February 21, 2013 by Made In Brum
The central midfield position has been a mixed bag for Blues this season. Hayden Mullins, Jonathan Spector, Wade Elliott, Callum Reilly, Morgaro Gomis, Ravel Morrison, Nathan Redmond, Keith Fahey and Darren Ambrose have all played some part in the middle of the park. The partnership has been changed several times both by choice and because of injuries or lack of form. But take the last two names from that list, and put them in the centre of the pitch together all season. Would we be any better off?
Keith Fahey has split opinion amongst Blues fans for some time, but there is no doubting his footballing ability. The second half of last season was arguably his best since he joined from St Patricks in 2009, he was the pinnacle of most positive things Blues, then under Chris Hughton, did. Many who doubted him before have been won over. This season he played a small part early-season, before getting injured and leaving the club on compassionate grounds (I am not going to get dragged into the in’s and out’s or the speculation of the situation). He is now back at Blues getting fit.
Darren Ambrose was seen as a marquee signing (if there was one) in the summer. He has been proven at Championship level for years. After joining Blues in the summer, he has played a bit-part role due to injuries. When he has played, he has looked off the pace and unfit.
But if you take Fahey and Ambrose, both fully fit, both on top of their game and both ready and willing, put them together in central midfield, their ingredients when combined could be a tasty cocktail at this level. Ambrose is the kind of player who creates chances and chips in with 8-12 goals himself, and he has an excellent dead ball delivery. Fahey is more complete in terms of his box-to-box capabilities; he creates chances too, but has more to offer defensively.
Is it only me that looks back and imagines what could have been if we had these two players together in the team this season? They’re not exactly Xavi and Iniesta, but at Championship level, you would struggle to find a better midfield pairing on paper. They would complement each other nicely and would add a lot of quality that has been missing; the quality that we have only witnessed in fits and spurts this term.
Whether they will both be here to play a part next season, I don’t know. And I know the club have bigger situations to worry about, but having both of these players fully fit and on top of their game would be better than any new signing we could make, realistically.
By Rob Wildey