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Why Hoedt Has To Be The Future And Yoshida The Past !
Thursday, 30th Aug 2018 09:06

Sometimes Saints fans seem to take against certain players in the squad and that seems to be the case in regard to Wesley Hoedt with social media rife with demands he be dropped for Yoshida ! But that is a very short sighted move.

I'm not quite sure why Wesley Hoedt has started this season as the whipping boy, indeed against Leicester most pundits agreed he was the better player in the partnership with Jannik Vestergaard at one stage making a superb tackle when the Dane had sold him short with a pass.

But some on social media have been demanding that he be dropped for Yoshida for Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace, in fact some seem to be frothing at the mouth demanding that this happen.

"I have no idea how Yoshida isn’t in squad, I would start him with the big Dane"

"For the love of God, can we PLEASE start Yoshida over Hoedt!?!?"

These are just two of the comments on twitter after the Leicester game and they re representative of others with Hoedt being roundly condemned despite having a reasonable start to the season.

In fairness to Hoedt he was thrown into the dog pit last season having to try to form partnerships with Van Dijk who didn't want to know, Jack Stephens who just can't seem to mark players, read the game and lacks pace and Yoshida who up until 18 months ago was the very image of your loyal squad player.

Hoedt was the youngest of the lot, yet was given no slack for this, he might have hoped for an experienced defender to play alongside and bring him on and teach him what the Premier League is all about, but he got no help whatsoever.

Some complained about him getting caught out of position, but was that entirely his fault ? often he would have to try and cover for a colleague who had lost his man.

Now the clamour amongst some is for Yoshida to be reinstated, but the reality is that this would not only not be justified but would be a step backwards not forwards.

Last season Yoshida was hardly outstanding several times being at fault for letting his man get away from him and score an unmarked header, Sam Vokes in Burnley's 1-0 win and Olivier Giroud for Arsenal in the final minute being two examples, those two goals alone costing us 3 points that would have kept us well clear of the relegation zone.

But in his six seasons so far Yoshida has been a great club man, but his first season aside never a regular till 18 months ago, Mauricio Pochettino barely played him in his one full season, indeed under Ronald Koeman he had fallen to 4th choice central defender and barely played in the second half of the season 2015/16 when we finished 6th.

Up until this season in those six seasons he has started 112 league games with another 17 as sub, last season's 23 Premier League starts being his highest since his first season.

So why is Yoshida seen by some as the saviour of the club ?

The World Cup is one answer where some point to one poll where he was voted in the team of the tournament, but that doesn't mean anything, indeed in their 4 games the Japanese conceded 7 goals and out of those games only Belgium who scored 3 of them were a side considered anywhere near decent.

Having just turned 30 Yoshida is certainly not the future of the club and in his only performance of the season so far against Brighton he was far from impressive, he is not the leader that Jose Fonte used to be, if he was that might have been a good reason to put him back in the side, but he is what he is and has been over the past six years, reasonable back up, if he was more than that he would have been snapped up by someone else in the Premier League at some point during thetime when he was barely getting a game.

So Saints have to look towards the future, Hoedt and Vestrgaard have to be given the chance to show they can form a good partnership and in the two games they have played together so far that has been the case, indeed against Burnley they showed signs of that as they did against Leicester as well, some won't like to admit it but Hoedt was the better player on Saturday, certainly Vestergaard should have done better on the winning goal, but few seem to be taking that into account at the moment preferring to give Hoedt abuse as this season's first whipping boy.

This sort of attitude has to stop, we have to be positive and look forward, Yoshida has never been the answer in the past and at 30 years old is not going to be in the future, give both Hoedt and Vestergaard time to bed in as a partnership and then judge them in a few months time not after two games.

They have to be given this chance because we have no option, the future is Hoedt and Vestergaard with Bednarek as back up, Yoshida and Stephens for all their commitment and loyalty are not the answer.

It pains me to have to effectively criticise either Yoshida or Stephens, I have nothing against them personally and Yoshida especially has played a big part over the last six years, however this is football and their abilities have to be put into perspective, neither would get into any other Premier League team, so that should tell us something.

