The CDM Debate

Since the crushing blow of George Thorne’s injury, there’s been lots of debate about who should take his place in the crucial defensive midfield pivot role, or CDM as it’s referred to on FIFA and Football Manager.

Earlier today I put a tweet out with my view that sparked a, relative, flurry of responses and retweets to the extent I thought it was worth expanding my point a little on Ramspace.

The DET today ran an article based around the ‘battle’ for the CDM role between Hughes and Eustace. This seems largely based on the fact they played half and half at Burton on Tuesday.

Although I went to the game, I didn’t need what I saw to form my opinion on said ‘battle’. In my view, neither player is appropriate to regularly play this role.

In the Eust, you have a class one destroyer who could certainly do a job away from home or in a situation when some game management is required. However when we need to get on the front foot, he doesn’t have the technical speed or quality of passing required. In addition he isn’t going to play 46 games.

Hughes is almost the polar opposite. Whilst not anywhere near as much a soft touch as his lightweight reputation would suggest, physical battles are clearly not his game. His creativity however IS very much part of his game and this level of talent is simply wasted playing 5 yard passes with Keogh and Bucko around the edge of our own box.

A curveball is Jamie Hanson and I would love to see his dead ball ability in our first team. However I think it’s maybe a bit soon for him and let’s not forget, he’s actually a centre half by trade.

So in summary, there is no debate to be had around the CDM role. We need a new one from outside the club to cover for George’s injury.


Posted on July 31, 2014, in General Rams Comment and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Debate over, you nailed.

  2. Top quality post, Chris. Discuss? I can’t (for once). You’ve said it all, can’t add to that. Let’s hope McClaren/Simmo realise we need a new CDM pretty quickly without the loss of too many points.

  3. Yep, nailed it I think. Your comments on Eustace are especially pertinent – they are the exact same reasons that Nigel brought him to the club. And yes, Hughes is no light weight and handled Joey Barton’s attentions gracefully but is not the one to “dish it out” with equal grace. So, who do we think we should be looking at? Not a rhetorical question, I have been pondering this since that fateful day with George and can think of no-one, but am intrigued by Steve M’s assertion that he will use the loan system to get Premier league talent in – or am I just projecting my own fantasies with that interpretation?!

  4. Bouncing Cheque

    Thought you described the differences between the two players well (Eustace & Hughes). George Thorne covers both physicality & technical ability which makes his loss doubly disappointing.

    Don’t go as regularly as I used to, but seen Hughes play CDM against Huddersfield away a couple of seasons back and while he dominated the tempo of the game, our build up play was slow. I think his strengths lie further up the field.

    Can see a loan alongside Eustace for this position.

    • I think we are all on the same page here. Hughes performance yesterday was great, but he’s simply wasted doing all his work in our half. When teams come and pack the defence, he’s the guy to unlock the door or pick a pass for a Bryson surge. He won’t do that stood next to Bucko.

      In the games against Burton and Rangers, our best tow moments were when Hughesy burst through from midfield. However we need him doing that every 5 minutes not once a half.

  5. The perfect role for Hughes for me would be just behind the striker(s) “in the hole” with the freedom to roam. In the meantime, have spotted the following link to a potential Thorne replacement – Nathan Ake, young Dutch player at Chelsea – and it does seem the Jose and Steve M get on well (FA Cup game & Bamford would testify to that…)

    Anyone seen him play or know anything more about him?

  6. Andrew Uttoxeter

    Spot on.
    At the moment, with the options, I would give Hughes the nod in order to put us on the front front regarding tempo and giving us the foundation. Although I hate what we would lose with him not being in the other half.

    I recently read that Ake was keen to join a premier league side and 3 clubs were interested in him. Although reports suggest they are unsure if he will be let go as Mourinho may be keeping him for the European rules of having 8 home grown players in the squad.

    I am sure if we believed he would make difference we could stand a fair chance in getting him over other clubs with our current higher profile and the opportunity of offering him a realistic chance of 1st team football, albeit whilst Thorne is out.

  7. Lee Lawrence

    I’m abroad and mainly in a WiFi dead zone. Can I assume that the guy we’ve picked up on loan from Madrid has been brought in for this? Sorry to sound such a dumbass – I’m trying to get back up to speed.

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