Date: 29th September 2008 at 7:10am
Written by:

Something caught my eye whilst I was watching the Premiership games this weekend and I thought I would share it with you this morning. I have seen, not only this season but in the past, how effective it is to have a central defender who is able to step out of the defensive line and provide an attacking option. The attacking option maybe in the form of carrying the ball from defence into midfield and then carrying on their run into the box to provide an attacking option. Or it could just be carrying the ball from defence and getting close enough to goal to take a shot.

We all saw how effective this was when Daniel Agger scored that wonder goal by stepping out of defence and the defenders were all backing away from him as most do not expect a central defender to be able to hit a scorcher from 30 yards. You literally have a free shot as a central defender if you are able to carry the ball into the oppositions half as chances are you will not be shut down as they expect you to pass the ball.

I look at our current situation; it looks like Rafa has decided that Carragher and Skrtel are has preffered central defenders. Now neither of them are really capable of stepping out of defence with the ball and offering an attacking threat. Where as we have a player like Agger who is excellent in such situations. Not only can Agger defend well but he is also very good with the ball at his feet and has a sweet left foot as we have seen from the goals he has scored. Now I am not saying the Carragher – Skrtel combination is not good enough but I would prefer seeing Agger partner Carragher largely due to the fact that Agger can give us that extra attacking option we may need to unlock defences.

I know it is not ideal to rotate your central defence pairing but maybe Rafa should look at using Agger and Carragher when playing at Anfield as we need to attack. Then when we away from home and need to keep things tight he can use Skrtel. I really do not like comparing us with the other teams but if you look at Manchester United, they have Ferdinand who is capable of stepping out of defence with the ball and going on a forward run. Chelsea have Carvalho and Arsenal have Toure. I look back into the glory days of Liverpool and how the likes of Alan Hansen were masters of stepping out of defence with the ball.

In todays game I feel it is important to have central defenders who are good ball players. I am not saying both Carragher and Skrtel are not good but they can do a lot better going forward. What do you guys think of this?


4 responses to “Stepping Out Of Defence”

  1. Dave says:

    Ron, I see where you are coming from but even if we had defenders good enough to come forward out of defense with the ball Rafa would have a hernia if they did it. It’s been hard enough for him to commit more than 3 players forward never mind the heart of the defense – lol.

  2. Ron says:

    But Dave, don’t you feel that Rafa is being a bit more attack minded this season than he has been in the past? I think he has realised that to win the Premiership you need to win as many games as you can and thus you have to attack. We drew too many games last season and I would much rather turn those draws into wins and sacrifice one or two loses. With that said, maybe Rafa should stop worrying and get a defender to start to attack a bit more especially if you have Mascherano in midfield to clean up after them.

  3. Dave says:

    Yea, I agree with you 100%. He seems to have gave midfield more of a chance to push forward and he also seems to be trying to get the full backs up in support but Rafa I don’t think is a supporter of a “total football” approach. I think he will always want two central defenders and a midfielder in front of them at all times.