Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Building from the back

 22 Comments: First  |  Last

First off before anyone gets a cob on I think were fairly solid at the back.

Secondly I think the Jag and Dizzer are good players individually.

But I don't think they work well as a combo and we looked a lot less solid at the back than we have ever done last season.

I think in the unlikely event that Arsenal come back with top dollar for the Jag it'd be a good move on our part to take the dosh. Watching us get the run around all second half against the cheatin submarines after constantly surrendering the ball has made me think we need a player at CB who can play the ball out of defence.

With defensive solidity already lacking why not try and incorporate a new style of play into the side from the back.

Perhaps it's Johnny or perhaps it's time to move the one time boy wonder into what's supposed to be his natural position? At least then we can say one way or another if he's got what it takes there.

One things for sure we haven't got the players at the back to play football or the players up top to play long ball so something will eventually have to give if were going to find a style of play that suits this squad of players.

Stephen Kenny, Liverpool     Posted 12/08/2011 at 17:38:35

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Stephen Leary
1   Posted 12/08/2011 at 22:20:19

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I would like to see a Jags, Johnny partnership, but Moyes tends to think there to small to be paired together. I fear tho Stephen that Jags gets sold which could still happen, there won't be a penny of it spent on players.
Alex Kociuba
2   Posted 12/08/2011 at 23:03:06

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Stephen Leary, with Distin on the bench? Madness considering hoe good he was last season.
Stephen Leary
3   Posted 12/08/2011 at 23:23:57

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I feel that we would keep a lot more clean sheets with a Jags, Heitinga partnership. I would like to see it given a chance.
Dean Adams
4   Posted 12/08/2011 at 23:28:21

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Alex Kociuba

I seem to remember Jonny being a rock the previous season and then he got droped. We also played our best football during that time.
Dennis Stevens
5   Posted 12/08/2011 at 23:46:09

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When you think back just a few seasons we kept a fair few clean sheets, but that defensive solidity seems to have been lost somewhere - particularly unfortunate as our strikers aren't exactly prolific.
Dean Adams
6   Posted 13/08/2011 at 00:14:47

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Dennis Stevens

Lee Carsley was the main reason several seasons ago. We really have not replaced him. So under-rated.
Jay Harris
7   Posted 13/08/2011 at 00:41:28

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Dean I hate to say it but you have to include Lescott in that as he patrolled his patch with impunity and scored quite a few for us.

I think he is a real big miss because he formed the perfect partnership with Jags.

I dont think we're nearly as solid now as evidenced by our inability to keep a clean sheet in most games.
Dean Adams
8   Posted 13/08/2011 at 01:25:56

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Jay Harris

Dont hate to say it fella. Its true. No matter what people say about him, he was oozing class on the pitch for us before his head was turned.
The only player name I have had on a shirt, watched him progress for years before he came to us. Such a shame the money clubs are killing the sport of football in this country.
Wayne Smyth
9   Posted 13/08/2011 at 07:46:25

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I dont think Jags is the reason we surrender possession.

The team has more fundamental problems than one or two players being unable to pass it. Would Arsenal really be interested in him if all he was going to do is hoof it up the field?

We have several issues:

1) There is a distinct lack of movement in the team resulting in ultra slow build up, sideways passing and eventual hoofing or losing of the ball when the opposing side close down 2 or 3 of our players.

2) Most of our players dont show for the ball enough.

3) When defending, our striker is often isolated some 40 yards or more from the nearest player.

All of these issues are things that must have been coached into the players or are a direct result of DM's safety-first tactics.
Paul Gladwell
10   Posted 13/08/2011 at 08:29:28

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Most teams would have less of the ball against a team like Villareal.
Before all the changes we played very well in the first half and created more than them, it basically summed up what we all know, our first 11 is good, the rest of the squad is shite and that's the big worry and these people coming on here dreaming of keeping the usual suspects fit are leaving in dreamland.
Andrew Hall
11   Posted 13/08/2011 at 10:42:58

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I don't think DM will ever go with a Jags / Heitinga partnership - he always likes playing with one one left-sided centreback (Distin now, Lescott before) and one right-sided CB (Jags or Jonny).

Shame as Jonny is the most comfortable bringing the ball out from the back.

Jack might be able to do it eventually, but I remember when we played him at CB a few pre-seasons ago and he got physically over-powered by lower league strikers.

With any luck if we can keep at least one or two of Felli, Arteta and Jack fit, they are capable of travelling back to the defence to pick up the ball and start some moves off.

If we had some wingers, that width would help distribution from the back four too.
Sam Hoare
12   Posted 13/08/2011 at 12:13:16

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I'm surprised Moyes hasnt tried rodwell at CB in pre season at al. I'd be curious to see how he would do there. He would seem to have alot of the attributes. Tall strong and quick. Plus he would distribute alot better.

