“If he keeps it simple he can be a horrible player to play against which is exactly how it should be.” – Dublin on Samba
Dion Dublin, speaking exclusively to 888Sport (with questions posed by MOMS), discusses whether ultimately transitioning Mile Jedinak to centre-back (when fit) is a better option than Chris Samba at the heart of the Villa defence.
Samba vs Jedinak
Former Aston Villa player Dion Dublin knows more than most about what it takes to transition into a centre-back.
Once a striker who scored seven goals in his first three Villa appearances and played up front in the 2000 FA Cup final for the club, when injuries hit the Villa rearguard, Dublin answered his manager’s call and filled in at CB.
His appearances in defence were more than competent and even a 19-year-old Wayne Rooney said at the time that Dublin was the best centre-back he’d played against.
When MOMS had the opportunity to ask Dublin a few questions, we thought that with his experience of transitioning from centre-forward to centre-back, his opinion on whether Mile Jedinak would ultimately be a better option than Chris Samba to cover John Terry’s absence, would be interesting.
“I’m a believer in playing players in their position,” reasons Dublin, to the question. “If a defender is injured then put another defender in so obviously I would put Chris Samba in there.”
Despite his own experiences playing centre-back, his decision is ultimately formed by his own experience of playing against Samba.
“I played against him at Blackburn, so I know exactly what he’s like and how good he can be.
“If he keeps it simple he can be a horrible player to play against which is exactly how it should be.”
In terms of Jedinak, despite the Australian national captain already playing very deep when he’s appeared for Villa this season, Dublin reckons a fit again Jedinak at centre-back is counter-productive.
“I think Jedinak would be wasted [at centre-back], says Dublin. “He’s got good energy, good vision, and he’s a leader. He speaks well and he should be a holding midfielder in front of Samba.”
“Good defenders keep things simple. They head it, kick it and shout for offside. Chris does that.”
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When asked where he thinks Villa will finish this season, Dublin doesn’t commit to an exact prediction.
“With Steve Bruce at the helm they have got every chance of being successful,” he says. “A great manager, great person, and he was a great centre-half as well.”
When asked what he thinks Villa need to do to secure their Premier League status again, again he extols the virtue of the Villa boss.
“I believe that Steve Bruce is the right man to take Villa forward and I believe he has the backing of the board.
“If the players do exactly what Brucey says they will be successful.”
Read the full 888sport interview with Dublin, including his thoughts on how the current Villa side compare to his generation