2 Nov 2011

COLLYMORE: "Agger & Skrtel are a level below Man United duo..."

A recent survey on this site revealed that 87% of Liverpool fans who voted want Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger as the club's first choice central defensive partnership. After a great performance by the duo against West Brom at the weekend, they've certainly staked their claim, but are they as good as the league's top defenders? One former Liverpool striker doesn't think so.

Stan Collymore, who formed a deadly strike partnership with Robbie Fowler from 1995-1997, argued:

"When you look at Vincent Kompany at Manchester City, [Rio] Ferdinand and people like Phil Jones who has come into Manchester United, I don’t think Dan Agger or Martin Skrtel compare. They are a level below".

Agger and Skrtel have played together as a partnership 11 times in the last 4 years, with mixed results:

Played - 11
Won - 6
Drew - 2
Lost - 3
Goals conceded - 10
Clean sheets - 5

Are Skrtel and Agger really 'a level below' the likes of Phil Jones and Rio Ferdinand...?

I totally disagree that Agger and Skrtel are a level below; When he's fit (which, admittedly, isn't often!), Agger is arguably a superior all-round defender to both Ferdinand and Jones, particularly when it comes to playing from the back.

Skrtel is (IMO) not in the same class as Jamie Carragher, but he's still an effective 'last ditch' type defender.

I agree with the other point Collymore made about Liverpool's defence:

“From a former Liverpool player’s perspective a top, top quality central defender in January, £20m worth, to be a leader from the back and eventually take over from and put competition on Jamie Carragher".

As good as they played against West Brom, I don't think Agger-Skrtel is the long term solution.

Liverpool were linked with Fulham's Brede Hangeland last year, and he is a player I would to see at Anfield.

Granted, the club hasn't got the greatest record when it comes to Norwegian central defenders (!) Who can forget Bjorn Tore Kvarme's mistake against Everton that led to Danny Cadamarteri scoring the killer second goal in the 2-0 defeat to Everton in 1997...?

Hangeland is in a different class though, and if he came to Liverpool, I'm sure he would be a success.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Disagree about Hangeland... the reason we will look to replace Carragher soon is due to his age. Hangeland is nearly as old and therefore will be encountering the same problems as Jamie is now very soon.

    I would give a chance to young Andre Wisdom as I think that he is the long term successor to Carragher - I actually think he will be better as he is much stronger and faster already!

  2. It's all rafa's fault~

  3. Collymore talks a decent amount of crap in my opinion. Agger, when fit is top drawer. I've never been Skrtels biggest fan but he's certainly improving. As for splashing out, wisdom, Coates and Kelly should be given a chance. What's the point in nurturing this talent if we're not going to give them an opportunity and keep buying older an more experienced players like Hangeland to replace our older and more experiences players?

  4. Agger, when fit, is quality, but needs to have a dependable, bigger, player alongside him. Someone with pace. I think Kelly will eventually be that player.

    Skrtel is absolutely not LFC standard - too many mistakes, too many fouls

  5. As a defensive partnership Agger-Skrtel are definitely a level below other top teams because Skrtel  isn't at the same level, similar is the case with Carragher who never was and will be as good as Kompany, Vidic, Ferdinand, Terry, etc but Agger is just as good as them defensively and maybe better going forward, if not for his injury problems he probably would have established himself as among top 3 defenders in the league. Maybe people won't agree about Carragher because he gives everything while playing but the fact is he was never a world class defender. I have respect for Carragher because he has given so much for the club but now reason Liverpool are not great in defense is partly because of him. IMO its time to replace Carragher with someone like Cahill or Vertonghen or Hummels and even sell Skrtel and instead give chances to Coates and Wilson.

  6. If only we could coat Agger's frail frame in admantium we'd have one of the best CBs in the game. But ChuckyRed is absolutely right - we've got Coates and Kelly waiting in the wings, so we need them to step up. While Kelly is getting a run in the team at RB, I bet that Coates is itching to get some games.

