Date: 22nd June 2016 at 3:19pm
Written by:

This week Reece Brown put pen to paper on a new one year deal at Birmingham City. To some, this may seem normal but it rang alarm bells for me for I find it very unusual that the club has given a young player only one year. To me, it seems like an ultimatum. Do well this year, and the contract will be extended further. Don’t do well this year and he will be up in the shop window next Summer.

I don’t blame the club if this is the case. The likes of Gray and Solomon-Otabor really pushed into the first team set up having worked hard for their opportunity and even at their young age, it is obvious that they have the right attributes to succeed, it’s just in Viv’s case, he is not ready just yet. It was the same with Harding in pre-season; he looks to have all the skills to be a Blues’ player but just needs more experience.

With Brown, he was involved in the first team set up for a few cup games and friendlies, but has never really pushed on and got a foothold in the game. Having watched him, I think there is a clear reason why this has been the case. He just hasn’t got the work ethic and attitude just yet in order to succeed. Maybe this is why he only has a one year contract; to prove to the club that he will work hard to succeed.

I am not just talking about his effort levels in training and an almost arrogance that he seems to have, I am actually talking about during matches. He is very skillful on the ball and actually reminds me of Ravel Morrison whom Rio Ferdinand said was the best young player he had seen at Manchester United. But upon losing the ball, he often doesn’t try and win it back and doesn’t track his midfield opposite number leaving our defence exposed. This lack of work ethic cannot be maintained if he wants to make the step up because we pride ourselves on working as a team and as units and we can’t have one player letting down that system or it will not work.

Despite this, I am very glad that we have kept him. He has all the ability in the world to push into the first team. He needs to grow into his body a bit and learn how to use his strength effectively but overall his ability on the ball is second to none and I must say his finishing has improved more than I was expecting in the last 12 months. It’ll be interesting to see how well he does in friendlies with increased pressure to perform and whenever he gets a chance to shine; I hope he does.

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