This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Did he pass his third audition?
With Michael Dawson out injured, Sabri Lamouchi has been giving other players their chance to prove if they can keep the captain out of the team not just now but potentially for the future.
Tobias Figueiredo played against Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic, but now it was time for Chema to be given another opportunity, having previously started against Brentford earlier in the month and replaced Dawson when he was injured against Stoke City.
Having been brought to the City Ground in the summer from Levante, his opportunities have been limited thus far, so how did he do in his latest outing and has he done enough to cement his place for the long term?
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It was certainly a bit of a mixed night for the Spaniard.
Whilst he put in a relatively comfortable performance for the majority of the game, he played huge parts in both of the goals that the visitors conceded.
For the first strike, not only did he lose his runner in Josh Magennis, but also played him onside when he turned in Jon Toral’s shot. Then for the second he was caught out of position and was forced to play catch up as the Spanish midfielder squared the ball to Jarred Bowen.
If you take a look at his statistics from the game (taken from WhoScored), he completed 85% of his passes which was above the team average (84%), won eight aerial duels (double that of Joe Worrall in second) and made three tackles (joint-most of all in the team).
If he can replicate this sort of form going forward, then there shouldn’t be a question as to whether or not he can be the long term replacement for Dawson.
However, he just needs to work on his concentration, because whilst the statistics might be impressive, if he’s at fault for the goals they concede then his usefulness won’t last long.