  7. Well, we've bought a defender this summer, and he has everything in him to become top class. So I'd rather see him playing more.

  8. John Wark's forehead2:37 pm, November 02, 2011

    Agger and Skrtel are both 26 and you wish to bring in 30+ year old Hangeland? Does not make any sense to me and is totally out of line with the FSG transfer model.

  9. I totally disagree , I would say they are 2 levels below!!

  10. Collymore is an idiot.

    We've bourt Coates, after failing with Phil Jones. And Phil Jones is far from the finished article, right now he isn't as strong as either Agger or Skrt, although he most likely will become better.

    Kelly and Coates, that's the future of Liverpool's CB's, and they will be brilliant.

    Didn't he say a few weeks ago he'd help Forest by being their manager, of course that'd help them, Stan.

  11. I'm not sure why he would've picked out a Man U duo, seeing as - 
    - Rio has fallen all the way off
    - Vidic is even more injury prone than Agger now
    - Evans is still no better than Carragher, even with Carragher's continued decline
    - Jones looks prone to conceding more chances to the opposition than even Skrtel ever does, while having no more pedigree than Coates comes with

    Our centrebacks are not perfect by any means but I don't see why we should have an inferiority complex about that position in comparison to Man U.
    Agger vs Rio, Skrtel vs Vidic & Coates/Kelly vs Jones/Smalling isn't weighted much in Man U's favour, if at all, imo.

    In fact, we typically measure up pretty well against Man U imo, which tallies up with our results and performances against them; the main difference is in the mentality of the teams and managers when playing lesser ranked opposition, and the quality of the widemen that Man U typically use to inspire moments of magic/defensive mistakes from packed defences

  12. Give them time and they would be as good as their counterparts in Manchester.

  13. Mohammad Yullahstan3:47 pm, November 02, 2011

    Collymore is a wasteman..he has an opinion that clearly divides but is also a complete idiot and has personal issues he should address first.

    Rio Ferdinand is past it..Jones inevitably has alot of potential to be England centre back but still a long way away. Man Utd need a new midfield (but will always grind out results..something we need to learn to do..cliche) and questionably a new centre back as do Chelsea and Arsenal. Man City are the obvious exception.

    Agreed Liverpool need a quality £15m+ defender to replace Carra (Srktel is too error prone but decent enough). But our defence is adequate for the time being with good full backs (Kelly, Enrique..not Johnson!)..As Enrique said..he doesn't care too much about goals conceded as long as we score more..

    That is our main problem at the moment (as has been for a long time)..ability to convert chances and being more prolific infront of goal...Messi would be a great addition!!

  14. more negative headlines from this salford site

  15. Mohammad Yullahstan3:56 pm, November 02, 2011

    Hangeland is rubbish..not LFC material. I don't think a defender is our main priority...we bought Coates..give him time to develop, he's young

    Liverpool have a good enough squad to be 2nd at the moment...and to maintain thereabouts, but as expected a new team takes time to gel

    John Henry said Liverpool are still a long way from challenging for the title..we can see this, but I reckon with 1 or 2 top additions to complement Suarez..maybe another out and out winger (right), we can only improve and start scoring more goals and learn to kill a team off...whilst other teams drop points around us!

    Definately on the plus side..we're learning to do it without Gerrard


  17. Agree with you...just because they are manure players some people think they are the best.

  18. You're right; I just really rate Hangeland, which I why I chose him.

  19. Looking at Skrtel's record for this season he has been our best CH only the foul count is letting him down at 9 fouls,13 tackles,92.3% of tackles won,46 clearances, 7 blocks,81.3% aerial duels won,6 interceptions             
    302 passes,81.8% passing accuracy,37.8 passes per a game. 
    He has been our most threating CH at set pieces. 
    He can look a cumberson at times but so can Vidic, David Luiz at Chelsea is more mobile but still makes mistakes.

  20. I read  Man U this season have conceded the most shots at their goal this season, more the any other club in the premier league,their defence is rocking!

