Andy Halliday’s comments on Ryan Kent are more accurate than the headlines about them suggest, and they get to the bottom of the issue on the winger’s form:
This isn’t the full picture but it’s not exactly wrong.
Kent IS in bad form, and most fans know it. He’s been off his best for some time, and hasn’t been contributing much aside a decent display at Pittodrie.
Excepting that, he’s been flat since early November and that’s a long time to be sub-par.
But what is the issue with Halliday’s comments?
Well, he talks about how Jones, Middleton and Stewart aren’t bashing the door down to replace him, and while he’s bang on that Middleton and Stewart aren’t good enough, Jones is, but isn’t being given a look in regardless.
And that’s Steven Gerrard’s choice.
Kent, on form, of course is our best left winger and dangerous beyond compare. But the total lack of management on that side isn’t helping – Gerrard isn’t giving Jones a fair crack of the whip, and never has, so that one is, simply, on the boss.
But Halliday is bang on about Middleton and Stewart – they don’t help Kent at all because they’re not good enough to push the former Liverpool man.
Neither is Brandon Barker. Yes. Brandon Barker, who gets a lot of cameos and the occasional start, despite clearly never having been good enough. Yes, we’ve heard the stories about his impressive training performances, but he’s rarely to never produced that when it counts.
But Stevie likes him – indeed, the winger is so forgettable by the rest of us Halliday totally omitted him as competition.
But then we come back to Jones – there’s little doubt fans want to see more of him, if nothing else other than to just give Kent a kick up the backside.
Kent has been dropped just once recently, and he did come back with a little gusto.
But the lack of pressure on him overall to maintain his standards is showing through, and it’s time Stevie really gave him something to think about.