Saints Season 2012/2013 Review - Left Back
When Saints sailed through the Championship and earned promotion back to the Premier League us fans were in no doubt that life would be a good deal tougher.
With few exceptions the news of our opening fixtures gave us cause to be slightly concerned. Would we be ready when the season began? Well we found out in no uncertain terms.
Manchester City away on opening day was a glorious day with a very unlucky defeat at the hands of the champions. The defeat led to more and again some were classed as unfortunate.
The one thing that these early games showed was that we were not yet ready for the higher quality that was on in opposition. Our defence was poor to say the very least.
Danny Fox was an experienced left back and an international to boot. He was not solely responsible for the state of our defence but in the main he was found wanting as our first choice left back.
He had some good points but they were mainly in attack as he had a good cross. In defence he was often caught out of position and this led to problems at the back.
Luke Shaw came into the team as an unproven young left back. To begin with it seemed that he had been told to concentrate on his defensive work.
The improvement made with him in the team was quite clear though we also had Jack Cork returning which helped. Saints lost Jose Fonte through injury and we saw a back line of Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld and Shaw slowly showing signs of becoming a reasonably secure unit.
Luke is a very young man and he did show glimpses of inexperience at times but he proved himself to be an extremely good player. As the season progressed he even became much more adventurous and stared to show more attacking flair.
His pace is enough that he has been able to overcome the odd error and recover added to the fact that he has often used his pace to bale out the team when he has raced over to cover a team mate.
Saints fans will be praying that we can keep our newest rising star for a change. As a player Luke has shown immense promise but we need to take extreme care not to overplay him.
Luke Shaw has shown enough to merit an 8
Danny Fox though I can only give a 6
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