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Forget Brandon Williams It's A Central Defender We Need !
Thursday, 28th Jan 2021 09:09

Manchester United's Brandon Williams is again being linked with a loan move to Southampton, but the truth is we don't need a left back, we need more cover in the centre of defence.

Brandon Williams is third choice left back at Old Trafford, he is highly rated and perhaps out of Saints price range on a permanent deal, but it is hard to see what anyone would gain from a loan deal move.

Ryan Bertrand was suspended for the visit of Arsenal in the Premier League on Tuesday but will return on Saturday for Aston Villa's arrival at St Mary's.

Jake Vokins was exposed a few times against Arsenal, but at 20 years old and making only his second Premier League appearance he perhaps had the right to ask for his goalkeeper and fellow defenders to talk and organise him through the game and for large chunks he appeared to have little of that in a back four that consisted of only Jan Bednarek from the solid back line that saw us top the league at one stage and in and around the top 5.

Between now and the end of the season Bertrand is a more than competent left back and I would suggest from Vokins appearances in his Premier League debut and cup games he is an able deputy and potentially the man to take over from Bertrand in the next few years.

He reminds me a little of Matt Targett who was unable to get past Bertrand for the left back spot, but despite some solid performances was vilified by some supporters and when he left for Villa made comments like "Ill drive him there myself" on social media, at Villa Park Targett has finally realised his potential, showing just what a manager who believes in you and a positive atmosphere can do,

So why are we supposedly so interested in Brandon Williams, no disrespect to the player himself who is highly rated, but would we drop Bertrand on his arrival ? probably not and in that case if Bertrand continues his good form all we will do is pay a significant amount of wages for a loan player in a position that he might rarely play.

Add to the fact that we do have others that can be utilised in an emergency full back role, it just doesn't make sense.

Not a good move for Saints and not a good one for Wiliams himself or for that matter the Saints bank account which like other clubs is losing money on a monthly basis whilst the current situation continues.

If we are going to try and strengthen the squad in the next few days then surely what we need is an experienced central defender, someone who can organise the back four and read the game.

I'm not going to harp on about our weaknesses, I have been doing that for far too long now and it seems that many are now seeing what I have done for a while now, the goals against Arsenal were preventable, as was both Leicester goals and to be blunt would have been a month or so ago.

Hopefully Jannik Vestergaard will be back soon and that will make the last couple of games a temporary blip, but as injuries and suspensions might occur again in the second half of the season, I think a good loan signing in the centre of defence might pay dividends, it certainly would have in the past two league games and the worrying aspect is that Bednarek & Stephens were the only two men capable of playing in the centre of defence on Tuesday night, with Salisu the invisible man and Vestergaard injured, perhaps the only other men at the club who could step into a centre of defence would be Oriol Romeu & Ryan Bertrand and both were unavailable.

This highlights how short we are in this position, Salisu is touted as one for the future, but he is not one for now, we have to plug a gap, albeit temporarily.

As always what we are going through at the moment is a crisis, it will hopefully be short lived, we do not need to make it a drama.

Photo: Action Images



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dirk_doone added 09:37 - Jan 28
The Club can't afford either of them so I wouldn't worry about it. Talking of the many central defenders we've bought in recent years, Wesly Hoedt - remember him? - has had to issue a public aplogy to the fans in Italy because he is so bad.

https://app.football-italia.net/?referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.football-italia.net%
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halftimeorange added 09:48 - Jan 28
I hope Ryan Bertrand forfeited this week's wages. His last booking for petulance was certainly a contributory factor against Arsenal as he would have been making a more experienced job of marking Saka than the unfortunate Jake Vokins did. And, yes, if Salisu isn't going to play soon then we do need cover as Jack Stephens is, in my opinion - whether you think differently is up to you - too slow and slow-witted to play against most other clubs in this season's EPL. It will be interesting to see what he does or doesn't do against Villa. We cannot afford to carry passengers if we want a top half finish.
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saints__fan__73 added 09:49 - Jan 28
Remember Hoedt? We're still paying him every week....
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underweststand added 09:57 - Jan 28
Is this a question about a central defender, or is it a return to the left back situation?.
We have only 2 fit CB's, as there is no likely candidate at B team level with both Alfie Jones and Christof Klarer having departed some months ago.
When Salisu and Vestergaard reach fitness level we will be back to 4 again. Everyone wants to play, but it's no solution to have 2 disatisfied men on the bench every week.

