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Danso Must Play In The Centre Of Defence At Wolves
Wednesday, 16th Oct 2019 12:28

After conceding 9 goals in the last three Premier League games, it is time to find out if Kevin Danso is the man for the job in the centre of defence.

The last three Premier League games have seen appalling defensive performances as we have gifted virtually all of the 8 goals conceded in those 3 games though a lack of organisation, leadership, strange selections and pace.

Every Saints fan knows that this problem has been there for too long now and has not been satisfactorily dealt with in the last 6, yes 6 transfer windows.

Kevin Danso was signed back in August and although due to his young age he was not going to solve the leadership and organisation issues, at least he would offer strength and pace and that would be a start.

But he is yet to have played in his true position of either central defence as he was signed for, or as a holding midfielder where he has also played.

I have said in previous articles that there are issues with the Saints coaching staff and it appears that Ralph Hasenhuttl is not getting the advice from those on the bench with him that is helping him.

Last season the Austrian played the likes of Jan Valery without prejudice, but the question is whether the influence of Kelvin Davis and Dave Watson is affecting him too much, they along with Craig Fleming seem to be too close to the established players in the squad and from the outside it looks like they are advising Ralph to stick with these players rather than go with his gut instinct.

Last season he was loathe to play Jack Stephens, Yoshida and Cedric and preferred to give youth a chance, this term he seems to have altered his views and the likes of Jan Valery cannot get a game.

So are his coaching staff backing his decisions or are they influencing his selections in a negative way.

When he arrived we seemed to be moving forward, now we are going backwards and the old guard are getting the same results as they were getting over the past couple of seasons and that is not good as it means leaking goals.

If we play the same central defenders as we did at Wolves then we will get the same results, history shows us that, so we have to try something different.

The one thing we have not tried yet is Kevin Danso in the position we signed him to fill, Hasenhuttl was obviously aware of Danso and stated on his arrival he felt that centre back was his preferred position, so why has he not played him there yet ?

This weekend at Wolves we have nothing to lose by playing Danso but everything to gain, he cannot be any worse than Yoshida or Vestergaard and like Jan Bednarek might just prove to be a revelation.

His pace and strength would surely have at least stopped some of those 9 goals conceded and before anyone pipes up a clean sheet at Portsmouth a team near the bottom of League One is no bench mark for the Premier League.

The broom is sweeping clean at St Mary's and with Ross Wilson gone perhaps the influence of Ralph Hasenhuttl will grow, I certainly hope so, the manager deserves and needs an experienced coaching set up alongside him and he hasn't got that, I would hope that the board have recognised that and will deal with it !

Then perhaps we will truly see the Hasenhuttl revolution and not a combination of jobs for the boys in the team alongside some sub standard signings.

Photo: Action Images

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dirk_doone added 12:41 - Oct 16
He might be tired after his midweek exertions:

codge added 12:45 - Oct 16
Things that are obvious to 30.000 people seem to be oblivious to RH so if this doesn't happen this game can't see when it will.Also the same thing with JWP how on earth he still retains his place at this time is mind boggling needs to spend time on the bench to have time to reflect that maybe I'm not an automatic first choice in the team, won't hold my breath.

vanmans added 12:45 - Oct 16
Danso must start in the centre of defence. I would also start Armstrong in place of the underachiever Prowse then we may get something out of the game.

perazi added 12:53 - Oct 16
Nick - it's about time you let go of your incessant criticism of Yoshida and focused attention on the appalling JWP. How he is being shoe horned in to playing every minute this season is a primary factor in our awful performances. Oh, and if you had seen Danso playing for Austria u/21s the other night you might not be spruiking him for Saturday.

SaintNick added 13:02 - Oct 16
Perazi, this is an article on the centre of defence, not about JWP or the rest of the team, our woes in midfield stem from the formations at the back and im sorry if you think it is incessant criticism of Yoshida, but the fact is since the demise of both Fonte & Van Dijk we have been poor in the centre of defence, back then Yoshida was 4th choice as a central defender and that should tell us something.

This article is not about the past though it is about the future and we need to find out if Danso is part of that future,


DorsetIan added 14:10 - Oct 16
The team that beat Wolves 3-1 last April was


I would swap Vestergaard for Romeo (go to a back 4) and Sims for Boufal and see if we can do it again.


