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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Could Distin play left back?

 14 Comments: First  |  Last

Thought about this quite a lot... and yes, the 'no cover at left back' argument has been brought up on here several times. But I think Distin could do a job there. He is very quick for his size and age and will have no problems bombing forward.

The obvious thing to consider is right wingers cutting inside on him... but he's an experienced defender and he would know what to expect.

Naturally this would allow Baines to play further forward (in a Bale type role) and help out Distin when need be. Another advantage to this is that it would add more height to the defensive unit. This is how it could possibly look:

GK Howard
RB Hibbert
LB Distin
CD Heitinga
CD Jagielka
RM Coleman
LM Baines
CM Fellaini
CM Rodwell
AM Cahill
CF Saha

(with Drenthe replacing Coleman when he is back)

Subs: Mucha, Neville, Stracqualursi, Bilyaletdinov, Barkley, Osman, Vellios.

John Crook, Leyland     Posted 27/10/2011 at 10:51:15

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Danny Broderick
1   Posted 27/10/2011 at 15:42:45

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He's our best centre half, and Baines is our best left back. Play players in their proper positions - are you related to the Moyesiah?
Andy Macrae
2   Posted 27/10/2011 at 15:47:17

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So you want to play with 7 defenders?
John Crook
3   Posted 27/10/2011 at 15:53:53

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Think we need to play with defenders at the moment. Becasue 6 can't keep a clean sheet.
Jon Ferguson
4   Posted 27/10/2011 at 17:30:27

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I've got to agree with Andy. It's far too defensive, you are also moving our best two performers this season out of positions that they are performing well in. We can't afford to do that.
James Stewart
5   Posted 27/10/2011 at 17:55:14

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He could play there at a push but I agree with the above posters. Proper positions please moyes does quite enough of musical chairs as it is.
Patrick Pulis
6   Posted 27/10/2011 at 21:45:14

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Up until yesterday I would've been open to the idea of Heitinga in the back four, but he was horrible against Chelsea. Bad judgements on tackles and getting beat far to often by players with pace. I'll take a partnership of Jags and Distin over Jags and Johnny any day.
Nathan O'Hagan
7   Posted 27/10/2011 at 23:16:40

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Distin played there for Pompey sometimes. But Baines would be less effective at left wing than bombing forward from full back. If Baines gets injured or suspened, it'd be an option, but not a particularly good one.
Jarrod Prosser
8   Posted 28/10/2011 at 00:13:10

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I'd like to see a back 3 with Jags Heitinga & Distin. Jags & Distin could cover for Jonny's lack of pace, whilst Jonny provides the ball playing CB that we need to assist Jags.

Coleman (even Neville in a pinch ? would have to be a pretty big pinch!) & Baines can play as wing backs with Rodwell & Fellaini in front of them.

We can always drop into 4-4-2 with the wingbacks dropping back, Heitinga moving into midfield & either Fellaini or Rodders moving on to support the attacking players.

Gives us more fluidity and allows us to alter our game as needed without a raft of substitutions.
Jimmy Sorheim
9   Posted 28/10/2011 at 02:30:20

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I don't think Moyes can afford to rule any constellation out right now as our squad needs to change a bit. We lack fire in the middle, you don't get exited anymore once Everton have the ball because you know they rarely do anything with it and hardly ever score. It is our biggest problem.

Straq does not seem fit yet and can hardly be our answer, so that leaves Saha and Vellios. Pretty dire. In midfield, I see only Barkley and Drenthe as creative players, maybe Bily in a central attacking role.

It is a rather bleak first team we are left with after the Arteta and Pienaar sales, and Moyes would be very wise to loan and buy in January. That is our only hope; Cahill just doesn't seem fit, and we need someone who can create something special, Coleman provided that in the last few minutes against Chelsea and it made a huge difference as we made chances and scored.
Dave Southon
10   Posted 28/10/2011 at 12:24:38

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While I agree that it would make us more defensive minded and also play players in their natural positions.
A more urgent situation arose...

What the hell is Mucha doing even on the bench!!! Bin him immediately and give Marcus the bench warming role.

That is all.
Marcus Kendall
11   Posted 28/10/2011 at 12:27:13

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Bad idea, full backs are rapidly becoming the most important player on the team sheet nowadays as most teams don't play proper wingers so they provide the width. Distin is way too clumsy to play left back and his attacking instincts aren't up to it.
Denis Richardson
12   Posted 28/10/2011 at 15:28:12

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Best to leave Distin and Baines where they are best. He could play there should Baines be injured, Neveille also played a left back a few times for Man U so we have 'cover' for now.

Like the 5-3-2 idea though with JH the middle of the CBs in a sort of sweeper role and Coleman and Bainsey as wing backs. Would then allow Fellaini and Rodwell to play either side of Drenthe/Barkley/Osman in the central AM role.

Think the above is just a pipe dream though as the team has been deployed for extra defensive 451 for so long that the players would not know what to do in the above formation. Also far too attacking surely...

(I'll get back to chamionship manager)
Denis Richardson
13   Posted 28/10/2011 at 15:35:42

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Jags Heitinga Distin
Coleman Baines
Fellaini Drenthe Rodwell
Vellios Saha

Wonder how that formation would play...
Richard Reeves
14   Posted 28/10/2011 at 15:49:01

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