As a former striker, I’m delighted to see so many great forward players hogging the headlines these days.
They don’t have the problems I did, like having opponents such as big Sam Allardyce trying to kick lumps out of you.
People like Sam had been brought up watching teams having success because they had men like the late, great Jack Charlton.
Jack always said he couldn’t play, but he could stop others playing and that was so important.
Attackers have moved with the times and are well-equipped to cope with the demands of the modern game.
The boys at the back aren’t doing quite so well.
The sort of central-defensive partnerships I had to battle against simply aren’t around these days.
It’s great for fans when the goals are crashing in, but I think we all know you won’t pick up honours by conceding too many.
We’re going to have quite a few top bosses racking their brains for a way to tighten up defences.
Both of the Manchester clubs are serving up some scintillating football at the top of the pitch.
You can’t, however, always expect to outscore teams, particularly in European competitions.
Celtic and Rangers also have defensive quandaries.
Rangers have lost Niko Katic to injury and need to come up with a settled pairing from Connor Goldson, the often-injured Filip Helander and the still-inexperienced George Edmundson.
The Scottish champions need a replacement for Jozo Simunovic and hope they can hold on to Kris Ajer.
In my early days at Ipswich Town, we had Allan Hunter and Kevin Beattie in defence.
They were called “Bacon and Eggs” because they went everywhere together. They were brilliant.
Then two young players arrived on the scene.
Terry Butcher and Russell Osman grew up as great friends. They came through the youth system at Portman Road, into the reserves and then the first team.
Big Terry was a fantastic leader, although he was a bit green when he first arrived – Rangers supporters won’t like me saying that about him!
Russell’s contribution shouldn’t be underestimated. He was also as hard as nails and it was great to see them both developing into full internationals.
It was a miracle, considering the size of the club, that we finished second in the league twice and won the UEFA Cup.
In 1982, we only lost once at home, but a result that really killed our challenge was being thumped 4-0 at Anfield.
Butcher and Osman were missing because of injury that day, and the result showed how important they were to us.
I should point out that a certain Alan Brazil was also hurt, but he didn’t do a huge amount of defending!
Everyone had a thug in their side when I was staring out. I played against Chelsea’s “Chopper” Harris and Tommy Smith of Liverpool.
When I think of the best I faced, I’m probably going to say the Liverpool pairings that came from the trio of Phil Thompson, Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson.
I didn’t mind the hard men, but coming up against defenders who were tough and also quick was difficult.
Virgil van Dijk stands out as having both strength and outstanding pace. That’s what you need now.
Manchester United look like a team on the rise, but they need another defender.
Harry Maguire could do with someone with pace beside him.
I reckon United and Chelsea will chase Liverpool and Manchester City next season, but only if they sort it out at the back.
Their problem is, where are the defenders who are tough and lightning quick?
It will be fascinating to see what happens.
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