Defence- Your back four ?

Insider

Well-known member
I think we need to stick with Ballard at the moment until we somehow try and get Eky match fit.
Gretarrson is a class act and I'd always prefer a leftie on the left.
Garbutt's creativity gives him the nod over Hubby.
The debate rages on, like it has all season, between Turts and Gabriel. There's nothing between them so perhaps it should be Turts keeping the shirt following the 4-1 victory.
 

TangerinePeel

Well-known member
Right now I'd be sticking with Ballard/Gretarsson

But if we're talking purely hypothetical, no injuries, no final run in. I'd have Ekpiteta in my back four every time, he was Mr. Reliable for us before he was injured and also gives us height in our squad which we're severely missing.
 

Stu99

Well-known member
I like the system of playing one attacking full back and one defensive, like Critchley has been doing.

It means you’ve always got a license to go forward whilst still having 3 at the back. That said, it’s either:

Garbutt Grettarsson Ekpiteta Turton

or

Husband Grettarsson Ekpiteta Gabriel
 

Johnno

Well-known member
Turton (arguably) has been our most consistent player this season!
Some still dont appear to rate him?
Hmmm?
It’s not that I don’t rate him, I just think Gabriel offers more offensively, and I suppose in my head I prefer to think of us as an attacking set-up.
Turton has been great for us, I don’t think it makes much difference who plays RB. Critch seems to favour him in most situations, and he’s ours, so I don’t get upset when he’s playing.
 

Memphisboy

Well-known member
It’s funny isn’t it, I think gretarsson is brilliant as do most of our fans but I get the impression Critchley doesn’t rate him, always seems the first to get axed from the team. Think if it was a one off play off final he’d go with Ballard and Expiteta even though you’d lose the balance in the team and as good as they both are I personally don’t think either are as good as Gretarsson.
 

Johnno

Well-known member
I like the system of playing one attacking full back and one defensive, like Critchley has been doing.

It means you’ve always got a license to go forward whilst still having 3 at the back. That said, it’s either:

Garbutt Grettarsson Ekpiteta Turton

or

Husband Grettarsson Ekpiteta Gabriel
Shouldn’t that still work with Gabriel AND Garbutt playing?
It’s down to the full backs to recognise their oppo is on a jaunt, and hold his own defensive position.
 

Insider

Well-known member
It’s funny isn’t it, I think gretarsson is brilliant as do most of our fans but I get the impression Critchley doesn’t rate him, always seems the first to get axed from the team. Think if it was a one off play off final he’d go with Ballard and Expiteta even though you’d lose the balance in the team and as good as they both are I personally don’t think either are as good as Gretarsson.
I certainly don't agree with your comment about Critch not rating Gretarsson. If you'd said the same about Thorniley then I might have agreed with you.
 

SeasideKurt

Well-known member
Throuble with your lineup means Ballard playing on the left of the 2 centre backs , I know he played their previously but better to have a natural left footer eg Gretarsson.
This is such a myth tbh.

Our best back four is Gabriel Ballard Gretarrson Garbutt. It doesn't mean we don't have strong other line ups that I'd be happy with.
 

LA1 Seasider

Well-known member
I must admit that I feel bad for Thorniley. He’s proven himself to be a solid (if unspectacular) CB at this level and could probably do a job a division up. Unfortunately for him with Ballard, Marv and Grettarson we have 3 spectacular CB’s who will play regularly at Championship level or higher in the next couple of years and hopefully for at least 2 of them it’s with us.
 

thefutureistangerine

Well-known member
Throuble with your lineup means Ballard playing on the left of the 2 centre backs , I know he played their previously but better to have a natural left footer eg Gretarsson.

This is such a myth tbh.

Our best back four is Gabriel Ballard Gretarrson Garbutt. It doesn't mean we don't have strong other line ups that I'd be happy with.

Depends how you're talking. Defensively he could probably do just as solid a job either side of the pairing.

But when Grét is pinging them across field and also getting assists, you'd prefer him in that position to better utilise that strength of his and open up more of the pitch for him when on the ball. Same way you do if you have a true ball-playing CB.
 

SeasideKurt

Well-known member
Depends how you're talking. Defensively he could probably do just as solid a job either side of the pairing.

