Korinov wrote:In Madrid he was the perfect example of a workhorse: endless stamina, constant movements, ruthless defensive work... I know he later changed at Chelsea, his game became more intelligent to compensate his loss of fitness. But in Madrid he lost as many balls as he recovered, and just got a bit idolized by the supporters because the DMFs who arrived after him were just terrible (Gravese, Pablo García, etc).
About the Mascherano comparison... maybe we need to actually create a consistant ladder in DEF for all defensive midfielders. I mean, I think currently we have 80 as the "frontier" value: Redondo has 80, prime Mauro Silva has 80 (late one has 82, well deserved IMO, he lost physique but compensated in terms of intelligence), Vieira has 80, Mascherano has 80, Roy Keane has 78... etc.
The thing is, Makelele in his Madrid era was worse (in terms of DEF) than all those players. That's why I suggest 77 DEF for his Madrid era. But we could also widen the scale a bit, like this:
77 - Makelele (Madrid).
78 - Keano.
80 - Mauro Silva (prime), Makelele (Chelsea), Vieira, Mascherano.
81 - Redondo.
82 - Mauro Silva (late).
Updated previous suggestions of mine.
PS: His 'solid' passing at Chelsea was, IMO, more a matter of better TW and general reading of the game that true improvement in passing skills, however I'd have no troubles in letting it sit around low yellows (one point reduction for SPA/SPS is still needed IMO).
You may have a point of him being more of a pure work horse at Real (although admittedly I havent seen a huge amount of him there) while honing his defensive craft at Chelsea. He's Easily the best pure DM in Prem history if not modern football altogether though, his DM role has now been dubbed 'the Makelele role.' He's pretty much become synonymous to what all future DM's should abide by.
I really wouldn't put him on par with Keane and Veira in terms of def , both superb tacklers in there own right more box-box players ( I think Viera might be a couple points too high in def even) better than Masch as well who was even more of a pure enforcer than Makelele relying on his response. Sure Makelele was an incredible reader but his def posistiong at Chelsea was exemplary as well. he'd just stick there in a deep position soaking up all the pressure enabling the more attacking players on the team to raid forward and really help out the defence that famously kept 25 clean sheets and went over 1,000 minutes without conceding while winning the league title in 2004/05, 82 is a fair value imo.
" If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." - Isaac Newton