True Blue - Brown's effort must match his talent to make Blues breakthrough - The Redditch Standard

True Blue - Brown's effort must match his talent to make Blues breakthrough

Redditch Editorial 24th Mar, 2015 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016   0

IT IS easy to get caught up in the clamour for younger players to be brought into the Blues side. Having gone so long without any real homegrown talent, the last few years have been a somewhat bountiful harvest which, when allied to a team that is made up of Bosmans, journeymen and loanees that now has very little to play for, it is easy to see why so many fans want to see some of the young guns given a chance.

There is no denying there is real talent in the ranks either. Reece Brown is one of the most gifted young midfielders I have seen come from the Wast Hills production line and his grace and skill on the ball have to be seen to be believed. It would be easy to picture him in the so-called ‘number 10’ role that Andrew Shinnie has made his own – and I’m sure Brown could be better at it – but for some reason Brown is not being trusted by Gary Rowett.

Having seen the reserve game against Ipswich on Monday, I think I can understand why. There is no denying that it comes easily to Brown – he has that annoyingly laid back languid style that some confuse with laziness and he caresses the ball around the park with the tenderness of a lover. The trouble is I think it comes a little bit too easily to him, that there has been no challenge – and because there is no challenge he is coasting somewhat.

While Blues won at a canter, they really could and should have done better than 2-0. Sam McDermid in the Ipswich goal had a good night but he was not tested often enough despite his defence in front of him being holier than Pope Francis. Part of that was down to Brown – played in that ‘number 10’ role he really could have dictated play, created chances and showed his sublime skill – but he did not. He did what was necessary and nothing more – whether he thought there was no point or whether he just did not want to work himself out too much I do not know, but as a consequence his performance was only a 7 when it could have been a 9.

The last yard for young players between being a wonderkid in the academy and reserves and being a first team regular is all in the mind. I have seen a few players that have looked immense when playing for the restricted age groups but have never gone any further because they do not have that drive to continually improve themselves. Conversely, I have seen players with a lot more limited talent make it because their attitude to self-improvement is so good and because they take on board what they are told by their coaches.

Now it might be that Brown, thrust into the deep end of playing week in, week out in the Championship, kicks on a gear and shows what he can do – with the ease taken away from him it might just be he starts putting in the effort. What concerns me is that because it has been so easy for him for so long he has not built up the work ethic to know how to kick on and when he is given the chance – if he is given the chance even – he might not be able to grab it. That would be a crying shame.


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