ALMOST 13 years in the past, then Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was scathing of Arsenal’s defending in a 5-Four win over Spurs, calling the end result “a hockey rating not a soccer rating”.
We’ve already seen a number of high-scoring video games on this season’s Premier League and as soon as once more questions are being requested in regards to the artwork of defending.
If anybody desires to know what defending needs to be, then I’d level to my team-mates Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy on the coronary heart of our defence.
I’m not stunned our centre-backs are getting rave opinions since they prioritise defending our space and can do every part potential to stop conceding a aim.
Whether or not it’s placing their head the place it hurts or throwing their physique to dam a shot or a deal with, Dunk and Duffer appear to get pleasure from each side of defending and take pleasure of their work.
Defending has modified considerably previously few years and I imagine the scrutiny soccer comes below is without doubt one of the main causes.
Each participant makes errors and it’s a horrible feeling if you make a multitude of one thing in a stadium with 1000’s watching.
However imagine me, it’s even worse when your blunder is replayed repeatedly on-line, on social media and TV worldwide.
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Together with the numerous pages of written press, the worldwide attraction of the Premier League means it’s just about not possible to flee the magnifying glass.
Media retailers analyse each side of matches — and objectives are the main speaking factors.
Should you’re culpable in conceding, you then could be certain your error shall be highlighted by pundits.
That’s fantastic, as a result of everybody has to do their job. However I believe it has modified the mindset of the fashionable participant to the purpose the place they shrink back from the outdated fashion of tackling and blocking.
I’m wondering if the concern of creating a mistake and conceding a aim and the scrutiny and criticism that brings has created a self-preservation mentality amongst defenders?
The very last thing anyone desires is to be ridiculed and probably have their means/angle challenged in public — and, in consequence, they suppose twice about committing to tackles.
I’ve observed an increasing number of that defenders are dropping off opponents and filling holes quite than partaking opponents. A few of that is undoubtedly right down to techniques however certainly not all.
It’s not simply people who’ve modified however the guidelines of the sport have additionally made it tougher to defend extra robustly and bodily.
Referees are a lot much less tolerant of bodily contact now than they had been a decade in the past.
I watched some re-runs of PL video games from the early Noughties and the fashion of play was rather more combative.
If a sport was missing pleasure, it was usually a crunching problem which sparked the sport and crowd into life.
When was the final time you noticed that in a PL sport?
These modifications have affected trendy defenders and an increasing number of golf equipment decide to recruit ball-playing centre-backs who can step into midfield and full-backs whose attacking means is arguably higher than their defending.
There’s little question that defenders are actually higher all-round footballers.
However with these modifications, I really feel the artwork of defending itself is combating a shedding battle, when earlier than maintaining a clear sheet was the be all and finish all for defenders.