Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Can Rodwell play right back

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When Jack Rodwell first came on the scene, he was a young centre-back helping us out in our time of need. He's since played wide on the right, wide on the left, and centre midfield, and not really shown outstanding form.

With the young lad Smalling of Man Utd (who also is a centre-back) performing so well at right back, is it possible our boy could do as good a job in that position for us? Some extra height in the back four would certainly be welcomed and, if Baines is not available for Saturday, maybe a back four of Rodwell Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin could do the job.

Or am I talking crap?
Brian Swift, St Helens     Posted 06/09/2011 at 20:45:46

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Jarrod Prosser
1   Posted 06/09/2011 at 06:36:22

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Answered your own question there, fella.
Marcus Choo
2   Posted 06/09/2011 at 07:11:53

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Would represent a regression in his development in my opinion. We want him to end up someone like Arteta, not Phil Neville...
John Audsley
3   Posted 06/09/2011 at 08:10:34

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Hmmmm... Let's keep him in Central Mid for the moment.

I think we might have enough RBs at the club.
Matt Bone
4   Posted 06/09/2011 at 08:49:01

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WHY?

We have Neville, Hibbert and Coleman (when fit).
Dominic Bobadilla
5   Posted 06/09/2011 at 08:52:45

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Jarrod said exactly what I was planning to say.
Dan McKie
6   Posted 06/09/2011 at 08:58:34

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Rodwell is already planning on filling the void left by Arteta not being on the pitch. First things first Jack, try filling the void you leave when you ARE on the pitch!
Robert Johnson
7   Posted 06/09/2011 at 09:36:28

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Knowing Moyes, I'm surprised he's not stuck him in goal and moved Howard out to the wing...
Karl Meighan
8   Posted 06/09/2011 at 10:03:17

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Firstly Arteta has more skill in his little finger than Rodwell will ever have. Rodwell needs to have a good spell in central midfield as one good game in thirty is not good enough at Premier League level.

How many more chances does Rodwell get before people realise he is just a ordinary defensive midfielder. I'm getting sick and tired of Rodwell and Bily saying "This is my big chance," then doing nothing.

To answer your question: no way would I play him rightback; I would even prefer Hibbert, to be honest even without Arteta I would prefer Fellaini and Barkley in the central midfield positions.
Mark Yeomans
9   Posted 06/09/2011 at 10:18:09

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I think it's finally time to give Bily the run he needs to either stake a claim or nail himself out to dry. We have often said the "hole" is the one possible place Bily is made for with his quick feet. (We've done to death the fact he damn ain't no winger.)

Same goes for Rodwell in centre-mid (with Fellaini holding) as well I'm thinking. The one fair point about Arteta going is that, when big players leave, it can give those in the shadow of them a chance to front up. Although we have a few injuries for this Saturday (Baines, Cahill) I do think we possibly have a chance for the following line-up when fit.

Howard
Neville Jags Distin Baines
Barkley Fellaini Rodwell Drenthe
Bily
Denis/Saha

I would much rather prefer Coleman in time in place of Neville, but I do rate Phil's captain skills when we have our backs to the wall at present.

This does leave Heitinga benched but he is never a centre mid and is good cover for Jags/Distin.
Dominic Bobadilla
10   Posted 06/09/2011 at 10:47:08

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Hello Mark, I agree - Bily is made for the hole. He would be perfect in the hole role. The only problem is that the hole is currently being occupied by Cahill. Watch Bily for Russia; he thrives in that role.
Ernie Baywood
11   Posted 06/09/2011 at 10:55:47

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I've been a supporter of Bily, insofar as thinking he deserves a chance.

But I'm not sure you can be THAT slow and play in any position in the Premier League. He's out of chances for me and the only reason he's still with us is no-one else wants him.
Mike Oates
12   Posted 06/09/2011 at 10:51:09

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Rodwell's problem is that he seems to lack any kind of drive/energy. His first instinct is to slow things down (it's why I suspect Man Utd have dropped their interest as they like to move the ball quickly). He doesn't drive forward with the ball ? I think the last time is when he scored the 3rd goal against Utd ? 2 seasons ago!!

