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Richard Dunne Under The Spotlight

Richard Dunne Under The Spotlight

Richard Dunne Under The Spotlight by astvil123

Richard Dunne joined Villa towards the start of last year and slotted in well into a backline including James Collins, Stephen Warnock and Carlos Cuellar.

After a run of games since joining Villa, Dunne said the backline 'seems to have worked reasonably well'. (Quotes taken from Dunne's Wikipedia page) But now we are playing a different style of football and instead of being very solid at the back we have had to open up our defense in order to get Luke Young and Stephen Warnock attacking down the wings. It has tested the partnership of Collins and Dunne to the maximum and so far this season they have showed that they can't play together in this style of football.

For Birmingham's penalty last night Dunne jumped up to head back a ball launched into the Villa half but didn't connect right and the ball dropped between Jerome and Collins, but the spin of the ball made it difficult for Collins to head clear because there was no pace on the awkwardly bouncing ball and Jerome created the situation in which resulted in Birmingham awarded a penalty. But this could have been avoided if Dunne connected properly with the ball like he tried to do.

When you also think that the so called 'Set-Piece Kings' have conceded from 10 set pieces so far this season it really is alarming to how many soft goals we are conceding. Going forward we are great, we have out-played the likes of Birmingham, Manchester United, Wolves, Blackpool, Fulham and Sunderland. But from those games that we have dominated we have conceded a total of 9 goals from 6 games where we have played better than the opposition. We have no injuries in defense stopping Houllier playing his first choice back line so something is wrong and it looks like it might just be Richard Dunne. Richard is now 31 years old and so far he has had to deal with the following players this season: Nikola Zigic, Cameron Jerome, Andy Carroll, Marlon Harewood, Marouane Chamakh, Jason Roberts, Kenwyne Jones, Federico Macheda, etc

The point being out of all of the people Richard Dunne has had to mark this season, so far he has not successfully stopped one striker playing that he has been watching despite the majority not being exactly the best strikers the Premier League has. Every game he has made error after error and cost us games. E.g. The own goal at Sunderland, the poor clearance against Birmingham and then giving away the penalty, the poor organisation from from set-plays. However when Richard Dunne hasn't played this season we have won away at Wolves 2-1. Also with Dunne going off early against Chelsea Ciaran Clark came on as his replacement for the remaining 75 minutes and we drew 0-0 at home with the Champions! Last season he was our rock, but not this year.

I don't know if he is distracted by something, getting too old or just quite simply can't adjust to this new style of play but it seems Dunne isn't the way forward now and needs to be dropped. He keeps trying long range passes and keeping the ball moving and always looking for a pass because Houllier has told him to do so, but he can't do it well. Dunne is not quickest of players and now we are playing a passing game higher up the pitch it is much easier for teams to counter us through the middle because Dunne is not quick enough to get back. I just want the finish by saying I am not blaming Richard Dunne alone for the poor results we are having but I am pointing out that he is a major weak link in our team at the moment. Playing Cuellar, Clark, Lowry or Baker at the back with Collins would make more sense, just to try it at Anfield would be great to see because I really think playing this style of football and having Dunne out of the team will mean us conceding less goals because teams will have less time on the ball and less space to use.


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Thursday December 2 2010
Time: 1:38PM


In have to agree with that assesment, and yes, it's not just him. The whole defence is looking shakey. Collins, in my opinion, is being pulled out of position because, I believe , he doesn't trust Dunne...and so keeps having to try and cover for him. Warnock is a poor defender in my opinion and as much as fault as Dunne. I think Cuellar or Clarke have to be preferable to Dunne surely, at least for the moment ? Anyway I'm sure many will disagree...but that's my opinion, for what it's worth !
02/12/2010 13:53:00
certainly seeing the other side of Richard Dunne at the moment, the side that had some Man City fans warning us of!
The Fear
02/12/2010 13:53:00
we are having a mass crisis at the back i think dunne should be rested and carlos should taken his place with clarke or collins as dunne as much as i think he is superb defender he is really not with it. GH will do the right thing and we will wonder what all the fuss was about
Ted 369
02/12/2010 13:56:00
in my opinion RD has not hit form since last February/March time. i used to think it was MON playing (favouritism) him when injured..... but now i thing that both managers haven't got the balls to do the right thing. Cuellar played brill at CB earlier this season, got MoM and then was replaced by RD next game!! As mentioned above, Warnock is a problem also...both Dunne and Warnock were great for the first 2/3 of last season, but the last 1/3, and this season so far, they have been extremely dissapointing. Our defence is a worry...but more worrying i guess will be if Hou fails to drop RD soon.
Bangkok Villan
02/12/2010 14:22:00
Bring back Curtis from Leicester ? He, Clark and Carlos has to be our first choice.... id even be prepared to play Luke on the opposite side again like last season with Carlos on the other side, coming in to support Clark and Curtis. Also 442 needs a good run with gabby and the Fonz, Ashley in his rightful wing position with albrighton, bannan and Downing making up the rest of midfield. Final question ... How much money will we get in for Carew, Reo, Dunne, Warnock, Sidwell and Ireland in Jan ? If not enough is it time to let Ashley leave ? Surely Bannan, Delph, Downing and Albrighton would be a better option and use the money from Ashley to bring in Given and a top goal scorer - Bent perhaps. Easy this management stuff eh ?
02/12/2010 14:29:00
I think Dunne just isnt fit. He was always making last ditch blocks last season but this season he doesnt even get near. He needs to be rested in games and put more effort in on the training ground. Lose some timber and play Cuellar Rb, Luke LB perhaps?? When Dunneys on his game he's immense so lets not jump on the guys back too quickly. We all make mistakes
02/12/2010 21:46:00
Not had the best of starts to the campaign has he. Looks sluggish, way off the pace, not the reliable central defender that we witnessed last season. Is he carrying an injury? Maybe age is catching up with him. Certainly a worry.
17/12/2010 22:24:00
Of course, as a unit the defence is looking far from the solid compact wall that it was. The finger could be pointed at anyone in truth. Its not just Richard Dunne who is having a tough time of it.
17/12/2010 22:26:00
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