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Thread: Jack Stephens

  1. Default Jack Stephens

    I'm sure there will be plenty of criticism tonight as he seems to have inherited the scapegoat title. Calls for him to be dropped and replaced by our new international & for him to go on loan somewhere.

    He really wasn't as bad as some made out. Him & Yoshida had no protection first half as the side were poor. When the experienced players stepped up second half , he looked a lot better. His long term development would have been enhanced by today, working through a tough day is a major part of developing as a player. He also played against a system he's not used to, with Son not really playing as you'd expect a centre forward to.

    Since coming into the side, he's played in a semi final , a final , played against an old fashioned bully at Watford, a smaller striker in Defoe and now a different type today . It's all a learning curve. It took Yoshida 2 years to get used to the premier league & he's an international , yet we expect Stephens to be on it straight away. I say leave him in & let him learn, let him develop and let Puel coach him and work with him. Maybe it could pay off and produce a decent centre half. How is throwing a foreign mercenary in really going to help the long term future of the club? The premier league is where you learn about the premier league, not the championship. The experience he's gaining, good and bad, could be the making of him. Let's not throw him overboard when the going gets tough.




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  2. #2

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    He is alright. Clearly 4th choice. Maybe 5th

    Him and Yoshida with inadequate partner for rom is killing us defensively

  3. #3

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    As a team we were all over the place at the back today

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKD View Post
    As a team we were all over the place at the back today

    Oh dear, we really weren't...... You need to find something else to watch as football is a bit much for you mate

  5. #5

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    Indeed, LD. Pretty certain that Caceres is here entirely to provide Stephens with some focus. It's Jack's place to hold on to, Caceres really should only be needed if Jack or Yoshida get injured.

    I know some on here are desperate for our "big name" signing to play but really he's just a hired hand there for emergencies. As long as Stephens keeps progressing, it's his shirt.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKD View Post
    As a team we were all over the place at the back today
    We struggled in the first half a bit but that was more down to then moving the ball quickly through the midfield than anything to do with CB's. I thought Stephens had a decent game.

  7. #7

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    Very close to being the finished product but not quite. He needs a session as our under study. There must be a line between being out on loan and not in contention and being fIrst choice. I'd like to see him, next session, playing the cup games and filling in in the PL if and when needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    He is alright. Clearly 4th choice. Maybe 5th

    Him and Yoshida with inadequate partner for rom is killing us defensively
    Jeez I will have a couple of bags of what you are spouting, my roses will love it.

    "Clearly 4th maybe 5th" Who the chuffing hell is in front of him, matey we have on loan? who ain't played for a 1st team game for a year then Gardos.
    So your order of things is VVD, Caceres, Yoshida, Gardos<>Stephens................ thank the lord you ain't nowhere near football management.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by CB Fry View Post
    Indeed, LD. Pretty certain that Caceres is here entirely to provide Stephens with some focus. It's Jack's place to hold on to, Caceres really should only be needed if Jack or Yoshida get injured.

    I know some on here are desperate for our "big name" signing to play but really he's just a hired hand there for emergencies. As long as Stephens keeps progressing, it's his shirt.
    a hired hand that has played for Barcelona and Juventus ! I can't quite believe you think Caceres should only be needed if Stephens or Yoshida get injured. Seriously ?

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    I've liked him so far. He looks pretty comfortable with the ball at his feet and has had some decent moments, including the Watford game where he defended well to prevent a go-ahead goal right before our third. Yoshida has looked solid also. The problem is that neither of them are in VVD's league and that is the comparison that many (including I suppose me) make, but there are very few defenders in VVD's league and it is ultimately an unfair comparison.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALWAYS_SFC View Post

    Oh dear, we really weren't...... You need to find something else to watch as football is a bit much for you mate
    The defending for both goals was a joke. Bertrand for the first just allowing that much space and the less said about the penalty the better. That's without mentioning all the other chances they had in the first half.

    Second half was much better, I suspect that was down to Romeu coming out a different player.

