I don’t know that there’s much more to be said about the current problems so let’s get specific here.
People are blaming our friend Philippe Senderos for a lot of things and while he sometimes looks shaky it’s my contention that Bobby Moore would’ve been exposed in our current defence. Let’s look:
Right then. At the very top you see part of our big problem in that the ball’s gone straight to our last defender with no midfield shield. As Alan Hansen might say, you could drive a bus through that midfield. So straight off the centre-backs are completely exposed.
Amorebieta gets close and gets turned, after which you see that Senderos and Rooney are both running towards the penalty area and Robin van Persie has the ball. I ask you: is Senderos really supposed to be able to deal with this situation on his own? Of course he isn’t. He realises how desperate the situation is and makes a futile attempt to intercept the through ball, but that doesn’t come off and moments later Rooney’s setting up Valencia.
The last picture is there to show you why Derek Boateng would be helpful: imagine that Amorebieta was in between Richardson and Senderos. Senderos probably doesn’t shade so far across (look at the hole Amorebieta leaves!!), Boateng probably doesn’t get turned so easily and there’s really no threat. Instead the ball gets straight to van Persie against a centre-back, the centre-back sells himself and from there we’re up against it. And everyone blames this goal on Senderos? Not me.
For the second goal Parker loses the ball and oh look, the defence is completely exposed again. Remember under Roy Hodgson we played Portsmouth away one evening and conceded a goal like this? Bullard got caught in possession, exposing everyone behind him. Same here, and straight away it’s 3v3 with, yep, no midfield protection. With nobody to challenge the runner Senderos finds himself with a man ahead and van Persie behind. What’s he supposed to do here? If he goes out too quick it’s too easy to go past him, so he tries to hold his shape and hopes that United misplay their advantage. Emphatically they don’t, van Persie thumping home, but again, if you’re blaming Senderos here you’re being very harsh. Sascha Riether might have been helpful here but look where he was!! Just about in shot on the far right of the penultimate photo…. oh dear.
The third goal had Riether playing the man onside, too. Maybe Senderos was slow following Rooney then but again, the damage had been done.
So yeah, blame Senderos for his awkward looking attempts to fend off an almost impossible situation if you like but we must acknowledge that this is a team defensive disaster and Senderos is only highlighted at the end of it because he’s the only one left back there. There are numerous issues before the centre-backs are brought into play, and again, they’re just so, so exposed.
At this point I can’t think of an argument for not including Derek Boateng. We haven’t seen enough to know that he’s the answer but really something has to happen. If I were Philippe Senderos I’d be furious about how bad my teammates were supporting me.