mainly depressing news beyond the white highlights your above post is brilliant.
     
  3. Novice

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    In England's latest squad for upcoming international matches:

    Just about every single player in a central midfield role is white: Harry Winks and Eric Dier from Tottenham, Phil Foden from Man City, Declan Rice in West Ham, James Ward-Prowse from Southampton, Mason Mount in Chelsea. A black player Kalvin Phillips who plays defensive midfielder was also selected.

    The white Jack Grealish, "has been utilised on the left-wing for Dean Smith’s side this season...though the 24-year-old has admitted that he actually prefers playing more centrally." He is also described as: "Given Grealish’s supreme technical abilities like close control, dribbling, holding/shielding the ball, vision and passing range, his impact on the game also seems to be at a much higher magnitude when he occupies the half-space rather than staying wide." I think that this is how the caste system developing in England looks as white players.

    And pretty much every player in a wide attacking position is black: Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood, Raheem Sterling. The black Maitland-Niles has played both as winger and at right-back. Sancho is described as a player with "blistering pace", Mason Greenwood is said to have "lightning quick pace." Rio Ferdinand said about Rahsford: "I will choose Rashford because I think what Rashford has is pace, amazing pace, but with amazing quality,"

    Based on this, there is a clear caste system in which white players are trusted with creative, play-making, and also holding duties, whereas black players due to their "lighting pace" are deployed in wide midfield positions. This is a marked change from just 20 years ago, when England in Euro 2000 had a midfield four of Scholes, Ince, Beckham and McManaman. And in the World Cup in 2006, England went with a midfield five of Hargraves, Lampard, Gerrard, Joe Cole and Beckham behind Wayne Rooney.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  4. Shadowlight

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    Perceptive and informative post (as usual). In many ways these developments represent my worst fears. And a big reason the English national team has fallen out of my favor over the past decade plus.

    I vividly remember in the early 2000's as if it was yesterday reading about this "new wave" of English soccer players. Wayne Rooney was at the time the rising star and main focus but there were stirrings beneath him. Extremely young black players emerging out of the blue. First there was Aaron Lennon and the Brit press was gushing about how his speed was somehow different from what came before. Right on the heels of Lennon was Theo Walcott another ultra pacey wunderkind the press labeled as the "future" of English soccer.

    Then and there I started to get this queasy feeling that this was the start of a trend that might not abate. As someone not entirely enthralled with Rooney I was always on the lookout for the next "Michael Owen." What I got instead over the coming years was an ever increasing flow of black wing players flooding the gates even if neither Lennon or Walcott lived up to their early promise.

    So here we are today some fifteen plus years later. My sense of discomfort back then was prescient. The English soccer landscape had changed irrevocably. And the result, as pointed out up above, English soccer has taken on a clearly defined caste layered set up. And I don't like it one bit even if I do like many of the white central midfield players you cite above.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  5. Novice

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    I'm wondering if maybe the emergence of Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, and more recently what is Danny Ings' breakout season may influence the nurturing of more white English talents in the central striker position. In the past 10 years, no black England striker has come anywhere close to the output of Vardy and Kane.

    Without a doubt, the best winger to emerge in England during this century is Gareth Bale, who's been the total package in terms of skill, pace, and end product from a wide position. Based on Bale's huge success, I would have expected a player of his magnitude to influence English clubs to nurture more native British and Irish players in wide positions, but that isn't happening on a wide enough scale.

    If we look at Bale's contemporaries:

    Theo Walcott never really lived up to the hype. He was regularly derided by Arsenal fans as a sprinter with poor technique, and he faded away around the time Bale made his move to Real Madrid. He never started for England in a major tournament.

    Although Aaron Lennon did start for England in the 2010 World Cup, his international career pretty much ended after the tournament, and made just 2 further substitute appearances for England. Whereas his Tottenham teammate Bale made a move to Real Madrid, Lennon at around the same time was effectively demoted to smaller club Everton.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
  6. Shadowlight

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    In many ways I am a neophyte when it comes to soccer. Comes with the territory of being American I guess. And I will gladly defer greater soccer knowledge to some of our more clued in posters here.

    I was in a bar when Bale scored his two brilliant goals to lead Real Madrid to victory in the Champions League final in 2018. There were some "bits and pieces" of his career I caught before that but he never entered my radar much. For starters he left the Premier League around the time it was just starting to get televised here in the states. Secondarily he was never on the England National squad playing for Wales instead so I don't recall seeing him play at the World Cup.

    I read he was poised to play in the 2012 Olympics for Wales but pulled out due to an injury.

    But Bale is a good name to bring up as you say he outflanked both Walcott and Lennon both of whom sort of petered out after all of that early hype.

    I am much more familiar with the speedy Vardy ( and Kane) and was delighted when Vardy led his team to a Premiere League championship several years back. And Danny Ings was a nice revelation this past season as I watched him play several times.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
  7. Novice

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    The caste tendencies were on perfect display in England's match against Iceland today.

    England deployed Phil Foden and James Ward-Prowse in more creative midfield duties, with Declan Rice as the anchor behind them. The blacks Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho started out wide. Harry Kane led the line for his 46th England appearance
     
  8. Shadowlight

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    I watched most of the match Novice. A dull affair played in some perpetual shadow. I guess the sun comes out every other year in Iceland? Ha.

    I missed a key sequence where they said Declan Rice whiffed on a short shot. He is still a budding star. Harry Kane apparently had a goal called back. D Michael Walker picked up two yellow cards and was tossed on a brainless tackle. England's Sterling scored on a PK from a hand ball late.

    England fouled super late but Iceland missed their PK. It was an ugly affair to be honest.

    England controlled the ball but it was like the worst of Spanish soccer. Just pitter patter crap without much penetration or resolve. Iceland sat back nearly the entire match only interested in securing a scoreless draw.

    Foden was substituted by Ings at the half way point. Two other stars that have lots of talent.
     

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