Archive for November 4th, 2008

Get Keown in now. Ideally to play.

1 comment November 4th, 2008

Would the man in the picture to the right roll over and accept defeat like the majority of our players did at Stoke?

Would he have allowed Spurs to score two goals in the last five minute of a game that was otherwise won?

I think the answer to both questions has to be a resounding, “No.”

Martin Keown, the man whose last spell coaching at the club coincided with a record-breaking run of clean sheets that took us to a Champions League final, is considering returning to football, possibly alongside his old defensive team-mate Tony Adams at Portsmouth.

With our defensive deficiencies increasingly obvious, it’s clear that we require some new input.  The defenders we have are, for the most part, OK.  What they lack is organisation and discipline, and a guru of the defensive arts like Keown could instill that within weeks.

Keown would also provide a solution to the problem highlighted by arseblogger whilst talking about Gilberto’s departure:

“Gilberto spent a long time at the club. He often spoke about the great traditions of the club and he had players like Vieira, Keown, Henry, Pires, Ljungberg, Bergkamp etc who could instill in him the traditions of the club. Who have we got now?”

No-one.  But hiring Keown would ammend that.  A couple of weeks back there was a rumour about Dennis Bergkamp returning to the club as a coach.  Much as I love Dennis, it is Keown’s know-how that is required just now.  Either that, or take Steve Bould off Under-18s duty and get him to sort out the first team.

Both Keown and Bould crop up in this piece by Lee Dixon (all these names are making me nostalgic), in which Dixon divulges just how our legendary defensive line-up dealt with set pieces:

“It was not up to me to deal with set-pieces but the responsibility of the growbags, as I call them. We had two or three of the best attackers of the ball in Steve Bould, Martin Keown and Tony Adams and we would always use zonal marking at corners.

It was all right for me and Nigel Winterburn as we would just stand on the post and have a breather!

The rest would set up with someone on the near post marking the opposition player and Adams and co would be spaced out across the six-yard line with a gap between them. If the ball went in their area they would go and attack it – they did not worry about the opposition.”

Amazing to think we were once blessed with three players with the aerial ability of Adams, Bould, and Keown – especially when compared to our current collection of dwarfish centre-halves.  What sweet relief would it bring to our defensive woes to have a player who could be commanded to just go and challenge for the ball, with a reasonable chance of winning it?  It certainly would’ve helped on Saturday against Delap’s pesky throw-ins.

Enough reminiscing.  I might cry.

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