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  • dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Apr 8, 2013 15:21 Flag

    The Ashley Williams debate

    Loki, I'm on the fence when it comes to Williams. As pointed out earlier at this point while he may tick a number of boxes to the good, it is only paper talk and we also don't know yet who might also become available over the next couple months.

    However, if I look at what we need, as a replacement for Carra, and an upgrade for CB my preference is to go with a British player or at least either a native English speaker or someone who has a strong command of the language. Second is go with someone with real experience at the top level. Ideally from the prem, but at least a top European league and ideally some experience either at international level or top club level that would give him some insight on what is expected in the English game. Third is proven leadership. Not necessarily a team captain, but someone who knows what it takes to marshal a back line, and will not be afraid to yell at those around him to work their assignments.

    A minimum level of technical ability is obviously required, but it’s not the only attribute we should consider. For example, look at Collins yesterday. He's not a top technical player, but he knows how to get the job done, and make sure those around him do their job also. He spent over 70% of his time yesterday on his heels giving his team a chance, and that is the quality we need.

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    • Loki...Im NOT a scout for the club I simply read a lot I read reports of others who HAVE seen this lad DEDE play...AURELIO says he mentioned him earlier in this thread though unfortunately due to the chaotic nature of this board format I havent been able to locate that post as it is Im using the reply facility on one of DSTEERS posts to reply u ??? Those sport journalists who do write I have to credit them with having some background knowledge of the players they are writing about ..ok we could claim every one of them is just a lying hack who never goes to or watches a game but lets try and be a little more realistic than that because if we"re not then we cant really debate muchoif anything can we ? Seemingly according to the article I rzead the lad has definite strong leadership qualities way beyond his 24 yrs he is a towering presence in the box and a shoe in for the national side. I think the standard of Brazilian League football is high as is that in Argentina.
      I grant u not all Portugese speakers speak Spanish but in my experience a high percentage do...Im not a linguist but have 3 languages beside my native english the english are an Island race hence there inability to adopt other languages but not so inthe case of many nationals whos countries share borders...thing is saying first and foremost we MUST have a centre back who is a native english speaker is a bit of a"Little Englander" stance eh ? Thats ruling out an awful lot of talent out there ? I mean u dont have to have Oxford Union Debating Society level english to direct those around u in the back line how do we know this lad doesnt already speak reasonable level english ? If we are believers in the international and therefore polyglot nature of the Prem we cant afford to adopt this attitude to language as I say we have five starters who speak either Spanish or Portugese as native language plus remember a basic course in english will probably bring such as this lad DEDE up to speed before the season starts suffient anyway fo him to communicate withthose around him on the field...so anyway I just dont see it as an issue all Im interested in is the ability of the candidates for a new centre back.

    • Colin, I don't know if it’s being a "Little Englander" to take language into consideration, or just being practical. I don't know anything about this Brazilian, although the story sounds familiar and if it the same one as I think I read, all quotes were from the players agents, so not surprised he sounds perfect. But that being said, like Williams I'd not disqualify him just because of where he comes from.

      But language I'm afraid has to be taken into consideration. Your right we don't need players to rise to the level of the Oxford Debating Society (would any of them?) but a strong command of the language used to communicate on the pitch would be a little more than useful, it would be essential for someone tasked with being a leader.

      Who knows what languages the boy speaks, being Brazilian you can assume Portuguese, and most Brazilians can at least get by in Spanish, whether he speaks English or not who knows. But the question is what is the language the leader of the back line will need to speak in order to be effective?

      What language would it be best to yell at Pepe in? Spanish I assume, but he has near perfect English also, not sure about his Portuguese. How about Glen, not sure if he speaks either Spanish or Portuguese but sure he speaks English. Jose I'm sure won't mind Spanish, but he speaks very good English. What about Agger or Skrtel (assuming he stays), will the new lad learn Danish or Slovak? Since both speak very good English would that be more likely the best way to communicate? What about marshaling the midfielders to come back to help. Should be fine with Lucas as he's a native Portuguese speaker, but again he has very strong English. What language do we assume the other midfielders are most likely to react to? Well for Stevie, JonJo, Hendo, or Allen I'm thinking English might be best.

      This is about being practical, not nationalistic. If I were to employee a sales team I'd want them fluent in the language of the market they would be selling into. They don't have to be native speakers, but the better the language skills the more comfortable I'd be in thinking they could get the job done as selling relies so heavily on communicating; much like being a leader on a football pitch.