- Birmingham City
- Current Squad
- Development Squad
- Ladies Team
- Out on Loan
- Former Players
- Boards and Advisors
- Appearance Data 2014/2015
- Charity Partner
- Website Info
- The Book
- Social Media
- Contact Me
While it was an ugly win for Blues against Bolton on Tuesday there were a few players who caught the eye as having great games. The club eulogised on social media about Diego Fabbrini’s flip-flap before the goal along with two passes from Jon Toral. However, I think they overlooked a player who has become increasingly important for us of late – Jacques Maghoma.
I’ll be honest and say that back in the autumn I wasn’t sure about the former Sheffield Wednesday winger. I couldn’t see what he would bring to a team that had David Cotterill and Demarai Gray practically as first picks on the teamsheet and guessed the Congolese had been brought in to build squad depth.
Cotterill got injured though, and Gray got sold and as such Maghoma became an increasingly important member of the attack. His directness, his willingness to run at defenders impressed me because it pushed teams back – but on Tuesday I realised that isn’t all Maghoma does that is so important.
It’s a bit of a cliche to talk about “defending from the front” but that is exactly what Maghoma does. He’s great at chasing down players in the final third and forcing them into making mistakes – winning the ball for Blues in a dangerous situation and turning defence into attack. I counted four occasions on Tuesday where Maghoma caught a Bolton defender in possession and took the ball deep in the Bolton half.
The unfortunate bit is sometimes this defending has come as a result of him losing the ball – like DJ Campbell was for us Maghoma is great when he doesn’t have to think about what he’s doing but when faced with a decision he often takes the wrong one. That being said I have nothing but admiration for a player who will make the effort to chase down a ball that has been given away and win it back – it’s that kind of tigerish attitude I think we value highly as Blues fans.
With five goals in 34 appearances (22 starts) only Jon Toral (6) and Clayton Donaldson (7) have scored more than Maghoma for Blues this season. I think the fact Cotterill has been out injured for large chunks has something to do with why he’s not as high up the scoring list but that being said Maghoma strikes me as one of the best players we have in a 4-3-3 to support Donaldson from wide.
I wasn’t surprised to hear that there was interest in Maghoma in the transfer window from abroad; at 28 he’s in the prime years of his career and I think his form has not been better for a while. I can imagine that as opposed to some of the other wingers in the Championship the former Burton man might be seen as a cheaper option and I think it’s possible we’ll see more interest in him this summer, regardless of where we finish up.
Maghoma is everything that the Rowett revolution at Blues has meant to be – taking cheaper players with a bit of potential and giving them the right role to maximise what they can do. I’m hopeful that in the remaining weeks he remains as the spearhead of the fight for promotion.
Tags: Jacques Maghoma