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Whittaker/Martin

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Once Bassong returns to the side, Hughton has the dilemma of whether to play Whittaker or Martin in the right-back position. Both players offer a consistent level of performance, and either player would be unlucky to be left out of the team.

Whittaker reminded everybody on Saturday of his value going forward, whilst Martin puts his body on the line and blocks shots as often as the best of them. They are two of the most consistent performers in the squad.

Is there any mileage in playing Olsson and Whittaker in the full-back positions, but pushed up, and encouraged to regularly join the attack. Martin playing in front of Bassong and Turner, adding extra at the back when defending free-kicks and corners, and able to cover either full-back when they are attacking.

Play RVW and Hooper up front, and pushed up on both sides of the pitch when the opposition have won corners. Fer in the midfield + any two from Johnson, Howson, Snodgrass, Tettey , Redmond, etc.

Not a formation you would want to see against the top six or eight, but surely possible against some of the lesser teams.Whittaker''s goal record is pretty similar to both Johnson and Howson, and his career goals are only 20 or so fewer than Hoolahan. Olsson has often been used as a midfielder and seems very comfortable further up the pitch.

Possible or not?

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I''m not sure about Martin playing in front of Bassong and Turner. Its one thing adapting his game from right back to centre back, but now you are asking another role of him. If that formation were to be played, Bassong should play there. I believe he''s played defensive midfield for a few teams anyway?!

Personally though, I''d just drop Turner and play the normal back line with Martin and Bass as the 2 CB''s. I''m a fan of Turner and think he has really turned things around since his couple of mistakes when first joining, but Bass has to be 1st name on the teamsheet for CB, and I just can''t drop Martin. Hes blocking and last ditch defending is amazing, and just not utalised enough at right back.

So for me: -

Whittaker - Russ - Bass - Olsson/Garrido <-- thats another whole debate right there!!

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"Is there any mileage in playing Olsson and Whittaker in the full-back

positions, but pushed up, and encouraged to regularly join the attack."The role you are struggling with is "wing backs".In a word no.

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There is no debate.  The strongest back four by a mile is Whittaker, Turner, Bassong, Olsson.[quote user="Vazzza"]

I''m not sure about Martin playing in front of Bassong and Turner. Its one thing adapting his game from right back to centre back, but now you are asking another role of him. If that formation were to be played, Bassong should play there. I believe he''s played defensive midfield for a few teams anyway?!Personally though, I''d just drop Turner and play the normal back line with Martin and Bass as the 2 CB''s. I''m a fan of Turner and think he has really turned things around since his couple of mistakes when first joining, but Bass has to be 1st name on the teamsheet for CB, and I just can''t drop Martin. Hes blocking and last ditch defending is amazing, and just not utalised enough at right back.

So for me: -

Whittaker - Russ - Bass - Olsson/Garrido <-- thats another whole debate right there!!

[/quote]

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Unique, you have made one enormous assumption, and that is that when Seb is fit he will replace Russ.  As others have indicated I think our best CB pairing is Seb and Russ.

 

Russ has/is maturing into a very good CB and reads the game well, hence his ability to be in the right place at the right time when it comes to blocking, etc.  On top of that his captaining skills are exemplary, if you watched him last week against Everton he shone as Captain, and remember CH has said that even when they are both on the field together, Russ and Seb will effectively take it in turns with the armband.

 

At six foot tall it could be argued that Russ is not tall enough but I doubt Bobby Moore would agree, he too was six foot and he did alright!!

 

I''m not suggesting Russ is as good a player as Bobby Moore was but I do believe he has very similar attributes.

 

 

 

 

 

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Would the fact that Bassong was given the on-field captaincy suggest that Turner and Bassong are likely to be the first choice pairing? They would be in my opinion anyway, but if Hughton saw Martin being a regular then would he not have just given him the captaincy overall without Bassong?

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Very good question Aggy, but then surely Russ would be made Vice Captain.  I guess there is only one man who knows the answer and as yet I haven''t seen him on here!!

 

And to make one point clear, CH was quoted as saying, and I paraphrase, they would effectively rotate the Captaincy when they are both playing, indicating to me he expects them both to be playing!!

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I''d go with Whittaker at right back, with Martin to cover if he suffers injury or loses form. I ask myself, when did Hughton''s team play at its best? During that 10 game unbeaten run, when Whittaker''s form and influence on the pitch was instrumental.Martin was important at steadying the ship later on when Hughton was looking to draw his way to Premier League safety. But I think we''re better than that and should be playing football, taking the game to the opposition and looking for wins.

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Pyro Pete,

 

I refer you to my post on another thread, see below;

 

I really don''t get all these ''run of form when Whits was in the team'' stats.  So where 10 others plus subs.  perhaps they were (un)lucky enough to stay fit and therefore were in the team when we hit our bad patch.  Neither was he in the team when we won 3 of our last 5 matches.  Yes he had a good game on Saturday, scored a good goal but only as a result of a miss hit pass to Elliott Bennett, although he finished it well, and then he skewed a shot which ended up as a cross for RVW to head home.

