Tag Archives: John Stones

Is John Stones a good defender?

John Stones with Pep Guardiola

I was listening to the “world class” Alan Shearer and Phil Neville discuss this point yesterday and decided to do my own little piece.
On the face of it I can see why Stones get’s so much stick and typing this I can vividly recall careless back passes from Stones that have led to goals or almost led to goals but I will say I still rate him. The potential is there but the problem is with those that are currently being asked to mentor him in the centre of that defence; Otamendi, and Kolarov. I ask myself how Pellegrin ended up with Mangala and Otamendi in the first place and they didn’t come cheap!

Let’s be honest Otamendi will not get game time in the centre of the defence for any of the top 6 teams. His anticipation is pants and he spends so much time diving in tackles and not reading the game, also let’s not forget his penchant to play act instead of getting on with things. City have never looked a solid outfit in the centre of defence without Kompany and it was the same in the Mancini and Pellegrini eras. City have got to make a decision on Kompany’s fitness issues and his replacement, only when that is sorted will Stones begin to find his feet and comfort in the centre of City’s defence. I think it’s asking a lot to expect a young centre back to be the calming influence in that deer in headlights City defence who are very easily spooked at the moment. That back four consisting of Otamendi, Kolarov, Clichy and Sagna is spent and with a keeper that is battling confidence adapting to the PL Stones was always going to have problems playing the way he plays under Pep.

Stones is not your typical English defender known for their no nonsense displays usually summed up as ; kicking the ball to row Z, dangerous tackles interpreted as crunching or full blooded, leaving your foot in to let your opponent know you are there, jumping in front of shots, head bandage wearing with a bit of blood, chest banging aka showing passion, the list goes. He doesn’t come across as one of this type so he isn’t going to be the cup of tea of many English fans and pundits. Giving the right partner in the centre of defence in the mould and calibre of Kompany Stones will come good.

Smart dealing or just Complacency at Arsenal

arsene-wenger spend

It’s nine days to the start of the Premier league season and 27 days before the transfer window closes and I still can’t say I am clued up on what Arsene’s plan is for the season. There is a pressing need for an experienced central defender and a forward but the fans are none the wiser on who the club intends to sign. As I have said in previous posts I have attained the state of zen when it comes to Arsenal transfers but it just doesn’t make sense to me that with the most competitive season in view Arsene and the club are gambling on playing catch up. Arsenal’s first three fixtures of the season are tricky with a home game against Liverpool and two away games against Leicester and Watford. It will be foolish to risk Arsenal fans getting on the backs of the team and the manager so soon because of poor results which will be linked to lack of team investment.
I am a fan of not paying over the odds for players;  I would never pay 30million pounds for John Stones let alone 50 million pounds neither would I endorse splashing out 100 million pounds on Paul Pogba and most fans aren’t expecting Arsene to do that. The reality is good players are expensive these days and you have to pay the going rate especially when the whole world knows you have the highest cash reserves in addition to playing in the richest league in the world.
It’s not a secret that the Premier League is awash with cash and clubs outside the Premier League doing business with Premier League clubs will want a piece of the action, so Arsee and Ivan should stop going to bid for players with change in a clutch bag under their arms.
It’s getting boring now  with Arsenal and transfers, please find a target and get the job done. I feel buying an experienced defender and a centre forward makes the team competitive but I don’t think it makes Arsenal title contenders as there is still  a fragility that permeates this team a discussion for another post.