    Maybe it's just because I expect better standards than you, but then again you are Mr happy clap.

  12. #12

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    He made a very good tackle on Son just after we scored. Son was 6 yards out and just about to smash it past FF

    Kept us in the game.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by beatlesaint View Post
    a hired hand that has played for Barcelona and Juventus ! I can't quite believe you think Caceres should only be needed if Stephens or Yoshida get injured. Seriously ?
    He hasn't played for a year and was so fantastic and in demand that he couldn't get a club anywhere, at all, for not one but two entire transfer windows. We wouldn't have touched him were it not for the various fu ck ups we made in trying to get Jose's replacement in.

    So yes seriously. He was free, we were desperate, he'll be gone in June.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beatlesaint View Post
    a hired hand that has played for Barcelona and Juventus ! I can't quite believe you think Caceres should only be needed if Stephens or Yoshida get injured. Seriously ?
    and who has a contract for a couple more months. As it stands our season is coasting to end, we won't get relegated and we aren't getting Europe, our season was all about the cup final. In those circumstances we might as well give game time to a promising, up coming young CB on our books than a player we bought in to cover our CB shortage for a couple of months.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKD View Post
    As a team we were all over the place at the back today
    First half we were, but we were off the pace the whole team.

    2nd half Stephens was very good.

    After the summer he should be 4th choice CB, but we've got a one off chance to find out if he's good enough, can only find that out from long run of games.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sour Mash View Post
    First half we were, but we were off the pace the whole team.

    2nd half Stephens was very good.

    After the summer he should be 4th choice CB, but we've got a one off chance to find out if he's good enough, can only find that out from long run of games.
    Wasn't especially referring to Stephens, meant as a back 4.

    Second half much better, but had little to do really.

    Agree 4th choice next year for Stephens

  17. Default

    He was better than Yoshida today.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKD View Post
    The defending for both goals was a joke. Bertrand for the first just allowing that much space and the less said about the penalty the better. That's without mentioning all the other chances they had in the first half.

    Second half was much better, I suspect that was down to Romeu coming out a different player.

    Maybe it's just because I expect better standards than you, but then again you are Mr happy clap.

    Happy clap. Lol
    Just have a fair view of the game not driven by previous opinions and an inability to change them

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    He didn't do much wrong today but he clearly isn't yet ready to be a starter for an upper mid table Premier League team. Not saying he won't be ready but isn't there yet.

  20. Default

    It's the hardest outfield position for an inexperienced player to play. It's really hard to gain any experience because it's very rare you'll get off the bench if you're back up. It's also hard to come into the odd game here and there, so this run of games will do him the world of good.
    Ideally he'd have a keeper & centre back partner that actually talked to him and helped him, and to me they both appear very quiet. It's an ideal opportunity for him to learn and develop and also sends out a powerful message to other youngsters at the club & thinking of joining.

    It's a win/win, he'll get experience & Puel gets to see if he's got something.

    I've no doubt the ones calling for him to be dropped and replaced by a hired gun passing through, will be the same ones calling him judas if he leaves after becoming a good player.


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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALWAYS_SFC View Post

    Happy clap. Lol
    Just have a fair view of the game not driven by previous opinions and an inability to change them
    So saying our back 4 had a bad game today (first half specifically, little to do in second half) is based on a previous opinion...?

    I don't think Jack played perticicually well, but then neither did Yoshida, Cedric, Bertrand & Romeu (first half, much improved in the second from them 2) and Davis. He certainly wasn't any worse, in fact probably better, than Yoshida, who's been one of our players of the season.

    CB is still a week area for us without VVD and we need a partner for him as well next year.

  22. #22

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    I think we have to give the opposition some credit. They are second in the league, having won a string of home games. They are a good side with great midfielders and pretty much everyone has struggled against them at WHL. Stephens did at least as well as most other visiting CBs

  23. Default

    Thing is, centrebacks don't usually hit their peak for another 4-5 years, sometimes longer (Fonte, Vidic...). We shouldn't give up on him, and as our season is risk-free right now it's the perfect opportunity to give him top class experience and learn from his mistakes with little real consequence.

