This thought came about as a result of SuperPippo’s desire to create a world xi of current footballers if they were playing at their peak. We started with a debate of who to pick in the suddenly fashionable position of the ‘holding midfielder’.

The holding player has come a long way since Eric Cantona derided Didier Deschamps as being a ‘water-carrier’. Dechamps went on to lift the world cup and Claude Makalele went from a slightly under-rated player at Real Madrid to seemingly every pundit’s most indispensable midfielder in the world.

Yet, in the last few years we’ve seen the division of labour and the triumph of the creator/destroyer partnership. Italy won the world cup with Pirlo/Gattuso, Spain won the Euro’s with Xavi/Senna, Barca have Xavi/Toure and ManU have Carrick/Hargreaves(Fletcher/Anderson). Argentina have Gago and Mascherano while at Liverpool the Mascherano/Alonso tandem has finally convinced English ‘pundits’ that Gerrard’s best position isn’t a centre mid.

Anyways, what I want to know is who is out there who can blow this divisional partnership out of the water? Someone in the Roy Keane/Guardiola mode who could essentially play both roles giving freedom to the second player. Do we even want this to happen.

If we do stay with this paradigm though, I’d pick the following.

Creator – Xavi/Pirlo – pick either; its too close to call.

Destroyer – Essien – I hate this. For me Essien blows midfielding positions out of the water. You don’t fit Essien into a system but build your team around him. However I still think he’s a better footballer than Viera/Mascherano/Gattuso or whoever else you want to pick there.

– el Gaffer