Date: 18th January 2017 at 10:17am
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While Gianfranco Zola presses ahead with his plans to overhaul his Birmingham City squad, he deserves praise for addressing the positions that have long been in need of strengthening. If Zola manages to get deals for Cheick Keita and Emilio Nsue over the line, both full back berths will carry a completely contrasting approach.

Presently, Jonathan Spector and Jonathan Grounds occupy the right back and left back positions. For the most part, they have done satisfactory jobs but carry obvious limitations. Understandably, a full backs prime task is to defend. But to fully embrace Zola`s footballing mantra, the gap between the defence and the midfield must be finer which puts an emphasis on attack minded full backs.

Paul Caddis is a player who can conceivably contribute to Blues in an attacking sense – but seemingly he isn`t fancied by Zola, nor was he by previous manager Gary Rowett. Josh Dacres-Cogley is asserting himself as an exciting prospect but is still very raw, he could certainly be one for the future.

In Keita and Nsue, Blues would be buying two athletic and forward-thinking players. Yet, essentially, both are trustworthy from a defensive point of view too.

Spector, it seems, may be departing Blues this month to return to his native America. Grounds, on the other hand, could still have a part to play in offering competition to Keita, assuming the Frenchman signs on the dotted line this week.

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8 Replies to “Keita, Nsue and the two Jonathan’s”

  • It might be that Zola sees Keita and Nsue as wingbacks – this would enable him to play a back three (Morrison, Shotton and Grounds would be the obvious 3). A holding midfielder/distributor in front of the back three (this would have been where Krhin would have fitted – it will have to be Gleeson for the time being). Three forward thinking midfielders in front (Davis, Adams and Gardner) and the Juke up front. Just a thought.

  • Mickoblue- interesting. I don’t see Davis as a forward thinking midfielder. And I don’t see Zola using three CB’s. I think it’ll be more of a 4-3-3 with the full backs being used to compensate for the narrow midfield

  • Micko Adams would be up top alongside Juke in a 3-5-2. I think Grounds would be good as a CB.

    Shotton Morrison Grounds
    Nsue Gardner Gleeson Davis Keita
    Adams Jutkiewicz

  • Zola should forget Russell and Routledge and go all out for Quaison he is a very, very talented player whose value will only go up if he settles in to English football.

  • 3 at the back these days tends to be 2 center halves and a central defender come midfielder who can take or play the ball forward and in the role Krhin was identified for. This way you can change from 3 to 4 or 5 depending on whether you are attacking or defending. Chelsea use this system with Luiz just in front of the 2. If you see how he plays the ball out of defence it is very effective. I think we may still see a player of this type brought in. I hope so anyway lol

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