F365's Defenders Who Divide Opinion...

Following the goalkeepers who divide opinion are five defenders who have endured mixed form so far this season. Kyle Walker has struggled but Chico Flores is blossoming...

Last Updated: 24/01/13 at 16:52 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Football Managers On TV: Gus Poyet

1 comments

Of course you could point out that Poyet manages to make winning look dull and defeats expected, but it's impossible to have a go at him. Have you forgotten the poo letter..?

F365's African Premier League Players Quiz - Questions

Post comment

Have a quiz all about those Premier League players hailing from the continent of Africa...

All Articles

Kyle Walker

To many, Walker was a surprise choice for the PFA Young Player of the Year last season with the right-back pipping Sergio Aguero to the award. Walker's campaign ended in disappointment as Spurs missed out on a Champions League spot and a toe injury ruled him out of Euro 2012. Those setbacks may have played a part in the 22-year-old's performance level plummeting at the start of this season, as Walker committed several glaring errors - such as a costly mistake in the build-up to Chelsea's fourth goal at White Hart Lane - in Spurs' steady start under Andre Villas-Boas. The right-back's form has gradually stabilised, but it still seems as though his strengths lie in the physical side of his game, rather than decision-making and tactical intelligence. There is still plenty of room for improvement.

Patrice Evra

Evra is not the only defender to divide opinion at Old Trafford, but the left-back's form over the past two seasons has been more of a concern than the gradual progress of Jonny Evans and Rafael, who have both been impressive this year despite Manchester United's poor defensive record. Evra is also enjoying a good campaign after cutting out most of the errors that pockmarked his previous performances and United's vice-captain has also weighed in with four goals and four assists in his 22 appearances. The arrival of Alexander Buttner may have been the boost Evra needed (until he saw the Dutchman play, at least) and the 31-year-old seems to have restored the fans' faith with a string of influential displays. There has still been the occasional boob, but Evra typifies the intent of this United side to beat their opponents by relentless attacking rather than strict adherence to defensive duties. It suits him just fine.

Chico

Chico has certainly divided my own opinion since his £2million summer move to Swansea. The centre-back's reckless red card for a dangerous challenge on Louis Saha in September's draw with Sunderland suggested he could be an accident waiting to happen, but since then the 25-year-old has established himself as the Swans' most important defender. Chico's impressive form alongside Ashley Williams has helped Michael Laudrup's side climb to ninth in the Premier League and reach their first domestic cup final, as Chelsea became the first team not to score in a League Cup semi-final since Watford in 2005. Not only is Chico in the top ten for tackles, interceptions and clearances per game this season, he is also careful in his distribution and Laudrup will hope Little Boy Flowers continues to bloom.

David Luiz

Luiz could soon become a midfielder who divides opinion after being moved into the Makelele role by Rafa Benitez at the Club World Cup and the Brazil international has proved the perfect foil to Frank Lampard in his new position. But as Alex Hess says here, much of the criticism levelled at Luiz for his performances in defence has been unfair. The 25-year-old has eradicated most of the errors that caused Gary Neville to describe him as a PlayStation player last season, and he played a key role in Chelsea's Champions League triumph after returning from injury to face Bayern Munich in the final. His future at Chelsea (in terms of where he will play) depends largely on the interim manager's, but whatever happens to Benitez Chelsea have been rewarded for their patience with Luiz, who has now established himself as one of the most important players at the club.

Laurent Koscielny

In terms of ability, Koscielny is clearly a better defender than both Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker. But this season the France international seems to have regressed, with more errors than ever before and a string of unconvincing displays over the past few months. Koscielny's red card against Manchester City summed up his occasional brain fades, and Arsene Wenger should be worried that Edin Dzeko - who is hardly renowned for his movement - managed to get the wrong side of the defender so easily. Arsenal have conceded 17 goals in the 13 league matches Koscielny has started this season and while he is not the only blameworthy defender at the Emirates, the 27-year-old's form remains a concern. He will need to improve quickly if Arsenal are to stand a chance of securing fourth.

Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

L

oved the article. i remember at school, after failing an exam, I would become obscenely secretly happy if I discover that others failed as well. Misery loves company...Now here is to hoping Chelsea joins the party and Stoke city wins the league...Cheers!

gabu
The Premier League: As Crazy As A Bag Of Snakes

C

haos reached its ultimate reckoning last weekend with Tony Hibbert looking assured at left back and Osman looking like a cultured ball playing midfielder before busting a gut to get to the back post for a Samuel Eto'o ball. Different chaos but chaos. If Kone scores the winner tonight I fear the world will end.

jelasfirsttouch
The Premier League: As Crazy As A Bag Of Snakes

A

beautiful demonstration of why stats mean diddly-squat in football.

cheshire-gooner
WhoScored's PL Team Of 2014 So Far...

Latest Photos

Footer 365

La Liga: David Moyes says he wants to 'excite' Real Sociedad fans ahead of Elche clash

David Moyes wants to "excite" Real Sociedad fans in his first home game in charge of the Basque club against Elche.

Europa League: Benjamin Stambouli fires Tottenham to win over Partizan Belgrade

Benjamin Stambouli's strike earned Tottenham a 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade and a place in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Europa League: Trabzonspor and Fiorentina among teams to reach last 32

Trabzonspor and Fiorentina were among the teams to progress to the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday night.

Mail Box

Arsenal Fans Are Full Of Hope Again...

Arsenal fans have been sucked back into believing Wenger can bring the glory years back after beating Borussia Dortmund. Plus, more on Liverpool's worrying decline...

Makes Sense To Make Gerrard Liverpool Manager

That's the thoughts of one Mailboxer, who wants Jamie Carragher as defensive coach. Plus views on Arsenal, Malmo v Juventus, Alexis Sanchez & tremendous improvement...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property