I don't think he's being coached to slow things down, I believe his injuries have hit his confidence to take the physical risks to drive forward with the ball ? he knows the crunching tackle is just about to happen.
Saegaran Kana
13   Posted 06/09/2011 at 11:02:09

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Just from last nights U21 match against Israel, I'm convinced Rodwell will be a better center-half than a midfielder as he hardly contributed to attacking with his sideway passes. Maybe its time to play him in in the back 4.
Ciarán McGlone
14   Posted 06/09/2011 at 11:09:41

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Rodwell, is not a centre half. To suggest he first 'came on the scene' as a centre half ? is factually incorrect.


He didn't play centre half for the first team until well after his debut... and when he did, he wasn't very good.
Ian Kearney
15   Posted 06/09/2011 at 11:18:11

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I want to get the best out of Rodwell, because his natural talents are so considerable. But if playing hin RB means the awful Neville plays midfield then it can't happen!
Danny Broderick
16   Posted 06/09/2011 at 11:20:17

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He has some similar qualities to Smalling, but if you look at our squad we are well served at right back and he needs to focus on asserting himself in centre-mid. He doesn't seem to have the right mentality to play centre-mid for me though. He seems content to just float around the pitch. He needs a kick up the arse/ someone to wind him up ? anything to get him tear-arsing around the pitch and getting in the opposition's faces. A bit more urgency is definitely required...
Rob Hollis
17   Posted 06/09/2011 at 11:27:05

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Have we not just signed a striker for that role?
David Thomas
18   Posted 06/09/2011 at 11:25:22

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I just can't see anything special in Jack. Every game he plays I am really hoping he will show this "potential / undoubted ability" that everyone keeps referring to, but I just can't see it. Watching the England Under-21s last night, he lost the ball a number of times and I actually can't remember seeing him pass the ball forward once.

I think the commentator summed it up well at half-time when he said Jack had made little or no impact on the game. To me, except for a couple of instances, that summed up his Everton career.
Stephen Kenny
19   Posted 06/09/2011 at 11:39:57

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I don't want to be overly critical but I haven't seen the aggression in him that will make him a Premier League defensive midfielder and certainly not a centre back.

He's a good enough footballer to play right back and he's got the athleticism to get up and down, which is important at full back these days.

IMO, if he's going to be a Premier League player, that will be the position he makes it.
John Crook
20   Posted 06/09/2011 at 12:33:44

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Rodwell has never played centre-half ? he just got likened to a young Rio Ferdinand who started off in centre-mid but dropped back to centre-half... It's possible he could do a job there... but I wouldn't fancy him there at the moment.
Tommy Heskrth
21   Posted 06/09/2011 at 12:38:25

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Rob 17#, you've just made me spit my tea over my keyboard.

Very funny mate.
Rory Brennan
22   Posted 06/09/2011 at 13:39:12

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I'd rather have Coleman there.
Al Reddish
23   Posted 06/09/2011 at 14:49:19

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I don't think it would be a good idea myself. It will probably hinder Neville's development.
Ray Robinson
24   Posted 06/09/2011 at 14:58:33

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I agree with Ciaran. Why do people even suggest Rodwell is a centre back? I just can't see it myself. Never have. I'm sure there is a position for him in centre midfield and yes, the guy CAN run with the ball. We saw it against Man Utd, we saw it at Man City when he drove down the wing (yes, the wing!) and centred for Cahill to dummy and Arteta to score.

