Liam Bridcutt Injury – Assessing the Alternatives

Conor McGrandles

Credit Graham Burrell

I thought McGrandles looked to occupy a deeper area yesterday, although Wyscout argues otherwise. His industry and tenacity certainly lend itself to the four role and he’s got decent distribution stats, even if that wasn’t always evident last night.

Pros

His work rate is phenomenal and you’d imagine tracking runners and offering defensive protection would be right up his street. Since coming back from injury, McGrandles has looked a complete player, adding a forward-thinking momentum to his game. I felt he was an unsung hero ahead of the New Year break, but people are noticing exactly what he does now, which enhances fan trust in his ability to play the heartbeat of the team. Let’s not kid ourselves, that is what the four role is – everything revolves around it.

Cons

I do wonder if sometimes his positional attributes in defensive areas could be improved upon. I recall a conversation with an MK Dons fan when he arrived, and he stated that he’s a top player if he has another alongside him doing a little mopping up. Whilst tracking runners, working hard and tough tackling are all well within his scope, does he have that natural ability to spot danger and be there before it develops, rather than reacting to it?