Paul Madeley! One of LUFC's very best, surely?

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Re: Paul Madeley! One of LUFC's very best, surely?

Postby Sheepy » 08 Sep 2013, 08:53

Here's a question for you all to ponder, back in the day we had players such as Madeley who could literally play anywhere, we also had John Charles who could play at both centre half and centre foward at an international level. Even back in the 80's, we had Peter Swan who played both as a centre forward and a centre half.

In modern football this is almost unheard of, but why?

Was football back in the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's at such a standard that great players really stood out and these days the standard is so much higher that players have to be total specialists at their position of choice?

Or is it the other way around, were those guys back then just brilliant footballers?
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Re: Paul Madeley! One of LUFC's very best, surely?

Postby isrodger » 08 Sep 2013, 09:19

Undoubtedly Madeley was a class act. But here's a couple of points against your argument. 1. You seem to be using statistical analysis to justify madeleys inclusion, however the number of games they played is irrelevant in some respects. Gray was commonly regarded as the most talented/skilful player in the revie era. He is just a better player, he was world class by common consent. 2. I believe Madeley best position was centre half, you could make a case as fullback or defensive centre mid. Your team ( like BMc s )lacks balance. Eddie gray is the best left midfield / winger Leeds have ever had. I would buy your argument more in part if you included him instead of hunter or charlton, even bremner or giles. Currie again was quality, but would need to play instead of Bremner or Giles. Undoubtedly as a Geordie you will recognise your team has had some great centre forwards, Peter beardsley was a great servant and a fantastic player, however you wouldnt put him in your greatest 11 in midfield or full back, just because you have got milburn, keegan, McDonald, shearer up top. In my view there are only a few positions up for debate, keeper (Harvey or martyn), left back ( cooper or dorigo possibly Madeley), centre half ( hunter plus another), right mid (strachen or lorimer) & up front. You have got to find room for john Charles, up top or at centre half, as he is arguably the greatest player we have ever had, although a lot of his legendary status was sealed in Italy.
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Re: Paul Madeley! One of LUFC's very best, surely?

Postby johnh » 08 Sep 2013, 10:14

Malcolm
I think the intention here was to pick the best TEAM, not a list of the best eleven players. To replace Eddie Gray with Paul Madeley would totally imbalance the team. In John Charles you have one of the best headers of the ball ever. Crosses from wide right would have to come from an overlapping Paul Reaney, to rely on crosses from the left to come from an overlapping Terry Cooper would risk wasting a valuable asset. Eddie Gray would be certain to provide crosses for JC to get a hatful of goals and also his jinking runs into the box would be ideal for Alan Clarke to work off. This does not detract from Paul Madeley being one the best players for Leeds - ever, but the argument for his inclusion in the TEAM must be whether he replaces ANY of the defenders. He was that good that he could play anywhere in defence. Personally, I think there is a case for him to replace anyone in defence other than Billy, but not Eddie Gray.
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Re: Paul Madeley! One of LUFC's very best, surely?

Postby Wilfred Martin » 08 Sep 2013, 17:35

Paul Madeley was, without doubt, one of the most talented players ever to wear a Leeds United shirt, but his key asset - and the reason why he played so many games - was his versatility and ability to slot seamlessly into virtually any position in the team, without changing the team's balance and performance. With the smaller squad numbers at that time and the high number of league games, nearly every Leeds team had at least one of their "top 11" players missing through injury or suspension and Madeley was the perfect player to fit into the team. I would personally pick Eddie Gray above Madeley in a "fully fit" first 11, simply because of his ability to tear opposition defenses to shreds with his skill. The fact that he regularly got kicked from pillar to post for his efforts meant that he often suffered injuries and so played fewer games. (If he had enjoyed the protection that world class players today get, I'm sure that Gray would have received similar accolades as today's "superstars".) But choosing Gray above Madeley isn't being derogatory to Madeley. If I was to pick Leeds' best ever squad of 12, there is no doubt that Madeley would be there.
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Re: Paul Madeley! One of LUFC's very best, surely?

