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25 Jan 2021 11:54:32
While Williams had a bad game people are talking like pace is the be all end all for defenders.

Maldini, cannavaro, carragher, hyypia and many more had shocking pace, yet they were all either very competent or downright world class.

If you read the game well enough you don't need pace at all because you're watching two or three minutes ahead of the game so you never need to recover with pace because you were moving before their attacker was.

This is also something that can be coached into players, so let's not write anyone off because they're slow, because if your brain is quick your feet don't really need to be, just ask Sami - probably the slowest defender I listed.

Agree2 Disagree0

25 Jan 2021 12:01:01
You're forgetting the game has moved on a lot from them players, and Italy was always a slower pace than the Premier League, so not really relevant.

25 Jan 2021 12:04:02
Sami played in a defensive team which played 15 yards deeper than this one though Nevada.

25 Jan 2021 12:20:24
Jamie Carragher used to get routinely skinned by Thierry Henry coming in off wide, and neither he nor Hyypia are suited to this current team’s style because of their lack of pace.
Fine players all in their eras, but time marches on.

25 Jan 2021 12:25:40
Williams doesn’t read the game well at all, even when age is taken into account. I don’t mean to kick the lad when he’s down but he’s not going to be coached into the next Maldini.

25 Jan 2021 12:28:45
He dives into tackles, he can't read the game at all, not his fault just not his level.

25 Jan 2021 12:41:58
Like Jim has said the premier league is a much quicker league than in Italy or even than the Premier league was 10-15 years ago. I think having pace in defence can cover for a lot of shortfalls in other areas.
I mentioned in an earlier post Williams lacks the ability to read the play properly and his decision making is poor (Id expect that to get better with age to be fair to him) but he should be at the point where he is doing this for spells of the game with maybe the odd mistake. I don't think he is unfortunately. Gomez is a good example, he isn't the best in the world at decision making or positioning but his pace gets him out of a lot of tricky situations, especially when we push up high.
As you've said improving his other attributes could help Williams develop as a player but I don't see him being the standard we need in the system we play, unfortunately.

25 Jan 2021 14:21:56
Carragher even said, just the other day, that he wouldn’t be comfortable or able to play like a central defender has to these days.

25 Jan 2021 15:01:59
Sorry but I disagree. Williams' issue has nothing to do with pace at least not yesterday. The OP is correct. The issue here is that he is not using his eyes nor his brain, plain and simple. Franco Baresi had no pace BUT kept a high line in the Milan defence cos of his smarts, intelligence and positional sense. Not saying Rhys is Baresi BUT just addressing the OP's point on old school defenders.

The issue is that Williams is making the same mistake multiple times during a game. It is bad enuff that one makes the same mistake once in multiple games yet he is making the same one in the same game.

He dove in 3 times against Rashford where everyone knew he would not get the ball. Why do that? All he had to do was read the situation and when in doubt, drop off. That is NOT a lack of pace. It is a lack of brain engagement. Then on the Rashford goal, the Rhys actually see the ball and is on top of the play cos the pass was under-hit. Then out of nowhere, he puts a weak challenge in and Rashford is away. Was that due to pace, too?

I am not here to rip the kid cos yeah, he is a kid BUT my issue is that he is not doing even the basics right. He is not learning and keeps making the same one mistake over and over again. These are things he should not have to be told. Surely, Phillips can't be this bad.

25 Jan 2021 15:03:16
Expanding on a number of points posted earlier, it's not even that the PL has moved on, it's specifically that our style of play is very different to that which it was under Rafa. The way we play now, we NEED that pace in defence to avoid totally changing the way the rest of the team play.

That's why, for example, Garay wasn't a great option as his lack of pace would hinder him, as it does (a bit) with Rhys Williams.



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