My view on the Smalling / Lindelof partnership

23 Nov 2018 10:20:05
{Ed's Note - DLIB has posted a new article entitled, My view on the Smalling / Lindelof partnership

1.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 11:17:40
We had the second best defensive record only last season.

2.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 12:08:42
Jred - Exactly Lindelof hardly played last season. I'm not saying he's a bad player I just don't subscribe to the rave reviews he's got recently. He's done ok nothing more. Will he improve and does he have the attributes to be a top class CB I am yet to be convinced. We all know about Smalling. Both are decent defenders, but I'm not sure they make the best partnership, I don't think we can win the league if they both start together regularly and I'm not even sure we'll make the top 4 if they are going to be our preferred pair for the rest of the season. Just offering my own opinion.

3.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 12:14:54
We had the second best defense last season but didn't score enough didn't offer enough in midfield or attack . It's been even worse this season .
The issue for me is at the other end of the pitch .
People go on about young or smalling but is the big issue not the form of our star players pogba Sanchez lukaku and co? Will a new cb really improve there form and out attacking play?

4.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 13:31:41
Jred - We don't score bucketloads of goals because we don't play that type of football. Under Mourinho we don't press or play on the front foot, we don't take the game to the opposition, we sit deep, deploy a low block and are passive. We wait for moments in games and rely on individuals to provide the attacking intent rather than any structured style of attacking play. This will not change whilst Mourinho remains in charge. I'd love us to score more goals, play with more energy and intensity but we do score enough goals to win games.

If we are to have any success under Mourinho it will be built on organisation, defensive solidarity and clean sheets. We've scored 20 goals this season which is the same as Spurs and only 3 behind Liverpool. The big difference is Liverpool have only conceded 5 times, Spurs 10 we've conceded 21 goals this season. To put that into perspective, it's more than the top 5 obviously but it's also more than Bournemouth, Watford, Everton, Leicester, Wolves, West Ham, Brighton, even Newcastle and Crystal Palace have better defensive records. Huddersfield have only conceded 1 more goal than us and we find ourselves level with Southampton. This is simply not acceptable.

Last season we were out scored by the top 6 (expect Chelsea) yet we finished second 4 points clear of third place.

Under Jose we simply won't score vast quantities of goals. We will however get enough to enable us to win games but he must get things right at the other end.

We scored 68 goals last year. I think we'll equal if not surpass that this season. The difference will be the defence and unless this improves significantly we won't finish in the top 4 it's as simple as that.

5.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 13:45:39
So we had the 2nd best defence last season but not this season and you don't think that's an issue. unbelievable geoff.
If we still had 2nd best defence we would not be 8th ergo the defence is an issue there us no doubt about that.

6.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 13:55:37
We are 7 goals behind were we were this time last season.
Jose teams may of defended well as a team and it was a team not just the back 4 but they also scored goals .

The last time Jose won the league
It was pretty dire footy but his Chelsea team only conceded 3 less than we did last season.

City only conceded 1 less than us last season but they scored 36 more .
So I don't think we do score enough .
City currently have the best defensive record in Europe it is because they are a very good team it's not all about there cb . Lindelof would do fine in that city team .

"Maybe you will realise if you see the statistics from the last 20 years, the team that scores the most is the team that conceded less. It’s a balance. ” pep.

7.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 14:22:57
The obvious difference in our defence this season to last season is the form of two key players. Matic and DDG.

Last season, particularly at the start of the season, Matic was in majestic form, making telling contributions in every game shielding the back four. Blocks, interceptions and generally forcing players down blind alleys. However, as the season wore on his form deteriorated, and as it did so did our ability to limit teams chances. This was mitigated somewhat though by the quite outstanding form of DDG. Not a single week went by without him pulling off a near impossible save.

However, this season Matic looks well past his best. Without a summer off the recuperate he looks physically shot. worryingly that will not improve as the season goes on. Although DDG is in good form, and he isn't playing badly. He has yet to replicate last seasons truly stunning form.

These two factors are exposing what was in truth a poor defence last season.

That being said, a good manager will play to the strengths of his players to negate their weaknesses. If you have a poor defence its not a good idea to ask them to defend for 70-80 minutes every game. Its asking for trouble.

I used to manage a kids team, my natural instinct is to play quick offensive football, speed of transitions with loads of pace and off the ball running. In my first season I had the lads playing good football, we didn't always win, but we always had a shout of winning. In my second season a bigger club swooped and took 8 of my best lads, including the super talented midfielder who everything used to run through. We also lost most of our quick lads.

So I had to adapt, we were far more conservative in my second season. We defended deeper as we didn't have much pace in defence. We sat back more, we focused more on set plays in training to maximise our chances.

It wasn't what I wanted to do, but I had to work with what I had. In the league we finished 4th in my first season, and 3rd in my second. Which did demonstrate that a more defensive style can get results. However, it was notable how myself and the lads found the second season less enjoyable.

In my third season we picked up a couple of good new players, and I decided to switch back to something more like my first season. We finished 6th, yet everyone enjoyed the football far more, more smiles on faces and more compliments from parents. In my fourth season we won the league with only two new players, we also top scored and had the third best defence, conceding only 4 goals more than the best defence in the league, yet scoring 27 more than the next best team.

