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2017/18 Season Review - Jack Stephens
Friday, 25th May 2018 12:48

In the next of our season reviews we take a look at Jack Stephens part in our Great Survival.

A lot of what I wrote in the previous review on Yoshida could also be levelled at Jack Stephens , Stephens is comfortable on the ball and can carry and use it well, but his problem is he just can't seem to keep concentration and read the game at key moments and that costs us goals that see an opponent unmarked when he really shouldn't be.

He put in several good performances but his consistency was never good enough nor was the quality in enough situations I'm afraid.

No one can question Jack's commitment to the cause, it pain's me to have to be scathing about both him and Yoshida, they are both 100 X the man that Virgil Van Dijk is both in terms of their commitment to this football club and as people with moral's and ethics, sadly in football morals and ethics count for nothing and no one would claim they are anywhere near Van Dijk as a player.

Again if Saints are to challenge for a top 10 position in the Premier League and above next season then Jack Stephen's may be a decent back up player, but you would not want him as first choice, we need two central defenders of the calibre of Fonte, Alderweireld, Lovren and dare I say it Van Dijk.

Wesley Hoedt may well be one of them, perhaps even Jan Bednarek however I don't think Jack Stephens will be, again I reiterate it pains me to say it, he is a committed dedicated professional, but that is not enough, good back up perhaps, but in the medium term he is not part of the solution.

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surreysaint added 13:59 - May 25
A teeny bit harsh i think. He's a candidate for 'most improved' player this year (although admittedly that cupboard is pretty bare), but you're right that there's a lot more to do and he absolutely should not be first choice. However, unlike Maya, Jack is still young enough to improve, although he's actually OLDER than Wesley Hoedt!

dirk_doone added 14:51 - May 25
Jack Stephens looks a very good, young footballer. He is still learning but it is far too early to write him off. Most fans I've spoken to agree that he looks a better prospect than Hoedt.

cotswoldsaint added 22:44 - May 25
Agree with Dirk and Surrey, he deserves another season, his confidence was growing and he became a real attacking threat at set pieces. Plus wasn't he selected for the England U-23 squad?

SaintPaulVW added 07:14 - May 26
I think this is a bit harsh. Can take years to make a good centre back. He's still quite young for a CB and needs to do a bit of work on the areas that you mention to really progress though.

ItchenNorth added 07:22 - May 26
I think Stephens did ok. He's young and should only get better.
The trouble Saints had last season was that Stephens, Yoshida and to a lesser extent Bednarek (because we only saw him in the last few games); had no leader playing alongside them. Hoedt was supposed to be that signing, the replacement for VVD / Fonte, but that didn't transpire.
I think Stephens, given a more experienced CB partner to play with will develop. He should get more chances next season to do that as well. Over to the board now to identify that quality partner.

underweststand added 12:39 - May 27
Jack got some stick for some errors early on, but being thrown in at the deep end HDAJFU and shouldn't be faulted for that . Plus 3 goals in a couple of weeks shows he has a bit of attacking skill , too. His perfomances have been a tad better than some of the players who've come to the club for big fees and have shown less talent and application.

He is a genuine product of the Academy and has shown he 's got a future.

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