Monday, June 30, 2008

The Best of the Lot


Euro 2008 produced some breathtaking football, and in the end proved to be a victory for attacking football with Spain deservedly being crowned champions. But for all the inventive brilliance that we have witnessed over the last month, the standout performance of the tournament belongs to Marcos Senna. The news of Xavi Hernández being voted as the player of the tournament by UEFA’s technical experts is just filtering through, but for my money, Senna was the player of the tournament by a good mile and a half. Whilst, Xavi’s tremendous input cannot be doubted, I feel that Senna’s overall contribution to the La Selección should have helped him pip Xavi to the prestigious honour.

Throughout the tournament, Senna went about his business with the minimum of fuss and acted as a strong shield to a somewhat vulnerable back four. But the finest ingredient in Senna’s game is his ability to play the role of a defensive midfielder with imperious splendor and pleasing panache and without acting merely as a front sweeper like Makelele or Gattusso do. He is more than just the average front sweeper in so far as he possesses an excellent right foot and has the ability to contribute to a team in an attacking sense without compromising on his defensive duties. Right through Euro 2008, his distribution has been immaculate and as hard as I have tried, I can’t remember a single instance where a pass from Senna had gone astray. The relative ineffectiveness of Arshavin in the semifinals and Ballack in the finals can be put down solely to Senna's exceptional marking abilities. He doesn’t possess the biggest of physiques, but the manner in which he has bullied the midfield for Spain has been stupendously admirable. Whilst he is always present to quell the attacking threat of the opposition, he can pass the ball around with equal efficacy and can strike an excellent dead ball when required. There is undoubtedly a lot more to come from the Brazilian born 32 year old. He has already been touted to replace Flamini at Arsenal and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit, if the midfield maestro does make a big money move this summer.

4 comments:

ayan said...

Doubt whether Arsenal will move for him. He is on the wrong side of 30. But totally agree that he was brilliant in the tournament and deserved the award ahead of Xavi.

A Couch-side View said...

I agree with you about Arsenal signing him, but i think one of the other clubs might be interested. United expressed interest in him a couple of years back, but ended up signing hargreaves last summer.

Rahul Saha said...

I gotta agree with you there. A holding midfielder is always the engine of the team.

A Couch-side View said...

yeah and espescially a holding midfielder who offers great variety and balance to the team like senna does. The Makeleles and the Gatusso's only contribute in a defensive sense.