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hope he is back 100% fit for the premier league doing some of his outrageous headers and " if in doubt , kick the ??????? thing out " !!!!!!! leon leon leon

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Was great for us, and shame he got injured when he did. So frustrating he wins headers from nearly all our corners but can never get the blood thing on target!!

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[quote user="ziggy"]hope he is back 100% fit for the premier league doing some of his outrageous headers and " if in doubt , kick the ??????? thing out " !!!!!!! leon leon leon[/quote]Oh dear, it is easy to see why so many City fans rate him as our best defender when they follow this kinda school of defending.With that kind of attitude we will get relegated in my opinion.  You need to have quality on the ball and be able to work as a unit and organise the rest of your defenders working with them as a team.  Ward and Whitbread are far better than him!

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I suspect that Barnett & de laet will be first choice, then Whitbread and Ward will be 4th choice. Ward is another Spencer Prior in that he will be play ell for 85 mins then miss a tackle in the middle of the pitch and lead to us conceding a goal. Last year we looked most solid at the back when Whitbread and Barnett played together. I can see where you are coming from though - I can remember Barnett being singled out by Hansen on MoTD when in the Prem for some awful defending in his WBA days. Hopefully he has improved somehat since then!We simply won''t be able to sign a quality ball playing but still decent defensively centre half.

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[quote user="Steve 9-2"]I suspect that Barnett & de laet will be first choice, then Whitbread and Ward will be 4th choice. Ward is another Spencer Prior in that he will be play ell for 85 mins then miss a tackle in the middle of the pitch and lead to us conceding a goal. Last year we looked most solid at the back when Whitbread and Barnett played together. I can see where you are coming from though - I can remember Barnett being singled out by Hansen on MoTD when in the Prem for some awful defending in his WBA days. Hopefully he has improved somehat since then!We simply won''t be able to sign a quality ball playing but still decent defensively centre half.[/quote]I think that you and the vast majority of fans are very wrong on this Steve, but that''s a really nice post of yours.It is interesting to hear that Alan Hansen slated Barnett.I think we played our best football last season when Ward and Whitbread played centre half for us.  5-1 away at Ipswich, 6-0 at home to Scunthorpe, a great draw away at Elland Road and win at Leicester.  The clean sheet and victory at Portsmouth etcBarnett was awful in one of his last games for us - Burnley away - although this probably had something to do with the 3 centre half system employed that day.We only lost the one game when Ward played alongside Whitbread - the big collapse at Swansea.

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Fair points Smudger although we did concede twice in both the Leeds & Leicester games. Point taken about the Portsmouth game where both Ward & Whitbread were very good indeed. Scunthorpe & 1p5wich offered very little threat in the games you mentioned.Barnett was probably favourite for Player of the Year when he got injured and was much better and more consistent than Ward.Barnett looks to me like he is the better defender but he might be one of those players who when he has a bad game really has an absolute stinker - a bit like the Doc (before everyone jumps on me I am not saying Doc is as good as Barnett!!!).Of course, we might yet get another CB in before the season starts. Chambers from Forest on a free would be a decnt addition.

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[quote user="Smudger"][quote user="ziggy"]hope he is back 100% fit for the premier league doing some of his outrageous headers and " if in doubt , kick the ??????? thing out " !!!!!!! leon leon leon[/quote]Oh dear, it is easy to see why so many City fans rate him as our best defender when they follow this kinda school of defending.With that kind of attitude we will get relegated in my opinion.  You need to have quality on the ball and be able to work as a unit and organise the rest of your defenders working with them as a team.  Ward and Whitbread are far better than him![/quote]

are you mad? Ward V Barnett....no contest

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[quote user="Smudger"][quote user="Steve 9-2"]I suspect that Barnett & de laet will be first choice, then Whitbread and Ward will be 4th choice. Ward is another Spencer Prior in that he will be play ell for 85 mins then miss a tackle in the middle of the pitch and lead to us conceding a goal. Last year we looked most solid at the back when Whitbread and Barnett played together.

