August 6, 2012
NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THINGS
Backe: Lindpere can't play central midfielder
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Hans Backe says that Joel Lindpere won't play central mid for his team.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – After starting his New York career as a central midfielder, including scoring the first two goals in Red Bull Arena history, Joe Lindpere seems to be pegged as a flank player and only a flank player. This despite the fact that he has consistently played in a central role for the Red Bulls over the past three seasons with the club.
Speaking to the media on Monday following a training session at Montclair State University, head coach Hans Backe said that the fan favorite Lindpere is not a part of his plans as a central player. Instead, Backe sees him as an asset on the outside. When asked why Lindpere started the Houston game on the bench and not playing in the central midfield role, Backe bluntly said “Because he can’t play central.”
“He can’t play central,” Backe said.
“We’ve done it but then when we’ve had injuries.”
Lindpere came on and played the final 20 minutes in New York’s 2-0 road loss at Houston on Friday night. BigAppleSoccer.com asked Backe if he had spoken with Lindpere about not playing centrally, his preferred slot in the Starting XI.
“I don’t bother, I couldn’t care less. We know that it doesn’t work centrally; he’s more of a wide player who can tuck in in the attacking game. He’s not a guy who can win 50-50’s and put pressure on midfields,” Backe said. “He’s a guy who needs time and space on the ball and then create for crosses and one-two’s and things like that.”
And has Lindpere bought this role on the team?
“He has to otherwise we trade him, that’s not a problem,” Backe said.