14 Jun 2018 13:34:18
Coaching question for you all regarding defenders: if a player has all the natural tools and technical ability, what separates him from failure and success?

I will use our players as examples. Smalling has good physical qualities, size and speed, limited confidence on the ball, but his critical flaw is his concentration lapses (not to mention his excessive holding, which someday will catch up to him) . Jones has excellent physical qualities, tough, brave, not bad with the ball, but he stands out for his moments of panic.

Blind was always excellent technically, but too slow. Rojo has a great battling mentality, but just isn't that good. Darmian could mark and tackle well, but offered little going forward.

Bailly has it all, speed, athleticism, confidence as a defender, confidence with the ball, and a little swagger, though he usually gives you at least one unpredictable moment per game. At least it's usually something he does with the ball, rather than an idiotic slide tackle, like Smalling and Jones have done over the years.

I am thinking now of our young defenders with good potential - Lindelof, who has shown a lot, and especially Fosu-Mensah and Tuanzebe, and soon enough, we will see about Dalot. Lindelof seems very good on the ball, might lack a bit of physicality, but he just needs games. Tuanzebe looked awfully composed for such a young player, and I would love to see him get a chance to prove himself. Fosu-Mensah has great physical tools, looked positionally suspect at times. But cannot these mistakes be coached out of a player? I would like to think yes, as long as a defender shows he can maintain concentration and composure in the big moments and throughout the 90 minutes.

There is a lot to it for what it takes to succeed as a defender. You need to win physical battles, one on one battles vs the dribblers, make good decisions with the ball, and stay switched on all the time. It's something we do not often discuss on here. And related to our transfer seasons, can one of our own grow into becoming a great defender to partner Bailly or must we buy again?

1.) 14 Jun 2018
14 Jun 2018 16:33:38
My grandad always used to say to me that what defines a great player over a good player is what's between the ears. How quick the player can Process what is going on in front of him which is why some players can look like they are either always in the right place or have more time on the ball than others.
As hated and awful a human being as he is I think this is why someone like John Terry was so good for do long.
It's why for me Smalling sometimes looks like a rabbit caught in the headlights even though physically and ability he has all that is needed to be a top defender.

2.) 14 Jun 2018
14 Jun 2018 18:26:12
John Terry was awful. Poor positioning and stupid decisions. He was just good at last ditch recovery tackles which is why people think he's good. Often he was recovering his own mistake. The game against Sweden as an example.

3.) 14 Jun 2018
14 Jun 2018 18:38:43
John Terry was a legend, what a slip!

4.) 14 Jun 2018
14 Jun 2018 18:44:11
Someone has to take Smalling to one side and smack that stupid holding and wrestling out of him.

I watched the 2nd divison play off at wembley ref gave every holding/ wrestling decision -including a penalty and he looked at the defender when he blew the whistle for the penalty as if to say "you give me no choice moron " Will cost us big time if he doesn't cut it out.

5.) 14 Jun 2018
14 Jun 2018 20:09:44
Will never smack it out of him because it always happens after he is caught flat footed m, This is mainly due to the fact that the attacker knows his job is to get a head on the ball and CS need 1.1 secs for his brain to register the projected area of the ball coming and that that he has to clear the lines

By which time the attacker has already got 2 steps on him hence the pulling of shirts etc.

6.) 14 Jun 2018
14 Jun 2018 20:10:49
If refs ever gain consistency then yes it will cost us.

All our defenders have issues. Smalling can't concentrate, jones is made of glass, rojo is better in a 3 than a 2, blind is slow. Should be moving a couple of these on.

7.) 14 Jun 2018
14 Jun 2018 21:39:51
All players have strengths and weaknesses, no player is great at everything. Rio had lapses in concentration, Vidic was limited on the ball.

The difference between the weaknesses in defenders and other players is that when theit weaknesses are exposed it often leads to a goalscoring opportunity. Or at least a heart in mouth moment.

The trick to having great defenders is having a great defensive unit. A system where all the defenders work together to cover for eachother which limits how often their weaknesses are exposed making them look like better players.

Vidic wasn't a great passer out from the back, but he hardly ever had to do is as Rio was alongside him spraying balls around.

When Rio had a lapse in concentration Vidic would cover.

Smalling lacks the technical ability that he would have gained if he had been coached by an academy coach during his formative years.

All defenders have areas of weakness, when you sign a new defender it is more important than any other position as to how their talents and abilities will sync in with the current players.

We are missing an organiser at the back, someone to bring it altogether. That is why I have such high hopes for Tuanzebe. Not only is he a talented defender, with good pace and physicality and composure. He is a talker, he communicates and organises his fellow defenders. He is exactly the kind of defender we need, he just hasn't got the experience. But he'll never have it if we don't play him.

8.) 15 Jun 2018
15 Jun 2018 00:12:54
Spot on about Tuanzebe shappy. I would love to see him integrated this season as he has all the attributes to be our cb for years to come.

9.) 15 Jun 2018
15 Jun 2018 01:17:32
Good to hear about Tuanzebe. Not being local like some of you, I didn't know that he was a talker and organizer. The more we see of him, the better.