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BACK IN MY DAY...

Are Harry Redknapp, Ian Wright & Alan Shearer right about the standard of defending in modern football?

The trio were speaking at the launch of Dream Team 2017/18 and lamented the lack of defending in the modern game

‘Back in my day…’ is usually the point at which we switch off.

But at the launch of Dream Team 2017/18 (sign up here if you haven’t already) we all perked up when Harry Redknapp, Ian Wright and Alan Shearer started to reminisce.

The topic of conversation was the art of defending.

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‘When I was a wee lad’

Gary Stone -The Sun
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‘When I was a wee lad’

In the last three years the transfer record has been broken several times, having not been broken since Rio Ferdinand moved to Man United for £30million in 2002.

David Luiz, who joined PSG in 2014, as well as John Stones, Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, both of whom moved to Man City, all demanded bigger transfer fees than Ferdinand.

So do Messrs Wright and Shearer, who made a living out of embarrassing defenders, think the standard of defending has improved in the Premier League since they retired?

‘I was only going for the ball ref’

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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‘I was only going for the ball ref’

Not exactly.

Shearer said: “Defenders nowadays are nowhere near the standard of Tony Adams, Rio Ferdinand, Jaap Stam, Steve Bruce, Martin Keown, Steve Bould and Des Walker.

“You’re lucky if you can name a handful in today’s game. Toby Alderweireld is probably the best that there is around.

Wright agreed, adding: “Victor Lindelof costs £31mil but he didn’t at any stage look around during Real Madrid’s opening goal the other night.

“We are talking about someone who plays for United and his awareness of an opposing player is zero. When I was playing that was the dream.

NOT PICKED YOUR FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAM YET? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

An Ian Wright dream

PA:Press Association
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An Ian Wright dream

“Nowadays defenders do a lot of ball watching. You look at David Luiz but he had Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante marking him.

“If he played in a different system I would have loved to play against him.”

The conversation then turned to a man who is still playing, although he was forced to drop down a division, in John Terry.

Redknapp said: “What a captain. What a leader. We tried everything to get him to Birmingham. I was surprised a Premier League club didn’t jump for him.

One Harry missed out on

Reuters
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One Harry missed out on

“What a player he would have been at Arsenal. He’s exactly what they need.”

Wright also praised Terry, saying: “He is sometimes judged on things that aren’t anything to do with football,

“But if you’re talking about centre-halves we’ve produced in England, he’s easily in the top three.”

Terry in an Arsenal kit? How would that have made you feel Chelsea fans?

Hands up if you think Terry would suit an Arsenal shirt?

AFP or licensors
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Hands up if you think Terry would suit an Arsenal shirt?

Have you signed up to play fantasy football yet?

If the answer is no you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.

Because the Dream Team game – the UK’s biggest fantasy football game – is back and better than ever this season.

You’ve got a £50m budget to pick 11 players, with all the biggest new signings ready and raring to go ahead of a mouthwatering new Premier League campaign.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to play now!


Sign up to play Dream Team 2017/18 now