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Dirty Lyle

The Defensive Question

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It occurs to me that as everyone is getting a bit frustrated with the lack of progress on the transfer front it would be worth evaluating the defensive options we have available both current and prospective.

Correct me if I''m wrong (I usually am somewhere) but we have 7 defenders at the club at the moment.

Drury, Brennan (?)
Flem, Malky, Shackell,
Briggs, Edworthy

We are seriously lightweight in this area and I''m sure we all agree another centre back is a must, if not two. I have no problem with the first choice back four in the Premiership (we may not have much alternative anyway) but their back up is a concern.
Brennan is a midfielder over a defender. Shackell is still young and is not ready to be put in a situation where he is a regular choice yet while Briggs has never had the chance to prove himself although looked solid at reseve team level last season.
IMHO all three are decent players but not yet (or never will be) consistent Premiership quality players.

This leaves me considering what is currently available on the transfer market. I trust NW implicitly and believe he is doing all he can to bring a defender or two to the club. He also has the ability to do the unexpected pulling the odd rabbit from his hat like Edworthy last year or Safri this. The next signing may just be around the corner and is likely to be a name not thought of by anyone reading this.

For my penny''s worth though I believe there are only a small number of obvious candidates for central defence out there who fulfil wages/transfer fee criteria etc.

Fernando Ricksen, Joos Valegaren (excuse the spelling), Craig Moore ( transfer listed today)and Nikos Dabizas. I''m not going to spell out their individual pros and cons as we will all have differing opinions.
However, again IMHO we were fortunate to miss out on Scimeca but Purse would have been a good acquisition.
Dabizas is the name that intrigues though. He has a release clause from Leicester yet there is little speculation surrounding him at the moment. He has a shiny new medal round his neck, has played for a while in the Premiership and we could afford him. I have a feeling that he may be coming our way...

Finally, cast your mind back to last summer when we were scratching around for a new striker and it seemed NW was making no progress and missing the boat as prospective signings were tempted elsewhere. The similarities between then and now are many - we are just concerned over a different position. I am as frustrated as everyone else but the great striker hunt came spectacularly right in the end and Im sure that this situation will too. Have faith in NW he will get the right man (men) in the end.

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At last someone who still seems relaxed about the situation. I think you will find Holt played a handful of games at right back last year and safri is a very similar player to Holt (weel goal ratio is slightly lower).

I would be really worried about our premiership prospects tho if we were going to rely on dabizas to be the rock of our defence. Dont think i''d feel very confident with any of those four in our back four. I would love to see us get keown, he is still awful to play against and gies strikers such a hard time.

I don''t think left back is a worry as we have Drury, Brennan and Shackell. Right back we have Edworthy, Holt and Briggs. Its centre backs we need, someone like keown and someone like Kenton maybe (don''t lynch me for using the K word).

Also will Drury will still be captain? was he against gt yarmo? who was captain in the other half?


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Some excellent points DL. Agree with almost everything there. I''m sure Worthy will get us a qullity defender. Like you say, last year we didn''t have a striker and we know what happened then.

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