Defending the defenders: Fault should sit with the style of football Aston Villa play

There is little to write about these days when it comes to the club or the football that hasn't been written so many times before, so I don't blog as often as I used to. But sometimes, I still get a little on edge when I read stuff from others.

Yesterday, the club did something with Jores Okore on Twitter and there seems to be this huge affection for the player and I can understand it. He came, looked decent and then got injured.


But there also seems to be this belief that he's the saviour and that the current defenders, mostly Clark and Baker, are not good enough. I strongly disagree with this sentiment and I think those that have it are not looking at the whole picture.

Okore first

First, to Jores Okore. Before coming to us he played for FC Nordsjælland. Not many of us have heard of that side but that's okay. But he didn't play much for them, just two seasons. However, he showed promise and at 21 years old, making the step up to the Premier League, he has the world at his feet.

He might turn out to be as good as Laursen or Mellberg (nobody will get close to McGrath), but that is a long way off and it will take a while. I'd like it to happen, but I also don't put that much faith in the way we play football and that is why the likes of Clark and Baker shouldn't be getting some of the stick they're getting.

Most accept that under Lambert our current style is to sit back and if most accept that then they also have to accept that our defenders are going to be more involved in a game than say, the likes of opposition defenders.

The way we play

And I'll bet that if we had John Terry and Rio Ferdinand in their prime, playing for us the way we play football now, they'd struggle to look as good as they did. And that is just because, if we play the way that invites the opposition onto us, mistakes will be made, especially if there are more opportunities for mistakes to be made and by default, that is the case.

But then look right in front of the likes of Clark and Baker. You can hardly say we have a solid midfield. Sure, they like to get in the mix, but that is also when mistakes are made. When you've got midfielders and in our case, strikers defending in a game and seven or eight opposition players around you, the fault can not sit with just the defenders. The fault has to ultimately sit with the style of football.

We've also got to develop our own players and not slag them off. We will be a more successful side over the years if we develop and bring through players that are playing for the club and not just the salary.

Sure, you can buy those players too. I hope that Delph stays with us for many years, but I've praised Delph from day one while others before this season had written him off. It's funny how it swings.

And hopefully, our football changes and we start to see the real Baker and Clark and I'm informed that one prefers left back and the other prefers midfield, so it could also be argued while they are getting asked to play in a side that invites pressure, they're also playing out of position.

To end it as quickly as possible

I guess this post has turned into about how we play football when all I really wanted it to be about was our players. We don't need to have superstars in every position, what we need is the core of the side to be part of the Aston Villa family and then we can bring in the others.

Maybe the likes of Vlaar and Okore are those players, but I'm still to be convinced. I think when we see those two players playing together, we'll still see mistakes, maybe less, but then we'll find another player or two to shit on from high up.

It isn't the players. It's how we play football and for the record, I've not seen a player willing to put his body on the line like Baker for a long time. You do that because you're playing for your Football Club, not because they're making you a very wealthy person.