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View Full Version : The Soares/Watson Question. If Dowie buys a midfielder, whose place should he take?


Ian Hart
24-11-2005, 01:08 PM
This isn't a thread intending to knock these two very promising youngsters. But like any youngsters, they are liable to be inconsistent. Furthermore, neither has had to play a full season before, and it's asking too much of them to expect them to still be at their peak at the crucial tail end of the season, after playing so many matches. There hasn't been a single home league match yet when the opposition hasn't dominated for a lengthy stretch of the game - even that feeble Coventry side this week - and it's largely to do with our two youngsters failing to maintain sufficient control in midfield on a consistent basis. So, IMHO it's critical that Dowie signs an experienced and capable central midfielder in January.

But if he does, which would you feel you would replace for the majority of the matches? (Not all matches, because even the one you'd retain should be rested on occasions). I'm really intrigued by people's views on the pair because there seems so be such diverse opinions. On Tuesday, I thought Watson had a good game, always making himself available. But fans whose views I respect - eg Brett and Alan Russell - thought he had a poor match. Conversely, some praised Soares for his performance, whereas I felt he ducked out of tackles and generally watched the match pass him by. In some other games, however, I've felt he was the better of the two.

One problem with both of them, is that despite their good points, they are really neither one thing or another. Neither is particularly good defensively, helping to perform a Makele type of role shielding the back four. On the other hand, neither can be classed as an attacking midfielder who will notch regular goals. So, it's not even clear what type of midfielder Dowie should search for to compliment the one who you would retain in the side.

I'd be very interested to read people's views on which of the two should generally keep his place if another central midfielder is signed, and your reasons for your preference. Also, on which type of midfielder we should sign - or perhaps you feel we already have an acceptable replacement in the squad.

Steve C
24-11-2005, 01:15 PM
Aki and Leggy spring to mind.

PALACEWU
24-11-2005, 01:20 PM
this is a very hard question! didn't want to choose any of the options on your poll! but.......................i went with the "if i had to!"

kolinkins
24-11-2005, 01:21 PM
Watson.

Soares and one other should play, always

Panther
24-11-2005, 01:32 PM
I don't see any of our other midfield players as being a long-term option, so I'd also like to see us sign a more experienced player. We do need greater strength but we also need someone who will provide a greater goal threat; a Geoff Thomas type would be ideal but don't ask me who fits that bill. Of the two I'd keep Watson but I don't feel that strongly - until we see one of them alongside the player I'd like to see brought in, it's hard to know who would be better (ie who would gel with the new guy).

Wondering Nomad
24-11-2005, 01:33 PM
Have often thought that when Watson is on form his natural hunger for the ball and level of involvement in play can sometimes result in Soares drifting out of the game a little. In some ways they are quite similar players and I can't help but think that Soares would take a more active role if Watson wasn't playing.

I think you're spot on in your observation that both seem to be somewhere between being attacking / holding midfielders and it goes down to the old England team debate of whether you can play two similar players (Gerard/Lampard) in the centre of the park.

At this stage in the season it seems fairly clear we need creativity and goals from central midfield. If we signed such a player then I guess we'd need the other central midfielder to play a holding game. The risk is that this may curb the potential of both Soares and Watson to develop in that area??

For what it's worth I think Watson may have more potential as a holding midfielder and Soares as an attacking midfielder!

Would hate to leave either out though so my preference would be to develop them into these roles for the benefit of the team!

EagleSE24
24-11-2005, 01:53 PM
I'd give Hughes and Leggy a go in midfield, particularly away from home. Leggy can win the ball and Hughes can keep it and of course he can close down brilliantly as well.
Reich and Jobi on the wings.
If I had to drop one though I'm not sure I could pick. I really like Watson but I'm not sure he fits into the team too well. He seems to play deeper than Soares and while I love the fact he always demands the ball and rarely hides, his tackling does leave something to be desired. Similarly, if we were to play Soares with a defensive midfielder I think we would lose a lot of passing ability.
Right, I've confused myself so I'm going to stick to my initial assesment and say drop them both. Leggy and Hughes to play in the middle.