The core of my side had been with me since day one, we lost 8 top young players and brought 4 more new lads in. A couple of my lads went on to join local academies, and I still speak to some of the parents.

To me my experiences highlight two things, the need to adapt to what you have if you want to get results. Secondly, that you achieve far more if everyone is enjoying their football.

8.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 14:40:50
You defend as a team it's a team effort. The other team can't score if they haven't got the ball.
Which is why teams like barce and Madrid nearly always have good defensive records even tho they don't play defensive football or a lot of the time have great defenders .

It's why city have the best defensive record in Europe . Stones has played every game this season in the best defensive unit in Europe a player people keep telling me can't defend . Delph played most of the season at lb .
We don't control cm we don't look after the ball we don't defend from the front .
Far more to it than buying a shinny new cb like some people think
I would leave it pal this sounds a bit above your head.

9.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 16:23:24
Id say most things are above your head little denis.

10.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 16:52:53
Ken, have you got a thing for jred? I get you might disagree but blimey, give it a rest. We can debate, disagree, have a laugh, get emotional, take the p1ss, but we don’t need to stoop to insults.

11.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 18:08:10
Thanks ajh i think uou will find i replied to an insult. Get off your high horse ajh and read the posts before you jump in as the banter police i think you insulted ronnie many a time. you will win 2nd place for double standards in the xmas awards.

12.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 18:28:56
You’re so aggressive ken, sometimes maybe you should just reflect on things instead of going on the attack. Yes I gave Ronnie a hard time but let’s be honest, he didn’t add anything at all to the site, just an endless list of young players every post so I may have bee blunt but I think he needed to hear it.

I’m not the banter police, I’ve had arguments with many posters but I move on and don’t hold it against them. You seem obsessed with jred, and you get personal. It’s not big and it’s not clever. I even stopped responding to you at what point as it felt like I had my own personal stalker. For once, take a step back and ask yourself, ‘am I sometimes an arse’? I’ve asked myself and realised that yes, sometimes I am. You need to do the same mate.

13.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 18:51:47
Your right ajh someone's you are. I responded to an insult ajh i didn't throw the first one. But you want to have a pop at me. Happy for you not to respond it worked for me too. Thanks for the amature physiology.

14.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 18:58:20
So its ok for you to insult ronnie if you think he needs to hear it. take a look at yourself.
Ive no issue with jred or anybody else throwing an insult at me but ill throw one back if i feel like i should.
Never once have you tried to pull jred up for taking the polar opinion on anything i post, nor should you indeed. He is entitled to post what he likes.
You would be better off minding your own business and until you practise what you preach.
So on a nutshell you can insult someone if you think they need to hear it but i cant. do one ajh.

{Ed025's Note - i think its time to put an end to all this nonsense now ken, that goes for all you guys..

15.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 19:02:50
Jred, you always say ‘second best defence last year’ yeah for one reason and that’s DDG, he was top 5 for shots saved alongside 2 relegated keepers and others in bottom half, fact is our defence has been poor for a long while now and if DDG hadn’t been papering the cracks I’d hate to think where we’d be. Same this year, DDG saving far too many shots only this year he’s not saving as many. Plain as the nose on ya face, our defence is and has been poor.

16.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 19:14:53
And there you go, firmly proving my point. No further questions your honour.

{Ed025's Note - case dismissed..

17.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 19:33:02
I don't think the defense is very good Welsh the issue though is he inherited maybe the world's best keeper, an expensive lb highly rated not to long ago, then he was given funds for two CBS and a right back and yet we still look a bit naff at the back .
There seems to be a theory that because we didn't get other players the manager wanted then that automatically means he didn't want the defenders he bought, I don't really understand how that link is made, I'd assume the manager gave his blessing to the players purchased and was involved with others in deciding these players would help make the defense better, if in the future something comes to light to suggest Jose played no part in identifying players I'd happily apologise but I'm not aware at the minute people were bought against the managers wishes.

18.) 23 Nov 2018
23 Nov 2018 20:53:54
Just a few stats to ponder. I've worked out win percentage and clean sheet statistics for our defenders Premier League performances as follows -

Lindelof - win 53% clean sheet 21%
Smalling - win 56% clean sheet 30%
Bailly - win 65% clean sheet 44%
Rojo - win 60% clean sheet 30%

I think the stats back up what most of us believe that Bailly is our best defender. Yes he's had a few bad games but he's still raw and learning the game. His form has dipped since he retuned from injury but his win percentage is impressive and we keep significantly more clean sheets when he plays. Not unlike Martial getting the best out of Bailly and helping him return to form will significantly assist our defence. Based on the stats our best CB pairing is Bailly and Rojo. That combination also provides the best balance allowing Bailly to play on the right and Rojo the left. Persistent injuries have meant we've been unable to play them on a regular basis and correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think they've started that many games together. Maybe Bailly and Rojo could be partnered in the forthcoming champions league games and see how they perform. We must improve our defensive record if we are to have any chance of securing a top 4 finish.

19.) 24 Nov 2018
24 Nov 2018 11:22:31
I think bailly is a good way down Jose list pal .
Unbelievable Geoff, and then you get upset and angry?
For the most part good thread above get where you coming from shaps and DLIB almost a decent thread about footy there.
On the money.