Written by: Mitchell Bray
Yesterday’s loan signing of centre-back Jake Clarke-Salter from Chelsea appears to complete the new defensive formation that Mr.Ren wants implementing for the new season.
Pep Clotet will have the task of producing ball-playing centre-backs from the players at his disposal. Dean, Roberts, Clarke-Salter, Harding etc must up their skills to make this scheme a success. Hopefully they will and Ren’s bold plan will be hailed a brainwave.
Since Garry Monk’s departure, Ren has strengthened his position at the helm and surprisingly has instructed this total change of defensive play to be carried out by Clotet and his staff.
A sticky wicket for Pep-maybe, but success could make solidify his position. Do we have the players of enough quality to carry out this ambitious plan? Only time will tell. Michael Morrison wasn’t considered in that category. Perhaps the arrival of Clarke-Salter is what Ren was requiring to complete the jigsaw. By any standard, this new strategy is groundbreaking for Blues, particularly in the brutal Championship and hard on the heels of the relatively recent disasters with Zola.
My hope is that after three games, namely Brentford, Portsmouth(cup) and Bristol City, we should be able to assess the merits of the three centre-backs.
In recent weeks I have been critical of this new plan and I must admit, I regret calling it Kamikaze. However, whilst genuinely yearning it to succeed, I simply do not see enough quality in our defensive players. Good, reliable and honest they are, but classy and skilled ball players? They fall short, in my opinion.
Many supporters I have spoken to are also undecided and many are still reeling from the Monk departure, so at the moment, Ren rules big time and Clotet is hoping for a tenure that will only be guaranteed by Ren’s new plan. We hope Ren has a plan B and is prepared to use it as this Championship season is gruelling so immediate signs of ‘oncoming trains’ can be averted fairly quickly.