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Where Did It Go Wrong?

By: Graham Howes
Date: 03/10/2001

THIS is not a criticism of individuals, more an observation on why our defence has been leaking goals. Many fans have already pointed out the alarming rate we ship goals from set pieces and crosses.

Closer inspection reveals that many goals have been scored from close or inside the six-yard area, which must get Lennie tearing his hair out.

So what is the solution? The two central defenders Beherall, Broomes or Groves have not the height or ability to command arial threats or meet the cross before it finds its intended target. The basic truth is we are missing a Kevin Moore, Chris Nicholl or Paul Futcher type talented central defenders.

The second option is if you have not the central defender quality, you need a keeper who commands his six-yard box like a predator (Aiden Davison or Nigel Batch ilk). Unfortunately Danny Coyne does not perceive danger and allows balls and opponents to attack balls in areas he should be commanding.

Take some recent goals. The Gillingham Header was one a keeper would struggle to combat. No defence and an attacker steaming in and jumping and a full-blooded header. In this case a keeper can only play a percentage game and position himself on the line directly inline to his run, at that speed he is unlikely to glance the header, Coyne correctly stayed on the line.

The Bradford goal Danny Coyne positioned himself direct to his path of run and hoped for the percentage game. The difference was the pace of cross which was no where near as powerful thus Ashley Ward had more time to direct the header. In this instance the only way a goal could have been prevented was Danny Coyne to challenge Ashley Ward and prevent the header.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is the area of Danny Coyne's game that is holding him back for major recognition for Welsh caps or a big move to the Premier League.

The truth is, with finances as they are, we must recognise the fact the problem will be with us until we can bring, maybe on loan, a commanding central defender or just teach our Danny to be more commanding.

Opposition managers have well and truly sussed a major weakness and, until we rectify it, they will have a field day exploiting our frailty at the back.

Grimsby Town players likely to support the PFA strike! Click here for full story!



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