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Jack Stephens to play a big role in this season


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It is true that Stephens has improved and is nowhere near as bad as some claim but not sure we should be calling him our new defensive leader.

Thoughts?

 

Ralph's words from hants live

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl believes that Jack Stephens has become the club’s new leader at the back this season after stepping up valiantly alongside Mohammed Salisu to replace Jannik Vestergaard.

The Saints academy graduate found himself well down the pecking order last term, behind Vestergaard, Jan Bednarek and Salisu.

However, after a fine pre-season, he has climbed back to the top of that list and is now the club’s most important central defender - and one of the first names on the team sheet.

Stephens is understood to have agreed a deal to stay with Saints beyond the end of the season, when his current deal is set to expire, and even with the club’s transfer deal to sign Brazilian Lyanco complete, the 27-year-old is proving his doubters wrong

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Ralph seems to think Jack's toughened up and becoming a leader at the back. Last week's performance seemed to back this up.

I hope this is true as I've always wanted him to do well. I know he's always got a big error in him but for some reason I just like the way he tries to play. There's a really good player in there trying to get out

I'll put my flame proof suit on!

Edited by jimmer42
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That comment is absolute garbage. He was out of position for both goals today. Ball watches and self indulges, show boating and leaving his position wide open The sooner he is replaced the less goals will be conceded. 

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17 minutes ago, derry said:

That comment is absolute garbage. He was out of position for both goals today. Ball watches and self indulges, show boating and leaving his position wide open The sooner he is replaced the less goals will be conceded. 

Reverted to type as some of us said he does after a couple of okay games 

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Just now, Turkish said:

Reverted to type as some of us said he does after a couple of okay games 

Yep. He looks like a good player a lot of the time, then just loses composure far too often. Before this season started it was almost unanimous on here that would be a huge mistake if Stephens was a starting CB. That seems to be shifting to a growing number on here saying “he looks like he’s improved”. He’s just not good enough to be a starting CB for a prem side with any sort of ambition, and he’s a complete mile away in quality from some of the CBs we’ve had in the past ten years.

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6 minutes ago, The Kraken said:

Yep. He looks like a good player a lot of the time, then just loses composure far too often. Before this season started it was almost unanimous on here that would be a huge mistake if Stephens was a starting CB. That seems to be shifting to a growing number on here saying “he looks like he’s improved”. He’s just not good enough to be a starting CB for a prem side with any sort of ambition, and he’s a complete mile away in quality from some of the CBs we’ve had in the past ten years.

Been the same the last few years. Comes in and does well for a couple of games, people get excited, there was even a few loons talking about England call up a couple of years ago. Then something happens and we concede soft goals with him ball watching or caught out of position. Everyone wants him to be great but sadly time and again just proves he’s not quite good enough 

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Jack has been very good so far this season. Dont get some of the negativity on here. He had a strong pre-season and was brilliant last week. His leadership qualities are so vital at the back. Our best ball playing centre half too. Good news about the new contract too :)

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7 hours ago, davefizzy14 said:

Jack has been very good so far this season. Dont get some of the negativity on here. He had a strong pre-season and was brilliant last week. His leadership qualities are so vital at the back. Our best ball playing centre half too. Good news about the new contract too :)

Absolute myth that he's good as a ball playing centreback. Gives it away so much.

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7 hours ago, davefizzy14 said:

Jack has been very good so far this season. Dont get some of the negativity on here. He had a strong pre-season and was brilliant last week. His leadership qualities are so vital at the back. Our best ball playing centre half too. Good news about the new contract too :)

We’ve conceded 6 goals in 3 games.

He’s a ball watcher.  A terrible trait for a defender.  Sorry, but he’s not good enough.

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Look no one is pretending he is the equivalent of Rudiger at CB.

However he is a heart and soul back up CB, and a presence on the field.

He steps up when required and does a good job. Ralph's style of playing does leave the CBs very exposed. I think he looks a lot more comfortable in a back three.

Be interesting to see how the new CB fits in.

