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Jack Stephens - Saint or Sinner?

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Jack and JWP have both transformed in the last month or so

 

I think it has helped both players that we now play a back 4 with 2 dm's. I don't think Jack was comfortable in a back 3 and I also felt that JWP wasn't entirely effective in a midfield 3; both their roles were muddied a bit, whereas they now have simpler, and more direct roles.

 

I thought they were both excellent yesterday.

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Jack is benefiting from a settled back 4 and from being picked each week

 

We saw similar improvements in him before when he was given a run (recall the “better than Maguire” posts)

 

he did however then implode and got sloppy again. Hopefully this time he has permanently improved

 

time will tell

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Yeah was very much a fan of Stephens because he looked like he had all the attributes but felt all the switching off meant he'd run out of road at saints. Glad to see him bounce back. Long may it continue.

 

The thing is, he never had the attributes. He was poor in the air and couldn’t mark. In fact, all he was good at was 1-1 defending.

 

I don’t know what’s happened, but he has really come a vital part of the team. He’s becoming the leader we needed at the back and whilst I do worry mistakes could creep back into his game, long may this form continue.

 

We still need a Cb, but at this rate, we play them with Stephens.

 

Credit to Jack and Ralph.

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The 3 CB experiment was never a good idea, I hated it. Stephens is the only CB we have who I would regard as properly comfortable on the ball. With 3 CB’s on at once we didn’t become more solid we just invited pressure and became more likely to see mistakes. I get why we did it, but it was horrible mostly. With the personnel we have, it’s been so important we play on the front foot.

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Absolutly proven me wrong, didn't look capable and was out of his depth. I think he has a bit more protection in and around him, but still he's proven me wrong and taken charge.

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Jack has been a man mountain the last 4 or 5 games, hasn't made a notable mistake. I love eating my words when it comes to him at the moment!

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The thing is, he never had the attributes. He was poor in the air and couldn’t mark. In fact, all he was good at was 1-1 defending.

 

I don’t know what’s happened, but he has really come a vital part of the team. He’s becoming the leader we needed at the back and whilst I do worry mistakes could creep back into his game, long may this form continue.

 

We still need a Cb, but at this rate, we play them with Stephens.

 

Credit to Jack and Ralph.

 

All about opinions but I reckon that he has always had the ability and lack of concentration and positioning were the negatives !

He is actually very comfortable on the ball and his distribution (see Ings goal v Spurs) can be very good also !

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Jackenbauer.

 

I recall that comparison being made in his early days, about the same time he was considered better than Maguire (after a single game at St Mary's vHull).

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Jack has been a man mountain the last 4 or 5 games, hasn't made a notable mistake. I love eating my words when it comes to him at the moment!

 

Ah! The extravagance of a new poster. Never mind you'll soon pick up the local language lad.

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Total speculation but I wonder if he's been working with a psychologist to improve his concentration

 

or maybe someone told him to pull his finger out or we would sell him to Bolton, either way it looks like we have the player who many of us thought he could be when he first cam into the team so long may it continue.

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Reading an article in the Athletic it seems Ralph has been a big influence, challenging him to do better, working on his weaknesses and that he suits the system as he is our best ball playing defender. Also have to remember he has only just turned 25, centre-backs usually take a while to learn their trade, a lot of defending comes from experience unless you have raw pace to cover any mistakes. Van Dijk was 24 when he joined us and until he start performing regularly for us their were doubts over his ability, hence why he wasn't picked up by bigger clubs whilst at Gronigen and then Celtic.

 

Also credit is given to him being a good communicator, so a lot the improvement is probably from having a stable back, the right players in front of him as well, and every working well as a unit.

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Reading an article in the Athletic it seems Ralph has been a big influence, challenging him to do better, working on his weaknesses and that he suits the system as he is our best ball playing defender. Also have to remember he has only just turned 25, centre-backs usually take a while to learn their trade, a lot of defending comes from experience unless you have raw pace to cover any mistakes. Van Dijk was 24 when he joined us and until he start performing regularly for us their were doubts over his ability, hence why he wasn't picked up by bigger clubs whilst at Gronigen and then Celtic.

 

Also credit is given to him being a good communicator, so a lot the improvement is probably from having a stable back, the right players in front of him as well, and every working well as a unit.

Load of nonsense about Van Dijk, he was quality from day one here.

 

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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Load of nonsense about Van Dijk, he was quality from day one here.

 

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

 

Yeah undoubtedly. But there's a very good reason why he signed for us at that point in his career and not for Liverpool/City/Barca.

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Load of nonsense about Van Dijk, he was quality from day one here.

 

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

 

He was, but there were clearly reasons why he ended up at us and Celtic previously, not much bigger clubs, and those were doubts about his ability.

 

Point was very few centre-backs are the finished article at 24-25, most don't peak until their late 20s, maybe Stephens is finally fulfilling his potential and putting the talent he clearly has (otherwise he wouldn't have been here for so long) and using it to produce on the pitch.

 

Or maybe it's just a run of good form and he'll return to type in a few months.

 

Fonte is another good example, he had been bumming it around on loan at various clubs in his early 20s, then signed for Palace in the championship than we signed him in League 1, at about 25-26, doubt many would have predicted in his early 20s that he'd go on to be a good Premier League centre-back, earn 42 caps for Portugal and win the Euros with them.

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Nominated as Premier League player of the month.

 

These are weird times we're living in.

 

Sent from my F3311 using Tapatalk

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Nominated as Premier League player of the month.

 

These are weird times we're living in.