Postby Wilfred Martin » 08 Sep 2013, 17:47

Sheepy wrote:Here's a question for you all to ponder, back in the day we had players such as Madeley who could literally play anywhere...
...In modern football this is almost unheard of, but why?
Was football back in the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's at such a standard that great players really stood out and these days the standard is so much higher that players have to be total specialists at their position of choice?
Or is it the other way around, were those guys back then just brilliant footballers?


An interesting question. I suspect that some of the reason is simply that today's first team squads are comprised of 25 players, whereas, back in the 60's 70's there were only typically 16-19 players in a squad. This means that today's squads contain more players who are specialists in their roles and there is less need for utiliity players. It's probable that players like Phil Jones, Gareth Bale, Marouane Fellaini, (Sam Byram) etc. would be excellent in many positions, but squads today are never so short that they are needed to play so many different roles for a prolonged period.
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Re: Paul Madeley! One of LUFC's very best, surely?

Postby Malcolm Stark » 09 Sep 2013, 21:13

johnh wrote:Malcolm
I think the intention here was to pick the best TEAM, not a list of the best eleven players. To replace Eddie Gray with Paul Madeley would totally imbalance the team. In John Charles you have one of the best headers of the ball ever. Crosses from wide right would have to come from an overlapping Paul Reaney, to rely on crosses from the left to come from an overlapping Terry Cooper would risk wasting a valuable asset. Eddie Gray would be certain to provide crosses for JC to get a hatful of goals and also his jinking runs into the box would be ideal for Alan Clarke to work off. This does not detract from Paul Madeley being one the best players for Leeds - ever, but the argument for his inclusion in the TEAM must be whether he replaces ANY of the defenders. He was that good that he could play anywhere in defence. Personally, I think there is a case for him to replace anyone in defence other than Billy, but not Eddie Gray.


A fair comment, John, but Madeley did play the majority of those 367 games at number 11. He didn't necessarily play as an orthodox left winger, though, often coming inside to guard the back four, or covering the more aggressive runs of Cooper. It worked as well, given your success over those seven seasons.

Noone's ever going to win this argument, and my intention wasn't to denigrate the quality of Eddie Gray, but given his injuries, his offensive powers were rarely as electric as they were before 1970. His performance in the 73 Final illustrates that perfectly. After 1976, he played half of the total games he played for Leeds, but they were a fading power after then, in a reasonable period of transition under Armfield before it all went tits up.

I just wanted to throw in a reasonable shout for the great man, and I did that. If Madeley had been a Newcastle player, I honestly think he'd be our Bobby Moore or Dave Mackay.
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Re: Paul Madeley! One of LUFC's very best, surely?

Postby Malcolm Stark » 09 Sep 2013, 21:19

isrodger wrote:Undoubtedly Madeley was a class act. But here's a couple of points against your argument. 1. You seem to be using statistical analysis to justify madeleys inclusion, however the number of games they played is irrelevant in some respects. Gray was commonly regarded as the most talented/skilful player in the revie era. He is just a better player, he was world class by common consent. 2. I believe Madeley best position was centre half, you could make a case as fullback or defensive centre mid. Your team ( like BMc s )lacks balance. Eddie gray is the best left midfield / winger Leeds have ever had. I would buy your argument more in part if you included him instead of hunter or charlton, even bremner or giles. Currie again was quality, but would need to play instead of Bremner or Giles. Undoubtedly as a Geordie you will recognise your team has had some great centre forwards, Peter beardsley was a great servant and a fantastic player, however you wouldnt put him in your greatest 11 in midfield or full back, just because you have got milburn, keegan, McDonald, shearer up top. In my view there are only a few positions up for debate, keeper (Harvey or martyn), left back ( cooper or dorigo possibly Madeley), centre half ( hunter plus another), right mid (strachen or lorimer) & up front. You have got to find room for john Charles, up top or at centre half, as he is arguably the greatest player we have ever had, although a lot of his legendary status was sealed in Italy.


