Danso Needs To Start At Brighton But Who Will He Replace
Wednesday, 21st Aug 2019 09:14
The defeat to Liverpool still saw us fragile in the centre of defence and it needs fresh blood in, Kevin Danso is the man brought in to do that, but who will he replace ?
Saints need to get Kevin Danso into the starting line up and fast, his height and pace is desperately needed, although the debacles at Burnley were in the main not repeated against Liverpool the fact remains that both goals conceded could have been prevented and we needed the keeper and a bit of luck to make sure the score stayed respectable.
The problem is that in the centre of defence we have lacked pace and we have lacked players getting tackles and blocks in and that has to change, both of Liverpool's goals saw the scorers with players around them, but making no attempt to get a tackle or a block in even when it was obvious that they were going to shoot.
But if Ralph Hasenhuttl opts to bring Danso back in, who would be replace ?
Perhaps the only player who can be fairly confident of retaining his place is Jan Bednarek, in the main he has been consistent not only last season but in the two Premier League games played so far, he is young and learning fast, he has been the most mobile and commanding in the air of the other three who have played so far in the centre and he is the only one who seems prepared to make a tackle.
Jannick Vestergaard will be a contender, he did not have the greatest game against Liverpool although in fairness he is less equipped to handle pace and counter attacks than the other contenders in the position, Brighton are still reliant on getting the ball in the air to Glenn Murray, so that could save Vestergaard from the drop for this game at least.
Yoshida was on the bench at Burnley, but he does not seem to be favoured by Ralph Hasenhuttl after his return from International duty with Japan in February and he played only around half of the games in that period although in fairness he was injured at the end of the season.
In pre season it was hard to judge who the manager preferred but Yoshida was on the bench for the opener with Jack Stephens chosen instead.
Against Liverpool he was probably had the best game of the three on show and this might save him, if Ralph is confident that Kevin Danso can handle the aerial aspect of the game then he might be more inclined to drop Vestergaard.
The real problem though is that whoever plays there is no leader, no calming influence in the centre of our defence, it needs someone to take control and organise, talk to the players and point them in the right direction (literally).
Yoshida is not that man and neither is Vestergaard, Bednarek and presuambly Danso due to his youth are still learning and it will be a problem all season i'm afraid, we truly need someone who can keep the defence together and hold the line.
Thinking outside the box, Oriol Romeu has played in the centre of defence before albeit temporarily, as a defensive midfielder he has at times dropped into the back as an auxiliary centre back both for Chelsea and Saints when defenders have moved forward into attacking positions, he has the ability to read the game and tackle, I don't think it would be the worst defensive trio if he was partnered by Bednarek and Danso.
I would still like us to investigate to see who is still out of contract, I know we have a template for the type of player we want, ie young and athletic, but we truly need an old head in the back four at the moment, Gary Cahill would have been ideal and sometimes you have to break with a vision in order to bring it to fruition.
Certainly Saints have done that over the years with the likes of Chris Nicholl, Alan Ball, Jimmy Case etc all coming in to steer the youngsters in the right direction till they are ready to lead themselves.
There are still a number of central defenders available out of contract and therefore able to be signed after transfer windows close, Martin Caceres a former player of ours who came to St Mary's almost three seasons ago is one of those after being released by Juventus.
The manager does have two other options available, Jack Stephens was dropped completely after the Brighton game and from that perspective now looks to be 5th choice behind the three who started on Saturday plus Danso, so will struggle to get a game in the foreseeable future.
The other is Wesley Hoedt who has not featured in the squad so far, we have to assume that the Dutchman could be leaving before the end of the month, but of that doesn't happen then it could be he is reintegrated back into the squad, certainly he would be a better option that at least two possibly three, he played in some of the pre season games and looked OK, perhaps Ralph can work his magic as he has appeared to on others who looked substandard previously.
But for the Brighton game Ralph Hasenhuttl has a decision to make, he has signed Kevin Danso for a good reason, we keep making mistakes in the centre of defence, he has to try and be proactive here and not wait for the next mistake to happen but prevent it happening and that means
Photo: Action Images
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