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The art of defending

Back in the old days the main requirement of a defender was clearing his lines and not venturing forwards at every opportunity. I do feel now that sometimes defenders are too focussed on their attacking duties and neglect their position in defence.

To be a modern full back requires excellent technical ability and a swift turn of pace but tbh there are a lot of players who aren't up to this. Are academies concentrating too much on the attacking side of the game?



Comments

  • Back in the old days the main requirement of a defender was clearing his lines and not venturing forwards at every opportunity. I do feel now that sometimes defenders are too focussed on their attacking duties and neglect their position in defence.

    To be a modern full back requires excellent technical ability and a swift turn of pace but tbh there are a lot of players who aren't up to this. Are academies concentrating too much on the attacking side of the game?



    Oh for the days of Les Berry, Farmer Giles etc.

    The back pass to the 'keeper or the welly over the old Gable Stand.

    Proper defending.
  • that's where 3 4 3, 3 5 2 (or similar) come into their own .. the 'full backs/wing backs' can get forward in safety knowing that there is, or at least should be cover at the back .. Robinson's style 4231 means that when the full backs push up, the midfield is overloaded, the striker still isolated and the defence is stretched .. like last night, attacks down the wings left too many of our players stranded out of position and too far upfield ..
  • edited September 13

    that's where 3 4 3, 3 5 2 (or similar) come into their own .. the 'full backs/wing backs' can get forward in safety knowing that there is, or at least should be cover at the back .. Robinson's style 4231 means that when the full backs push up, the midfield is overloaded, the striker still isolated and the defence is stretched .. like last night, attacks down the wings left too many of our players stranded out of position and too far upfield ..

    Not sure I agree that Robinson's tactic is wrong although the execution of it was poor last night - full backs go up when we have the ball and Kashi drops right in to cover - and we've also seen that frees up JFC to get into the box and support by having numbers in midfield. The plus of playing this way is freeing up the central midfield to be more fluid and wide midfielders to cut in (how Ricky likes to).

    I'd say absolutely 'yes' that's maybe it's biggest weakness is vulnerability to counter-attacks, especially down the flanks. I think our issue last night was that as I say it's quite a fluid formation, it requires more movement, and our brief is clearly to work to ball on the ground at all times (almost without exception - which I disagree with). It went wrong because I think we looked a little sluggish/tired so movement wasn't great, we didn't cope well with Wigan's pressing so couldn't work the ball up the pitch the way we're set up to and they also played quite attacking themselves which squashed us into our own half more than we'd like - making it harder to play.

    Regarding the end-to-end, technical full back role - my observation was that our (few and far between) incisive moments were the quick 1-2s from the middle to an advanced full back on the wing and back to middle again whilst taking out a couple of their players.
  • having watched the goals yet again, for the third, da Silva makes a perfect pass to their #5 whilst attempting a clearance .. the situation was a defo candidate for the @LenGlover statute .. kick the ball anywhere but get the fecker well off the field of play
  • Rob7Lee said:



    There's absolutely nothing wrong with 442, 452, 532 etc and the former two are easier for 'average' players to fit into. If injuries come, if suspensions come, blindly sticking to 4231 will be costly.

    Like the idea of 452, but most referees would probably spot the extra player on the pitch. Unless, of course, you're advocating rush goalies (are they still called that?)
  • Rob7Lee said:



    There's absolutely nothing wrong with 442, 452, 532 etc and the former two are easier for 'average' players to fit into. If injuries come, if suspensions come, blindly sticking to 4231 will be costly.

    Like the idea of 452, but most referees would probably spot the extra player on the pitch. Unless, of course, you're advocating rush goalies (are they still called that?)
    doh, 451 of course..... Although back in the day goalies always wore green so blended in with the grass so maybe we got away with having an extra player back then....
  • For years full backs were about the only player on the pitch who got a bit of time on the ball, over the last decade they have become the real width in a lot of teams so far more is put on them in terms of bringing the ball and themselves beyond the halfway line.

    Glenn Johnson would be an example of a decent offensive full back but he regularly got shown up by wingers who kept him pinned back and busy defensively. Kyle Walker is the same however Danny Rose and Clyne at Liverpool are 2 that I think are strong defensively and offer a real threat going forwards
  • I still think a team needs to be built around it's defence and this gets neglected far too often. The trouble is now it's much harder to tackle as refs seem only too happy to card players if it's remotely physical.

    I thought Diawara was a superb tackler and enjoyed watching him play. CP was a brilliant reader of the game, very composed and good positionally.
  • Carter said:

    For years full backs were about the only player on the pitch who got a bit of time on the ball, over the last decade they have become the real width in a lot of teams so far more is put on them in terms of bringing the ball and themselves beyond the halfway line.

    Glenn Johnson would be an example of a decent offensive full back but he regularly got shown up by wingers who kept him pinned back and busy defensively. Kyle Walker is the same however Danny Rose and Clyne at Liverpool are 2 that I think are strong defensively and offer a real threat going forwards

    Exactly this.

    As you mention Walker and Rose, take a close look at Spurs the next time they are on the box. No matter whether Pochettino plays with 2 or 3 CBs, the width always comes from Rose or Davies on the left and Aurier or Trippier (and Walker Peters) on the right. The cover comes from one of the two defensive midfielders. The CBs Vertonghen and Alderweirald shift sideways behind the hole left by the full back and their place is filled by one of the 2 DMs, (2 from Dier, Dembele and Wanyama)

    The width they make creates the space for Son, Alli and Eriksen to do their stuff behind Kane.

