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Which Defender Gets Dropped?

Which Defender Gets Dropped?

According to Martin O'Neill, central defender Martin Laursen 'is back'

The Danish international picked up a hamstring injury after his return from knee problems but has recovered quickly.

Martin O'Neill told the official site: 'He trained yesterday and on Monday, so he's back. We stepped-up the training yesterday and he wouldn't be out there with us if he couldn't do most things. We've got the full week here and that will help him enormously. So, if he's had no reaction to the hamstring injury, I would expect him to be in contention for next Monday.'

Be interesting to see if Laursen gets straight back into the team. It would be VERY hard on Gary Cahill to be dropped, he has been outstanding. Maybe Olof Mellberg should move to right back and have Laursen and Cahill in the centre? Jeez, this management lark is easy!

Our latest poll asks who you'd play in defence assuming Wilfred Bouma as the only left-back option if fit as Jlloyd Samuel hasn't had a look in.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Wednesday March 28 2007
Time: 12:33PM


Why can't I vote for Hughes instead of Bardsley?
28/03/2007 13:45:00
Olof to right full back maybe, allowing us to play Martin Laursen and Gary Cahill as our central defensive pairing.
28/03/2007 13:53:00
Mellberg did well at right back during the early part of the season (notably WHU (a)), Laursen and Ridge looked comfortable in the centre. Ridge for me, concedes too many needless free kicks (levering off strikers when a good 40 yards up field), and Cahill has matured over the past 8 months somewhat. However, a pacey attack would cause havoc at the back for Villa if the defensive pairing was Laursen with Ridge/Cahill. Worth a try would be a back 3 (it work for Big Ron and Brian Little!)? This would also encourage Bardsley to get forward which he doesn't do often enough....
28/03/2007 14:36:00
I have been a big fan of the mighty Olof for years, but I have to say from what I have seeen this season Laursen is our best central defender on the rare occasions he is fit and Cahill has been outstanding recently, his ball distribution being superior to Ollie's by a long way. So, assuming all our defenders are fit, Laursen and Cahill for me, with Bardsley and Bouma continuing as full backs.
28/03/2007 15:43:00
Yep! I'd go with Olof on the right. Bouma on the left. Then Cahill and Ridgewell in the Middle. Stick Laursen on the bench, after all – you can't expect to just walk into the team, people are saying how class he is, and I think it's been so long since we have seen him as a regular everyone remembers him being better than he was. I would have liked the Bardsley that we had for first few games to come back. Truth is he is making a few mistakes and running alongside people rather than tackling. Maybe he has been spending too much time with Jloyd??
28/03/2007 19:23:00
Bazzah, a back 3!!!! for Villa this would be suicide.
28/03/2007 19:25:00
I'm all for laursen in the middle with one of the youngsters ridge or gary. mellberg to right back bouma left back.
28/03/2007 21:03:00
Mellberg is and ordinary right back that doesn't get forward. I just want to know why Ridgewell has fallen out of favour. He was our best defender up until he was dropped. Personally, I would rest Cahill and give the Ridge a go and maybe Laursen/Melberg alongside him. Definately need someone with a voice in the centre of defence.
28/03/2007 21:49:00
I would play Hughes over Bardsley, and Melberg at right back. Melberg was a shocking right back i thought, really poor distribution and poor going forward. Laursen is really quick, Bazzah, well he was before he got injured, unless that has changed, which i doubt it would have, i don't think there would be a problem with his pace. He's also our best defender so i would bring him in, if not for the next game then fairly soon (i think it would be diffacult to drop Cahill or Melberg after their recent performances). But if Cahill can start to consistantly play as good as he has been, especially against the better teams, i would leave him in. Bouma i think has been our best player of late, and is one of the few certain starters, in my opinion.
28/03/2007 23:24:00
I thight ridgewell was quite good this season too. He does give away a few freekicks though. which is probably not the best considering our record at set pieces.
28/03/2007 23:27:00
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