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Never Too Young To Learn

Martin O'Neill has praised 'versatile' right back Luke Young again for competently filling in at left back.

Speaking on the Official Site today O'Neill has taken the opportunity to 'big up' Luke Young again for filling in at left back during Warnock's period of injury.

It's likely that Young will continue there on Saturday against his former club Spurs, simply because there's no way Warnock will be back in time - in fact there are doubts over him being able to appear in the Carling Cup Final - and Freddy is nowhere near being thrown back in the first team yet. O'Neill isn't overly concerned though, saying that the position is no longer 'alien' to the player and adding:

'I think he has done very well. I think sometimes the concentration levels are even higher when he is playing in a position that wouldn't be his normal one.'

So overall he's pleased with his 'versatile' right back and has no concerns over him continuing there. For myself I'm still not sure.

There's no doubt that given the quality of player that Luke is, he has obviously done a good job when required, both last season and this but it still leaves us vulnerable in defence.

The few times he gets caught wrong footed, let alone the fact it means Cuellar ends up on the right just shouldn't be glossed over because Lukey has done a good job given the circumstances.

For whatever reason Shorey's face didn't fit, and unfortunately there has to remain doubts about Bouma given the time out and it's clear for the left side O'Neill doesn't have faith, or doesn't believe our reservists are ready yet so you have to question why he didn't move for a player he preferred as backup in January.

Obviously playing Luke on the left allows him the freedom to not have to drop Cuellar, Dunne, Collins but all we know it's not ideal, we all know we look weaker and whilst we've rode our luck in many ways, our back up plan if Warnock is injured can't be to jiggle the defence around whereby favourites stay on the pitch and we are left vulnerable.

If we are serious about challenging then 'rotation' can't simply mean moving everyone to different positions.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 5 2010

Time: 12:25PM

Your Comments

this highlights the flaws in the plan to not keep Shorey in the squad. I would be more comfortable with Shorey at LB (With Bouma being eased back) and L.Young at RB as apposed to L.Young LB & Cuellar at RB. Why weaken the RB spot to cover a weak LB spot.... then they're both weak!!
magicmerson
this highlights the flaws in the plan to not keep Shorey in the squad. I would be more comfortable with Shorey at LB (With Bouma being eased back) and L.Young at RB as apposed to L.Young LB & Cuellar at RB. Why weaken the RB spot to cover a weak LB spot.... then they're both weak!!
magicmerson
Luke never lets us down, think he's been a cracking signing but it is a shame to see him having to move side to side.
The Fear
Luke never lets us down, think he's been a cracking signing but it is a shame to see him having to move side to side.
The Fear
Play Cuellar at left back. He could tackle well, pass badly and not attack just as well on the left as the right. Then we only have one weak position.
RiF
Play Cuellar at left back. He could tackle well, pass badly and not attack just as well on the left as the right. Then we only have one weak position.
RiF
I'm in agreement here with magicmerson. I too would much prefer Nicky Shorey at left full back, with the ever impressive Luke Young, then able to impress in his favourite right back position. Carlos Cuellar is not a right back, never will be, and to be honest, I think that he'd be even more of a liability if played on the left flank RiF. Carlos Cuellar's place in the starting line-up should be based on his ability/capabilities to dislodge Richard Dunne, James Collins, Curtis Davies, and/or Cieran Clark. Playing Nicky Shorey at left full back (of course its completely hypothetical now) would ensure that in Stephen Warnock's absence, we still keep a balance at the back. I accept that Shorey has his critics, including MON, but he's a damn sight better left back, than Cuellar ever is right back. As the author indicates above (presumably Mike F?), we have been riding our luck with CC and LY as our full backs, and I cant help believing that its only a matter of time before this situation really rears its ugly head and costs us dear. The situation does question why the hell Nicky Shorey was allowed to move to Craven Cottage on loan. We'd have been better served with him remaining at Villa Park to offer us another option and alternative, as to be helping out the Fulham cause. Does his move away mean that Freddie Bouma is ready and raring to step immediately back into our premiership starting line-up? Somehow I very much doubt it, in fact we all know full well that that simply isn't the case.
glensider
I'm in agreement here with magicmerson. I too would much prefer Nicky Shorey at left full back, with the ever impressive Luke Young, then able to impress in his favourite right back position. Carlos Cuellar is not a right back, never will be, and to be honest, I think that he'd be even more of a liability if played on the left flank RiF. Carlos Cuellar's place in the starting line-up should be based on his ability/capabilities to dislodge Richard Dunne, James Collins, Curtis Davies, and/or Cieran Clark. Playing Nicky Shorey at left full back (of course its completely hypothetical now) would ensure that in Stephen Warnock's absence, we still keep a balance at the back. I accept that Shorey has his critics, including MON, but he's a damn sight better left back, than Cuellar ever is right back. As the author indicates above (presumably Mike F?), we have been riding our luck with CC and LY as our full backs, and I cant help believing that its only a matter of time before this situation really rears its ugly head and costs us dear. The situation does question why the hell Nicky Shorey was allowed to move to Craven Cottage on loan. We'd have been better served with him remaining at Villa Park to offer us another option and alternative, as to be helping out the Fulham cause. Does his move away mean that Freddie Bouma is ready and raring to step immediately back into our premiership starting line-up? Somehow I very much doubt it, in fact we all know full well that that simply isn't the case.
glensider
 

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