But when Grét is pinging them across field and also getting assists, you'd prefer him in that position to better utilise that strength of his and open up more of the pitch for him when on the ball. Same way you do if you have a true ball-playing CB.
What you're saying is fine, but the notion you must have right foot left foot for balance is rubbish.

If you want a left back that can ping it 50/60 yards then sure, but we aren't doing that anymore are we? We went through spells of doing it for CJ to run onto it.
 

LA1 Seasider

Well-known member
I don’t see much point in pick a ‘best back 4’ as Critch has us set up a lot smarter than simply playing our best XI players. We play the opposition and we use various strengths and opposition weaknesses to determine who plays.
Turton is a better defender than Gabriel and so plays against stronger opposition with decent wingers or wide men. Thorniley is better in the air than Grettarson therefore starts against Target Men. Epiketa is quicker than Ballard therefore starts against quicker forwards. Gabriel and Garbutt offer more going forward.

Personally don’t think I could choose our best back line as I don’t think we have one.

Ballard is probably the best centre back in the league, let alone our team, but I probably wouldn’t play him on the left of a CB pairing if against a quick forward line and if Epiketa and Gretarsson were both available.

The way we set up I’d always go for a natural left footed centre back if possible. If we go into next season with the existing defensive line (minus Ballard and Gabriel) I’m confident the club could find a decent back up RCB and another whippet of a RB.
 

Davepick

Well-known member
It's a difficult choice.
However, having more back from injury gives NC the opportunity to make more changes to rotate the squad if necessary.
 

Stu99

Well-known member
So many people leaving Ekpiteta out of their selection.

He’s hands down the best defender at the club and needs to be the third name on the team sheet (behind Jerry and Maxwell) when he’s fit.
 

poolseasider

Well-known member
So many people leaving Ekpiteta out of their selection.

He’s hands down the best defender at the club and needs to be the third name on the team sheet (behind Jerry and Maxwell) when he’s fit.
For me Ballard is a bit better but Marv is our player so with how fragile Dan is will come into the side at some point.
 

thefutureistangerine

Well-known member
What you're saying is fine, but the notion you must have right foot left foot for balance is rubbish.

If you want a left back that can ping it 50/60 yards then sure, but we aren't doing that anymore are we? We went through spells of doing it for CJ to run onto it.

Yeah, I agree on the balance of things tbh, as mentioned. Maybe caught in between two points there!

And we're not relying on that, thankfully, but Grétarsson has a quality pass in his locker which we've seen over the past couple of appearances that do a bit more than just wishfully lumping it up to CJ, i.e. the assist to Jerry against Swindon. Keeping him at LCB will be more of a factor because of this IMO
 

voyeur

Well-known member
My back four is rotational. 😃

But Ballard and Ekpiteta isn't the best pairing obviously, one would be out of position, not sure why that is being suggested? I'm a big Husband fan too, he has played a significant part this season and is an important part of the rotation. Same with Turton, a great pro having a great season. Different type of player to Gabriel.
 
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Fatboy

Well-known member
It is a difficult choice, but I’m going to go with ,
Turton, Ballard, The Viking , Husband. Like I said ,it’s not an easy choice, I rate Big Marv highly but I only want him in the team if he’s 100% fit. I like Thorniley, but Grettarsson just edges it.Gabriel and Garbutt are not the best defensively but I would have no qualms pitching them in at any point.
 

SeasideKurt

Well-known member
So many people leaving Ekpiteta out of their selection.

He’s hands down the best defender at the club and needs to be the third name on the team sheet (behind Jerry and Maxwell) when he’s fit.
He literally isn't hands down the best defender at the club. Ballard is absolutely fantastic. He's great and a good player. He's just not better than Ballard.
 

Tangerine_Dream

Well-known member
That would eventually be my preferred option, but for now let’s bring Marv back gently, so for the next game or 2 replace him with the Viking. Also Harsh on Turton and Thornley who have been great, but if everyone is available that would be my back 4.
yeah, i thought this thread was all about who we would have if all players were fit.

i didn't rate Turton at the start of the season but he hasn't put a foot wrong - i just think Gabriel is a much better player.
 

Stu99

Well-known member
He literally isn't hands down the best defender at the club. Ballard is absolutely fantastic. He's great and a good player. He's just not better than Ballard.
Respectfully disagree.

