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I disagree. What about Ferdinand? He was very good last season! Even though the Rio/Vidic partnership isn't as good as it was in the past they still showed that they were top-class defenders together. They've got 3 very good CBs aside from them as well. Jones yes, is still developing but he's only 20 and he's shown how promising he is. Evans also had a very good season (probably even better). Smalling was looking great before but injuries had set him back which is why hasn't progressed for a first team place as well. Can't say I've met people who rate Cahill for example all that highly compared to the rest. 

 

Man City need a CB as well. But Kompany/Nasty is certainly better than our current partnership. Lescott/Cahill are on similar levels but he still has a good partnership with Kompany. Can you really say that the Terry/Cahill partnership is as good? 

 

 

Arsenal and Spurs aren't exactly our competitors -- Arsenal should be but it seems they're content with trying to finish 4th place. Spurs struggled a lot without Bale, and although they've made good signings, we don't know for definite how effective they will in terms of adapting to the league, gelling etc. yet. (although with Lamela & Erikson they aren't too far off us tbh). Bu we're trying to fight for the title, no? However, I will comment.

 

I don't understand your problem with this. It matters little that a full back has been fielded because Sagna has shown that he functions better there than he did at the RB position. And this was not just against Fener -- he has been fielded there in the past. But the Kos/Mert partnership works so well for Arsenal meaning Sagna wouldn't regularly be deployed there. Sagna has shown he has good strength, has speed, is good and the air and was really committing to challenge. But Arsenal have problems with injury and do need to buy another CB, which is mainly why Sagna was deployed there. But again, I wasn't questioning depth.

 

 

Him at FB hasn't worked as well because he's good at defending, but pretty poor in going forward if one compares him to the Sagna of 3 years ago -- so the CB role suits him better. 

 

Spurs obviously need to get another CB because Vert isn't enough. 

 

Competitors don't just have be in the PL either. Compare them to some of the teams in the CL -- Bayern, Dortmund, PSG (Marquinhos, Silva, Sakho e.g). Barca need a CB as well but elsewhere they've bloody brilliant so they'll progress better. 

 

 

 

Being represented at international level doesn't necessarily suggest quality. Ashley Young for example is capped for England but does that mean he's a quality player? Zaha spent his season in the Championship and is already capped for England, yet has done little to suggest he's worthy of a place. James Milner isn't quality and just has a good work rate, yet he is capped for England as well. Similarly, just because Cahill is there regularly doesn't mean he's great. Similar with Jagielka but they're more experienced than the others. 

 

But I'm not doubting Ivanovic at all -- I think he's quality and rate him the highest out of all our defenders however he has been deployed as a RB throughout pre-season and through our first 3 games. I worry about an injury.

 

I have no idea how good Kalas is. I doubt many people have watched regularly in Vitesse either. But considering that he got out from that graveyard he must be good...

 

I'm not sure what the 19 year old kid in the Portuguese league comment means, or what that refers to. Unless of course, this is just speaking in general.

 

So what do we have? Cahill/Terry/Luiz. 

 

Terry: He's actually done well so far -- but the first match was against Hull, the one against Villa we were pretty damn lucky to win, and against United we were all parking the bus. So I'll need to wait and see if he keeps up good performances. If so, then great! But nonetheless, I also think the time when he was a world class centre back are well behind him -- he has declined a lot. He adds a lot in terms of leadership and organisation, and he still a set piece beast at either end, but the ball on the deck stuff has never been his game and I just do not believe that he's good enough anymore -- the weakness is too obvious for teams not to exploit and against slick team it's really going to cost. He's 32 now as well so how long will he keep on going for? 

 

 

Luiz has a lot of faults. I know there are many people here who really like him but really, I just think he can be an absolute liability at times. He is quite reckless, he often rushes in with his tackles, he always randomly tries to jump in front of attackers and is quite undisciplined positional-wise. While I agree that every top CB does make mistakes, the issues that have been mentioned about Luiz are not just mistakes but habits which he has to get rid of. Until he does so, I won't be confident in calling him a top, consistent defender. You don't see these weaknesses in others CBs. Maybe Mourinho will improve him but I don't know. On his day he's very very good, but he really isn't consistent enough. I just think he's more suited for the role of a midfielder. 

 

Cahill. He almost always backs off an opponent on the ball rather than engaging them. He has often dropped deep, and invited pressure and has given too much space to the opponent on the ball to play a pass or crack one against Cech. We saw this many times last season (Adebayor goal being one of them). Cahill should reduce the gap between himself and the other player so that he would be in a good position to make a tackle or intercept a pass or block a shot. But instead he often just backs off and doesn't stick to the player too well. Also, he mainly does well partnered with someone who tells him what do -- Terry in this instance. But without him (and what if there's the case of Terry getting injured or him getting too tired to play well), then he just isn't as good. 

 

You'll probably think that I'm purposely trying to find faults for no good reason, but really, comparing it our competitors who have more top, and reliable defenders, I just don't feel we have the quality here in comparison to them. 

 

 

 

You ask me I'm mentioning depth when you were speaking about quality then one of your first points is to mention the depth United have in the centre back positions. So which is it that we are speaking about?