  21. I agree

    I would also argue that attack is always the best form of defence.  Our
    defence (minus Carra) is on a par with any team in the division.  It is
    our attack that is letting us down.  Of our four forwards currently
    starting only one is delivering the goods and ensuring that our defence
    does not have to constantly defend.  If we would have bought real
    attacking guile in our wide positions and bought a striker with a 1st
    touch our defence would be lauded as one of the best because they'd
    spend most of the time watching games rather than desperately being over
    used. A time like man city that has Silva and johnson on the wings and CF's like Aguerro and Bollatelli and going to spend most of the game giving the oppostion something to think about.  We desperately need to move with the times and stop buying players that only give us balance and start purchasing players with the potential to be the best in the world.

  22. Roy Evans on Stan  13.05.1997
    "Stan only seemed to turn it on when he felt like it, and he didn't exactly endear himself to his team-mates when he was quoted in a magazine article as saying that he was disappointed with the service he was getting, and that, when he joined Liverpool, he expected to be surrounded by better players. He turned on the other players in the team when he should have been looking at himself. When the lads read what he'd said the attitude of virtually everyone in the squad was 'fuck you Stan'. Stan didn't make any attempt to get on with the lads and, although I used to sit next to him on the coach and try and make conversation with him, I could never claim to know him. Nobody did. He'd turn up for training, do his work, get changed and go home. Not exactly conducive to good team spirit, so I think most of the lads were relieved when he was finally flogged off to Aston Villa." If you'd been at school, he would have been the boy who ate worms.
    Fans need reminding about Stan!                                                                                                                  Why are you so bothered about what Stan has to say.                                                                              One thing about Skrtel and Agger they want to play for Liverpool and have never let the club down and have never looked to leave the bases of a great defencive partnership!

  23. But even then the press is sucking fergies ****. they have been lucky in so many games and when they beat Arsenal everyone was raving even though Arsenal were second string team full of youngsters .

  24. Very true regarding Hangeland - but as far as Wisdom being 'faster' than Carra, doesn't really say a lot, does it?

  25. Rio Ferdinand . I think it's safe to say that Stan Collimore must be in some way mentally retarded. You could even go so far as to say that Rio is probably less stupid than stan given that he obviously knows how shit he is himself !

  26. Right on .
    + Kelly (without a doubt) and (hopefully) Coates (definate potential)

  27. nicely summed up.

  28. u think we can be second? I mean i love the enthusiasm but realistically i think we will be lucky to nick spurs or arsenal to 4th i honestly think its between us and spurs for 4th. Id love to see Vertonghen come though top defender. 

  29. Coates and Wilson will come good and take over the reigns.  They just need some time.

  30. Please define "Liverpool Standard"

  31. Kelly and Coates, I dont know the other youg pleyer mentioned, Wisdom.  I would play Kelly now in some games as CB, He is fast, agile and reads the suitations well, he seems quick on the turn and is brave. I would also get Cahill in January for a small fee. he would be the replacement for JC who should not be discarded but needs someone putting him under pressure. We could then push the play further up the pitch with the pace the rest offer. Mistakes have been made, allowing Merliies to leave is similar but not as big as forcing Alonso leave. Still the replacement should have been Parker above Adams. As for Hendersen, I did not even know who he was. Wathing for 40 years, I think I would like to have picked out the potential when you spend that amount of money, 15 - 20 M and the average guy says WHO IS HE ? Get Tevez even though he is poison, on the pitch he is brilliant and 110% comitted and would be worth 6 points against both manchester clubs.