I can see where you are coming from though - I can remember Barnett being singled out by Hansen on MoTD when in the Prem for some awful defending in his WBA days. Hopefully he has improved somehat since then!

We simply won''t be able to sign a quality ball playing but still decent defensively centre half.
[/quote]

I think that you and the vast majority of fans are very wrong on this Steve, but that''s a really nice post of yours.

It is interesting to hear that Alan Hansen slated Barnett.

I think we played our best football last season when Ward and Whitbread played centre half for us.  5-1 away at Ipswich, 6-0 at home to Scunthorpe, a great draw away at Elland Road and win at Leicester.  The clean sheet and victory at Portsmouth etc

Barnett was awful in one of his last games for us - Burnley away - although this probably had something to do with the 3 centre half system employed that day.

We only lost the one game when Ward played alongside Whitbread - the big collapse at Swansea.


[/quote]

Ins''t it possible you are wrong?

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I rate Leon very highly indeed, he has pace, height, powerful and great in the air.

I like both Ward and Whitbread but in the Prem facing up to the likes of Ashley Young, Anelka, Defoe etc we simply have to have some pace and this is the real weakness of the Whitbread/Ward combo imo.

De Laet has obviously been signed partially due to the fact he reportedly has pace to burn, Lambert has recognised this was a weak point last season and addressed it accordingly.

I think we could well see Barnett/De Laet combo, although I wouldn''t be shocked to see Whitbread and Barnett.

I doubt we will see Ward/Whitbread playing together again (barring injuries), and that is not a slight on either of them who are both fine defenders imo - I just think against Prem strikers we need some speed in the CB position.

Great to have a depth of quality at CB after all these years!

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I agree with one or two other posters on this one.

There is no doubt Barnett was a good signing for us and really gave us a boost at CB, as we only really had Ward and Nelson at the start of the year before Nelly got injured.  Askou didnt really cut it in the Championship, and Barnett was in good form.

However, I would have to say that Whitbread is a superior centre back (IMO)  Probably the highest compliment you can pay a centre back is when you hardly notice them make a lasp-gasp tackle, or diving header -this is generally because their positioning has been good and the danger has been snuffed out before hand.  Admittedly, W&W had bad games v Swansea, but as a partnership they only really lost that one game all season.  I think Barnett was great for the crowd to see no-nonsense clearances etc but this was often because he was hopelessly out of position in the first place.

For what it is worth, I would like to see Whitbread and Barnett start the season at CB (unless we sign anyone else) as I think they will compliment each other.  Ward will be back-up and De Laet can slot in across the back 4 if needed.

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In my opinion Whitbread is the best footballing CH we have at the club. Bearing in mind the length of time he was injured, I think he improved with every match. I also think, contrary to popular belief, that he is by no means slow. With a full pre-season behind him I think he will be a definite starter, possible along with De Laet, as I think ball players and pace will be more important in the prem, rather than size and "hoofability". (And no, I don''t think Leon is slow)

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I think all 3 centre backs have something to add.  I have stated previously that I believed Lambert would bring in another centre back (whether De Laet is / was the target, or he is there as right back cover I couldn''t say, not seen enough of him).  Physicality will be very important in the premiership, Barnett has that above Whitbread and Ward, so I believe if everyone is 100% fit he will get the nod, to begin with.  I agree with the popular opinion on here that Ward / Whitbread are the ball players, but primarily defenders need to defend, and you would imagine that will certainly be the case for the first 3 months of the season.  I was at the Swansea game, Whitbread / Ward struggled, Barnett would have offered an improvement that day, and we will face more games against opposition of that quality than the likes of Scunthorpe where Whitbread / Ward technical ability would shine above Barnett''s.

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Overall I think Barnett is our best CB from last year and having him back is like a new signing.  I always felt with him on the pitch he gave a level of security that we didn''t have otherwise (ignoring games against toothless teams like Scunthorpe, 1p5wich etc).

 

Also I don''t think we were bad at Swansea.  Their goals were two brilliant strikes from outside the box, plus the 3rd was in injury time when we were pushing everyone forward.  If Holt had taken the great chance he had just before the first goal I think it would have been a different outcome, and I certainly wouldn''t accept we were outplayed.