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    He isn't good enough. The partnership with him and Yoshida isn't good enough. They are too similar and no one takes charge. Just look at how many goals we've let in since this partnership started. He doesn't attack the ball in the air foir starters and has a tendency to ball watch. Dele Alli had a chance in the first half which Fraser saved and Stephens was 5 yards from him, marking no one. All I can think of is that they want the international break to get Caceras fully fit. We're not paying him however much a week for him to warm the bench whilst the current centre backs continue to not get any better.

  25. Default

    Stephens has done a pretty good job, and Yoshida has been mostly excellent. The problem rests with the change of midfield shape, with Romeu essentially left to do the lot; Davis out of position in the DM role and JWP being played as a wide right. Good teams midfields have motored through.

  26. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy ****e View Post
    He isn't good enough. The partnership with him and Yoshida isn't good enough. They are too similar and no one takes charge. Just look at how many goals we've let in since this partnership started. He doesn't attack the ball in the air foir starters and has a tendency to ball watch. Dele Alli had a chance in the first half which Fraser saved and Stephens was 5 yards from him, marking no one. All I can think of is that they want the international break to get Caceras fully fit. We're not paying him however much a week for him to warm the bench whilst the current centre backs continue to not get any better.
    So how does he get better, or is that it, he's just not good enough. **** him and move on to the next foreign import?


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  27. Default Jack Stephens

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint_clark View Post
    Thing is, centrebacks don't usually hit their peak for another 4-5 years, sometimes longer (Fonte, Vidic...). We shouldn't give up on him, and as our season is risk-free right now it's the perfect opportunity to give him top class experience and learn from his mistakes with little real consequence.
    Exactly, he'll be a better player for it. The ideal situation would be to get him a loan deal with one of the promoted aides next season or even abroad. I'm not convinced the championship is the best place to learn the art of being a premier league centre half and he certainly won't learn by being sat on our bench.


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  28. #28

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    The best post on this forum for a long while, very well said OP! ��

    I would say though that for many his name just isn't sexy enough and they'd probably prefer the quick fix mercenary even though realistically we have very little to play for in the remainder of this season!

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    Stephens has done very well since circumstances brought him to the fore. VVD and Fonte were obviously first choice at the start of the season but Yoshida and Stephens have more than adequately filled the gap. Of course mistakes are made but they haven't made many. Losing the ball in midfield seems to be more of a problem at the moment. Stephens looks comfortable with the ball at his feet and his team mates seem happy to pass to him. We're fortunate to have such talent progressing from the academy and long may they continue breaking into the first team. We were unlucky not to get a point yesterday - the team are playing well and with confidence and will IMO only get better. I hope Stephens keeps his place at least until VVD returns, or beyond when perhaps he will play alongside him.

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    As long as you're all happy to carry on shipping goals at the current rate then leave Stephens and Yoshida in the side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy ****e View Post
    As long as you're all happy to carry on shipping goals at the current rate then leave Stephens and Yoshida in the side.

    The lack of a decent keeper and a second proper DM are more of an issue than the CBs.

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    We aren't going down and with our best striker now injured and nothing left to play for, I've lost interest somewhat. I see no reason why we can't just play Stephens if we think that's best for him to gain some experience. It's not going to change much at this stage of the season.

  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by hypochondriac View Post
    We aren't going down and with our best striker now injured and nothing left to play for, I've lost interest somewhat. I see no reason why we can't just play Stephens if we think that's best for him to gain some experience. It's not going to change much at this stage of the season.
    Every place in the premier league is worth 2m so plenty still to play for. We wont catch Everton now (17 points ahead and even with 2 games in hand not likely) but could catch WBA in 8th.

