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Quality of Defending in the Premier League

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Off of the back of the PL vs Bundesliga comments, just in the last week or two there have been some horrific pieces of defending in the Prem.

Mitrovic’s goal after Mings’ mispass, Palace’s equaliser against Everton, seen numerous errors from Arsenal at the back this season, Lingard’s run past Wolves’ defence as their positioning was all over the place. Granted a really good run but Wolves defending was lower league level there.

Is the quality of the prem that high or do we just see a few decent sides and decide that it’s better than it is? Not to make it a Lewandowski vs Kane topic, but the sort of defending we see fairly regularly is something a player in scoring goals in Germany would be slated for 

 

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6 hours ago, Danny said:

Mitrovic’s goal after Mings’ mispass, Palace’s equaliser against Everton, seen numerous errors from Arsenal at the back this season, Lingard’s run past Wolves’ defence as their positioning was all over the place. Granted a really good run but Wolves defending was lower league level there.

 

mid-table clubs having shockers at times in the season is nothing new. Mings was being lauded as class earlier in the season and got England call-ups. Arsenal look all over the shop partly because of Luiz or what happens behind/in-front of that defence. 

The quality can be there, the consistency often isn't.

 

 

(Antonio's run was better than Lingard's to wipe out about 3 players and make the space for Lingard). 

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I'm gonna name some center backs from about 10 years ago. 

Brede Hangeland 
Per Mertesacker 
Robert Huth
Phil Jagielka 

All these players at their peak, are arguably better center backs, or at least as good as Stones, Lindelof, David Luiz, Dier or Maguire. At least in a defensive sense. I'll concede Stones is better at playing from the back than Huth for example. But at the art of defending the box I'd take those 4 every damn day over these 5. 

Yeah, the quality of defender is dropping. 

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1 hour ago, Devil-Dick Willie said:

I'm gonna name some center backs from about 10 years ago. 

Brede Hangeland 
Per Mertesacker 
Robert Huth
Phil Jagielka 

All these players at their peak, are arguably better center backs, or at least as good as Stones, Lindelof, David Luiz, Dier or Maguire. At least in a defensive sense. I'll concede Stones is better at playing from the back than Huth for example. But at the art of defending the box I'd take those 4 every damn day over these 5. 

Yeah, the quality of defender is dropping. 

Isn't the change in what qualifies as a good defender also changing due to the fact that most systems want a ball-playing defender who is able to advance the game more than your traditional defender? This doesn't absolve some of the mistakes we're seeing or the overall quality of defending in the league but I'd imagine it plays a huge part in how these players train and are conditioned to read the game vs the players mentioned above? 

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1 minute ago, Mel81x said:

 

Isn't the change in what qualifies as a good defender also changing due to the fact that most systems want a ball-playing defender who is able to advance the game more than your traditional defender? This doesn't absolve some of the mistakes we're seeing or the overall quality of defending in the league but I'd imagine it plays a huge part in how these players train and are conditioned to read the game vs the players mentioned above? 

Sure, as I mentioned, most of the "modern" players are better than the old players I mentioned. But those old players gave away less penalties, made less ball carrying mistakes (look at stones vs Poland, or David Luiz 50% of games) and were more reliable in general IMO.

What point is the change not worth the sacrifice? 

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1 minute ago, Devil-Dick Willie said:

Sure, as I mentioned, most of the "modern" players are better than the old players I mentioned. But those old players gave away less penalties, made less ball carrying mistakes (look at stones vs Poland, or David Luiz 50% of games) and were more reliable in general IMO.

What point is the change not worth the sacrifice? 

And that is a very valid point because I think this whole ball-playing defender surely cant work for everyone. I also think that when they see the amount of defensive turnovers they try and minimize having the ball stick with a single player to afford faster moving defense lines versus doing the traditional clear it out and recycle the play. This is why we see more turnovers because coaches are obsessed with retention and sometimes that works against you as it allows the opposition to apply pressure far further up the pitch than a clearance affords them. 