IF Bertrand stays - and signs an extension - we will be back to 4 full backs again, with the prospect of having Bertrand for another 2 seasons (?).....whilst Vokins will sit on the bench and maybe get the occasional B team game. On form KWP is first choice by a mile,
but both Valery and Vokins will only improve with more Prem. game time which cannot / should not be compared with the level of the " boys game" in PL2.

It's a difficult balancing act to try and please everyone, and in the last year we have seen half-a-dozen youngsters leaving / or wanting to leave / because they had expectations of speedier promotion to the first team, when clearly the gap between the two levels is wider than they realise. The real problem arises in signing someone from outside (who we think can DAJFU) only to find that they must then learn "the Ralph method" first.

IMHO - the current problem is not at the back, but up front where we have managed just a meagre 3 goals in the last 7 Prem. games ....and dropped 15 points into the bargain.

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deanosfc8 added 10:14 - Jan 28
If Ralph wants to continue playing from the back then if Romeu is fit I would put him back into midfield and play Diallo alongside Bednarek. Clearly Diallo is versatile and a better passer of the ball than Stephens. Arsenal saw a weakness in Stephens by playing a high press and it paid off with the first goal. If Ralph wants to continue with Stephens then the only option is to play it long from the back and stop making us all nervous.
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stmichael added 10:24 - Jan 28
Well given the logic above you could argue we don't need a central defender because Jaanik will be back soon!! I would be happy to have Williams in as he covers both full back positions and Bertrand in particular needs competition for his place as he is not as highly motivated as KWP. We have tried unsuccessfully with Danso and Salisu to boost central defence. Does anyone trust this club to buy a decent centre back?
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SaintPaulVW added 10:33 - Jan 28
While I agree on the Brandon Williams point, what would he be doing here?, the points regarding a new CB seems a bit kneejerk. At this point in the season most teams are juggling squads due to injuries. We have 2 CB's on the mend, who we are told will be back shortly. Yes we lost against Arsenal with 2 stand in Full backs and a CB in for cover. However we kept several clean sheets before that.

To my eyes the problem lies at the other end of the pitch. Ings and Adams need to find their scoring boots fast.
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LordDZLucan added 10:51 - Jan 28
I agree with underweststand and SaintPaulVW. When the forwards aren't firing inevitably the defence comes under pressure. Yes, Tuesday night was a bad night but at least we saved all of our mistakes for the one game rather than spreading them out. In the games before that the Stephens/Bednarek partnership had been fine and in fact it had compensated for the lacklustre performances at the other end of the pitch. If anything we need another goalscorer especially if Ings is minded to move on.
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ElijahK added 11:33 - Jan 28
I mean it’s not a defender we need but another central striker! I mean the only reasons we’re low on them is because Salish could still be in Spain for all we know! And Vestergaard is injured.
I mean it’s a central striker we need more because after Adams and Ings who do we have on the bench who’s an experienced central striker, as it’s literally just N’lundelu and Tella, both of which are talented and good but we need someone more experienced especially seeing our recent drop in our attack
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KohSamuiSaints added 11:41 - Jan 28
I have heard from a very reliable source that Mohammad Salisu was signed without a blood test at the time of his medical .
I do not know if taking a blood test is part of a standard medical or not ( But if I was spending that kind of money on a player I would want everything checked including a full criminal background check done )
Anyway back to Salisu ....
After signing him and getting a work permit sorted a blood test was then taken at Stapelwood where it was then discovered that Salisu had a blood disorder hepatitis and he spent the first month of his training on his own away from the team .... although believing that with proper antibiotics and treatment that this would only be a temporary illness ...
This is why he has not even played for the 2nd team ...
He is close to full fitness but their are many different forms of hepatitis and Salisu had a rare form of it , which is why the club have not made an official statement and we haven’t seen him in the pitch yet .....
But I am told that his performances in training we have a real star of the future in him ...
This information is after me doing some digging but it does make sense ... And why the club have not given us clear and definite information about the reasons why we have not seen him yet ....
I think his club nickname should be Casper like the goast that you can’t see ...
Good luck Mohammad ...
please can I also add that hepatitis is NOT a sexually transmitted disease ....
Come On You Saints ...
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dirk_doone added 16:28 - Jan 28
You can add it but it's not true:

