Date: 14th April 2016 at 10:42am
Written by:

It is very rare that I have seen such a mixed reaction to a new signing than I have of Ryan Shotton. Many people have questioned whether he is good enough and even want the ageing Robinson to slot into right back before Shotton even gets a sniff of playing. However, some of you fans seem to think he is the next Malcolm Page! So why is there such differing opinion?

I personally believe it is due to whether he plays at right back or centre back and also who partners him. Firstly, he is a much better player at centre back. He has the height and physicality to challenge in the air which is one of the many vital aspects of playing in that position. He also is very calm on the ball and is able to play the simple pass by spreading the ball out wide. However, if he is out wide himself, it just leaves him with one pass inside which is too simple for a player who is at right back.

Centre backs have to be simple. They have to play the easy ball or they get punished, it is as simple as that. When you are out wide, you often have cover so you have more license to be creative. I don’t think Shotton has the confidence just yet to fully beat a man on his own. Therefore, we have seen him try and cut inside or pass inside and possession is either lost or we don’t gain any significant yardage from it.

I am an admirer of Shotton basically for his pure tenacity. He had a couple of hard games at the beginning of his spell with Birmingham City and sometimes that effects a player mentally so they under perform and their season fizzles out. But he had the heart and determination to do his best in whatever position he his put in. The passion he showed when he scored last week really warmed him to the fans and this was only extended by the fact that he said he would love to make his signing permanent.

Class on the pitch is one thing but class off the pitch is actually hard to come by and so Shotton is proving to be a real gem of a signing. I would like to see him partner Morrison or Robinson, but I don’t think he would suit being a partner with Spector. This is because you need complimentary partners. One to attack the ball and do the dirty work, the other to bring the ball out. Vidic and Ferdinand are good examples. So with Spector and Shotton, they both play the same style and therefore I don’t think this combination would work.

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