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3 hours ago, Devil-Dick Willie said:

I'm gonna name some center backs from about 10 years ago. 

Brede Hangeland 
Per Mertesacker 
Robert Huth
Phil Jagielka 

All these players at their peak, are arguably better center backs, or at least as good as Stones, Lindelof, David Luiz, Dier or Maguire. At least in a defensive sense. I'll concede Stones is better at playing from the back than Huth for example. But at the art of defending the box I'd take those 4 every damn day over these 5. 

Yeah, the quality of defender is dropping. 

At least 3 of them never played for England 

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15 minutes ago, Danny said:

At least 3 of them never played for England 

What an odd thing to say considering I never said they did? 

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4 minutes ago, Devil-Dick Willie said:

What an odd thing to say considering I never said they did? 

Can’t be that good if they never made the England team back then 

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Just now, Danny said:

Can’t be that good if they never made the England team back then 

You're right, because a pair of Germans and a Nowegian are supposed to play for England? 
I thought they removed your balls not your brains? 

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Just now, Devil-Dick Willie said:

You're right, because a pair of Germans and a Nowegian are supposed to play for England? 
I thought they removed your balls not your brains? 

xDxD

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The game is so fucked by daft possession stats and the rotten Guardiolification of the game that the most important attribute of a defender or goalkeeper at the top teams is not switching off. This lot wouldn't know a tackle if they pulled their shorts down.

:ph34r:

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It's a symptom to me of the fact we're seeing so many players, particularly defenders and goalkeepers, judged on what they can do with their feet rather than how well they can stop goals going out - which I do get, but I do think it leads to more and more abysmal defending. I actually think this is as well why West Ham are doing well, because Moyes is quite old school, he's a bit different now, there's no way he'd pick a defender based on their technical ability rather than their defensive capability. Not every trend or development is necessarily a positive one, even if it does appear so. I just can't overlook some of the goals someone like Arsenal have conceded this season through sheer stupidity of how badly they've played the ball out.

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Posted (edited)

Defending has completely changed. It's not just a Premier League issue, it is everywhere so let's not make it a Premier League thing.

I agree that there is an extra emphasis on centre backs to play the ball out from the back now which isn't entirely necessary and without doubt contributes to a lot of mistakes we see.

However, you cannot just single out the centre backs, what about the full backs? Their position has evolved too.

It's no longer enough for a full back to be a defender, there is just as much emphasis on him getting forward, overlapping the actual wingers in front and having a good end product in attack.

The problem is when they are out of position, they get badly exposed. The most talked about English player currently is Trent Alexander-Arnold and he is a prime example of this. But his defensive frailties are overlooked for his attacking qualities as are many others.

It never used to be like that. Don't get me wrong, full backs did support the attacks but the primary job was simply to defend. You didn't see Paolo Maldini constantly overlapping and running to the byline and yet he was nigh on unbeatable when defending one on one.

The game has simply evolved, gone is your typical rigid flat back four.

Players are more athletic now and expected to be more positive, I think it's natural we see defences suffer as a result.

The only team that seems to be disciplined enough to actually defend old school from a Premier League point of view funnily enough is Burnley, and yet they are crucified for it, being labelled boring and one dimensional.

But yet how many times do you see them make silly mistakes often, not too many really. Generally it's purely down to lower ability and having to withstand the pressure of only having 25-30% of the ball.

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they are just deep midfielder now, they no longer are defence first. technical skills are more important

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Sergio Ramos has more goals than some strikers who started around the same time as him

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The standard of everything this season in England seems lower imo.

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11 hours ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

The standard of everything this season in England seems lower imo.

I don't think it's unique to England. Crowds add another dimension to football. Increases the pressure. In the Premier League there've been more away points than home this season for the first time ever. That tells you something.

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1 hour ago, Dan said:

I don't think it's unique to England. Crowds add another dimension to football. Increases the pressure. In the Premier League there've been more away points than home this season for the first time ever. That tells you something.

This is probably true but 95% of the football I watch is English football so I can only really speak to that with any degree of confidence

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