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with infectious body fluids, such as blood, vaginal secretions, or semen, containing the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Injection drug use, having sex with an infected partner, or sharing razors with an infected person increase your risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C comes from the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids, typically through injection drug use and sexual contact.

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Monksway added 19:20 - Jan 28
All teams are struggling with injuries but when you look at the Spurs, Man U, Chelsea, Man City etc benches you see what obscene wage bills buy. Man U £332 million Sheffield U £13 million. Despite an excellent manager the Blades will be relegated, despite complete incompetence Man U will challenge for the title. Saints are doing brilliant but mid table is what £60 million buys.
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SanMarco added 19:35 - Jan 28
I can see that we need a CB and a back-up left back AND another goalscorer. How many of those 3 will we get? My guess is that it will be a round figure.
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saintmark1976 added 20:36 - Jan 28
We won’t sign any established player on a permanent basis in the current window unless there is some financial input from the owners. In our current financial position (and that of football in general) there simply isn’t the money available. We’ve had losses of £112 million during the club’s last two financial years and according to what we are told it’s costing us £3 million a month to tread water because of the Covid-19.
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SanMarco added 23:44 - Jan 28
Expect a Spuds 'swoop' on a certain Mr Ings after the news on Kane tonight...
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Flamingbankers added 10:28 - Jan 29
I think the club are right. We need experienced and competent cover at both left and right back where teams always seem to exploit any weakness - that's always a problematic thing to do because it can easily be exploited. Frankly we haven't got anybody good enough to cover in those positions as has been exposed in recent games. It's not fair to continually blame Stephens because he's played some brilliant games (and they're too easily forgotten by many) but has also, at times, given too much away and been caught out of position, however, that's largely because he's been trying to cover - an outcome of Ralph's formation and strategy with no midfielder providing cover or stopping attacks down the flanks ( frankly I'd prefer to see 4-4-2 with occasional adjustments). Vokins just hasn't had enough experience and needs to go on loan to a Premier or Championship club and the same for Valery. Both their defensive skills need work. Without KWP or Bertrand, Saints are easily exposed on the flanks. I didn't like the body language of Bertrand in the last game he played when, on occasions, he wouldn't come back quickly enough, or at all, to collect the ball from the centre of defence. At times he seems lackadaisical and too casual but at other times he plays well, unlike the pro he can be and should be. For me there's something not quite right with Bertrand and sometimes he seems to be just playing out the easy contract and the massive wage. I'm afraid Saints made a mistake by letting Target move on although it was admittedly difficult to judge at the time.
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KohSamuiSaints added 11:26 - Jan 29
Dirk Doone
Thank you I admit I am only a google doctor but I had information that only said Hepatitis ... And that was only found on a blood test after we signed him ... he was training his own ..
If this was for results to be done I do not know .
But obviously the club wanted him not to be involved at the time with other players ... I do not know that an infected person could pass this disease on in many different ways , so the club isolated him from mixing with the squad ... And have kept him protected for the good of the club ... obviously he would not be available for selection until the problem has been dealt with 100%
I do not blame Mohammad for having a blood disorder whichever way he court this ...
I am a true Saints fan and whatever the reasons for his absence I hope that he is safe and well and that Southampton FC have a star CB ready to light up the premiership soon ...
#COYS WEMARCHONONONTOGETHER
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