Dave
24-11-2005, 01:59 PM
No, I would persevere with the pair of them together

917L
24-11-2005, 01:59 PM
On current form leave them both out.

maestro
24-11-2005, 01:59 PM
Definately replace soares, players like soares are 10 a penny, big strong lad with limited skill

brighton_eagle
24-11-2005, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by kolinkins
Soares and one other should play, always

What, even if Soares is playing shit? Players should earn a place in the 11 on merit.

cpfc_spc1982
24-11-2005, 02:05 PM
neither should be considered the defensive option in my opinion. this should go to leigertwood, if he finds any sort of form or a purchase should be made. baptiste an option.

attacking option in truth neither are up to it as well. as good as watson sometimes shows his vision is this hardly happens as he is so in-consistent. soares shows energy and a good physical edge but little else. a 'number 8' should show signs of goal getting and goal creating neither show these qualities. buszaky would be an amazing buy but not possible id imagine , similarly brown would be good.

Pistike
24-11-2005, 02:06 PM
IMHO they are the two reasons that if we go up we have a better chance to stay up.

They look a whole load better than Aki and Hughes and I'm a big fan of both Aki and Hughes just they're both getting on a bit.

Pistike
24-11-2005, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by cpfc_spc1982
buszaky would be an amazing buy...

My g/f met him on a flight to Bristol last summer.

Is he that good?

Don't we have enough Magyars?

limited_edition
24-11-2005, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by Dave
No, I would persevere with the pair of them together Me, too. They are probably not suited to the "have it" crap football of the CCC, but they will turn out to be a very good combo one day in the Prem.

kolinkins
24-11-2005, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by brighton_eagle
What, even if Soares is playing shit? Players should earn a place in the 11 on merit.

Yes, even if he is playing shit. One burst is all it takes....

cpfc_spc1982
24-11-2005, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by Pistike
My g/f met him on a flight to Bristol last summer.

Is he that good?

Don't we have enough Magyars?

he wants to go west brom and west ham are interested so hes probably out of our reach. in my opinion he would make a top signing though.

limited_edition
24-11-2005, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by kolinkins
Yes, even if he is playing shit. One burst is all it takes.... Soares is a kid still learning his trade. You make him sound as important to our side as AJ. He's not. AJ is the only undroppable (when fully fit) in our side. One burst is all it takes for AJ. If Soares continually plays shit, of course he should be dropped. Just like most other players.

boxing francis
24-11-2005, 07:27 PM
I'd leave Watson out every time. I really can't see what he adds to the side.

cpfcinprem
24-11-2005, 08:07 PM
Well I thought Watson played well against coventry, but both he and Soares need to be rested imo. 2 of Aki, Hughsey and Leggy would suit me fine!

OneSize
24-11-2005, 08:15 PM
at this moment, i would drop soares and bring in leigertwood. people underestimate what imo is watsons best quality and that is to be able to get a foot on the ball. when he doesnt play its noticable the amount of options we dont have in midfield.

Ben H
24-11-2005, 08:24 PM
Aki isn't getting on at all. At 27/28 he should be in his prime. Our defence misses him terribly (yes I meant that - I know he's a midfielder but our defence isn't getting much protection at the moment) when he's not playing. I would go for Aki and Soares in the middle with Hughes and Watson on the bench. Hughes can play left midfield when one of our wingers is injured.

PhilD
24-11-2005, 08:29 PM
I'd be inclined to stick with them both at the moment. Possibly bring Leggy or Aki back when they're fully fit, but unless we can get someone substantially better than what we already have I wouldn't want to sign anyone to leave either out long term.

They both have their faults and have bad games, but I still have high hopes that they're going to be very good players. They're learning still, but in my opinion Watson's game has come on a lot since earlier in the season.