Beardsley would get into my all-time Newcastle team ahead of Shearer and Keegan. He was just a better player, while at St James's. Keegan played the last two seasons of his career with us while we were still 2nd Division, so he couldn't get close, and Beardsley was just better than Shearer, made more things happen. My life-time NUFC team is coming soon, on the Football Forum.
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Re: Paul Madeley! One of LUFC's very best, surely?

Postby Malcolm Stark » 09 Sep 2013, 21:24

Selby White wrote:Difficult to argue because Paul Madeley was world class, strong, quick, good passer, good tackler, shill, stamina, strong in the air, had everthing. I think one of the reasons he doesn't get put in peoples "greatest ever" teams is he actually never had his own position, where all our other great players from the glory years had cast in stone positions.
His ability to adapt to play anywhere in the Dons system was a massive asset to the team but actually wrongly counts against him in this argument.

I believe his best position was midfield and I'll go as far to say if Gordon McQueen hadn't been sent off in Barcelona in 75 and getting suspended forcing PM to play centre half instead of midfield we would have beaten the germans, losing his ability in the engine room was a big issue.

Back in the day i heard many people descibe him as a Rolls Royce among footballers.


You DID beat the Germans. You were cheated out of it by a pathetically weak French ref. Neither the lino or the ref saw any offence, yet Beckenbauer worked his magic and got the goal overturned.

Leeds would have easily held their 1-0 lead until the end. They did that in their sleep.

Madeley played at centre back in the Semis v Barca, in place of Hunter, and he pretty much marked the World's best player out of both legs.
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Re: Paul Madeley! One of LUFC's very best, surely?

Postby Malcolm Stark » 09 Sep 2013, 21:37

onenorthernsoul wrote:Paul Madeley is always a matter of friendly debate, as is the whole Best XI thing. How can you pick your best eleven when you haven't seen all the players? So it makes it a bit of a fallacy really for me, though a brilliant and interesting fallacy :D.

I never saw Il Gigante Buono play, or Bobby Collins, but everyone says JC was one of the best players ever in the world, and Leeds United might not have got anywhere without Don Revie signing Bobby Collins.

Revie always said that Madeley was the best full back in the world, certainly defesnively, while other experts at LU rated him even better in central midfield, as the 'anchor' type player or whatever they used to call it in those days.

Tony Currie, who I also near worshipped MS, was arguably better at Sheff U than he was at Leeds.


I know, ONS. But if I picked only Leeds players from my lifetime, and omitted John Charles, I'd be seen as an idiot. Then, if you could pick only Leeds players after 1964, who from the Revie period would you omit?

I know you love Bobby Collins. But once Bremner moved inside, and matured, he raised the bar as the ultimate midfield player, and I haven't seen a midfielder since with the on-pitch presence of Bremner. Maybe Beckenbauer, but certainly not Iniesta, Zidane or Platini.

Ah, I know Eddie Gray, despite his injury problems, was a superior left winger to Madeley, but I just went by the influence he had on that Leeds side during their most dominant and successful years. As Nottingham White said, the 2-11 of Reaney, Cooper, Bremner, Charlton, Hunter, Lorimer, Clarke, Jones, Giles and Gray played together on only about half a dozen occasions.
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Re: Paul Madeley! One of LUFC's very best, surely?

Postby Aces » 09 Sep 2013, 22:45

Malcolm Stark wrote:I do admit, the results stunned even me. I expected Madeley to be second or third behind either Bremner or Hunter, so for him to be top in both league and cup starting appearances was amazing.


If I recall correctly King Don used Paul Madely has a utility player, he was like a player without portfolio using a modern term for him. He would fill in when someone was injured, not that he wasn't a great player that didn't deserve a place on the team, but like I have said, all the other players were Shoe Ins for a certain position and PM could play well almost anywhere. But this is probably why he didn't make the top 11 but anyone thinking he should have, is well within their rights to believe that and I for one wouldn't argue against it.
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