Ball-playing centre-backs in vogue, but Christophe Berra loves the art of defending
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Christophe Berra knows so-called ball-playing centre-backs are in vogue, but says no-one should underestimate the art of defending.
The battle-hardened Scotsman, 31, is loved by Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy for his no-nonsense approach and has been a virtual ever-present over the last three years.
But Blues boss McCarthy has looked to add a different dimension to his backline by signing Adam Webster, 21, from Portsmouth this summer – someone he has compared to England international John Stones for his technical ability and marauding runs.
“The press are sure building him up, so hopefully it’s not too much pressure on his back!” said Berra, when asked about his new team-mate. “It’s early days yet, but he’s done well.”
Town have kept three clean sheets in their last five games, with Tuesday night’s 1-0 win at Derby requiring a real rearguard action.
You may also want to watch:
“Nowadays people forget that it is actually a skill to defend,” said Berra, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Aston Villa to Portman Road. “You have to put your body in the way, intercept, get your timing right and know where to be at the right time. It can’t be all about being fancy. There are not many teams in the world like Barcelona.”
Asked if he felt that no-nonsense defenders were becoming a dying breed, he said: “You still get a lot of them but, as the gaffer says, sometimes something is in vogue. Right now people want, I don’t know, a (Gerard) Pique at the back. In British football you need a mixture though, someone who can do that and someone who can’t.
- 1 Isaacs call police after quayside drinkers cause chaos outside bar
- 2 The 20 places in Suffolk that recorded the most coronavirus cases this week
- 3 'I left the club in a more than decent place' - Lambert opens up on leaving Town
- 4 Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town's 0-0 draw at Charlton
- 5 Barn goes up in flames in Suffolk village
- 6 'Has to go' - Town fans on Chambers' future, play-off hopes and who they want to see play
- 7 Driver arrested after 12-year-old boy 'seriously injured' in crash
- 8 Plans to build bungalow in pub garden refused after number of objections
- 9 Cook discusses Chambers' future after captain dropped at Charlton
- 10 Essex home 'completely destroyed' by fire
“If you don’t defend, first-and-foremost, then you will probably lose more games than you win.”
– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for more Town v Villa build-up.