You mention and praise Ferdinand but are extremely critical of Terry who is 2 years Ferdinand's junior.

 

Of Terry you say:

 

the ball on the deck stuff has never been his game and I just do not believe that he's good enough anymore -- the weakness is too obvious for teams not to exploit and against slick team it's really going to cost. He's 32 now as well so how long will he keep on going for?

 

By "ball on the deck stuff" I assume you are referring to his distribution? If so I would have to be strongly in disagreement with you here, before Luiz arrival JT was easily our best player at playing the ball out of defense, he range of passing is very good and it's not out of character for him to comfortably make 30+ yard passes. He suffered what was arguably the worst injury of his career last season that was a collision injury and not just a case of his muscles giving out on him. He's been our best defender in our opening games so far this season and yet you confidently say his days as a world class defender are behind him.

 

Your assessment of Luiz:

 

Luiz has a lot of faults. I know there are many people here who really like him but really, I just think he can be an absolute liability at times. He is quite reckless, he often rushes in with his tackles, he always randomly tries to jump in front of attackers and is quite undisciplined positional-wise.

 

Tell, when exactly has Luiz be "such a liability" that he has cost us a win? The "random" jumps in front of defenders is him reading the game and intercepting the ball, why make a tackle when you can just take the ball away cleanly? As for being undisciplined can you give me an example of when he has been out of position when playing in defense that has lead to a goal? You've said "You don't see these weaknesses in others CBs". Who exactly are these other centre backs that never make mistakes?

 

On Cahill:

 

he mainly does well partnered with someone who tells him what do -- Terry in this instance. But without him (and what if there's the case of Terry getting injured or him getting too tired to play well), then he just isn't as good.

 

I guess my best argument here is to point to the Champions League final 2012 and the Europa League final 2013. He was partnered with Luiz (the defensive liability) in the first and Ivanovic in the second. I'm sure you'll remember, we was victorious on both occasions. 

 

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You've said that "Arsenal and Spurs aren't exactly our competitors", which is a whole other argument so I can only conclude from that, that you regard only Manchester United and Manchester City as main competitors. You're assessment of their defenders being "who have more top, and reliable defenders, I just don't feel we have the quality here in comparison to them".

 

Again, the line is being blurred, you mentioned them having more top defenders but I come back to you saying you was not arguing about depth? At the same time you acknowledge City need another CB so how can they have more top defenders than us when they themselves need to buy? You feel Lescott and Cahill are on par in terms of quality so really it is only City's first choice CB pairing that you think are better than our defenders.

 

When all is said and done we had the 3rd best defense in the league last season behind Arsenal and City. Manchester United who you feel have better defenders than us conceded 4 more goals than we did.

 

We now have a manager in charge who builds his teams on basis of a good defense so if anything we are likely to concede less goals than we did last season.

 

I really do think this is a case of thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Yes there is always room for improvement in every team but to be so highly critical of our centre backs is just short sighted in my opinion.  

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You surely can't question Terry's passing...

 

The accuracy of his long balls (with both feet I might add) is superb. Easily one of the best in the league.

 

Probably the most under-appreciated aspect of his game.

No probably about it, the perception that he is some kind of old school clogger compared to the incredibly skillful ferdinand has pissed me off for quite some time. He`s much better on the ball than ferdinand when it comes to passing, but because ferdinand can run a bit quick people think he is better. 

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Really hope Arsenal don't get one of ozil/di maria. Better than willian in my opinion.

 

You can practically take that to the bank Adam. If one of those two are suddenly available in the next 24 hours, you can bet some of Monaco, PSG, Man Utd/City, whoever else will be in the running too, and Arsenal are never going to outbid them.

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12 hours later and I look like a fool.

Just how on earth are Real selling a player as good as Ozil? And how are Arsenal offering this amount of money for him? And how the hell is everyone else standing pat when a player like that is moving? Madness

He's undeniably one of the best in the world and now the most transfer-inept top team has a free* run at him, during the last 24 hours of the transfer window?

*not free but you know

Edited by TheWestwayWonder
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It is pretty unbelievable. Top 4 looks like being a battle between 6 this year. Still, amazed no one better has come in. I mean, wtf are utd playing at

Exactly. And at this rate they may end up with Fellaini and Baines, who they dont even need.

It's not as if they don't have money but maybe the Glazers are even greedier than Arsenal's board

Edited by TheWestwayWonder
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John Brewin

Ozil, barring any late madness, should be done. He has been touted around by his father for a while. and Arsenal have swooped. Demba Ba - loan from Chelsea who want a loan fee of £3m. Arsenal want to pay less.

Looks like maybe Ba to Arsenal on loan...don't like that idea. Ozil and Ba would help them out a ton, and I'm not one to contribute to Arsenal's success :D

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I'm sorry, maybe I worded wrong. We did improve our squad with depth but upgrading it in the starting 11 is not something we did. We really need a driving force with some passing ability at DM. Van Ginkel is not there yet. We needed a true goal scorer. Lukaku may be that but he needs to play.

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