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Unless it’s been taken out of context it’s comments like this from Ralph that really worry me. Stephens is adequate, he has the odd very good game but then he’ll have one like yesterday. Too inconsistent and his weaknesses three years ago are still his weaknesses today, ball watching being the biggest.

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1 hour ago, Wade Garrett said:

We’ve conceded 6 goals in 3 games.

He’s a ball watcher.  A terrible trait for a defender.  Sorry, but he’s not good enough.

Agree with him being a ball watcher. Unfortunately for Jack he does not have that awareness, that instinct for danger that make for decent centre backs. When forwards are seeking that bit of space in the box you will often see him ball watching with no awareness that a forward has pulled off into a dangerous area. Unless and until he can rectify that glaring weakness he will always be below the levels required which is a pity because the rest of his game is fairly tidy other than some poor decision making when he carries the ball upfield.

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He’s ok as long as he doesn’t come up against a striker that makes quick runs. For me the 1st goal yesterday was very similar to the Calvert Lewin goal. The scorer was in plain site of Stephens and he seemed to amble back without actually trying to get close or in front of the striker to get to the ball first. It seems if the football and the players are in front of him then he is fine, but struggles with player movement imo 

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I think both centre backs were a little guilty of ball watching for their first goal yesterday. I thought Salisu could have done more to read the situation and get in position quicker to try and block the obvious header across the face of goal. Stephens was perhaps expecting this resulting in him also reacting more slowly.

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He wasn’t even bad yesterday, he also made a great tackle on Saint-Maximin seconds before the goal that stopped him getting through. Whether it was his job to have picked him up later on in the play i’m not sure. He’s a decent CB, we play a very kamikaze game that is going to inevitably leave our CB’s exposed - he’s probably not built for it, but he does well enough for me.

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Every time he carries the ball forward he leaves the defensively lightweight JWP who lacks pace to cover him who tried to clear off the line for the second goal as the defence went missing and Diallo up near the corner flag losing the ball. FFS it was a no brainer, Newcastle had only one move get the ball forward to ASM or CW. Cover that and we have a clean sheet. KWP was defensively a weak link for the first goal. He isn't a left side defender. He was often caught facing the wrong way and lost I think SAM who headed across goal and despite Stephens being close he failed to track CW until it was too late. We didn't need to play KWP at left back it weakened us defensively although he attacks well.

Edited by derry
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I could become a new ‘leader’ at the back by being generally aggressive, shouting at people, poking Fernandes in the chest, arguing with referees etc etc. 

Proof will be in the pudding - how well he defends. 

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On 29/08/2021 at 10:42, saintwbu said:

He wasn’t even bad yesterday, he also made a great tackle on Saint-Maximin seconds before the goal that stopped him getting through. Whether it was his job to have picked him up later on in the play i’m not sure. He’s a decent CB, we play a very kamikaze game that is going to inevitably leave our CB’s exposed - he’s probably not built for it, but he does well enough for me.

Great post. We play Keegan-esc football so it's hard for an CB to look solid all of the time. And we play Keegan-esc football without the quality of players.

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i think Stephens didn't recognize the danger/threat in the lead up to the second goal Saturday.

He got sucked in and marked a man JWP basically had covered (or at least JWP was even with), where the real threat was the man on the outside (Salisu was a step behind him) - that man received the ball on the outside right and basically sprinted into the box with the ball unimpeded (which led ultimately to the goal).

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20 hours ago, LGTL said:

Proof will be in the pudding - how well he defends. 

 

2 hours ago, skintsaint said:

a big role indeed...

image.png.30d0017c2e4833d126c9450f6279b9ec.png

looks a bit flabby (for a pro footballer) round there middle here 😅

Took the proof being in the pudding a bit too literally?

