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Author Topic: Houllier: Defensive improvement is our number one priority  (Read 6872 times)

Offline Chris Smith

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Re: Houllier: Defensive improvement is our number one priority
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2010, 10:51:30 AM »
I think it just goes to show how important Dunne was. He's a leader on the pitch and I don't think any of the others do that job. We also had Cuellar at right back and either Heskey or Carew for defending set pieces so we were rarely bullied where this season we're a soft touch. Add to that the inexperience in central midfiled for much of it and it isn't that much of mystery.

Offline Rip Van We Go Again

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Re: Houllier: Defensive improvement is our number one priority
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2010, 12:35:29 PM »
Add to that the inexperience in central midfiled for much of it and it isn't that much of mystery.
That's a big factor, not having the experienced and fully fit NRC and Petrov to back track, which they both do very well.

Offline Clampy

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Re: Houllier: Defensive improvement is our number one priority
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2010, 12:40:28 PM »
I think it just goes to show how important Dunne was. He's a leader on the pitch and I don't think any of the others do that job. We also had Cuellar at right back and either Heskey or Carew for defending set pieces so we were rarely bullied where this season we're a soft touch. Add to that the inexperience in central midfiled for much of it and it isn't that much of mystery.

It's amazing how Dunne has gone from being picked for the Premier League Team of the season to how he is now. He's been very poor this season and taking him out of the team for Carlos was the right thing to do, but if the rumours are true that Wolves are interested, it would be such a waste.

Offline Chris Smith

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Re: Houllier: Defensive improvement is our number one priority
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2010, 12:45:20 PM »
Perhaps Dunne is going to get a second chance. From Mat Kendrick in the Mail:

Quote
GERARD Houllier is prepared to give Stephen Ireland and Richard Dunne a chance to save their Villa careers – but has warned his players to accept his management methods.

Talks have been ongoing with Ireland and Dunne and their advisors in an attempt to re-integrate the former Manchester City pair back into the first team squad.

And it is believed Villa still regard the Irish duo as being more valuable to the club than the money they could recoup by selling them next month – most likely to mid-range Premier League rivals.

Dunne, Ireland, John Carew and Habib Beye were conspicuous by their absence from the match-day 18s for the defeats to Tottenham and Manchester City.

There is no doubt that off-the-field indiscretions have infuriated the manager – but he insists his decision to leave them out were based purely on footballing reasons.

Asked if the quartet are still part of the squad and under consideration for selection, Houllier replied: “So far, yes. “They were out for football reasons, nothing else – all four of them.”

However, it is understood that, if Dunne and Ireland show willing, they have a much better chance of salvation than Carew and Beye, who are almost certain to be off-loaded in January.

Houllier has warned any players sulking about his no-nonsense managerial style that he won’t tolerate insubordination.

“In terms of professionalism and training, yes we knew we would go through a difficult period,” he said.

“But if you ask me ‘Are you going back to an old style and an old regime when the players can come whenever they want and do whatever?’, No, it’s not that way. I know that’s a bit of a shock to the system, but they knew that.

“The road to success is not something which is straight and smooth. It’s rocky and it’s difficult. Sometimes you go through bumps.

“Maybe January will be a different ball game. It has been rockier than I thought because of the injuries.

“As the manager you always get criticism when you are not winning games.”

Houllier is hoping to take stock after Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge and plan for a potentially hectic month in terms of fixtures and squad rebuilding.

Villa host Sunderland in the league next Wednesday and face Manchester City at Villa Park, as well as trips to fellow strugglers Birmingham and Wigan in January.

There is also an FA Cup third round tie at Sheffield United next weekend.

“After January 2 we will have played a heavy schedule and after that things will be better,” added Houllier.

“In the new year we can definitely draw a line under the past few months. I’ve had a few surprises, but I don’t want to extend on that.”



Offline sfx412

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Re: Houllier: Defensive improvement is our number one priority
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2010, 02:13:26 PM »
Two things
Firstly since Mon's departure are we seeing more leaks from within the club to the media, or just more media contact, than before.

Secondly, considering most of what Houlliers says there was similar to 3 similar articles from Mon in subsequent past seasons, I'm not panicking too much as it took him 4 seasons to get some sort of defensive unit together and even then it was built on a huge expenditure at a loss to the rest of the team build and based on several older players.
When you think of the likes of Agathe, Knight, Davies, Ridgewell, Cahill, not forgetting several keepers, Houllier isn't doing too bad considering

Offline Willie Anderson

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Re: Houllier: Defensive improvement is our number one priority
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2010, 02:27:18 PM »
These are MON's defenders. There job was to stand tall, block everything and whack the ball as far as possible to the fast lads up front. Now they are being asked to retain possession, play the ball out, or be a bit more intelligent in how they play the game. They can't do it.
no offence but that's a load of shite.
If they remembered how to defend first and foremost we wouldn't be in this mess.

Dunnes unfitness is a major factor. Houlliers insistence on playing a zonal system is another, the whole idea is to get your team playing with a system they are comfortable with.

One sour grapes comment from Arsene Wanker & we were playing "hoofball" under MON. Did we beat the scum 5-1 playinghoofball? Did we beat Chelsea, Liverpool Arsenal et al playing hoofball? Did we get to our first major final for 9 years playing hoofball? Did we consistently finish in the upper echelons of the toughest league in the world playing hoofball?

If the answer is yes then for FFS lets get back to playing hoofball