Saints Look To Bring In Another Centre Back
Wednesday, 11th Jan 2012 11:21
Nigel Adkins looks to bring in another central defender for a variety of reasons.
Its natural that Adkins is concerned about the centre of his defence, firstly due to the long term absence of both Jaidi and Dan Seaborne, Jaidi has not played since picking up a knee injury in pre season and looks unlikely to play any real part in this campaign or due to age any other for Saints, Seaborne has been missing since his nightclub incident over four months ago and there has been little information forthcoming from the club as to the true extent of his head injuries, its probable too that he will not play any further part this season and there has to be some speculation as to whether after suffering such head trauma whether he will get the medical all clear to play football again.
Even before these injuries Saints were seeking an experienced central defender and they ended up signing Jos Hooiveld right on the deadline, but although Hooiveld has not played badly there seems to be some question as to whether he can forge an effective partnership with Jose Fonte especially away from home where we have conceded far too many soft goals due to poor defending of one sort or another, when i raised this a couple of months ago I was shouted down, however with only one League away win in the last five months spanning 10 games in total Nigel Adkins cannot fail to be concerened about our failings at the back on the road, superficially we dont defend badly for long periods, but in every game there has been a defensive lapse thats resulted in us conceding a goal and has cost us points and it hasnt been dealt with.
Aaron Martin seems to be Adkins forgotten man both last season and this, for some reason Adkins seems loathe to play him unless he absolutely needs to, when he steps into the breech Martin lets no one down, however despite the attrocious showing on the road the manager did not call on Martin until the injury of Fonte
Jose Fonte was immense last season but has been less so this, unlike many of the players in the squad he had experience at this level so its not a case of a jump in standard, he has been comfortable in the Championship before, so why have his standards dropped, again the only possible answer is that he and Hooiveld dont seem to be able to click.
Hooiveld is not a bad player, far from it, but he was far from being Nigel Adkins first choice back in the summer, Adkins would have much preferred Kaspar Gorkss or even Liam Fontaine of Bristol to name but two and so he is looking at the position again, good managers spot weaknesses and deal with them no matter how good the player may appear on an individual basis, undoubtably we have made mistakes in this position, the trick now will be for Adkins to bring in a new man who can gel quickly.
The big question in the longer term will be whether he buys a man to partner Hooiveld or Fonte, initially any player may have to partner Hooiveld as Fonte's toe injury is oneof those niggly one that in normal life arent that much of a problem, but gient that toes are in constant use by a footballer even a small injury can keep you out for a long period.
What Nigel does in this position will go a long way as to whether we shore up the defence or continue on this slow excruciating slide of poor results that can ultimately only have one ending, our failure to achieve promotion, at least automatically.
Photo: Action Images
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