Ecalap Latsyrc
24-11-2005, 08:33 PM
As two very young players the difficulty is their consistency. Both on form is a plenty good enough midfield, the problem is calling when one of them shoudnt play. Hopefully Dowie's starting to get a better feel for this and when Akis back and with maybe a new attacking midfielder we'll have more options for when they are off form.

Chester 76
24-11-2005, 08:50 PM
One of our problems this season has been the lack of a defensive midfielder, therefore one place should go to either Aki or Leigertwood.The other place should go to a more attacking midfielder & the only one we have at present is Soares. As Leigertwood is closer to being match fit I would pick a Leigertwood & Soares central midfield.

mexicaneagle
24-11-2005, 09:00 PM
Aki and Soares. Soares can go through players at times, and Aki is great just in fornt of the defence. Take away some of Soares' defensive responsibilities and he is a quick, strong player who gets forward and finds threatening positions. I agree that Watson ca pass better, but he doesn't do so consistently, IMO.

But then again, I only see highlights and listen on the radio, so what do I know?

Henfield Eagle
24-11-2005, 09:04 PM
Can't vote as my option would be to sign one more attacking midi and have the option to rotate/drop/rest the young fellahs,assuming Aki/Hughes are fit.Still not convinced about Leggy

Barnstormer
24-11-2005, 09:28 PM
How anyone can suggest changing a team what has been winning games (except for AJ) is beyond me.

Those two central midfield players will get better with age and have done remarkably well against tough opporsition including Liverpool.

We have to get better defensively but the game we lost against Sheff Utd the main culprit was Michael hughes so not all down to Ben and Tom.

Brod
24-11-2005, 10:14 PM
I've been in Ecuador for two years and have never seen Soares play. And Watson was just then emerging into the 1st team when I left.

So can I vote?

By the way, they are both young and they will be inconsistent and need resting. And Hughes is getting on a bit and, from reports, doesn't seem to be able to play every game so yes, we do need another midfielder.

james powell
24-11-2005, 10:17 PM
soares is quality! :p

Ian Hart
24-11-2005, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by kolinkins
Yes, even if he is playing shit. One burst is all it takes....
I assume you're referring to the goal he made against Hull. However, I believe it's always dangerous to select a player purely based on the occasional flash of brilliance, unless there is a level of consistency to go with it.

Based on that reasoning, Andreas Rubens would have commanded a regular place, in the hope that he'd replicate his goal against Leicester.

kolinkins
24-11-2005, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by Ian Hart
I assume you're referring to the goal he made against Hull. However, I believe it's always dangerous to select a player purely based on the occasional flash of brilliance, unless there is a level of consistency to go with it.

Based on that reasoning, Andreas Rubens would have commanded a regular place, in the hope that he'd replicate his goal against Leicester.

I didnt mean a burst forward with the ball. I meant a burst of form.

Soares does so much good work off the ball, and that goes unnoticed. We would seriously miss him if he didnt play.

smileysmith
24-11-2005, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by Dave
No, I would persevere with the pair of them together Me too.

Can't also beleive that someone said here AJ should never be dropped. Any player not on form should be dropped after a chance to regain it.

cpfc_spc1982
24-11-2005, 10:58 PM
Originally posted by kolinkins

Soares does so much good work off the ball, and that goes unnoticed. We would seriously miss him if he didnt play.

never seen to much of it myself and i do look, but ill take your word for it. maybe he is destined to make a defensive midfielder if his qualities lie off the ball then ?

limited_edition
24-11-2005, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by smileysmith
Can't also beleive that someone said here AJ should never be dropped. Any player not on form should be dropped after a chance to regain it. I said that. Even when AJ's not playing well, he works his bollocks off for the team. When some players are playing badly they become anonymous and hide away. Not AJ.

sydnsteve
25-11-2005, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by 917L
On current form leave them both out.

exactly. This option is not there.

smileysmith
25-11-2005, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by limited_edition
I said that. Even when AJ's not playing well, he works his bollocks off for the team. When some players are playing badly they become anonymous and hide away. Not AJ. So far, mate. Doesn't mean it will always be so. Wasn't intended as a criticism of AJ - just a criticism of the fact that any player should be above being dropped.

sydnsteve
25-11-2005, 10:14 AM
Originally posted by Barnstormer
How anyone can suggest changing a team what has been winning games (except for AJ) is beyond me.

