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This season’s Defence – an Attack

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Just wanted to bump this given its appearance in Roy's new level 3 thread. It reads rather prophetically looking back, doesn't it? Fast forward a decade and we have the most progressive full back in the world, and a defense which not only plays a line so high it would have given Carra altitude sickness, but also where the weakest on the ball (Lovren) is capable of assisting two fine goals in successive games through pinpoint long balls behind an opposition back 4.

More pertinently, I'm struck by Yorky's point on dawdling. There are no more dawdlers in our back line, with the three 'baller' CBs in particular being very quick to release or move and 'change the picture'. Note also that they pass it at pace, too - long or short there's a lot of zip on the ball, passes which give an attacker options, to dummy, to kill or to control into space to run onto.

And that's without mentioning Alisson. Firstly, his speed, aggression and sheer presence off the line closes the gap behind that defensive line. A gap we sometimes forget exists until Adrian plays (and that's no slight on him, he's been excellent this season). Even more so when, in Gomez and VvD, we have real elite pace there too. But Alisson is about so much more than stopping goals - his distribution from hand and foot, aerially or on the ground is accurate and often breathtakingly incisive and above all, again, quick. He often takes out the first line of the press as they're scratching their heads trying to work out just how he saved it and - boom a throw, a crossfield pass a good run and a throughball later it's in the back of the net.

No doubt about it - this season's defensive is as attacking as it gets, yet concedes fewer goals than ever. Down in no small part, of course, to our attackers having the humility and fitness to form a formidable first line of defence.


--- Quote from: a treeless whopper on August  9, 2009, 10:34:50 am ---Looks like the defence is something we are going to have to sort out and fast.

With losing Hyypia and Arbeloa, as well as Aurelio getting injured again, we are thin on the ground with experienced defenders. With the loss of Alonso as well who protected the back 4 well, I think there is much scope to bring in another centre back.

Kelly has done well but maybe keeping him as backup right back and giving him  games at centre back in the league cup would be the best option. With Johnson and Insua, we have added to the attacking side but they do tend to get caught out at the back.

Maybe there is also the possibility of bringing in an experienced holding midfielder as well, along with an experienced centre back?

--- End quote ---

Nothing like a little time jump post, I think we have thoroughly sorted out our defence now! Time is a great healer and builder of magnificent football teams. In 2009 we could not even dream of a Virgil Van D. :)


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