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Vestergaard, bednarek and Stephens


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clearly Salisu has been brought in as a starter but without seeing him difficult to say the sort of player he is although reports say big, strong, quick and powerful which is just what we need. The future will be Salisu +1 

Short term who should form our centre back pairing? 
 

long term who is the partner for Salisu?
 

 

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In January it’ll be 4 years since we sold our leader at the back. 5 Players and Over £50m spent and we’re relying on a 21 year old to be our savior. It beggars belief that we’ve screwed up such a key position so spectacularly 

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52 minutes ago, Turkish said:

In January it’ll be 4 years since we sold our leader at the back. 5 Players and Over £50m spent and we’re relying on a 21 year old to be our savior. It beggars belief that we’ve screwed up such a key position so spectacularly 

Doing similar in central midfield. Despite having a year to replace Hojbjerg and a global scouting network we will probably sign Tom Davies on loan.

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I'll reserve judgement until I see Salisu play. Danso arrived with a big reputation from a big league but didn't have enough. Its Stephens and Bednarek for me at the moment.

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9 hours ago, Turkish said:

In January it’ll be 4 years since we sold our leader at the back. 5 Players and Over £50m spent and we’re relying on a 21 year old to be our savior. It beggars belief that we’ve screwed up such a key position so spectacularly 

It's not just us.  Man U have spent loads on average / poor (for their standard) CBs over the last few years and in that time have never had a settled partnership out of Bailly, Lindelof, Smalling, Jones, Maguire etc.  ManC haven't settled on a defence after Company left.  It's been a shorter period of time, but they are still going through the process of finding a new partnership .  Both teams can have their pick of the world's best, but haven't got it right yet. 

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2 minutes ago, Alanh said:

It's not just us.  Man U have spent loads on average / poor (for their standard) CBs over the last few years and in that time have never had a settled partnership out of Bailly, Lindelof, Smalling, Jones, Maguire etc.  ManC haven't settled on a defence after Company left.  It's been a shorter period of time, but they are still going through the process of finding a new partnership .  Both teams can have their pick of the world's best, but haven't got it right yet. 

The thing about it is though it’s so obvious what our problem is. Fonte wasn’t the greatest defender but he was a leader and organiser, all the players we’ve had since haven’t been that. It’s all very well signing young players but they need a few older heads to help them, especially in a position like central defence. I can’t believe that in 4 years there hasn’t been an experienced player available that can do that job which could have played alongside Stephens, Bednarek who whoever. Bedanrek is a reasonable defender but he’s not a leader, Stephens is good on the ball but cant defend and we’ve been though Hoedt, Vestergaard, Yoshida, Caceres, none of which have been anything like the answer. Let’s hope Salisu is the answer but I fear we are once again relying on youth in a crucial position 

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Probably also depends on Bednarek's contract situation...

Think it will be interesting.  I see it being Salisu + 1 in the long run, as he seems to suit the way we want to play, lets hope he's as good as expected...

Think Bednarek is better than Stephens, and Vestergaard is a good option for us in certain games. He's certainly got the best distribution out of the current 3.

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4 minutes ago, Turkish said:

The thing about it is though it’s so obvious what our problem is. Fonte wasn’t the greatest defender but he was a leader and organiser, all the players we’ve had since haven’t been that. It’s all very well signing young players but they need a few older heads to help them, especially in a position like central defence. I can’t believe that in 4 years there hasn’t been an experienced player available that can do that job which could have played alongside Stephens, Bednarek who whoever. Bedanrek is a reasonable defender but he’s not a leader, Stephens is good on the ball but cant defend and we’ve been though Hoedt, Vestergaard, Yoshida, Caceres, none of which have been anything like the answer. Let’s hope Salisu is the answer but I fear we are once again relying on youth in a crucial position 

I don't partucularly disagree other than I think 'leadership' is a character trait which doesn't necessarily rely on age.  A 25 year old CB (relatively young for the position) could easily be the leader of the defence.  I don't think we have found that character trait with our CB signings and have missed it badly.

If Salisu becomes first choice I think he will partner Stephens.

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2 minutes ago, Turkish said:

The thing about it is though it’s so obvious what our problem is. Fonte wasn’t the greatest defender but he was a leader and organiser, all the players we’ve had since haven’t been that. It’s all very well signing young players but they need a few older heads to help them, especially in a position like central defence. I can’t believe that in 4 years there hasn’t been an experienced player available that can do that job which could have played alongside Stephens, Bednarek who whoever. Bedanrek is a reasonable defender but he’s not a leader, Stephens is good on the ball but cant defend and we’ve been though Hoedt, Vestergaard, Yoshida, Caceres, none of which have been anything like the answer. Let’s hope Salisu is the answer but I fear we are once again relying on youth in a crucial position 

That January transfer window when we sold Fonte and didn't replace him was criminal.

But...we kinda did - we bought in Caceres who couldn't oust Stephens from the starting line up! Yep, that's right, Uruguay international, former Juventus and Barcelona centre back could not oust Jack Stephens from the starting 11.

I don't think we could ever afford Caceres and Puel was played like a puppet to ensure he didn't hit x amount of apps so we had to sign him, or something. He was signed for a PR thing I reckon.

We then had 6 months to sort it, so we came up with Hoedt for £15m, who we are now trying to sell for loose change to anyone who can whisper loud enough.