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    hows he going to learn if he does not play, we are happy to give forward players time
    i say lets take any pain now and reap the benefits in the years to come, long time since we produced a young center back

  35. Default

    I really like him, looks very confident and is very comfortable on the ball. Sometimes too confident which leads to stray passes, but City are being praised for that all the time so must be good enough for us I suppose! It's been a tough situation for us in terms of having to have Stephens and Yoshida together, but individually I really like them both (i've always been a fan of Yoshida and never understood the extreme criticism of him). We are extremely lucky to have Van Dijk, he could make Les Reed look like a top centre back if you stuck him alongside him, so i'm confident that Stephens would be a more than capable option alongside Virg when he's back, so this run in the side will help him no end. Also, as a sidenote, I was at the game and was watching Dele Alli lead with his arm in every single header against Stephens yesterday, with no eyes on the ball whatsoever, just pushing Jack in the neck/face to stop him getting to the ball, which explains why Stephens didn't win many of those. Bit of naivety on Jack's part to a) let him do it and b) not react to it/go down - but not many players have the nastiness of that total **** Dele Alli, so he'll learn how to counter it over time i'm sure.

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    Stick with him. He has faced many of the top strikers since he has been in the team and although he has made mistakes I think that he is learning well and there are signs that he could turn into a very good centre back. His experience playing as a defensive midfielder for Swindon has made him confident on the ball and the experience he is getting at the moment can only help him. I would very much like to see him play alongside Virgil next season - and this is no reflection on Yoshi who I think has had an excellent season and cut out a lot of the schoolboy errors in his game.

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    Development is not just skills and tactics, its mental toughness. Its hard to play under intense pressure week in week out and handling that without dips in form is something which has to be learnt. Taking young players out fo the front line occasionally is good management.

  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by doddisalegend View Post
    The lack of a decent keeper and a second proper DM are more of an issue than the CBs.
    now your talking my language get rid of that 6foot 6 useless lump we have in goal.
    if he had come off his line to collect a high ball well inside the 6 yard box just before they scored their 1st they would not of scored
    I cannot believe how many goals FF lets in that are low down or even straight at him
    how ever he is considered good enough for England is beyond me

    these are my opinions and no amount of arguing will make me change that opinion
    in the same way I do not particularly like JWP Aka: skate boy
    St Mary`s spends half of its time singing about how much they hate the skates and then cheer this skate on hypocrites the lot of you
    he does a job for the team granted but I for one will never cheer him

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    With the number of games that we have in April I'm sure he will get rotated out on occasions and that's when we will use Caceres. He will be learning a lot at the moment and hopefully that will stand him in good stead for future seasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie61163 View Post
    in the same way I do not particularly like JWP Aka: skate boy
    St Mary`s spends half of its time singing about how much they hate the skates and then cheer this skate on hypocrites the lot of you
    he does a job for the team granted but I for one will never cheer him
    If you cut JWP open he would bleed red that is a FACT.

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearsy View Post
    If you cut JWP open he would bleed red that is a FACT.
    I do not dispute that but once a skate always a skate

  42. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    He made a very good tackle on Son just after we scored. Son was 6 yards out and just about to smash it past FF

    Kept us in the game.
    I was going to say the same thing. We were a little open at that point, but he did excellently. Good that others noticed that, because usually defenders mistakes are the only thing that sticks in fans mind.


    I have to say I thought he looked decent enough yesterday. I wonder if a CB could have stepped out to Erikson, but equally where was the defensive midfielder filling that same space? I thought our problems were more down to the inability of our midfield to compete, not the two CBs being weak.

    One thing I will say is that our lack of physicality, specifically strength in the air, concerned me a little during the Watford game. It certainly wasn't like Bennett getting mugged by Henderson all the way back in 2008, but it was the first time in years that I have been nervous about our ability to defend set pieces and long throws. We have been spoilt by the likes of Radhi Jaidi, Fonte and VVD in terms of arial ability. The current two are slightly unconvincing in that department. It took years for Yoshida to get nasty and start winning the majority of headers. Stephens needs to be a little `nastier' too IMO. Do that and I can start relax again.

