Monday, 29 February 2016

Where There's a Will, There Might Soon Be A Cotterill

Will Buckley has, unfortunately, not yet lived up to what Blues expected of him when he signed on a six month loan in January. That might have been expected - he had not played regular football for a while but Rowett believed that with regular football he might find his old form and become a force to be reckoned with once again.

That has not happened yet, and with a fit David Cotterill back in the frame he is likely to lose his place in the starting line-up. Everyone knows by now how important Cotterill is to Blues, but in case you didn't, he's averaging 2.61 chances created a game. Buckley just 0.89 and Maghoma 0.94 chances created per 90 minutes.

This looks a bit bleak, Buckley is taking fewer shots and creating fewer chances than Cotterill and Maghoma, and though Maghoma's attacking numbers aren't that impressive he is making three tackles a game - over three times as many as the other senior wingers. Which makes the Wednesday fans who called him lazy look a little silly.

However, Buckley at Brighton had much more impressive chance creation numbers. He averaged just over two chances created a game which, from open play, is very good. That said, one could argue that in his days at Brighton he was in a more open, free flowing attacking side that allowed him to create a large amount of chances and that Blues' more cautious, less possession based style has affected his creativity.

Buckley is getting into dangerous positions less and thus is taking less shots and a lower percentage from inside the box which is cause for concern not just for him but the team - as I mentioned in an earlier article Blues don't create a large portion of chances for the striker and instead they fall to attacking midfielders as much if not more. The winger is also taking defenders on less than he used to, but I hope this will come back with time.

Will Buckley was a frighteningly quick winger who beat full backs for fun at Brighton, and it feels as though so far in a Blues shirt he doesn't have the confidence in himself, or even has been instructed not to be as direct, which is surprising. In his first game he was very good, showing glimpses of that direct, scary winger that Brighton had. If he can find that form he'll be a very good player for Blues - so far, he has been a bit disappointing.

I personally think that with regular football Will Buckley will be a fantastic player for Blues, because I think the more he plays the sooner he'll get back to full fitness and at just 26 he has plenty of time to get back to his best. The issue is whether or not Blues can give it to him right now. There is only a few months left on his loan deal and signing him permanently would probably be a big gamble given his current form.

Buckley really has to show what he is about in the next few months - if he does, it could be enough to help Blues out in the playoff charge and earn himself a permanent move to Birmingham City in the summer. He has a great opportunity to get his career back on track and he has to find his old form quickly.

1 comment:

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