Those two central midfield players will get better with age and have done remarkably well against tough opporsition including Liverpool.

We have to get better defensively but the game we lost against Sheff Utd the main culprit was Michael hughes so not all down to Ben and Tom.

That is such bollox it beggars belief. Hughes did well once he was brought inside, totally outperforming Soares and Watson. He is not great on the wing, which is hardly surprising, but apart from 1 game I haven't seen Hughes be worse than Soares and Watson in CM this season.

Mackenuff
25-11-2005, 10:42 AM
Definitely stick with Soares and Watson. They've got a combined age of 39 ffs!!! The more they play, the better they will get. I admit that in the past, I've said that we're not going to win this league with a midfield so young but you can already see the improvement in their overall play this season. Watson may send a few stray passes around but at least he tries to play football and he's starting to actually make a few tackles. Soares is great. The guy is a machine! He works so hard and covers so much ground, with and without the ball. He's tall, strong in the tackle, good in the air and can play a bit and I think he'd be sorely missed if not playing. Hughesy just doesn't have the legs to be a centre midfielder in this division anymore, Leggy needs more time to get used to playing in midfield and Aki looks a lot better in a 5-man midfield, a la last season. Personally, I'm happy with the two young lads. We're 6th with two games in hand and these two are improving all the time. Imagine where we might be when our play really starts to come together.

smileysmith
25-11-2005, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by Mackenuff
We're 6th with two games in hand and these two are improving all the time. Imagine where we might be when our play really starts to come together. This being a point I really think a lot of people are missing.

NZsparky
25-11-2005, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by Mackenuff
Definitely stick with Soares and Watson. They've got a combined age of 39 ffs!!! The more they play, the better they will get. I admit that in the past, I've said that we're not going to win this league with a midfield so young but you can already see the improvement in their overall play this season. Watson may send a few stray passes around but at least he tries to play football and he's starting to actually make a few tackles. Soares is great. The guy is a machine! He works so hard and covers so much ground, with and without the ball. He's tall, strong in the tackle, good in the air and can play a bit and I think he'd be sorely missed if not playing. Hughesy just doesn't have the legs to be a centre midfielder in this division anymore, Leggy needs more time to get used to playing in midfield and Aki looks a lot better in a 5-man midfield, a la last season. Personally, I'm happy with the two young lads. We're 6th with two games in hand and these two are improving all the time. Imagine where we might be when our play really starts to come together.
Yep I agree with the content....................................Brown would be the dogs danglers for me though

Malakite
25-11-2005, 11:20 AM
Watson is a :moo:

Mackenuff
25-11-2005, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by NZsparky
Yep I agree with the content....................................Brown would be the dogs danglers for me though

Brown would be good but there's no real substance to this rumour. At Championship level, the only player I'd really like to see in a Palace shirt is Steve Sidwell but who would want to leave Reading at the moment.

Nah, I'm very happy with our midfield two and I'll stick to my guns in saying that they will get better and better and if we do get back to the Premiership at the first attempt, they will both be huge assets to the club.

Mackenuff
25-11-2005, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by Malakite
Watson is a :moo:

Nice to see you back up your comment with a thoroughly convicing argument!!

:clown:

cpfc_spc1982
25-11-2005, 12:26 PM
Originally posted by Mackenuff


Nah, I'm very happy with our midfield two and I'll stick to my guns in saying that they will get better and better and if we do get back to the Premiership at the first attempt, they will both be huge assets to the club.

would love to be proved wrong but i cant agree with that at all.

limited_edition
25-11-2005, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by sydnsteve
He is not great on the wing, which is hardly surprising, but apart from 1 game I haven't seen Hughes be worse than Soares and Watson in CM this season. Hughes was awful v both Luton and Brighton (H).

