04 Jul 2018 18:02:54

I'll put this on here.

I've noticed you're quite critical of a lot of the Cbs that get mentioned that are linked to certain clubs and although I don't disagree I'm curious as to what centre backs you like.

If you don't have time to answer no worries


{Ed001's Note - to be honest there is a problem with defenders in general in recent years. They are footballers first and defenders second. I don't mind a defender being good on the ball, in fact I prefer the ball-playing defender, such as Alan Hansen, but the priority should be to defend. They should know basics, such as not playing offside when there is no pressure on the ball etc. Very few do know the basics and that is the issue. The reason why Uruguay are so solid at the back is because they have a centre back pairing that defend first and play football second. They have two centre backs I do rate, in Godin and Gimenez. To be honest, they are, imo, the best centre backs in European football right now.

It is a mindset thing, a defender's first thought when two players go in to win the ball, should be to get into position to cover in case the opponent gets it. They should constantly be looking on the negative side for their team and be in position to protect against it. There are other little things though, that very few players seem to do, such as retrieving a loose ball, don't cruise over to it because no one is pressuring you or you might not be able to react if someone does chase. It might be too late when you realise. So you run to it and then you can relax when you get there and take your time on the ball, if no one has chased.

A few years ago you would be able to include the likes of Chiellini as excellent centre backs but those good Italian defenders are not what they were and no quality has come through to replace them yet. Which is why Italy failed to make the World Cup. Next time you watch Uruguay play, instead of watching the ball, just watch their back four, they move together. It is like they are all attached by elastic to each other as, even if they do move to make a challenge, they are straight back into a four again afterwards. They shuffle from side to side together. Then watch Colombia or England and you will see a huge difference. To be fair, thinking about it, Brazil haven't been bad either, their centre backs have looked very composed, but their full backs are awful defensively.}

1.) 05 Jul 2018
05 Jul 2018 06:15:34
Thanks ed very interesting and it's funny you mention Uruguay as I was only saying the other day they are fantastic defensively and you can see why they've only conceded 1 goal so far.

Regarding past players vidic was one of my favourites and I also thought he was better than people gave him credit for. Also Jaap Stam another favourite of mine.

The reason I asked this is there seem to be very few top top defenders out there at the minute as oppose to 10 year ago.

Virgil van dyke for instance I think he's a good defender but lacks intellige, I remember the MU v Liv game rashfords 2 goals why didn't VVD sense sooner that Lukaku was bullying Lovren because after the second goal they switched and Lukaku did nothing. Although VVD has improved massively.

For some reason I had you down as a Jan Vertonghen fan

Thanks for that ed.

{Ed001's Note - I do like Vertonghen alongside Alderweireld, they are a good combination and Vertonghen is one of the better centre backs. He does have a mistake in him, sometimes he falls asleep defensively, but when awake he is very very good. Putting him alongside Davinson Sanchez brought the best out of him because he was so busy covering for Sanchez's lapses and positional ineptitude that he was unable to lose focus!

As for Alderweireld, he is the best centre back in the Prem on his day. Excellent player.

Van Dijk is physically perfect, technically ideal but the guy is far too laid back and finds it all too easy so can be a bit slow to react when he is put under pressure. He is so used to strolling through games, he really struggles to get his head in the game when he can't. He does have a tendency towards being slow to get back as well. Defensive players should be sprinting to get back when they are caught upfield, he never does that.}

2.) 05 Jul 2018
05 Jul 2018 08:36:20
Views on Azpilicueta as a CB Ed002?

{Ed002's Note - CA only really plays as a CB in a back three, else he plays as a RB and can, if required, play as a left back as well. Chelsea spent a long time looking at him with a then player also giving advice after watching him. There was no intention at that time of him playing centre back but they needed a replacement for Jose Bosingwa at RB. The change of formation took him to CB and the club are more than happy with the results as far as I know. He has given absolutely zero grief to the club on or off field, has not suffered with injuries, is bright, funny and seen as a very good and reliable player wherever he is asked to play.}

3.) 05 Jul 2018
05 Jul 2018 08:36:28
Sorry meant Ed001.

