lørdag den 27. november 2010

Domenico Criscito


Left-back/Midfielder - Italy

Original 200 writeup:

Based on the last part of the previous season where his club Genoa impressively finished 5th in Serie A with as many points as Fiorentina in 4th, as well as the start of this season where Genoa were pretty much my favorite team out of anyone to watch, I was ready to catapult Criscito much higher. He just looked very good.
Since then with Genoa being much more up and down and Criscito joining in on all that instability, I've had a really difficult time placing him.

Criscito is someone who is good at just about anything almost anywhere on a football pitch but not particular great at anything either. He can play positions in both defense and midfield. He has a great work rate currently in full flow as a left wingback/midfielder. He is a good marker and tackler. Passes the ball well and there is nothing wrong with his ball control or pace. There really is no weakness. And all of those attributes can be put to good use deep in his own half, in midfield or the final third.

The only complain I can come up with, other than nothing is excellent, would be lack of serious threat coming from him on attack. That's also the one thing that might still mean veteran Fabio Grosso might very well keep his left-back starting job for Italy a little while yet.
Pirlo making a deep pass to Grosso is still so much better than what Criscito has to offer. I thought I saw improvement from him there early in the season and was just about ready to have him in or around the top 100, it was after all the only part of his game I'd hesitate calling good, but unfortunately it's still the case that without and especially with the ball his runs just aren't up to the level of a lot of very good wide players who really do excel in that area.
It's a shame cause he is definitely a better overall player than someone like Grosso and other specialists at whatever, he just lacks specialties in his own game to really become special, so to speak!

Hopefully something will improve. I should note that shortly after I had been so impressed with his play, on the forward front as well, he did suffer an injury and missed some time, so who knows if that played in.

The 300 update:

Criscito had a solid enough 2009/10 but was probably ranked too high.

This season has seen big changes at Genoa with long term coach Gasperini being shown the door.

Gasperini of course was known for his 3-4-3 and with him gone so is Criscito's usual role as a wingback.

How playing as a standard fullback will affect his play (and ranking) is still a little unclear. He has done reasonable well in that role for the national team. There isn't much competition however (and no one really good at all currently) and it's my initial impression that Criscito's allroundness transfered better into the 3-4-3 wingback role than it does into the specialization that is the modern fullback role.

With many fullback specialists around, likely playing that position better, Criscito's could, unless he plays really well, easily drop out of the list altogether.

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