Barnstormer
25-11-2005, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by sydnsteve
That is such bollox it beggars belief. Hughes did well once he was brought inside, totally outperforming Soares and Watson. He is not great on the wing, which is hardly surprising, but apart from 1 game I haven't seen Hughes be worse than Soares and Watson in CM this season.

I haven't checked this but I think I'm right in saying that when Hughes has started in central midfield this season we have not won any of those games.

When Soares and Watson have started in midfield we have won most of our games.

I remember you said in an earlier post on another thread that you were a Hughes fan I might suggest that your judgement of the issue is clouded.

Hughes was brilliant last year but started poorly this year, played well when played out wide left ie Liverpool. Not too good defensively against Sheff Utd though.

Please let me know what game Hughes has played well in central midfield when he has started. Not any I think therefore I think your comment about it beggars belief has no substance and the facts back my view up.

glaziers fan
26-11-2005, 12:15 AM
Originally posted by 917L
On current form leave them both out.

Totally agree, I think we're relegation certainties if we keep winning every week like we have been doing recently...

Of course they both need to play. It's only the CCC and they should improve in the Prem for the experience of it. We are on the up and Soares and Watson can only get better. They have huge potential. Hughes can come in and steady the ship if we need it and there's always Aki if we are desperate.

Gosling
26-11-2005, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by glaziers fan
I think we're relegation certainties if we keep winning every week like we have been doing recently...

You what?

Ian Hart
26-11-2005, 06:22 PM
If there was ever evidence needed that Soares & Watson, whatever their potential, are currently not strong enough as a partnership, today was it. They were simply outplayed by the Luton midfield. I'm not suggesting the whole defeat was down to them; it wasn't, and several other players underperformed too. But central midfield is such a key area of the field, that it tends to fashion how the whole match develops.

Soares & Watson simply failed to get tackles in, or to read the game - the whole match seemed to pass them by. When they rarely had some possession, they gave it away. I wonder how many of those who have voted for sticking by both of them for the rest of the season attend away matches, where a midfielder has to be work that much harder and intelligently to gain control for his team.

I'm not knocking our promising kids. But I'm sorry - if we don't bring in someone with more strength and ability into the centre of midfield, we won't even make the playoffs.

Barnstormer
27-11-2005, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by Ian Hart
If there was ever evidence needed that Soares & Watson, whatever their potential, are currently not strong enough as a partnership, today was it. They were simply outplayed by the Luton midfield. I'm not suggesting the whole defeat was down to them; it wasn't, and several other players underperformed too. But central midfield is such a key area of the field, that it tends to fashion how the whole match develops.

Soares & Watson simply failed to get tackles in, or to read the game - the whole match seemed to pass them by. When they rarely had some possession, they gave it away. I wonder how many of those who have voted for sticking by both of them for the rest of the season attend away matches, where a midfielder has to be work that much harder and intelligently to gain control for his team.

I'm not knocking our promising kids. But I'm sorry - if we don't bring in someone with more strength and ability into the centre of midfield, we won't even make the playoffs.

I think Watson's played well this year but at Luton that was his worst display this year. The midfield was overun completely

Question why didn't Iain bring on Leigerwood to add a bit of steel to the team at half time.

I think its time to rest the young players.

eaglejez
27-11-2005, 11:01 AM
if we'd gone for Lee Clark we'd be challenging now

Al From Bromley
27-11-2005, 11:32 AM
Is it just me who thinks that Watson is very overrated? Yes he has flashes, but he's still too young to be picked week in week out, that's why he was rested last season wasn't it?

macstar
27-11-2005, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by kolinkins
I didnt mean a burst forward with the ball. I meant a burst of form.

Soares does so much good work off the ball, and that goes unnoticed. We would seriously miss him if he didnt play.

Meaning he does no work ON the ball.

Should be on the bench.