    Last night's game against Dortmund, Spurs used 3 CBs with Dier and Dembele playing in front shielding, giving licence to Davies and Aurier to break forward on the counter at every opportunity. If you get to watch the goals again at some point, Davies was the furthest Spurs player forward when Kane scored the 3rd.

    You wont see Spurs out possessed very often these days but they were given a lesson in keep ball first half although Dortmund ran out of legs last 10-15 mins last night.

    One thing for me, I always thought Walker relied to heavily on his pace to get himself out of trouble at times. His final ball is bloody attrocious. If you could combine Trippier's final ball and Walkers pace, you'd have the ideal full back and he certainly wouldnt be at Spurs. Having said that, was mightily impressed with Aurier last night. Strong, quick and got two feet. Can see why he was in so much demand now... https://streamable.com/06fld
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  • I'm trying to imagine Chopper Harris or Tommy Smith steaming down the wings and whipping in crosses, they were far more interested in how close they could get to hospitalising the oppositions center forward. They would scare the crap out of modern day players. You could add Norman Hunter and Billy Bremner to that list.
    Technically maybe not as good as our modern day defenders and defensive midfielders but they knew their roles and were seriously good defenders.
    As much as I like players like Kyle Walker and Danny Rose, I do tend to think they lack some defensive qualities that some of the better modern defenders possess I'm thinking Philip Lahm as an example.
  • I think for decades in this country full backs were viewed as somewhat lower than other positions. Somewhere you'd stick the kid who wasn't that good but could play slightly better than the one who couldn't who'd be put in goal. Or if they had a left foot and weren't quick enough to stick on the wing.

    You just have to look at plenty of managers (even Curbs) who'd happily play left footed CBs at LB or defensive midfielders at RB. It is (like any other position) specialist and finally now we've realised that. Imo possibly one of the most important in the modern age, you have to be good at everything or you're very quickly found out. I guess it's just part of the evolution of football and I'd imagine at some point flat back 4s or even sweepers will come back.
  • edited September 14
    colthe3rd said:

    I think for decades in this country full backs were viewed as somewhat lower than other positions. Somewhere you'd stick the kid who wasn't that good but could play slightly better than the one who couldn't who'd be put in goal. Or if they had a left foot and weren't quick enough to stick on the wing.

    You just have to look at plenty of managers (even Curbs) who'd happily play left footed CBs at LB or defensive midfielders at RB. It is (like any other position) specialist and finally now we've realised that. Imo possibly one of the most important in the modern age, you have to be good at everything or you're very quickly found out. I guess it's just part of the evolution of football and I'd imagine at some point flat back 4s or even sweepers will come back.

    Oi, I weren't that bad :wink:

    On the other side of the coin some wingers in the old days were converted to full back notably our very own Brian Kinsey and less successfully Mike Kenning (albeit a short term fix). Also some players find they have less time on the ball as they move into senior football* and are able to read the game better whilst being more comfortable in possession at full back; I would put Mark Albrighton formerly of Villa now at Everton in this category.

    We also had George Cohen and Ray Wilson in the 66 World cup winning team who loved an overlap in a 4-3-3 formation as did our own Billy Bonds and Bobby Curtis so I'm not so sure its evolution more a case that the role of the full back has turned full circle since the 60's.

    edit; *Phil Warman was also a left winger for Lewisham Utd as a youngster before joining Charlton and was a decent left back who loved to get forward in the 70's.
  • RedChaser said:

    colthe3rd said:

    I think for decades in this country full backs were viewed as somewhat lower than other positions. Somewhere you'd stick the kid who wasn't that good but could play slightly better than the one who couldn't who'd be put in goal. Or if they had a left foot and weren't quick enough to stick on the wing.

    You just have to look at plenty of managers (even Curbs) who'd happily play left footed CBs at LB or defensive midfielders at RB. It is (like any other position) specialist and finally now we've realised that. Imo possibly one of the most important in the modern age, you have to be good at everything or you're very quickly found out. I guess it's just part of the evolution of football and I'd imagine at some point flat back 4s or even sweepers will come back.

    Oi, I weren't that bad :wink:

    On the other side of the coin some wingers in the old days were converted to full back notably our very own Brian Kinsey and less successfully Mike Kenning (albeit a short term fix). Also some players find they have less time on the ball as they move into senior football* and are able to read the game better whilst being more comfortable in possession at full back; I would put Mark Albrighton formerly of Villa now at Everton in this category.

    We also had George Cohen and Ray Wilson in the 66 World cup winning team who loved an overlap in a 4-3-3 formation as did our own Billy Bonds and Bobby Curtis so I'm not so sure its evolution more a case that the role of the full back has turned full circle since the 60's.

    edit; *Phil Warman was also a left winger for Lewisham Utd as a youngster before joining Charlton and was a decent left back who loved to get forward in the 70's.
    Yes sorry I didn't mean to suggest that it's a brand new footballing philosophy, many ideas that are touted as brilliant systems by managers are usually just a rehash of old ideas. The outside forward is a position that has come back in the last decade that was largely gone for many years, thanks to Barca's success but then their own style can be traced back to the Dutch total football ideology.
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