 

Possibly he is a ''lucky'' player and I know you make your own luck, but this winning streak stat imo is somewhat meaningless and yes it is great to have our defenders score goals but their primary job is to defend and it could be argued it was our attacking play which let us down during our losing streak.

 

Bottom line is there was a whole team of 11 out there when we had our winning streak and a whole team of 11 when we didn''t, are we really saying our whole team revolves around Whitts, good player as he is, he may not even be in our top four best defenders, as a defender??

 

All that said, he would still be in my first eleven, at right back if Russ Martin was playing CB, a position I believe he is starting to excel in, I would pick him and Bassong as our CB pairing, but I''m not the manager, so my opinion counts for not a lot, except to me!

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Whittaker over Martin for me all the time. The only chance Whits really got for a run of games was in our 10 game unbeaten run. I thought he was unfortunate to be replaced again. I''d like to see him have another run of games, but it would also be unfair on Turner to loose his place after his great run of form at the end of last season and winning players player of the year award.

I''d like to see Whits - Turner - Bassong - Olsson.

IMO a match fit Olsson would be better than Garrido. I still think after a season he still hasn''t cemented his place in the team and filled us fans with confidence in him. He''s consistent and occasionally delivers in a good cross, but IMO he''s too consistently average and tends to get caught out quite a bit.

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"There is no debate. The strongest back four by a mile is Whittaker, Turner, Bassong, Olsson."

The only thing I struggle with is having to put up with a pompous a*se like you, ref89, posting on this messageboard.

There is plenty of debate, as proved by the varied combinations put forward by the contributors of this post.

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--- Ray said: Neither was he in the team when we won 3 of our last 5 matches. 

Actually, Whitaker was right back for the 3-2 win against Man City. His record for starts is 7 wins 4 draws 3 defeats.

I think he was unlucky not to play more last season when he returned to fitness given the dismal run we were on. However R Martin was one of our better performers at the time.

R Martin is a decent backup central defender, but I don''t think he is as good in that role as people think.

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I don''t think it is as straight forward as that.

At times he does outperform those around him. He has more pace than Turner although not the height or perhaps strength. Do I think he is outright better - no, but I think he is a better distributer and leader.

The one thing we really lack when Bass is out is a commander at the back. I said last season that Bassong would make a decent captain because the main difference when he is not playing is an apparent lack of communication and organisation at the back between the centre backs.

Especially when it was Bennett and Turner. You''d expect Turner, who is vastly more experienced at this level to take Bennett under is wing and lead him. But it appeared to me that both were waiting for the other to make the calls.

Martin can''t really do that effectively from the wing all the way through a game. But him in the heart of defence when Bass is not there makes perfect sense to me.

I think that we shouldn''t be surprised to see Martin tried with Bassong at some point this season, and I don''t see why not at Hull.

However, and I may be alone in thinking this, I am not convinced all of those that will be pushing to come back this weekend will walk into the team. Fer is the most likely as he wasn''t injured but if any of them are still trying to shake off an injury you''d expect them not to be risked against opposition that we should be able to deal with without them starting, Especially on last weeks showing.

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Ooops,

 

Thanks Citizen for pointing out my error, it is appreciated.

 

I had forgotten Bassong didn''t play and Russ went to CB, which perhaps adds to his claim as a permanent CB??

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My preference is martin but am comfortable with either as I really see very little between the two. Both score, Whittaker from open play martin more set pieces. Martin defends marginally better while Whittaker is better going forward. I think martin is as slightly better leader which swings it for me.

For both right back is their best position and should only play elsewhere when cover not available.

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Yeah, it''s a close thing.

 

Nothing really in it defensively but as Whittaker gives you more when he''s on the ball I tend to prefer him.

 

What isn''t such a close thing is Martin playing at centreback. Both Turner and Bassong are much stronger in that position.

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One thing I would say in response to people saying how good Martin is at last ditch defending is that as a defender you shouldn''t be making too many last gasp tackles as it means you were beaten the first time round.

I may be being unfair to Russ, I know it''s not always him that puts us in that situation, but something to consider.

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Splutcho,

 

Or he is covering fro another defender who missed their tackle, which is far more likely imo.

 

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^^ agreed! Garrido good crosser but too slow Olson has loads of pace and don''t cack himself when attacking, turner is accident prone, Bassong we shall say no more, russy Martin is a god and Whittaker because he''s class all round! ( bad we have no other rb if russy m is cb)

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[quote user="wolfswinkel "] turner is accident prone,  [/quote]

 

No. He''s not.

 

Don''t think you get Players'' Player Of The Season if you''re an accident prone defender.

 

If you''re picking Martin ahead of Turner you''re not picking our best defence.

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Whittaker Martin Bassong Olsson for me

but my concern with Whitaker is his lack of pace, he has got caught a few times. So if it''s, does Russ play or not I would play him ahead of Whittaker, we also seem to be forgetting his contribution going forward, he can bang them in too!

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After last season I can''t see how people have even considered dropping turner! After the first few disastrous games he was a rock and for me every bit as good as bassong.

Whittaker and Martin are both exposed to pace playing RB but Whittaker looks really good going into the oppositions half and far more composed.

Whittaker Turner Bassong Olsson

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