On Tuesday at Brighton neither did anything to suggest they should be in the side on Saturday and they really should have.

It's time to move forward not back !

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helpineedsomebody added 09:48 - Aug 30
its mr dofs insistance that given time jack stephens will see the light & become the player he thought,but like he said at charltonfc had i been given time i could have got this right,thats why they are never wrong & as long as the club stays in the epl the huge amount of money wasted each season is just forgotten about . no wonder we cant have a upgrade on the stadium with paying for ex managers/loan out players / long contracts to players .
as for yoshi MP/RK top 4/top 6 managers never played him on a regular basis why allways fouling players just outside the 18yard box on aregular basis & not being able to head the ball in the 18 yard box when the opposition attack. but over the last 3 seasons where the club has had no investment the club has had to play these 2 players .

dirk_doone added 10:13 - Aug 30
This would certainly be in keeping with the downgrading of our squad quality which has been taking place for the last couple of years because Yoshida is easily the best central defender we've got left, although admittedly not as good as van Dijk, Fonte, Alderweireld or Lovren, and Hoedt is easily the worst. Even Hooiveld was better than Hoedt. You'd have to go back to our lower league days to find a Saints' first team centre back as poor as Hoedt. I have a hunch Vestergaard may rival him soon though as he looks even slower and clumsier with his feet but, to be fair, he is a better header than Cedric :)

dirk_doone added 10:28 - Aug 30
Without the pace of Yoshida to cover their arses, a central defensive pairing of Hoedt and Vestergaard would be like an open invitation to our goal for teams with fast strikers. There would be home and away hat-tricks for Aguero and Salah for a start. The only times we'd get away with it would be against teams like Burnley with big, slow strikers, whose main threat is in the air.

saintjf added 10:34 - Aug 30
Not sure why Hoedt is picked on. Perhaps he does not look as though he is trying as hard as Yoshida. Hoedt will improve with a decent partner which I think Vestergaard is. I have always liked Yoshida but being sentimental is not going to bring improvements to the side. We need to be better at the back than last season.

warrens76 added 10:34 - Aug 30
Whether you are right or not Nick is not the takeaway message from all this simple, how far have we fallen for Yoshida to be even 'considered' as our best option...imagine anyone t stating that 4 years ago! we would only have just stopped laughing.

NewburySaint added 10:55 - Aug 30
People see things differently to each other though i’m afraid Nick.

You don’t appear to see much, if anything, wrong with Hoedt & indeed don’t mention any of the mistakes he’s made-may be you genuinely don’t think he’s made any.

However, and i’m not a Hoedt fan, I don’t think i’ve seen more than 1 good game from him, and that was Palace away last season, a Palace side that were pointless & goal less. That doesn’t mean to say he won’t get better but he needs to learn to defend and mark so much better than his current level and also needs to stop thinking he is Cruyff.

I would personally rather see Bednarek in with Vestergaard-he looked so impressive last season, especially coming into the team with the situation we were in, & I don’t remember seeing a mistake from him, plus he’s quicker across the ground than Hoedt.

skiptonsaint added 11:12 - Aug 30
For me I am still not sure which combination will prove best but what I have slowly began to accept is that comparing players to players we had 2 years is not worth the effort

It’s dawning on me now that the expensive errors in the transfer market and wage rises on players now not good enough for the first team over the past 2 years means we have to accept that just staying up this year is the aim.

Other clubs now have more ambition or are gambling more than mr GAO so we will get errors from our players who aren’t as good as players of 2 years ago and some poor results this season but we just have to stick with the team and the club.

Not a popular thing to say maybe and maybe we can find an 11 that clicks with Ings leading a much improved goals return but I fear this squad is clearly not a top 8 squad anymore.

Hope I am wrong

saintstowin added 11:13 - Aug 30
I don't see how it needs to be an either/or situation. Hoedt has not always shone and I agree he's suffered with having to be an instant senior partner and the expectation being on Lazio's books has brought. Yoshida has rightly earned respect through dedication and I think through his improved performances too. I was at Brighton and thought he played well, particularly considering it was his first game. Maya has grown into the senior role he now has and I think that will benefit us. I think he's better than when he wasn't getting regular games due to our wealth of talent at that position.
We'll certainly need them both regularly this season whether it's together as a two, part of a three, or one of them partnering Vestergaard.