If he doesn't do better in CM this year then it might be an option.

However if he progressed then i would really like to see a Fellaini, rodwell and Barkley midfield given time to develop. This combination might just have the potential to become the new holy trinity!

Oh yeah and Wayne Smith is spot on. Lack of movement, players showing and players working together is what makes us unable to keep the ball sometimes.
Derek Thomas
13   Posted 13/08/2011 at 12:28:17

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The game is won and lost in the midfield, always has been, always will be.

Could it be the back 4 is under pressure and sometimes failing because the midfield is not functioning as well as it should be.

The best football and results we have had in recent times was when we had Lucas Neil, as Rt CB and Johnny H as Left CB.

So the JH can't play on the leftside of the axis and Moyes won't select him does not stand up... but then again what other choice did Moyes have.

Yet another example of Moyes only changing the plan A, when left no options.

The Turkey will never vote for Christmas.

Mark Stone
14   Posted 13/08/2011 at 12:53:38

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Lee Carsley is so synonymous with the words 'under rated' that he must surely be rated highly? Is there anyone who didn't rate him??? Never understood this!
Billy Bradshaw
15   Posted 13/08/2011 at 14:24:13

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Sell Jonny ASAP he is a liability, slow and a bad influence in the dressing room.
Mark Hughes
16   Posted 13/08/2011 at 15:56:36

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Right, don't get me wrong but Blue Bill isn't blue ? he's green. However, I've got a sneaking inclination we will start strong and have a right go this season. No hyped bullshit, no bedding in players, no discontent among the squad, and for Moyes, staying quiet is us against the world...

So ffs com'on get behind the team and fuck the bullshit.

Dennis Stevens
17   Posted 13/08/2011 at 15:42:09

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Dean, you're quite right about Carsley bing an important player for us, our goals against was down in the 30's in his last two seasons with us. However, we were able to maintain this level of defensive performance the following season, but in each of the last two seasons we've conceded nearly 50 goals. I don't necessarily blame the defenders alone, I suspect it's more to do with the way we defend as a team - or is it all down to Joey Yobo?!
James Stewart
18   Posted 13/08/2011 at 17:59:20

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Heitinga is the best CB we have on our books and he doesn't even play there.

Alex Kociuba, was this the same Distin against manchester utd? He is a likeable guy but a disaster waiting to happen. Same as Yobo before.
Dean Adams
19   Posted 13/08/2011 at 20:21:42

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I would like to see Jonny along side Jags, showing him the way to play out of defence.
Moyes is supposed to be defence minded but cant get his head around defenders passing,
He, Moyes needs to look at things in a slightly different way so as to get the most out of his tiny squad.
Dave Wilson
20   Posted 13/08/2011 at 20:37:35

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I said this when he first came back from injury, Stephen, and have been saying it for ages, but given the current circumstances I think it`s now be a bad idea.

I agree with the people who think any money we raised would vanish.
Chris James
21   Posted 13/08/2011 at 21:31:38

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Quite glad we aren't playing today - an extra week prep might even allow us to get a bit of business done and based on what Bolton did we've got to fancy it against QPR.

In relation to the above:
i) RE: Jags
We desperately need some pace and attacking invention and we need to sell to buy, so for that reason Jags has to go. I think we'll miss him but I think we have enough defence-minded players to cover. What we lack is creativity.

The best bit of business would clearly have been Jags out for 15-18M > N-Zog in for 10M, maybe another 1M kept back to cover a big loan signing fee (Central def or Sturridge, Bellamy, Johnson, etc) and 4-7M to the bank.

Obviously that's gone now (as have the likes of Larsson, David Vaughan, Demba Ba and even Shane Long) but there's still options out there.

ii) In absence of Jags I actually think a Heitinga-Distin centre-back pairing would be solid enough with cover from Rodwell (who's looking increasingly lost in midfield), Hibbo/Neville and some of the youth.


iii) RE: Carsley - 100% in agreement, the man was an absolute legend for us, broke up play scored a few and also happened to be a genuinely decent bloke (which is sadly more than can be said for most of the jumped-up, overpaid and utterly classless twats that populate the premier league). Did loads of charity work and always seemed happy to chat to fans (in my experience).
Much as I loved Mad-dog, Madrid definitely signed the wrong Mitchell brother!

Colin Malone
22   Posted 14/08/2011 at 09:29:26

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Dean Adams # 6.
Spot on.
A Lee Carsley type player would be a MASSIVE asset to this side, so much so, if he was in this side now, i,d be confident of a top four finish.

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