This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Jake Clarke-Slater has taken his chance, but will it be taken away from him again in the future?
We spoke on FFC earlier this week about his performance against Fulham, how he didn’t do anything to disgrace himself when it came to his performance and that he should be given the opportunity to carry on as Harlee Dean’s replacement as he carries on his suspension.
However, once Dean’s time out is done, Clarke-Salter could find himself back to square one as it were, but should that really be the case?
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He’s managed to perform well in his two league games so far this season, and has only really been let down by two horrendous mistakes by Lee Camp, otherwise he’d be undefeated with two clean sheets under his belt.
As it stands though, he’s got a 100% losing record (plus the cup game against Portsmouth, but we can cut him some slack there as the line-up suggested Pep Clotet had no intention of winning that game).
The Blues could change to a back three on a permanent basis to help accommodate someone like Clarke-Salter into the fray, however you can still bring him in without changing the formation. Although it might sound sacrilegious to say it, but there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be competing with the likes of Marc Roberts for a starting role alongside Dean.
He’s shown that he can be more than capable at this level for Birmingham, winning five duels and making a combined total of four interpretations and blocks at the weekend. However, beyond that, he just isn’t being given a fair crack at it.
Much in the same way we have talked about Moha Ramos and his lack of opportunities at St Andrew’s, the fact that he’s only here on loan should add urgency to the situation, leaning on him to be used on a regular basis. You don’t want to have essentially wasted a year of his career by allowing him to rot on the bench.
They might be in a position where they can buy the 22-year-old in the summer, but if he doesn’t feel happy about his playing time, then it could end up giving him second thoughts about coming back to St Andrew’s.