The Right Back Conundrum

The Right Back Conundrum


The way I see it, our Management didn’t think that we were going to lose Nathaniel Clyne at the time, and the purchase of Cedric was considered to be one ‘for the future’, who would be groomed (no, not like that) as his natural replacement over the course of the season, getting some game-time in spells when required to cover, and generally taking our time to improve him in training this year whilst he settled into the squad and got used to the English way of life, and the intensity of Premier League football.

Clyne left for more cuntish climes, Cedric was suddenly required to make the step up immediately, and Cuco Martina was brought in as an “oh shit!” after-thought as desperation cover.

Cuco (and Saints!) was widely laughed at and mocked by our Dutch friends when learning that we were signing him, with the general consensus that he wasn’t good enough for a mediocre FC Twente side, let alone English Premier League football. And early signs in pre-season appeared to at first support that conclusion.

However, as the season has progressed, it has become apparent that Ronald doesn’t yet really trust Cedric sufficiently in the Right Back role, or at least that he has not done enough to hold down the position and make it his own. He’s played very well at times in my opinion, but Ron seems to have doubts regarding his defensive qualities, and has often prefered Martina there in games where we expect to have less of the ball and be under pressure ourselves.

Cuco, to be fair to him, has matured and grown into the role as the season has progressed, and at the least, silenced the howls of derision, and proved himself to be a mostly pretty solid option. I was going to say “solid if not spectacular” – but then, I can’t think of many more appropriate words than “spectacular” to describe his wonder strike against Arsenal. :lou_wink_2:

There is clearly a very good player there in Cedric waiting to emerge on a more consistent basis given time, encouragement, training and support. And I am sure he will continue to improve over time. Cuco I expect, has pretty much reached the pinnacle of his development, and is unlikely to get much better than “a solid option”.

So, given that we’re a progressive Club on the up, looking to become a regular challenger for the European places, can we afford to leave things as they are for next Season, or do you feel that we need to splash some of the massive amounts of cash that the new TV deal will soon be showering us with?

What are your thoughts about our current options, and if you believe that we should be looking to bring in someone of real quality at Right Back to go straight into the first team – then who do you feel we should be looking at to strengthen this area of the team?


I’m not sure about Cedric. I’m also not sure Ron is convinced.

He appears to be trying to bulk up judging from the amount of time he spends in restaurants and at the beach.


Much as I think Cuco has improved, it was from a very low base and defensively he is still far from orthodox (being polite). You have to feel a bit for Maya who has covered there previously but is now 3rd choice. If Cedric is not the man for next season then I say we need a purchase.


Not sure about your thesis re: Clyne.

Think everyone knew he was off, and for some time too. Think the noises about him staying were more to let clubs know that we weren’t going to completely bend over for them (I suspect the noises re: Big Vic are the same, the).

As for Cedric/Cuco, neither are up to it for me. Bin one, if not both off and get someone in that is up to it. Frustrating as there were others out there that were attainable but not pursued (Byram, for one).

Bucks, get where you are coming from but Yoshi is not an answer to fb woes. I’m a fan of the bloke, and have stuck up for him loads in his time here but he’s a cb. He’s never looked particularly comfortable when shunted out wide.


For the amount of money Martina cost, he’s not actually been too bad. Cedric is good sometimes, but Koeman clearly has doubts. I’d still play him ahead of Martina though. Like others, ive been saying for ages that RB is the main position we need to sort out and I’m hoping that we buy someone better than Cedric this summer. I’d still keep Martina as he cant be on huge wages and is useful. I certainly wouldn’t be wanting Yoshida at RB.

Not sure who I’d want us to buy as I don’t know enough about right backs but for me, it’s got to be our number one priority this summer. Then I think we need to sort back up keeper…either signing Steklenberg or someone else. I doubt we will do much more than that as Koeman says he’s happy with the squad. Only replacing those who leave…so a DM for Wanyama, maybe an AM for Mane and possibly a CF to replace Pelle (cheeky Benteke bid as mentioned on here recently would be good).


I’m still a fan of Clyne. Bit of a shame that he went last year, but I can’t see him moving. Quality player that now has a quality manager.

Didn’t Chambers fill in a couple of times there? Any chance of getting him back from Emirates Torture Garden?


Martina got skinned approx 50 times in the first half vs Spurs srs.


Although tbf one time he got skinned I remember going FFS MARTINA! and then the camera zoomed in + it was Mane, so maybe only 49 times srs.


I wasn’t saying Yoshi should play at RB; I agree he is much better at CB, just that he barely gets a game anywhere now which is sad RIP


Is Martina only on a one year contract? Personally I would like to see a new RB and I know this wont be popular but I would move on Yoshi too. He just doesnt have the mentality for Premiership football, even at CH. Poistioning and awareness are crucual and he makes too many mistakes at this level. We have given away too many sloppy goals this season. Sort out the defence and we will have another good season next year.


Inspired by our sales to Arsenal. May as well go here.


although he played a great pass to Tadic for the goal. Couple games ago he also played a great ball (again to Tadic) - think it was the Man city game


I think they both offer something different, and have a role to play.

But ultimately, it is a case of them “doing a job for us”.

Martina DAJFU when we want someone relatively solid to sit deep and stand in people’s way. This works better when the people in whose way he stands are not playing for Saints. His downside is a lack of footballing intelligence and creative flair.

Cedric DAJFU when we’re set up on the full on attack and expect to have a lot of possession, leaving Cedric relatively free from defensive responsibility, as he is a very good crosser of the ball. Also works well when we set up in the 3-5-2 with Wing Backs. He is decent in the tackle, but his downside seems to be a lack of defensive positional awareness. Which to be fair, is not an ideal flaw for a Right Back. :lou_wink_2:

Ideally, we could feed them both into the hallowed Black Box™ and fuse them both together (re-animator styley), to make a more complete player.

Alternatively, we could go out and purchase a quality Right Back that can actually do both. Defend and attack. It sounds a good idea to me, but then, what the fuck do I know? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Originally posted by @Jack-Schitt

Ideally, we could feed them both into the hallowed Black Box™ and fuse them both together (re-animator styley), to make a more complete player.

Someone clearly hasn’t remembered the lessons of The Fly (1986).


Lol. Thanks Pap. I had long since forgotten that horriffic image which so traumatised my childhood, until now.

And that was a good thing.


I’ll just put this out there


Unfortunately, just after that, his leg fell off. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


I never realised quite hom much that ball bent, about as much as that Roberto Carlos free kick in the world cup I would have thought.

Yet where is his goal of the season nomination??


People who crticise Yoshi have invalidated themselves from any discussion about defenders. Said people are more like sheep following the populist opinion.

Given game time Yoshi has proved to be a more than capable CB, unfortuantely he does not fare so well at LB or RB and that is what clouds people’s judgement of him.


Originally posted by @BTripz

People who crticise Yoshi have invalidated themselves from any discussion about defenders. Siad people are more like sheep foloowing the populist opinion.