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Good discussion this. I think that Lambert has worked hard to give himself options throughout the squad and the CB positions are no exception. I think that he''ll choose teams to counteract the opposition rather than stick to a ''favourite pairing''. Where pace is needed Barnett and DeLaet (whose first position is CB) could get the call. Where ballplaying out of defence is needed Ward & Whitbread could be chosen. Lambert is a good tactician and this is part of his tactics, IMO.

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I personally think that Barnett could be our best defender (don''t put any stock in his stint at West Brom, a lot of their players were under-performing at the time), but if Whitbread carries his end-of-season form into the Premier League he''ll blow a lot of Prem defenders out of the water.  Doesn''t mean I don''t rate Ward, though...

 

Am I right in saying that Barnett and Whitbread haven''t actually played together for Norwich?

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One of my mates is a West Brom season ticket holder - he rates Barnett highly and it was only the fact that he fell out of favour with the manager that meant he wasn''t a regular. He is Prem quality.

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A lot of posters on here seem to forget how attack minded we were last season!!

So of course defenders/CBs are going to be under a lot more pressure and therefore make mistakes!

I dont think SUPERLAMBERT will be so cavarlier in the prem and like someone else said,EBA fans seemed to like him,but after injury couldnt force his way back in!

I like him a lot and in a more 442 formation,will be a rock!

However whitbred is mega and ward is so calm under pressure..gawd knows who will be our 2 CBs!

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All of our center back partnerships were susceptible through the middle last season, whatever combination of barnett, whitbread or ward was used we conceded too many soft goals down to lapses in concentration and poor positioning, something malky/fleming were not. Flem had some prem experience, just as barnett does now.

We let in 77 goals last time and I think most fans would feel that the champ winning defence was stronger overall. On the basis we failed to invest and shore up last time we need to do improve at the back this time too. Concede in the champs you will concede more in the prem...

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I know some people dont rate Ward, but the fact is that Ward was Lamberts first choice centre back over the course of the season, so whether we rate him or not Lambert obviously does. Barnett i would expect to come back in but i wouldnt at all be surprised if it''s Ward who partners him on the opening day of the season.

 

As for conceding those goals, that had as much to do with how we went at teams as to do with defensive problems, we could probably have closed out more games and been less attacking but we might well not have got promoted or been so exciting. I for one hope we go at the prem teams, not suddenly try and become all cagey.

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yes we play attacking football - but many of the goals we conceded were soft defensive errors - and all our back line contributed to that. and if you concede soft goals in the champs you will be punished harder in the prem - and as much as we like to think we can out score our defence its a tough thing to do.

I have not said we need to be cagey; its not about changing our attacking philosophy, its about defending better as a team and cutting out the lapses in concentration and positioning errors in the centre back positions. Not having a go at ward or anyone else - all the partnerships had the same weakness - and, in my opinion, if we play the season with any two from last years 3 centre backs we will concede too many goals (65+) and get relegated as we will concede more goals in the prem than we did in the champs

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[quote user="Yellowbeagle"]

I know some people dont rate Ward, but the fact is that Ward was Lamberts first choice centre back over the course of the season, so whether we rate him or not Lambert obviously does. Barnett i would expect to come back in but i wouldnt at all be surprised if it''s Ward who partners him on the opening day of the season.

 

As for conceding those goals, that had as much to do with how we went at teams as to do with defensive problems, we could probably have closed out more games and been less attacking but we might well not have got promoted or been so exciting. I for one hope we go at the prem teams, not suddenly try and become all cagey.

[/quote]

I''m not disputing the fact that Lambert rates Ward but how do we know he was Lambert''s first choice as throughout the whole season we had CB injuries, when Whitbread was injured Barnett was fit, when Barnett got injured Whitbread was then able to take his place; Ward''s presence in the team could therefore have also been the result of lack in competition for places due to injuries.

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Ward was our most used CB last season, but the other two were out with injuries. I think Barnett will be a strong contender to break the Ward and Whitbread partnership....he has something which we need in the Prem at the back.....PACE!

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