Burning Question

What was your reaction to the signing of Slovakin international defender Vladimir Labant and do you think that he should take up the left-back spot in place of Nigel Winterburn immediately or wait for his chance while the veteran is still playing well?

Your Replies:

Mike Brand, Bromley
With Winterburn's retirement just around the corner this seems like a good signing in an otherwise bleak time for us. But Winterburn has been one of the most consistent and professional players for us of late so there's no need to get rid of him just yet. The rest of the season can be used for Labant to become acquainted with life in the Premiership whilst adding some much needed cover before coming a regular in next season's campaign.

Matt Dynan
Anyone who has played in the Champions' League has to be good. Plus, as an international player he hopefully will become a massive bargain, just as Seb Schemmel has turned out to be. Good luck Vlad.

David Dhannoo, Ashingdon
My reaction to the signing of Vladimir Labant is good, but Winterburn is playing well at the moment. I think Roeder should experiment with the two in first team games to see which one performs the best, ideally Labant could play in the reserves for a while while Winterburn plays first team football.

Kevin Salter, Rochester
I think give him a go. No disrespect to Nigel but we need someone fast down that side, to keep up with on-rushing wingers. I think as long as he keeps his cool, and is aware of the dangers in front of him, he would flourish in that position. I would also like to see more of Defoe making the starting line-up. He has proved to be an excellent striker, and may even be lucky to make the full England squad if he plays more.

Ian Davey, Alton, Hants
If Nigel is playing well and can hold down the left-back position at the standard he has set so far this season I see no reason to rush Vladimir into the team. However, if Vladimir gets a run at it from the subs bench and performs creditably he should remain and make Nigel have to fight for the place. It's always the same when a new face comes into a squad as cover for an ageing established star. Does loyalty and the belief of using an older and more experienced player take precedence over getting a new/younger player into the team? That's one for Glen and Sarge to sort out. Me? I'd leave it as it is for now.

Terry Willett, Gravesend, Kent
Nigel admits himself that he is finding it more difficult to recover after matches now. With a tight schedule ahead he will probably welcome a break, but if he is playing well and is feeling fit he should be first choice. It should be a case of if it's not broken don't fix it.

Jay Dee
Outside the first 11 we are pushed to find quality, so if Labant is half as good as Repka then he's a great acquisition. Winterburn's done a fantastic job, but if Labant can offer us options going forward as well as defensively, then put him straight in. Supposedly a free-kick specialist too? Well, we need all the goals we can get!

Paul Davies, Walthamstow
Labant should be made to compete for his place. Nigel Winterburn has been outstanding this season, giving his all every time he played. He has been an inspiration to the other team members, and, from a fans point of view, it is great to see someone playing with such commitment. To push him to one side now would not be a fitting reward for his efforts.

Gary Poole, Leicester
I think Glenn was right to sign Vladimir as we need extra cover in that position. Nigel is reaching the end of his career and has definitely lost a yard or two of his pace. Whether he plays in place of Nigel is up to the gaffer to decide. If he performs well in training, and Glenn thinks he is better than Nigel, I have no objection to him turning out for the first team. I want to see the player who can give the best performance out on the pitch, and the best person to make that decision is Glenn.