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Unfortunately if true then we are in trouble IMO, he is very much a ‘good enough’ CB far too often and is likely only really good enough to play as back up

Hd had a fantastic game against Man Utd, but realistically was at fault for both goals against Newcastle and the DCL goal against Everton

Ive said before, he is far too much a ‘reactive’ defender, and is decent in a recovery tackle but time and time again is either caught out of position, does not track his man or misses the danger.. this is arguably exaggerated by our high risk football but this is the tactics we play

If you cannot mark your man effectively, you won’t make a consistent PL defender, and Jack has shown this time and time again

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3 hours ago, Smirking_Saint said:

Unfortunately if true then we are in trouble IMO, he is very much a ‘good enough’ CB far too often and is likely only really good enough to play as back up

Hd had a fantastic game against Man Utd, but realistically was at fault for both goals against Newcastle and the DCL goal against Everton

Ive said before, he is far too much a ‘reactive’ defender, and is decent in a recovery tackle but time and time again is either caught out of position, does not track his man or misses the danger.. this is arguably exaggerated by our high risk football but this is the tactics we play

If you cannot mark your man effectively, you won’t make a consistent PL defender, and Jack has shown this time and time again

In a nutshell.

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3 hours ago, Smirking_Saint said:

Unfortunately if true then we are in trouble IMO, he is very much a ‘good enough’ CB far too often and is likely only really good enough to play as back up

Hd had a fantastic game against Man Utd, but realistically was at fault for both goals against Newcastle and the DCL goal against Everton

Ive said before, he is far too much a ‘reactive’ defender, and is decent in a recovery tackle but time and time again is either caught out of position, does not track his man or misses the danger.. this is arguably exaggerated by our high risk football but this is the tactics we play

If you cannot mark your man effectively, you won’t make a consistent PL defender, and Jack has shown this time and time again

Stephens was not seriously at fault for either Newcastle goal. If you really must apportion blame for their goals then the first came about because KWP let their player go, Salisu was also way behind Stephens and probably should have got it. The second Salisu was the player that lost St Maximum, but its hard to blame him (or anyone). Blaming Stephens for either let alone both of those goals smacks of playing the man and not checking reality. Salisu had a great game Saturday, but he did make two mistakes, quite frankly the way we play our 2 CBs are left horribly exposed at times, with no other cover, the reality is that they both actually do a bloody good job in the circumstances. Its obviously not cool to blame Salisu yet, just like it wouldn't have been cool to blame Tino for the Man U goal, but it did actually develop from his mistake which subsequently put Stephens under pressure to put it out for a corner, which then led to their goal. But the boo boys just see a Stephens mistake, because it suits their agenda. 

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25 minutes ago, VectisSaint said:

Stephens was not seriously at fault for either Newcastle goal. If you really must apportion blame for their goals then the first came about because KWP let their player go, Salisu was also way behind Stephens and probably should have got it. The second Salisu was the player that lost St Maximum, but its hard to blame him (or anyone). Blaming Stephens for either let alone both of those goals smacks of playing the man and not checking reality. Salisu had a great game Saturday, but he did make two mistakes, quite frankly the way we play our 2 CBs are left horribly exposed at times, with no other cover, the reality is that they both actually do a bloody good job in the circumstances. Its obviously not cool to blame Salisu yet, just like it wouldn't have been cool to blame Tino for the Man U goal, but it did actually develop from his mistake which subsequently put Stephens under pressure to put it out for a corner, which then led to their goal. But the boo boys just see a Stephens mistake, because it suits their agenda. 

Who do you think Stephens was marking for either of those goals? And by 'marking' I don't mean showing the opponent the number on the back of your shirt.

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40 minutes ago, VectisSaint said:

Stephens was not seriously at fault for either Newcastle goal. If you really must apportion blame for their goals then the first came about because KWP let their player go, Salisu was also way behind Stephens and probably should have got it. The second Salisu was the player that lost St Maximum, but its hard to blame him (or anyone). Blaming Stephens for either let alone both of those goals smacks of playing the man and not checking reality. Salisu had a great game Saturday, but he did make two mistakes, quite frankly the way we play our 2 CBs are left horribly exposed at times, with no other cover, the reality is that they both actually do a bloody good job in the circumstances. Its obviously not cool to blame Salisu yet, just like it wouldn't have been cool to blame Tino for the Man U goal, but it did actually develop from his mistake which subsequently put Stephens under pressure to put it out for a corner, which then led to their goal. But the boo boys just see a Stephens mistake, because it suits their agenda. 

