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I do not think that would solve our defensive problem.
Just look at the way we defend corners and freekicks, our players all just watch the ball and not BOTH the ball and tracking the opposition players. In case of corners, we should really divide up the job: s/o guarding the near post, the far post, another 1 or 2 tracking players from outside the box, couple of players running out from the box to block/obstruct their best heading players, our 2 best headers sweeping the penalty box, if needed, 1 to track if a short corner is taken; and I would like 1 of our quickest players just loitering at the halfway line to make a quick counter-attack possible, or at least give us a target to relieve pressure.
Against players such as Huntelaar, who is clever and would just sit on the shoulder of the last defenders to make runs, our defenders just do not seem to be able to track them. I think this is a job mainly for the central defenders and defensive midfielders. Sagna and Gibbs actually do this quite well, but since Gibbs was injured, we have been having a problem on the left.
One of our key problems is the defence just switch off and I really don't think we have a leader in defence who is vocal and prepared to take responsibilty of organising it.
I think we need to adopt a more Italian type attitude where defending is seen as an art and not an after thought.
Italians organise teams from the back upwards, if you don't leak goals then you can't loose and although I don't want to see negative play we do need to get the balance right with defending and attacking.
If the offensive players in the team have the confidence in the defence it gives them freedom to take it to the opponents!
- 1 Reply to Raider
Agree with you on all of these points. The problem is we do not have players to play a good Italian system.
The good Italian sides like Napoli and Udinese have skillful and smart midfielders and forwards who can transform from defence to attack in an instant, and not with long balls, too. Look at our route out of defence: Sagna, Vermaelen, Santos, Podolski and Walcott (except with his speed) are not going to get past anybody. So, the opposition only has to mark the few players like Arteta, Cazorla and Wilshere to stop us, or at least delay us. Often, when we do not find a way out, our defence would just pass the ball back to Mannone, who in turn would just hoof the ball upfield, which results in us losing the ball more often than not. Btw, Mannone's ball distribution, even with a throw, is not up to scratch.