Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Importance of Andrew Davies

Phil Parkinson is currently managing Bradford City in a very similar fashion to Peter Taylor. He clearly believes that good teams are built on solid defences and that is what he appears to have built now. And key to that is Andrew Davies. Let’s be fair, he is far too good to be plying his trade in League Two and if any managers in higher leagues have any sense they will attempt to sign him up come January.

From a City point of view, however, it is imperative that his loan is extended until the end of the season. When he is not busy being sent off, Andrew Davies’ inclusion in the City team has seen a marked improvement in fortunes.

Since signing for City at the end of September, Davies has played in 7 league games and missed 5 league games through suspension. Davies was thrust into the team immediately after signing so it would have been difficult for him to influence his first game against AFC Wimbledon, but that is the only league game he has played in and lost for City.

In his 6 other games, City have won two and drawn four. A return of 10 points from 7 games is 1.428 points per game; which if extrapolated over a season would see a points total of 65. This clearly shows his importance to the team, considering that in the games where he hasn’t played, City have amassed a points total of 9 from 14 games, which would mean a points total of 30 over the season. A huge, and worrying, difference.

His first game after Wimbledon was the credible draw at Burton and results were beginning to improve the week after City beat Torquay. Unfortunately, Davies as we all know was sent off in that game ensuring he missed the next three games. Two were lost and one won.

Davies then returned and City once more kept a clean sheet at free scoring Swindon. Again, as we all know he was sent off and missed the next four games. Only two of those were league games, though, but both were defeats against Rotherham and Cheltenham.

Davies’ latest return coincided with yet another upturn in fortunes, with a credible draw at Gillingham, a further draw against Plymouth and an excellent win at Southend. With Davies’ return to the team, City have now gone over 270 minutes without conceding a goal on the road – an excellent record.

With the return of Simon Ramsden at right back, the excellent form of Luke Oliver and a relatively solid, yet out of position Marcel Seip at left back, City now have a back four which looks impressively solid. With the returning Jon McLaughlin in net looking a lot more confident than he did last season, City finally have a back five which can be depended on.

Andrew Davies is clearly an important cog in the Bradford City defence and Phil Parkinson must do his utmost to ensure his stay at Valley Parade is extended beyond January 7th. Despite him not being in a position on the pitch to influence goals scored, his inclusion is obviously vital for City to continue improving and push up the league table.

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