    Heading aside, there are so many positives to Jack's game. First and foremost he looks a top notch footballer, absolutely brimming with confidence and so composed on the ball. The way he brings it down and plays is a joy to watch. He's going to get caught in possession every now and then, and fans might get on his back a la John Stones, but the extra ball (retention) we see due to him being unwilling to put his foot through it, really does help us. The cup final was a fantastic example. Time after time he wins the ball, takes his time and picks a pass. Yoshida does that too I might add.

    I have to say, personally I am pleased he has retained the shirt. It is very difficult for young CB to get experience in Prem sides. Apart from the promoted sides, the CBs are usually very experienced players and the younger players struggle to get a chance. I have no idea how good Caceres is right now, but this is fantastic for Jack's development. I cant remember the last decent CB we brought through the ranks. CB and GK have been positions we have really struggled.

  43. #43

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    Stopgap at the moment. Needs to go out on loan to an upper Championship side. I'm sure the experience is doing him a world of good but it's not helping with our current performances.

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    Depends on what role we envisage for Caceres.

    If he's only an emergency solution who we intend to move on from during the summer, Stephens should play as many games as possible. The learning benefits outweigh any impact on current results.

    If we think Caceres can do a job next season, he should get an extended audition.

  45. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie61163 View Post
    these are my opinions and no amount of arguing will make me change that opinion
    in the same way I do not particularly like JWP Aka: skate boy
    St Mary`s spends half of its time singing about how much they hate the skates and then cheer this skate on hypocrites the lot of you
    he does a job for the team granted but I for one will never cheer him
    Jesus.

  46. #46

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    Jack Stephens was on loan at Swindon last season and the one before. He doesn't need to go anywhere else at the moment. He is doing just fine right where he is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey Grandad View Post
    Stopgap at the moment. Needs to go out on loan to an upper Championship side. I'm sure the experience is doing him a world of good but it's not helping with our current performances.
    Its not doing any harm either. Apart from letting Erikson (?) ghost past him once in the 2nd half he did absolutely nothing wrong again on Sunday and looked calm and collected, significantly better than Yoshida (who I like) who was a bit all over the place. Stephens is clearly good enough for the PL especially if he is alongside someone like VvD. He is making less costly mistakes than Fonte was earlier this season, some people seem to expect him to be the greatest CB in the world already, even at his young age. The last thing he needs is a loan again, he has had them and performed very well. I would like to see Caceres playing but to be honest he is not going to be significantly better. It will be interesting when VvD is back whether Puel keeps faith with Stephens or swaps Yoshida back to the right. Unless he picks up some serious injury I fully expect Stephens to be England's CB in 2 or 3 years. He needs to improve a few areas (his heading and to some extent his passing) but it is quite exciting seeing a good ball playing CB coming through now, its been a long time since we have produced one like this (yes I know we got him from Plymouth). Think some people need to appreciate what potentially we have here.

  48. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie61163 View Post
    I do not dispute that but once a skate always a skate
    JWP has been with SFC since he was 8 yo, has represented SFC as captain of the England U21's and now he's representing SFC in the full England squad.

    He's only 22 yo but has made over 150 appearances under 3 different managers for SFC.

    HE IS ONE OF OUR OWN YOU F@>KING D!CK 'ED ......... grow up !!

  49. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie61163 View Post
    now your talking my language get rid of that 6foot 6 useless lump we have in goal.
    if he had come off his line to collect a high ball well inside the 6 yard box just before they scored their 1st they would not of scored
    I cannot believe how many goals FF lets in that are low down or even straight at him
    how ever he is considered good enough for England is beyond me

    these are my opinions and no amount of arguing will make me change that opinion
    in the same way I do not particularly like JWP Aka: skate boy
    St Mary`s spends half of its time singing about how much they hate the skates and then cheer this skate on hypocrites the lot of you
    he does a job for the team granted but I for one will never cheer him
    And I guess you're pretty convinced the world is flat, whatever anyone else says

  50. #50

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    I'm not sure if it's me but he hasn't been involved in as many Hooiveld/Yoshida (of old) **** ups or has he ?

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