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None of them are good enough. Saints have not had a decent centre half since Fonte and VVD left in 2017 and will continue to concede soft goals without a defensive leader of the defence. 

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52 minutes ago, skintsaint said:

Such a waste and weird transfer, even went to play for Lazio, Juve and Fiorentina after us and nearing 100 caps for Uruguay now.

The only weird thing is that we didn't play him. Clearly better than Stephens was. He should have walked into our team. 

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Can anyone see us utilising Stephens as CDM. Especially given we have no money and seemingly won't sign one?

Salisu and Bedders for me. Vestegard as the rotation option.

Edited by Saint86
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25 minutes ago, Saint86 said:

Can anyone see us utilising Stephens as CDM. Especially given we have no money and seemingly won't sign one?

Salisu and Bedders for me. Vestegard as the rotation option.

No. Not really sure why a lot of people think this is a good idea either.

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1 minute ago, S-Clarke said:

What is with the craze to play Stephens as a CDM! Just, no! He's a defender, a very average one at that.

I guess because his greatest strength is that he's decent on the ball and has a good ability to pick a forward pass out of a defensive position. It's his last-ditch defending, heading etc... that lets him down. Therefore, he *might* be quite effective as a DM rather than a CB.

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3 minutes ago, S-Clarke said:

What is with the craze to play Stephens as a CDM! Just, no! He's a defender, a very average one at that.

Only thought is that it gets him away from the central defender position for which, despite a decent spell last season, he is not very good at.

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2 minutes ago, S-Clarke said:

What is with the craze to play Stephens as a CDM! Just, no! He's a defender, a very average one at that.

It's because people think he's going to be good there because he's okay at carrying the ball out of defence. It's one thing to do that when you've got time and space in defence with the whole game in front of you, quite another to do it in the centre of midfielder being closed down from all angles. Plus you need to be able to read the game there and Stephens isn't particular good at that, nor is he mobile enough for that role. It really is quite incredible what people see sometimes when watching the game. I remember several years ago someone said Dan Harding should play central midfield FFS.

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4 minutes ago, Sheaf Saint said:

I guess because his greatest strength is that he's decent on the ball and has a good ability to pick a forward pass out of a defensive position. It's his last-ditch defending, heading etc... that lets him down. Therefore, he *might* be quite effective as a DM rather than a CB.

Being good with the ball is just a must for any CDM anyway, but you need a lot more than that - strength, awareness, positional sense, ability to tackle, react to breaks, pace etc. He has none of those at all. That's why he's a really limited CB too, and why our defending has been so poor since he's been in the side.

He's improved so much, don't get me wrong, but he's still incredibly average and is such a huge downgrade on what we had before (VVD/Fonte)

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It's a tough act to follow. To be fair, Fonte and VVD was an exceptional CB pairing, probably the best Saints have had, (a huge improvement on Killer and Lundekvam who are the other decent CB partnership at Saints that I can remember).

VVD is widely regarded as the best CB in the world now, and Fonte was playing regularly for Portugal winning the EUROs. I doubt we'll ever recapture a CB pairing like that and not sure that there's a team in the Prem with a better partnership now, (possibly even in the world???). 

Obviously that doesn't mean we can't do better than we have over the past 3 few seasons. Alderweireld, Lovren etc were very decent CBs, hoping that Salisu will have a bright future.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On current form if Salisu isn’t the Ghanaian Vegard Forren then it’D have to be him and Verstergaard. By all accounts Salisu is quick and powerful, plus good with on the ball So could make a decent pair with big Dane. 

Edited by Turkish
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On 02/10/2020 at 10:28, Turkish said:

It's because people think he's going to be good there because he's okay at carrying the ball out of defence. It's one thing to do that when you've got time and space in defence with the whole game in front of you, quite another to do it in the centre of midfielder being closed down from all angles. Plus you need to be able to read the game there and Stephens isn't particular good at that, nor is he mobile enough for that role. It really is quite incredible what people see sometimes when watching the game. I remember several years ago someone said Dan Harding should play central midfield FFS.

Dan Seaborne as a front sweeper also, iirc.

Stephens is simply not a midfielder. And certainly not one that would fit the heavy press that Ralph goes for.

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1 hour ago, The Kraken said:

Dan Seaborne as a front sweeper also, iirc.

Stephens is simply not a midfielder. And certainly not one that would fit the heavy press that Ralph goes for.

Ah the good old front sweeper days! I’d forgotten about that, thanks for reminding me of one of the most ludicrous football related posts I’ve ever seen. 

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I think we brought in Salisu to start and partner Bednarek , however with Vestergaard's current form he is the first choice in a pairing now IMO.

I was one of Vestergaard's biggest critics, but he has done well of late and his passing ability is better than any other centre back at the club. The only worry is lack of pace, but Salisu has that and if Vestergaard continues to impress, then I would drop Bednarek.

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On 02/10/2020 at 10:33, S-Clarke said:

Being good with the ball is just a must for any CDM anyway, but you need a lot more than that - strength, awareness, positional sense, ability to tackle, react to breaks, pace etc. He has none of those at all. That's why he's a really limited CB too, and why our defending has been so poor since he's been in the side.

He's improved so much, don't get me wrong, but he's still incredibly average and is such a huge downgrade on what we had before (VVD/Fonte)

VVD is the Best CB in the world 

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