One player to have taken a great deal of flak, rightly, this season, is midfielder Glen Kamara.
A bit of a whipping boy in recent months, especially the past two, the Finn’s displays have been unreliable, weak, confused, lazy and generally lacking in coherence and he’s ended up heavily criticised by a large portion of fans, ourselves included.
However yesterday’s trip to whatever Hamilton’s stadium is called these days saw another change in tactic from Steven Gerrard, and this one absolutely benefited Glen Kamara big time:
The dropping of Steven Davis.
While Davis is a magnificent player and one of the club’s best, his form this calendar year has been pretty dire, and where admittedly he’s missed Ryan Jack’s work in front of him, his own game has suffered deeply since the turn of the year.
Yesterday seeing Kamara return in his place was a surprise, and a seeming gamble, but it turned out that the ex-Dundee man thrived more in a purely destructive holding DM position than any other since pretty much last season’s split.
Without having to concentrate on getting the ball forward, or linking up with his team mates, Kamara was left purely to the destroying breaking up of play alone, while then relaying the ball either to Arfield, Aribo or the flanks.
And that was it.
It simplified his game completely and he benefited notably from it.
Think the old Claude Makelele style of defensive midfield play and you’ve got it.
Don’t get us wrong, he wasn’t outstanding, but this was much more like the kind of performance that, with consistency, could make him an asset in time.
He had a lot of responsibility lifted from his shoulders with Arfield tasked more with the creative stuff along with Aribo, while Kamara purely sat in front of the back four, linking with the fullbacks and laying the ball to the midfield.
And this less tactical more physical approach suited him down to the ground.
True, it’s cost us Steven Davis, but it goes to show we have a second option now for his position.
And suddenly, midfield’s depth and quality has notably raised.