SaintNick added 11:16 - Aug 30
I didnt say I didnt see anything wrong with Hoedt, I didnt say I didnt think he had made any mistakes, all I have said is that he deserves a chance to play alongside a decent partner which hopefully Vestergaard is, give that partnership a chance to show that it can work, if it does then we will be fine, if it doesnt then we will struggle and perhaps sign someone in the transfer window.

But first lets give Hoedt a fair crack of the whip, last season is gone its about this one, yes Bednarek might step up to the plate, but lets not judge before we have given everyone a fair chance

SaintBrock added 11:33 - Aug 30
At last I have found a way of eliminating all those effing annoying adverts on your website Nick that drove me to distraction so much so that I had quit for good (sure, some will say why have you come back then? FO for good!).

Fair enough if they do but as usual poor old Yoshida is under your endless cosh yet again which always raises my hackles. If he is the best we have then he should be played, Hoedt is a disaster in the making, he is nowhere near as good as he should be and not worthy of being an automatic starter. Time to give Bednarek a chance as well.

halftimeorange added 11:46 - Aug 30
Trouble is how long can MH risk playing Hoedt if he continues to be unreliable. He has to learn quickly not to regularly make mistakes in an inexperienced EPL partnership but, he's hardly inexperienced as a first team footballer - 48 appearances for Lazio says that plus 29 for Saints thus far. I agree that Yoshida is now seeing out his days but is he really more of a liability than Wesley? Having said that I wouldn't play either of them. Why not move Bertrand inside and play Matt Targett at left back? Ryan might be short but he's certainly lithe and athletic - oh, and proven at our level.

mgprobert added 11:56 - Aug 30
I don't know why its so hard to find a decent CB pair - you see some good ones in the championship, surely the black box can come up with something better than what we have!?

I haven't seen enough of Hoedt but when I have he has looked a liability and doesn't inspire confidence. I suspect that feeling goes for the team as well as me. As for Stephens - you forgot "win a header" in the list of things he can't do. He seems mid championship level to be honest....not his fault, its more than any of us on here could do.

Its been a problem for at least two seasons - you need a solid CB partnership! Hoping for the best, but with the realism of being a long suffering Saints fan

Wembley76 added 12:15 - Aug 30
Nick, inclined to agree with your sumations. Strangely, I could even see Wesley Hoedt developing into the cultured left sided centre back à la Claus Lundekvam before him.
He just needs game time with Vestergaard to form a reliable partnership

stmichael added 12:21 - Aug 30
I like Hoedt but he is far too unlucky far too
often for it to be unlucky.
Take the tackle for the 1st goal and the near calamitous own goal.
He is rarely in control and lunges regularly.
Everton’s late equaliser last season another example.
Maya is not old and could be the future for another 2 years at least which is about how long we can expect a footballer to stay these days.
Maya for me Saturday..

stmichael added 12:28 - Aug 30
Can I just add that Maya should be a good squad player who fills in for the regular centre backs.
The fact he is now probably our best starting option shows how disastrous our recruitment has been in this area since losing Lovren Fonte and Vvd and leaking goals regularly is the result.

Number_58 added 12:37 - Aug 30
Fair play to Nick if Hoedt does go on to be the answer to our defensive problems, but I can't help but think that this article could come back to haunt him quite badly.

Saintmapa added 13:02 - Aug 30
The biggest problem with our cb’s is not who plays. There is enough quality. But of there is a four man defence, then Cedric can’t play as part of it. If there is 5 man defence, then Cedric can play as there is enough cover at the box. I’ve lost count on how many times our cb’s have been poimted at finger when Cedric has made mistakes and cb’s have been the ones to get the blame. With the players available, Targett should be playing as a right back if we are to play four man defence. Then we could win a game using 4 defenders. Also Romeu has been very poor in last 1,5 seasons and hasn’t helped our cb’s as he should have done.