HythePeer added 15:16 - Oct 16
Valery Bednarek Vestergaard Bertrand
Rome danso
Armstrong Redmond Boufal

Gunn, Yosh, Soares, Obefemi, Hoyb, Ramsay Lundulu

Com'on the side picks itself!?

the_saint added 17:28 - Oct 16
No che Adam's then also I would give young slattery a go

HythePeer added 18:26 - Oct 16
I was giving Che a day off! Slattery can take his place.

underweststand added 19:25 - Oct 16
Nick - I don't need to comment further on your obvious disapproval of Maya Yoshida and YES you are correct that he was 3rd/ 4th choice behind players like; Fonte, Alderweireld and and VvD - but he's not alone in that respect -and some of our more recent managers ignored him almost completely.

However, back to the article...If Danso was brought in as a possible replacement CB -then the least that Ralph must do is to play him there...I'd play 3-5-1- (or is it 5-3-1) with Bednarek, Yoshida and Danso in the central roles. Clearly Danso is unlikley to be the long term choice as the "new Bertrand" but the biggest problem we've had with new players coming in- is that frequently, the managerial obsession with playing them in a different role to that in which they had been most successful.
Are coaches/managers born with a fixation for just one playing style?...
Is 4-2-2-2- really the success formula for the Saints? ....much as I like him,.. .it's beginning to look like Ralph is beginning yo lose the plot ... let's hope he doesn't lose the fans, too.

Ali_Diarea added 22:12 - Oct 16
I agree we have a major issue with our CB’s but I think it’s too simplistic to blame everything on them.

I’m not sure if Ralph is losing the plot or just isn’t as good as we all thought he was. He certainly had a ‘new manager bounce’, and he’s certainly passionate and a good motivator. But I don’t think he’s much of a tactician or organiser.

When Saints drew 3-3 with Bournemouth last season at Mary’s it was embarrassing how easily they scored against us on the counter (or should I say ‘transition’), but we are conceding similar goals this season. With two holding midfielders, that should never happen and it wouldn’t have happened when spider and wanyama were playing together.

So yes we still have shite centre backs, but the midfield should be protecting them better and a lack of competition in midfield may be another reason for this.

saintmark1976 added 22:49 - Oct 16
Nick, it's not simply the defence that is causing our current problems. Years of bad player recruitment and under investment by the owners has left us with a first team squad which is chronically uncompetitive in the league in which we are attempting to compete. The forward line is powder puff,the midfield is pedestrian and the current keeper suspect at best.

On the basis of the above I agree with you. Play Danso and for that matter give the youngsters a chance in other positions also. It's abundantly evident now that the likes of J W P and Redmond to name just two, are not worth a place in the team. We are at a point now where we need to try something fundamentally different. The alternative is further slow decline and drift toward where the current squad of "proven players" would be competitive - the Championship.


highfield49 added 10:30 - Oct 17
I know you like to keep banging a drum Nick, Yoshi frequently your target rightly or wrongly, but you seem a bit obsessed by the backroom and training personnel at present. Can you enlighten me regarding the roles of Davis, Watson and Fleming? I presumed that their roles were to oversee training with a stopwatch and clipboard (or tablet) in hand making sure everybody put in the required effort. I've never thought of them in the role of specialist coaches with any hope of turning sows ears into silk purses. Personally I like the NFL style of specialist coaches who work with individual elements of the game. At present we're in dire need of a defensive coach but is it that easy to hire a recently retired, top quality international with the appropriate badges and certificates? Whilst I agree that the coaching set up appears less than dynamic, the static grim reapers on the bench, I can't see that RH appointing his own staff is going to reverse our fortunes. That said, yes, Danso should have some game time either at centre back or defensive midfielder.

halftimeorange added 10:54 - Oct 17
Like others I am baffled by the thinking at St Marys in respect of how our team is selected and lines up (two different issues). As to the former point, it seems ridiculous that a consistent under-performer such as JWP can regularly command a place and Armstrong gets barely a sniff, and Slattery not even that. It's not as though JWP is a playmaker and If JWP was that good how come Saints haven't been inundated with bids for him? We lack height up front and can't score goals but the promising N'Dunlulu isn't tried to remedy that glaring fact? As the article above suggests, we leak goals, but Danso isn't selected or, relative to my second point, when he is he's played out of position as has Cedric and JWP which has only showed that he can't defend either. What next, McCarthy playing in the centre of defence (actually, that might not be such a bad idea)! Most of us think that Ralph needs help, add to that guidance and a confidence boost however, he won't get the latter unless he tries new blood but only in their rightful positions.

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