4.) 05 Jul 2018
05 Jul 2018 12:30:11
Just wanted to add into this conversation that as a Chelsea fan I will never ever forget Azpilicueta's contribution towards our club. Must be up there as one of our best defenders ever and for me one of my favourite ever players due to his hardworking nature, outstanding attitude and not to mention his quite obvious ability no matter where he plays. What a man.

{Ed001's Note - he is excellent, but I think he is not cut out to be a centre back in a 4, perfect for a back 3 though. He is one of the better players in the Prem, in any position you want to mention.}

5.) 06 Jul 2018
06 Jul 2018 00:44:58
Yeah I do agree there as well but I think any manager would probably sense that too and for that reason we will probably never truly know as it may be a risk. Be interesting to see where he fits in if Sarri comes in and changes us back to a 4 man defence. Most likely RB I guess as we'll have far too many CBs competing for 2 places even without Azpi being part of that list! Glad to see you hold him in high regard Ed001, whilst Ed002 has the most incredible knowledge of the business side of the sport your knowledge and judgement of the playing side is one I hold in extremely high regard so it's nice to see us agree!

{Ed001's Note - thank you mate. It would be crazy not to rate Azpi, though he is not the best going forward, defensively he is sound. Which is why he is so well suited to a back 3.}

6.) 06 Jul 2018
06 Jul 2018 08:02:44
Based on the short time he has been with Liv, do you see any improvement in van dijk game Ed? also do you see any young centre backs right now that you think can be excellent cbs in the future?

{Ed001's Note - there has been improvement in both his and Liverpool's game with him there. He has struck up a very good partnership with Lovren and that is more important than even having the best individuals. Teamwork is key at the back.

Giminez of Atletico and Uruguay is the outstanding young centre back around. I am sure there are others, but I just can't think of the top of my head.}

7.) 06 Jul 2018
06 Jul 2018 09:29:06
Great insight on Azpi there Ed2, I always got the impression that he was a true professional and never the type to really complain. Always gives 100% for us and so far I’m more than happy with him at CB in a 3, not so much in a 2 but that would never happen anyway. Future captain one day for me.

8.) 06 Jul 2018
06 Jul 2018 19:08:17
Could I pick your brains ed001 on Milan skriniar.

{Ed001's Note - I have not really seen enough to judge him, saw him a couple of times and it was mixed. Some things he looked great at, other times he looked dodgy as hell.}

9.) 07 Jul 2018
06 Jul 2018 21:31:00
Lenglet has been impressive whenever I have seen him. Also ed1 what is your opinion on Lindelof? I don't know why but I think he will end up a good player (whether at Utd or not? ) I just get the feeling he needs a bit of time to adapt and will eventually deliver. Also ed1 what about Sule? I think he too will go far.


{Ed001's Note - Lindelöf is very good on the ball, which has been his downfall in English football. Because he is a ball player he is trying to play too much and thinking about that, rather than concentrating on defending first. Imo he is just trying too hard to impress and I think he will settle down fine this season.

Sule is an odd one, sometimes he looks top class, others he looks like a donkey. I haven't watched enough to be certain, but I think he is very reliant on the partner alongside him.}

10.) 07 Jul 2018
07 Jul 2018 09:25:14
Ed001 - what are your thoughts on Harry Maguire. I think he looks solid when he needs to and can play the ball out, but seems to know when to play and when to clear his lines. Leicester will do well to keep hold of him.

Godin is the best CB going for me, just pure class.

{Ed001's Note - sorry mate, Maguire is not for me at all: Harry Maguire player profile

11.) 07 Jul 2018
07 Jul 2018 11:08:58
Thanks ed1 your opinion is always held in high regards around here. Not just CBs but there is severe shortage of good full backs in World football right now. Very few are good at their main duty which is to defend.

{Ed001's Note - that is very true, it shows how lacking good ones are that people are raving about Trippier, who is Championship level.}