I don't have enough history of either Tino or Salisu to formulate a proper view of either yet, but arguably Tino looks a revelation at 5m and Salisu looks like he is a very steady young CB

Stephens however has consistently had games like he did against Newcastle... an excellent reactive CB and very good one on one defender, but fails to spot danger or mark effectively as highlighted with the DCL and Wilson goals

I'm not slagging Stephens for the sake of slagging Stephens, he just isn't good enough, especially like you say with the burden imposed on our CBs by the system

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1 minute ago, Smirking_Saint said:

I'm not slagging Stephens for the sake of slagging Stephens, he just isn't good enough, especially like you say with the burden imposed on our CBs by the system

"I'm not slagging Stephens for the sake of slagging Stephens" says the man (?) slagging Stephens for the sake of it.

I'm not "slagging" Tino or Salisu either, just calling out that if you want to apportion blame for recent goals (which is a completely pointless exercise) then at least apportion it to the right players and not avoid them because they are the current "cool" players. 

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4 minutes ago, VectisSaint said:

"I'm not slagging Stephens for the sake of slagging Stephens" says the man (?) slagging Stephens for the sake of it.

I'm not "slagging" Tino or Salisu either, just calling out that if you want to apportion blame for recent goals (which is a completely pointless exercise) then at least apportion it to the right players and not avoid them because they are the current "cool" players. 

Im 'slagging' stephens because he isn't good enough to be our first choice CB for reasons that I have explained, both Wilson and DCL lost him for both goals far too easily and far too often he is caught ball watching

I really don't care if it is 'cool' or not (an odd way to explain consistent critique but there you go), if I see a consistent deficiency Ill comment on it and Stephens has exhibited his over and over.

Tino and Salisu aren't exempt from blame, they just aren't a part of this conversation

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8 minutes ago, Lord Duckhunter said:

Dave Merrington blamed KWP for the first one, never mentioned Stephens. Wonder why?

Not sure why he doesn't mention Stephens but KWP definitely needs to take a portion of the lame, he leaves his man completely unmarked but Stephens effectively runs PAST Wilson... I mean he is literally looking at him and yet still fails to pick him up

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On 31/08/2021 at 12:06, Smirking_Saint said:

Unfortunately if true then we are in trouble IMO, he is very much a ‘good enough’ CB far too often and is likely only really good enough to play as back up

Hd had a fantastic game against Man Utd, but realistically was at fault for both goals against Newcastle and the DCL goal against Everton

Ive said before, he is far too much a ‘reactive’ defender, and is decent in a recovery tackle but time and time again is either caught out of position, does not track his man or misses the danger.. this is arguably exaggerated by our high risk football but this is the tactics we play

If you cannot mark your man effectively, you won’t make a consistent PL defender, and Jack has shown this time and time again

You are aware that every goal that's ever been scored in the history of the game can be attributed to a mistake? Whether it's failing to make a tackle, not cutting out a pass, losing possession etc etc. If there were no mistakes every game would finish 0-0. 

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1 hour ago, cloggy saint said:

You are aware that every goal that's ever been scored in the history of the game can be attributed to a mistake? Whether it's failing to make a tackle, not cutting out a pass, losing possession etc etc. If there were no mistakes every game would finish 0-0. 

Not strictly true that, is it.

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2 hours ago, cloggy saint said:

You are aware that every goal that's ever been scored in the history of the game can be attributed to a mistake? Whether it's failing to make a tackle, not cutting out a pass, losing possession etc etc. If there were no mistakes every game would finish 0-0. 

Bit of an oxymoron that surely - if there was no mistakes technically wouldn’t every striker score from their shots?

A bit like when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object... paradoxical

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