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Thread: Our defence

  1. #1
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    Apr 2012
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    Our defence

    Anyone else feel nervous about our defence going in to next weekend?

    I was thinking back to the games we've played against Prem opposition in the last couple of years, Leicester, Arsenal, Liverpool and we had a very similar defence to what we have still now. Those games followed a similar pattern - we played really well going forward, scored or dominated the game until defensive frailty or error led to us going behind and losing. Not having specialist full-backs caused us issues in those games too.

    Whilst i think we'll score goals and have good possession, my worry is we might struggle against the quality of opposition forwards in the division - players like Cooper, Dallas Allioski, Berardi and Ayling have done us proud in a team dominating oppositions - with some inability to defend pace and slip ups leading to break away goals and sometimes defeats. But if you think about what Cooper would cost in the market for eg - what would he go for? He's a really solid EFL defender, but in the centre of defence against Kane, Mane, Salah, Jesus, Aguero, Greenwood, Rashford, Vardy etc - you need to be very mobile and not get caught flat-footed, and he's been both over time, even against Champ forwards, allowing that he was mostly better last year.

    We had insurance with Ben White, who often cleared up problems due to the class way he reads the game - hopefully Koch can do the same job or even better. But you clear up a mistake against Salah and Mane is there to pounce. There does seems to be a move to bring in a second CB signing, but i assume it'll be as back up for Cooper, rather than to replace the captain in the team.

    What do other people think? We're playing Liverpool next Saturday! Still pinching myself we got there!!

  2. #2
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    I think its hard to judge at this stage tbh. Yes each defender you reference has made mistakes but then each of them also put in match winning performances.

    I know premier opposition have gotten the better of us recently but I feel that is largely due to us not putting our chances away. It's a different game when you have some goals in the bank and defending becomes easier.

    I think we also have some really good strengths that are perhaps overlooked at times. We are very solid at defending as a team in open play and each of our players appear to learn from their mistakes very quickly.

    Now if we talk set pieces and defending, I am worried, was definitely an Achilles heel for us over last 2 seasons imo.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2013
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    Nervous is an understatement. Playing tippy tippy football out from the back with our current defence, against quicker forwards, which most teams have, is a recipe for disaster.

  4. #4
    I think part of our defensive strategy will be keeping the ball but against better teams who play the same way (Liverpool/City) with high press and keep ball it may be a challenge.

    We seem to still be keen on Gvardiol and he can also play LB. if he comes in will feel a little more relaxed. Struijk looked to have big physical presence in the friendly and the games he played in the run in so wonder if he will be close to the 1st XI.

    Koch may bring presence too - think he is 6í 3 and he likes bringing the ball out.

    Suspect back 4 v Liverpool will be Ayling Copper Koch and Dallas. But maybe Koch will be on the bench.

    Left back and injuries are the concern.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2014
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    The full back issues are relevant and more so now in PL - attack wise no probs but 'individual defending' situations
    Jamie Kemp the Opta stats bloke in charge did a 'blog' on Meslier and our defence which was interesting.
    https://medium.com/leeds-united-fc-b...y-bfd0c87c6ccc
    MOT

  6. #6
    Cheers Mrs O - interesting article.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopelesslyoptimistic View Post
    I think part of our defensive strategy will be keeping the ball but against better teams who play the same way (Liverpool/City) with high press and keep ball it may be a challenge.

    We seem to still be keen on Gvardiol and he can also play LB. if he comes in will feel a little more relaxed. Struijk looked to have big physical presence in the friendly and the games he played in the run in so wonder if he will be close to the 1st XI.

    Koch may bring presence too - think he is 6í 3 and he likes bringing the ball out.

    Suspect back 4 v Liverpool will be Ayling Copper Koch and Dallas. But maybe Koch will be on the bench.

    Left back and injuries are the concern.
    Gvardiol i'm hopeful for simply because he can play in both spots. But i see he's only 18 - can't see him being put in any time soon to replace Cooper or Koch.

    Surely it'll be those two? Any other combination in central defence is surely weaker? But then given they will never have played a game together, maybe MB will go for what he knows, stick Ayling in the middle with Cooper (yikes) and have two non-full-back full-backs v Liverpool. And their full-backs. Ahem.

  8. #8
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    Or maybe if Forshaw is fit (???) Phillips will drop into CB - think i would prefer the other option as at least Kalvin could protect them a little bit from CM.

  9. #9
    Think so Jez - has to be Ayling Cooper and Koch and then LB spot surely Dallas against Liverpool - but who knows. As you mention the comparison with their FB will be interesting - best pair in UK and possibly Europe.

    Wonder if Kock starts on the bench - hope not - but we seem to have tried a lot of combos at CB in friendlies.

    Agree we will need KP in the hole protecting the back 4 and for him to be on his game.

    Canít see Forshaw playing not sure how many minutes he has in his legs and if he is fit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopelesslyoptimistic View Post
    Think so Jez - has to be Ayling Cooper and Koch and then LB spot surely Dallas against Liverpool - but who knows. As you mention the comparison with their FB will be interesting - best pair in UK and possibly Europe.

    Wonder if Kock starts on the bench - hope not - but we seem to have tried a lot of combos at CB in friendlies.

    Agree we will need KP in the hole protecting the back 4 and for him to be on his game.

    Canít see Forshaw playing not sure how many minutes he has in his legs and if he is fit.
    Are we sure there will be 4 at the back?

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