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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Letters from Wiltshire #33 by wessex_exile
Today we face a trip to Crawley, not usually a venue that bears fruit for the U’s it has to be said. In nine visits we’ve only won once in the league, and once in the League Cup. Of course, we’ll all remember that League Cup victory, indeed many of us were probably there to see us progress through to 5th round and the dream fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford. All of our goal-scorers that night, Luke’s Norris and Gambin, and Cohen Bramall (okay, technically an O.G.), are no longer with us, so let’s hope at the very least that recent departee and subsequent returnee Frank Nouble can bag another like his late equaliser against Mansfield. Steve Ball commented during the week about how tight the league is at the moment, and he’s right that a couple of back to back victories would see us move significantly up the table away from danger – but we’ve got to win them first Steve – something we’ve failed to do since our 1-0 victory at Scunthorpe on December 8th.
Letters from Wiltshire #32 by wessex_exile
Fifty years ago yesterday, Colchester United of the 4th Division pulled off the greatest cup giant-killing ever, beating 1st Division Leeds United 3-2 at Layer Road. Watched by 16,000, and the Match of the Day cameras, Dick Graham’s U’s, a rag-tag band of mostly aging journeymen, defied the odds to defeat arguably the greatest club side in Europe at the time. “The greatest cup giant-killing ever” is a bold claim, and over the years various football magazines and websites have run their own polls of which was the greatest. Whilst that day at Layer Rd always features, as the years have gone by other feats fresher in the memory have been put forward as a candidate – we probably all remember Ronnie Radford’s screamer against Newcastle, Sutton’s exploits, or even Bradford City quite recently at Stamford Bridge – but these pale into insignificance when you pause to reflect on the Don Revie side that we beat that day. Sprake, Cooper, Charlton, Hunter, Lorimer, Giles etc – all full internationals, all household names – the only one missing was Billy Bremner, and that was because he was injured. By comparison, all we had to offer was Ray Crawford – at his peak arguably on a par with some in the Leeds side, but that peak had been ten years earlier playing for Ipswich and England. Eleven heroes didn’t just try and hold out against Leeds United, they took the game to their illustrious opponents with such tenacity, grit and no small amount of flair, and before we knew it, the U’s were 3-0 in the lead. As legs tired, Leeds got back into the game with goals from Hunter and Giles, but we held firm – typified at the death by Graham Smith pulling off an impossible save to ensure the U’s achieved the greatest cup giant-killing ever!
Letters from Wiltshire #31 by wessex_exile
And so the dust settles on another transfer window closing, and despite (my) expectations that the possibility of incoming business was going to be remote, we have instead seen a veritable flurry of activity, with no less than three coming in. Big Frank Nouble, making a very welcome return on loan from Plymouth Argyle, of course needs no introduction. Neither really does feisty Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu, here on loan last season, and this time signed full-time from Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee. Actually paying hard cash for someone did come as a surprise, presumably offset by the sale of Cohen Bramall to Lincoln for a similarly undisclosed fee. However, the fact that the Addicks have insisted on not only a sell-on clause, but a rarely used buy-back clause too, suggests (a) Wiredu’s signing fee probably wasn’t too high, and (b) Charlton are protecting those finances with these clauses. The last one, which would have been a complete surprise for me were it not for a contact leaking me the news earlier yesterday, is left-back Josh Doherty on loan from Crawley. Josh was only announced once outgoing left-back Bramall was confirmed, and presumably his loan is directly related to part-time fashion model, TV and radio celeb and former left-back Mark Wright signing for Crawley on a non-contract game-by-game basis in December. We have also released seven from the academy, Ollie Kensdale, Miquel Scarlett, Sammie McLeod, Michael Fernandes, Ollie Sims, Danny Collinge and Matt Weaire, and I’m sure we all wish them the best for the future.
Letters from Wiltshire #30 by wessex_exile
Friday night football – can’t beat it. Gives you that feelgood factor all weekend, sitting back to enjoy a stress-free Saturday afternoon watching others fail in your wake. Of course, you have to win first, which we’ve been struggling to do for a while now, so be prepared for the possibility of a miserable weekend just in case. We share this evening with Reading v AFC Bournemouth, albeit they kick-off an hour later than we do. In the real world, leaders of the UK’s five largest business groups have written to Boris demanding action on the substantial difficulties they are facing over Brexit bureaucracy, whilst French border authorities are reporting that two-thirds of lorries arriving from the UK are empty (i.e. no exports leaving the UK). Still, at least the NHS can enjoy their extra £350m per week…
Letters from Wiltshire #29 by wessex_exile
Looks like some around the world have started 2021 a bit cross. Never mind the attempted insurrection at the Capitol earlier this month, those normally laid-back Dutch have now been rioting for three nights running about the imposition of a night-time curfew to try and curb the spread of coronavirus. Farmers in Delhi have stormed through police lines and breached the Red Fort in protest against market reforms, and tragic Somalia has just passed the 30th anniversary of their ongoing civil war. In brighter news, President Biden has immediately begun dismantling and/or reversing some of Trump’s more contentious decisions, including rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, renewed funding for the World Health Organisation, revoking the ‘Muslim travel ban’, defunding the border wall, rescinding Trump’s report calling for a ‘more patriotic’ syllabus in schools, and overturning the ban on transgender people serving in the military.
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