 

Sent from my F3311 using Tapatalk

 

Pleased for him.

 

Forum experts have gone a bit quiet.

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Pleased for him.

 

Forum experts have gone a bit quiet.

 

I’ll pipe up; I still believe Stephens and Bednarek to be mediocre players at this level, albeit currently enjoying a period of good form. If they have a good season, rather than a good 8 games, I will likely change my mind.

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I’ll pipe up; I still believe Stephens and Bednarek to be mediocre players at this level, albeit currently enjoying a period of good form. If they have a good season, rather than a good 8 games, I will likely change my mind.

 

That's fine. My thoughts exactly. It's the "league 1 standard, get rid" brigade I'm referring to.

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That's fine. My thoughts exactly. It's the "league 1 standard, get rid" brigade I'm referring to.

 

what about the “championship standard get rid” brigade?

 

he just isn’t competent enough at defending. He’d probably be a decent DCM in the championship but his decision making and marking are not good enough for Premier level.

 

mess

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what about the “championship standard get rid” brigade?

 

 

 

mess

 

ouch, right in the 'nads

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He might not win January player of the month because he was unfortunate to score an own goal in February? :rolleyes:

 

:lol:

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Criminally underrated by many of the forum illuminati - Jack has proven himself to be an excellent Prem player and today he was simply immense.  Keep proving people wrong Jack!

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Another fantastic performance from Jackenbauer. Thought Bednarek was very good tonight as well. Still believe we need a starting CB with Jack/Jan fighting it out for who plays alongide him. No coincidence we're looking at Salisu/Disasi etc. Be interesting to see if the likes of Alfie Jones or Christoph Klaer step up to be 4th choice next season if Vestergaard is moved on. Hoedt wont be back either

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I notice that his performance was so good on Sunday that Garth Crooks has put him in his team of the week: www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53306819

That is pretty high praise - effectively saying that over the weekend he was one of the top three defenders in the country on the basis of performances.

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He has grown into his role, and as Ralph stated " I like him, he talks" which sort of indicates his leadership credentials on the pitch.

Yes he is prone to a mistake, but he is certainly no more prone to these than many Prem CB's - Think Stones, Keane, Otamendi, Lindelöf, David Luiz, Mustafi, Lovren and many others... All of which make far more balls ups than Jack.

He's doing a really good job right now.

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1 hour ago, SaintJackoInHurworth said:

I notice that his performance was so good on Sunday that Garth Crooks has put him in his team of the week: www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53306819

That is pretty high praise - effectively saying that over the weekend he was one of the top three defenders in the country on the basis of performances.

DT Sport had the Goalkeeper, the 2 Centre Backs and Ralph in the team of he weekend. No one from Liverpool.

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1 hour ago, SaintJackoInHurworth said:

I notice that his performance was so good on Sunday that Garth Crooks has put him in his team of the week: www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53306819

That is pretty high praise - effectively saying that over the weekend he was one of the top three defenders in the country on the basis of performances.

I don't really pay much attention to anything Garth says, he speaks absolute bollocks on a consistent basis. Jack in any team of the weak was a no brainer, it's not like he had to put much thought into it. I wouldn't call any accolades from Garth as high praise!

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Posted (edited)

About three years ago I said to my son, Jack Stephens will play for England one day. I agree, he has made some mistakes along the way, had a few ups and downs, been absolutely slated on here, but I still think he will play for England. He must be on Gareth's radar after Sunday. Not only was I impressed with him under pressure on Sunday but when he got the ball at his feet in the box, in the main he didn't just hoof it out (a couple of times he did) but he was playing intelligent balls out and setting up possible counter attacks. And yes, as stated above we have a settled CB pairing and that makes a big difference. As someone else said, he also marshals the defence and is showing leadership skills.  Well done Jack!

Edited by Saint Keef

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Hopefully gets that England cap and plays well, can then flog him for an overinflated price like what happened with Maguire after the WC.... and get some quality replacements in.

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Posted (edited)
On 07/07/2020 at 16:20, S-Clarke said:

I don't really pay much attention to anything Garth says, he speaks absolute bollocks on a consistent basis. Jack in any team of the weak was a no brainer, it's not like he had to put much thought into it. I wouldn't call any accolades from Garth as high praise!

We kept a clean sheet against Man City who had over 70% possession and 26 shots. So yes, by inspection our defence had a good game.

Conversely vs Arsenal he was caught out and then sent off by the through ball for Abamayang which led to the goal.

Consistency at a good level is the sign of a quality player and he isn't at those levels yet.

The simple truth is that for the first games back after the restart he was out of shape and very off the pace, but that has been improving. He has some very good games for saints and there are glimpses of a very good CB. Hopefully we can all enjoy him turning into those glimpses into a regular occurrence.

I'd actually say we look better since we've started playing Romeu in midfield again, he actually is a solid anchor player and has better defensive and technical abilities than PEH. That rotation may have been enforced by PEH's decision to leave, but I'm glad to see him back. And i think we look a far more solid side with the midfield of Armstrong, JWP, Romeu, and Redmond.

 

Edited by Saint86

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10 hours ago, Saint86 said:

 

Conversely vs Arsenal he was partly responsible for both goals. One with a back pass under pressure to the keeper (although admittedly what McCarthy did was full on face palm), and being caught out and then sent off by the through ball for Abamayang which led to the goal.

 

 

What a load of pony.

It wasn’t even him who passed the ball back to McCarthy, and he was ‘caught out’ because of a woeful pass from Hojberg. 

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