  32. Stan talks rubbish

    United haven't even got a settled backfour and have given up a huge number of goalscoring opportunities this year

    Rio,at his peak, was amazing alright, not any more though

  33. Granted Hangeland is a solid defender but he's nearing retirement age, it wouldn't be a good gamble to sign him. Players like Poulsen etc are past their prime. what we need is to give coates more first team opportunities. Same goes for coady, Wilson. Skrtel isn't my favourite though and carragher is aging if Gary Cahill can be signed we should get him, that'll provide sufficient quality when Carragher hangs his boots up

  34. That is why they got HAMMERED 1-6 against Man City......Man U have great defenders :-))))

  35. Hazard on the right with another deadly striker!
    Also we need a real magician just behind the strikers and in front of the midfielders!
    Would think Marin would be a good buy or bring back Aquilani!
    Also need a central defender like Cahil!

  36. Tee - Who are these "much better defenders" that Man U have??  Just because they play for Man U doesn't prove that they are world class you know!

  37. Good to hear Coady being mentioned by somebody else - I've been talking about him for over a year now and thought that he'd have been given more opportunities in the first team, especially seeing as we only have Lucas as a specialist DM in the current first team squad. But then again I also expected one or two of the flair players from the reserves to have made a few showings for the first team by now... 

    If Man U can throw reserves into a team expected to compete for the title, I don't see why we can't take a few risks with a team that is just going for the CL places at the moment. Especially when we have had so many average first team performers week in, week out, with little to no hope of them ever getting much better than they already are

  38. It doesn't really mean anything when you consider the amount of mediocrity that we've put up with over the years

  39. Hyypia needs to come back and bring out the best in Coates and Wilson. This duo would probably qualify as wonderkids in FM! I bet Fergie had Big Sami in mind when he said old rio had to change his game.

    Still, Agger makes jonny evans look like a schoolboy and we haven't conceded 6 goals in game for as long as I can remember!

  40. Martin Kelly might be worth a shot at CB? He wasn't great in pre-season, but the rest of the team were shite too.

    If we're going to splash the cash, then Cahill would be a double coup - if we don't sign him, Spurs will.

  41. Kelly - Coates? What will Kenny think about this? My little girl?

  42.  I really respect you correcting yourself like that and admitting you are wrong when you are! nuff respect. Bloggers suffer from "always right syndrome" so it's good to see the opposite.

  43. refreshing truth...how I wish Kenny could read this

  44. You all forget 1 very important thing! The holding midfielder is equally vital to a defensive unit. When Chelsea won back to back league titles and when United were in their prime, they had the likes of Essien, Makelele and Keane putting in superhuman shifts! We are missing Lucas right now, like Newcastle have missed Tiote. These are the players who ensure opponents don't get too many shots at goal. Yaya Toure, Barry and De Jong have been massive for City and Mancini still backed them up with Hargreaves. Oriol Romeu was also instrumental in City's defeat.

    There is no way in hell Joleon Lescott is any better than our Skrtel, or for that matter, Kolo Toure. Man U's only decent centrebacks currently are Jones, Smalling and Vidic. Rio and Evans are currently accidents waiting to happen.

    I actually agree with the Hangeland call and he would HAVE been the best signing Roy could HAVE made. He is a Brede of his own. Forwards get no quarter out of him unless he's wrongfooted. He certainly knows how to mark a man. But at the end of the day, the defensive unit is all about cohesion, understanding and balance, not individuals, and in that sense, we currently possess the best defensive unit in the league, nevermind their personal abilities.

    An equally vital part of our defense has DEFINITELY been Steve Clarke. While he was at Chelsea, they were the hardest team to score against and we are currently the hardest team to score against. 1-0 is the backbone of most great teams. Mourinho won back to back titles playing 1-0 football, as did Man U when they pipped us to it. Rafa and Mancini both stuck to ultra defensive games for over 2 seasons before working on attack. Inter and Man U won the CL not too long ago being the best defensive teams. I wouldn't worry about our goal scoring form this season - we will continue to be disappointed, but in Kenny I trust and when our new buys have comfortably bedded in, we'll see the goals.

  45. I agree about Vertonghen. And it is possible that Liverpool could be second. If a few results had been a little different they would be in a great position. If Lfc gets a little luck in the second half of the season who know where they will end up???