I suspect he doesn't even know his own best position and wonder whether the natural instincts are being coached out of him. However, I don't understand this centre back theory!
Dan McKie
25   Posted 06/09/2011 at 16:22:56

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Not knowing your best position is not an excuse for playing crap in almost every game, regardless what position you get played. The only time I have seen him play at centre back was a friendly at Bloomfield road against Blackpool and he kept getting skinned as if he wasnt even there. Like someone else has said, he lacks aggression.
Rob Murphy
26   Posted 06/09/2011 at 20:28:20

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Bilyaletdinov can't get a game with Russia either,useless fucker
Wayne Smyth
27   Posted 06/09/2011 at 16:57:47

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Blimey some of you folks are critical.

When was the last time Rodwell had a sustained run in the central midfield position? And was he playing with other players who were showing for the ball or creating movement ahead? Seems like some people expect more from a youngster struggling for match sharpness than they do from established PL players. He certainly aint the messiah, but he's not shit either.

Rodwell has been played on the wing in half the games I've seen him. He's also had injury issues and when the rest of the team consists of players who treat the ball like a hot potato then a sideways pass is about the best you're gonna get. I'd rather have a sideways pass to a blue shirt than have Jags, Neville or Hibbert hoof it 40 yards straight to the opposition.

Personally I think he could make it as a defensive central midfielder but I also think that Barkley looks significantly better than Rodwell, especially as an attacking midfielder. Whether Barkley is cut out to do the defensive work of a centre mid I'm not sure.

Barkley gave away a pen with a clumsy challenge at Blackburn and he also lost possession in dangerous areas playing for the U21's last night. Perhaps the cahill role would be more suited.

Infact if I were Moyes I'd think about playing 1 striker with Barkley and Bily just in behind. Both of those players are technically gifted and I think they'd be on a similar wavelength. Both also seem unreliable for defensive work so it solves two issues in one go.

Karl Meighan
28   Posted 07/09/2011 at 00:16:39

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Wayne @ 27 ? it's not being critical saying what we see, for a start I've seen more natural footballing ability from Barkley in 3 games than I ever have from Rodwell. He hasn't had a run of games as he has not produced enough to warrant a first team place. He has had injuries but he has also played enough games that, if he had played well enough, he would come straight back in ? especially given that Felliani has missed large parts of the last two seasons.

I believe Rodwell will become a steady Premier League player and nothing more. It amazes me to think a player with basic footballing ability is considered by many as a possible future great.
Mark Yeomans
29   Posted 07/09/2011 at 08:53:12

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ernie @ 11

I do agree in some ways as ive seen milk turn quicker than him run when he has space on the wing.

My phrase is a bad analogy though as i mean he's poor direct, but ive always thought when u watch him is that the one thing he does do well is "turn" fast, i.e. its a skill that only works when the ball is played in central just in front of the back four. Frustrating as a winger as it stalls attacks but i still think a god-send in the hole position as it contorts the x2 centre halves....hopefully allowing a ball to split them for saha/denis.

I think this is win or bust for him and is the only position left to go.

I (in my blue tinted goggles) think he may be able to do that for us, and whilst I would not slate cahll for the icon that he is, he is technically a poor footballer in this role
Wayne Smyth
30   Posted 07/09/2011 at 16:53:10

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Karl I agree regarding Barkley, he does look special. However I just think its far too early to judge Rodwell when he's a young player, being played all over the shop in a poor side....or do we really expect a youngster trying to find his feet and his match sharpness to take more responsibility than established PL players and take the game by the scruff of the neck with surging runs forward, Cryuff turns etc.

Fellaini looked shit in certain games, he also got tons of stick from posters on this site, yet when he was given a sustained role in a position which suited him and the rest of the team started playing well then the guy looked like one of the best central midfielders in the prem.

I'm not saying Rodwell is a world beater or even that he'll turn into a good PL centre mid, I'm just saying he really hasn't been given a fair chance so its a bit early to pass judgement, in my opinion.

Rodwells situation is exactly the same as Bily who gets a ton of stick yet is rarely played to his strengths. You wouldn't play Messi at centre half so why you'd play someone with no pace, but quick feet and a good attacking football brain as a winger is beyond me.

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