SanMarco added 16:27 - Aug 30
We NEED Hoedt to be good. Yoshi, Stephens and Bednarek are back-ups (Yoshi the best of them) and would not figure regularly in the defence of a good team. The two players who are clearly intended to be the top two are the new guy and Hoedt. If Hoedt needs dropping for Yoshi (I don't think we are there yet but quite a few disagree) then we are in trouble. Yoshi hasn't got any better - if he comes in over Hoedt it is a comment on Hoedt. The same applies with those saying Redmond is our best player. If that is the case then we are in trouble. If Redmond is our best player then we really are in decline.....

PezzaSaint added 18:32 - Aug 30
Centre back partnerships take time to gel and Hoedt and Vestergaard haven't played to many games together in a back 4 yet, but agree that Cedric gets isolated in a back 4 and if I were an opposition manager and I would have my centre forward all over him like a rash. Personally don't think we should play a back 5 because then we're short in the middle of midfield, but in a 4 Cedric shouldn't happen! 4 goals conceded in the league so far and two have Cedric's name on them. Know the article is about CBs, but RB is the real issue.

1970 added 21:21 - Aug 30
look at all the defenders we could of had from the bargain basements like Jonny Evans to the most expensive in Sakho at palace then theirs the ones for the future like Keane,Gibson etc the fact is none of those would of come to us with old ralph saying we are the lowest payers in the prem you could even throw McGuire in there when he was at hull and I'm sure we are all in agreement that any of these players would be a step up from our current crop, even Bournemouth managed to get Ake who was a bit overpriced but still better than most of our cb's, we are building up this puddle of dross similar to what we had when we were promoted the likes of Harding,fox,hoiveld and guly but they all served a purpose but today the only purpose is to stay in the EPL but that is a mere gamble with this lot, take a look at what the bookies say they are never far wrong ,one line stands out in your article for me nick and that is "Yosh wouldn't get into any other prem team" which like you say can be said of stephens as well, I would though start giving stephens a go at right back but only in certain games , he has played there for u18,and u23's so we are left with bednarek to challenge hoedt but the reason he doesn't play already is he is amazingly slow but he will get better I'm sure ,as for yosh he is a credit to the game a true professional but his mistakes in every game are not explainable.

dirk_doone added 23:23 - Aug 30
1970, we could have got Dael Fry, who is much better than Hoedt, Vestergaard and even Yoshida but we didn't because our Head of Recruitment changed from Paul 'Black Box' Mitchell to Ross 'totally clueless' Wilson.

dirk_doone added 23:32 - Aug 30
Meanwhile the TV commentators have just declared Vestergaard, "The slowest Premier League player ever" and they are not far wrong. What an embarrassment he is. Someone that slow should never be in the Premier League.

PETEA71 added 07:23 - Aug 31
The first time i saw Hoedt play ( and every time I've seen him play since) I've been racking my brain in an attempt to who he reminds me of.... Then the other night it came to me. A player from that classic 80's game... Super Striker. Whenever he clears the ball, I think of that game. Quite possibly the worst centre half I've seen in a Saints shirt. Perhaps like the Super Striker players, it won't make too much difference if his head falls off.

dirk_doone added 11:31 - Aug 31
On a positive note, the future has to be the most talented central defender we've got at the club: Christoph Klarer. Get rid of the rest and bring in Dael Fry to partner Klarer and we really will have a central defensive partnership for the future.

bstokesaint added 12:55 - Aug 31
I genuinely couldn’t disagree more with your misguided faith in Hoedt. As others have stated I consider him a reasonable Championship defender (thinking Hooiveld). He can’t handle pace and has a poor read of the game, often lunging in in dangerous positions. He is young admittedly and yes he may benefit from some better protection from the midfield and to play alongside the likes of a VVD or Toby. However right now I’d rather have Yoshi any day. When we had a decent run of games the season before last he got voted defensive player of the season. He’s got pace and experience and it’s painful to see us not playing him when any team with pace will be relishing playing us.

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