March 12, 2013 by Made In Brum
On Saturday, loanee Wes Thomas scored his first goals for the club to give us an important 3 points against Derby. The result took us up to 14th, with a comfortable enough distance of 7 points between ourselves and the relegation places.
Thomas didn’t get off to the best of starts with us. He missed a one-on-one opportunity on his debut against Nottingham Forest, he failed to score a header from just 3 yards out at Peterborough, leaving many Blues fans to label him ‘not good enough’. Through this time, I would like to say that I’ve stuck with him. The fact that he’s on loan from Bournemouth and his missing of key scoring chances hasn’t exactly inspired confidence in his ability, yet whenever I’ve seen him play, he always works hard. I will support any player who does that.
He’s without doubt the paciest forward in the squad, and I think his impact as a substitute has been underrated. It was his harrowing and hassling of the Blackpool defence last Tuesday that forced them into panicky clearances, thus allowing us to take control of the match.
Although I was happy with his swift closing down in his first few games, I got the impression he was more of a workman than a finisher. With Marlon King out for the campaign, Lovenkrands only on 5 goals this season and Zigic only having scored once in his last 9 games, I was slightly worried about where our goals would come from for the remainder of the season.
However, on Saturday we saw a different side to Thomas’s game, which highly contradicted the idea that he lacks composure in front of goal. Both of his goals were in fact very well taken, he left the Derby right-back for dead for his first, finished off by an incisive finish from a tight angle. I thought his second goal had a feel of authoritative confidence to it, chesting down Redmond’s flick-on, and with his second touch, he fired a firm shot past the keeper.
In the aftermath of his brace, Wes has underlined his desire to secure a permanent switch to St Andrews. Whether the board will be prepared to dip into their pockets for a transfer fee I don’t know, because clearly they weren’t prepared to pay a nominal fee for Paul Caddis. Whether I would want to see Thomas make his stay here permanently greatly depends on his performances in the next few games. If he doesn’t score again for 5 matches, then my opinion of him will probably change.
But now that Thomas has got over that confidence barrier of scoring his first goal for us, I do feel hopeful he can take King’s place. If he can consistently run at and chase down defenders the way he has for his first few games, and combine that skill with the clinical finishing he showed against Derby, then maybe we won’t miss King after all.
By Gabriel Sutton