In my eyes, Ballard is an Evatt style defender - good in the air and strong in a tackle but Ekpiteta is more of a modern day centre back, with passing ability and ability to recover with pace.

That said, i think you need a combination of both in a team.
 

SeasideKurt

Well-known member
Respectfully disagree.

In my eyes, Ballard is an Evatt style defender - good in the air and strong in a tackle but Ekpiteta is more of a modern day centre back, with passing ability and ability to recover with pace.
Each to their own. One plays for Arsenal and Northern Ireland and one plays for Blackpool. We can disagree, but hands down the best centre back is a bit ridiculous. I bet we have more PPG with Ballard than Marv. I love Marv the same mind. No vendetta.
 

Henshman

Well-known member
Call me old fashioned, well at 68, I suppose I am. I have always believed that you should never tinker with the starting lineup of a winning side, and that the rest of the squad will never be unhappy when they don't play, so long as The Mighty Pool keep winning. Inevitably, injuries and suspensions create opportunities for other players coming in, and it's then up to the 11 on the pitch to keep winning so that they stay in the side.
It isn't rocket science.
 

Davepick

Well-known member
Call me old fashioned, well at 68, I suppose I am. I have always believed that you should never tinker with the starting lineup of a winning side, and that the rest of the squad will never be unhappy when they don't play, so long as The Mighty Pool keep winning. Inevitably, injuries and suspensions create opportunities for other players coming in, and it's then up to the 11 on the pitch to keep winning so that they stay in the side.
It isn't rocket science.
Hensh, I somehow don't think NC will follow that rule. There will be changes against Lincoln C.
 

1966_and_all_that

Well-known member
I must admit that I feel bad for Thorniley. He’s proven himself to be a solid (if unspectacular) CB at this level and could probably do a job a division up. Unfortunately for him with Ballard, Marv and Grettarson we have 3 spectacular CB’s who will play regularly at Championship level or higher in the next couple of years and hopefully for at least 2 of them it’s with us.
I think it depends what Critchley wants the team to do. Gretarsson is the better, classier defender but Thornily does progress the play better through the centre of the pitch.
 

1966_and_all_that

Well-known member
I'd pick any permutation of our defenders to do a good job. Turton and Husband can play either full-back or centre-back. Garbutt and Gabriel can play full-back or wing-back. Ballard, Gretarsson, Ekpiteta and Thornily are all good centre-backs.
What a selection!
 

mull

Well-known member
Yeah, I agree on the balance of things tbh, as mentioned. Maybe caught in between two points there!

And we're not relying on that, thankfully, but Grétarsson has a quality pass in his locker which we've seen over the past couple of appearances that do a bit more than just wishfully lumping it up to CJ, i.e. the assist to Jerry against Swindon. Keeping him at LCB will be more of a factor because of this IMO
Actually Thorniley has sprayed some great long passes out to that right wing at times. Surprisingly good.
As many have said, enough quality for 2 good quality, intelligent defensive units
 

gjr69

Well-known member
Gabriel Ballard Gretarrsson Garbutt.

All the lads left out can do a good job and it is a very close call with some as to who starts but I think the four I named are the best all round footballers.
 

gjr69

Well-known member
Respectfully disagree.

In my eyes, Ballard is an Evatt style defender - good in the air and strong in a tackle but Ekpiteta is more of a modern day centre back, with passing ability and ability to recover with pace.

That said, i think you need a combination of both in a team.
Both good defenders but I'm not convinced that Ekpiteta has more passing ability than Ballard.
 

gjr69

Well-known member
It is a difficult choice, but I’m going to go with ,
Turton, Ballard, The Viking , Husband. Like I said ,it’s not an easy choice, I rate Big Marv highly but I only want him in the team if he’s 100% fit. I like Thorniley, but Grettarsson just edges it.Gabriel and Garbutt are not the best defensively but I would have no qualms pitching them in at any point.
Not wanting to criticize any of our defenders they have all had good seasons but this thing about Garbutt and Gabriel not being as good defensively is something I don't see.
Gabriel had a poor game against Ipswich but so did Turton. Every other game I have seen as many defensive errors from Husband and Turton as the other 2 when they have played at full back.
 

Insider

Well-known member
Having listenned to Critch's pre-match presser I'd be extremely surprised if Ekpiteta is even considered for a start this weekend.
He is the future of BFC though.
 
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