16 Nov 2011

STEVE CLARKE: "It's a big step and a brave decision to make..."

Uruguayan defender Sebastian Coates underwent a baptism of fire at Liverpool when he was unexpectedly thrown into action during the 4-0 horror show at Tottenham a couple of months ago. Fans have seen glimpses of the player in action since, but what does Liverpool Assistant Manager Steve Clarke make of him so far?

Coates hasn't had that many first team opportunities so far, but Steve Clarke and Kenny Daglish are delighted with the way he's settling in. Clarke enthused:

"We've all been very pleased with him. He's a young boy who has come to a different style of football, and it was a big step and brave decision to make in coming to England.

"We all see his potential, and in the games he's been chosen for, he's been solid. What impressed me most was that he recovered so well from the mistake that led to the goal against Stoke. It didn't affect the rest of his performance one bit, and he did very very well afterwards.

"It's a good attribute to have, to be able to recover, because everybody makes mistakes. If you allow the pressure of the moment to get to you, you can suddenly have a really bad game.

"He didn't do that, and he finished the game strongly. Then again, if you knew the boy himself, it wouldn't have come as any surprise"

Former Liverpool defender Gary Gillespie was equally praiseworthy, arguing that Coates is a 'really good prospect':

"I was quite impressed with him against Stoke; he made that mistake, and you're going to make mistakes as a young centre back, or a young defender, but I think he reacted very well to that mistake; it didn't really affect him, and I thought he grew into the game, and finished the game quite strong"

Coates seems to be a decent enough defender but I'm a little concerned at his seeming lack of pace. He's not slow, but from what I've seen, he doesn't have great pace, which is something Liverpool's defence is crying out for.

Skrtel, Agger and Carra are not the fastest, and if the defence is going to stop playing so deep, then defenders with pace are needed.

Of course, the club may sign a super-fast centre back at some point to play alongside Coates, but in the meantime, the problem still exists, and in the modern game, fast defenders are arguably a growing necessity.

Is Coates going to cut it long-term? Let's hope so.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Agger is no slouch... do you actually watch Liverpool play?

  2. The sooner Coates or Kelly takes Carragher/Skrtel's place in the centre of defence, the better - they're all likely to make mistakes on a game by game basis, but the kids are young enough to learn from them and potentially develop into elite calibre centre-backs.

    The latter pair are as good as they're ever going to be and that level is simply not good enough if we do actually aspire to be an elite team again any time soon

  3. i think Agger is a real pacy centreback and I think that Coates will match him. The real problem with Agger is that he doesnt stayfit enough to get a run of games. I also find it encouraging that Steve Clarke rates him, it is also nice to hear his views in a public forum. SC is (imo) integral to what LFC are trying to achieve. He is a well respected coach who has obviously bought something different to the club than Sammy Lee offered. I think bringing him in was a Comoli masterstroke because, without someone along side KD from a more recent era his return may well have been a disaster. It was said that he tried to leave in the summer but I am not certain if this was true. I am however pleased he stayed at the club.  

  4. Agger is not fast; perhaps it's you who doesn't want LFC play.  he's not slow but he gets turned for pace easily, and that has been evident in the last two games he's played.  He was even given a yellow card against Swansea  for bringing down someone who skinned him for pace.

  5. Hyppia was not quick either....but his positional sense was impeccable.   If he's half the player Big Sami was for us then we've got ourselves a rock.

  6. I can see Coates alongside Andre Wisdom in a couple of years, that would really work for me with complementing attributes.

    I would like Andre to get a chance as we are getting to the point where we are thinking "we are going to need a centre back soon" and the first port of call should always be the reserves/youth. He has all the attributes to be a top CB and crucially has fantastic pace - something we have lacked at CB for years.



  9. you are right it wasnt comoli who wasted a lot of the transfer money provided by owners

  10. are you even a liverpool fan all your comments that ive read  are anti liverpool