Date: 28th November 2017 at 12:55pm
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Three months ago, Harry Redknapp embarked on a deadline day spending spree, taking the number of new signings up to 14. Arguably, the most mouth-watering of them all was Jota – Blues` record signing from Brentford.

It`s no secret that Jota hasn`t had the impact many anticipated upon his arrival. Yet I find it very difficult to comprehend the criticism directed his way.

Evidently, Birmingham City have a very technically gifted footballer on their hands. On his day, Jota is capable of delivering the kind of service that his attacking colleagues thrive on.

But that is where the main issue lies. Technically, the Spaniard is far superior to his teammates. Often, Jota needs intelligence around him to be able to supply the sort of football we all know he is capable of.

It is difficult for players, no matter how gifted, to dictate play and create threatening situations when their midfield counterparts are of an inferior technical ability.

A passage of play during Saturday`s draw at Sheffield United was a prime example. Jota picked the ball up on the left hand side, 35 yards from goal. He drives past one defender, skips past a second. He then angles his run towards the penalty area before looking up to find not a single blue shirt in or around the box. After a brief glance back, it was clear that no colleague was forthcoming. Jota is then forced to back track and release a pass to Cheick Ndoye who was positioned centrally, just over the halfway line.

From that point, Jota adopted a deeper position in an attempt to try and influence proceedings.

I have read a few comments labelling him ‘lazy` and calling for him to be dropped. But for me, the opposite is imperative. Steve Cotterill must persist with him and get bodies – and preferably pace – buzzing around him. Give him half a chance to create danger and he will do so. But to create goal scoring situations, Jota requires assistance from him teammates, albeit without the ball.

During his time at Griffin Park, Jota scored 23 goals in 75 appearances. This season alone he has claimed three assists in just four appearances before his move to St. Andrews.

Flare players don`t seem to sit well with Blues fans but hopefully, Jota will be able to recreate the form which persuaded Redknapp to fight off intense competition to pay so much money for him.

 
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