Will Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Dawson be the right options for QPR?

QPR manager Mark Hughes is reacting quickly to his side’s 5-0 defeat against Swansea City on the opening day of the season by trying to recruit some new defenders.

I was really surprised that Hughes didn’t try and strengthen the defence to begin with as they already had a decent enough strike force with Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse as well as the always unpredictable Adel Taarabt. Just look at the defence that started on the opening day, Fabio, Clint Hill, Anton Ferdinand and Nedum Onuoha with Ryan Nelsen on the bench. Fabio is only young and could improve but he is not the best at defending yet and looks better going forward. Anton Ferdinand has never been more than an average centre back in the Premier League and if he is first choice your team will mostly finish in the bottom half closer to relegation. Onuoha, just simply hasn’t lived up to his potential when he first came through at Manchester City and it could be a long season for him. Finally, Clint Hill, how on earth is he a Premier League? Yes, first season up leave him in there, but now the ambitions have changed and surely someone better should have came in.

QPR have bid for Michael Dawson and he has been a fantastic centre back for Spurs over the years, although he can be a little injury prone. But, he is exactly what the team needs, he isn’t afraid to put his head in where it hurts and just seems to want to block every shot and will throw his body in the way. He has played 242 times for Tottenham and this Premier League experience will be invaluable to QPR and he would play like a leader on the pitch whether he is given the captain’s armband or not. Now that it is known that he is available there may be other offers from clubs but I think realistically he will join QPR if he leaves Spurs because it means he can stay in London and they will surely offer him a very good contract with a high wage.

Dawson has four caps for England

Next, Ricardo Carvalho is reportedly close to joining the club on a season long loan from Real Madrid and even though he is 34, I think he is one of the best centre backs to have ever played in the Premier League. He made John Terry look like a great defender as Carvalho’s positioning got him out of a lot of bad situations and to me it is not coincidence that Terry has looked a shadow of his former self since the departure of Carvalho. He played 210 times for the London club but the only problem is that he only played 13 times for Real Madrid last season so there will be question marks over his fitness and form.

Carvalho has played 75 times for Portugal

These are the sort of signings Mark Hughes should have been making from the beginning but unfortunately it seems like he currently has 11 individuals on the pitch rather than a team and if he doesn’t sort that out soon then a relegation battle will be on his hand yet again.

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Who will Sebastien Bassong play for next season?

Sebastien Bassong has had a tough time since joining the Premier League but will he get another chance to show he has enough quality to stay in England?

The central defender is currently at Tottenham Hotspur but it looks as though his time at the club is coming to end after being shipped out on loan to Wolves for the second half of last season. In his three seasons at White Hart Lane he has only played 44 league games and has had to settle for a place on the bench a lot of the time with manager Harry Redknapp preferring others like Ledley King, Michael Dawson, William Gallas and Younes Kaboul. The 25 year old does have time on his hands but he hasn’t quite lived up to the potential he showed at Newcastle United where in his only season there, he was voted their player of the season, however this was in their relegation season and nobody performed that well and it can’t have been such an honour to win the award. In his loan spell at Wolves he also suffered relegation and did not perform that well, although he cannot be blamed for their relegation, he still has to take some of the blame as he did not look good enough for the Premier League.

So will anyone in the Premier League take him on or will he have to go back abroad or into the Championship? I think any of the three promoted teams should have a look at him as they all lack a little bit of experience in that area. West Ham currently have James Tomkins and Winston Reid as their starting pair but after releasing Abdoulaye Faye, they will need some competition and cover. Reading are also suffering from a lack of experience in that area with both Alex Pearce and Kaspars Gorkss hardly kicking a ball in the Premier League so Bassong would at least have a little more knowledge, and personally I think he is slightly better than Gorkss. Southampton have two good centre backs in Jose Fonte and Jos Hooiveld but they do lack cover so they will need to bring in someone so why not Bassong, I cannot imagine Spurs wanting a big transfer fee for him but his wages maybe a stumbling block.

Other teams that are already in the Premier League may also like the look of him because of how well he did at Newcastle and the talent he has shown at times at Spurs. Stoke City may be interested in signing him as he will add a slightly better ball playing defender to their team. With Matthew Upson and Jonathon Woodgate not exactly performing as well as manager Tony Pulis expected he may be in the market for another defender.

Finally, I believe QPR should be looking at him as they struggled terribly at the back at times this season and he is a much better player than Clint Hill and is arguably better than Anton Ferdinand so I believe he would walk into their team.

Cahill to Chelsea- Good move?

The Gary Cahill transfer has finally went through but is he the man to stabilise the Chelsea defence once again. Surely, he has to do a better job than David Luiz and Alex this season, however, his former side Bolton are struggling at the bottom of the table and although Cahill cannot be solely to blame he hasn’t helped his team and they have one of the worst defensive records in the division.

So will he be a success at Chelsea or not? Will he be able to establish a solid partnership with John Terry in the heart of the Chelsea defence?

A short answer in my opinion is probably not. This is because he is a very good defender but I don’t think he will be able to perform against the best strikers in the world when he plays in the Champions League, whenever Bolton played Chelsea he got outmuscled by Didier Drogba but in his defence on his day Drogba can do that to any defender. But it’s not this part of the game that worries me the most, it is his lack of pace and occasionally poor positioning which has cost Bolton many goals. He gets pulled around by strikers with the slightest bit of clever movement all the time and when they run at him, he doesn’t know what to do at all.

Why will he not succeed at Chelsea? Because he is a younger version of John Terry and this season in particular has shown his frailties and exactly the same as Cahill, one bit of movement or pace and he is in trouble. Terry is a very good leader and a good captain but other than this I do not understand why he has been at a top club all these years.

When Mourinho was the manager he knew that Terry was a good leader but probably doubted his defensive abilities and the reason they succeeded under him was because he had the experience of Ricardo Carvalho playing alongside him who was very quick to read the game and must have saved Terry on countless occasions. That’s why it is no surprise to me that when Carvalho left for Real Madrid, Chelsea began to struggle and did not look solid at the back anymore.

Chelsea have not replaced Carvalho and maybe he did his job so effectively that they took him for granted and did not realise how difficult it would be to replace him. Gary Cahill will just add to the list of players that were given the opportunity to replace him but will most likely fail. I like Cahill but not alongside Terry as they are too similar and will be exposed especially against their title rivals.

I think Chelsea should have spent their money on a different type of centre back, someone like Coloccini at Newcastle who is a very good reader of the game like Carvalho was and is having undoubtedly his best season in the Premier League.

Or maybe everyone is reading this wrong and Andre Villas Boas doesn’t rate John Terry and has brought in Gary Cahill to replace him. Especially if Terry is banned for his alleged racist remarks towards Anton Ferdinand. That would most definitely stir things up at the Bridge and make everyone realise that Villas Boas is in charge and nobody is irreplaceable and bigger than the club.