by Divyam Arora
"It's all very well having a great pianist playing but it's no good if you haven't got anyone to get the piano on the stage in the first place, otherwise the pianist would be standing there with no bloody piano to play."
Ian Holloway made the above comment in response to the criticism he received for playing too many defensive minded players. Not many people realize this, but it is these defensive that are given the thankless task of relentlessly closing down and chasing players, which eventually helps shape the outcome of the game. I guess, one could argue that the goalkeeper occupies the most important position on the pitch as even the slightest of errors can be fatal or the strikers who can single handedly fire a team to the title. But since the evolution of 'tiki-taka’ and possession football midfield has become THE crucial area, most matches are won and lost in midfield. And you can see the managers stacking up the midfield in the big matches. Jose did it against Manchester United, well that was a bit too much but he did get the result. You can see Brendan Rogers changing the formation to 3-5-2 to get a better hold in midfield. Most teams today have shifted to defensive midfield pair rather than just the one. Two central defensive midfielders provide a solid base for the playmakers to function upon and brings in a sense of solidity and organization in defense as well. The stock of central defensive midfielders has been on the rise even since evolution of modern football and indeed it has become the most important position.