I’m glad Josh Blackman wrote in about Arsenal’s lack of ‘warriors’ [ FFT 259] and his memory of John Terry using his head to try and block a shot at the 2010 World Cup.
It confirmed something I’ve thought for years: a symptom of being an English football fan is our love of ‘last-ditch’ defenders. But their sliding tackles are the product of poor positioning or a lack of pace.
The greatest defenders don’t need to make such ridiculous challenges, because they anticipate. Think Franco Baresi or Paolo Maldini. I hope John Stones can aspire to being in
that category; it’s probably not a surprise that he is being valued in the region of £40m. I doubt any of those in the ‘last-ditch’ category would have been valued anywhere close to that.
The cleaner the shorts, the better the defender… mostly!