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Player of the Season nominations – Steven Caldwell

I guess this one has to start with an apology. When Blues signed Caldwell back in the summer, I was distinctly underwhelmed. The first time I saw him play (the Hereford friendly), I thought he looked slow, ring-rusty and just not good enough. Over the season though the Scottish centre back has shown the sort of consistency that proves he’s a dependable defender.

Although he often gets overshadowed by his regular defensive partner Curtis Davies when people talk about games, I think it would be unfair to say Davies was the sole reason Blues have such a mean defence. Caldwell does everything you want of a central defender; he gets blocks in, he makes good tackles and he’s got half-decent distribution. Moreover, he goes about his duties with a calm and composed air that help keep the team settled at the back.

Against Nacional back in August I picked up the first clues that I was massively wrong about our Scottish centre back. Despite it being a somewhat makeshift eleven out in Madeira, Blues played really well and Caldwell was one of the standout performers; not only defending with class but also being unlucky not to score.

I normally sit in the family stand, so it’s not that often I get a behind the goal perspective when watching Blues. As Coventry’s away stand was behind the one end I made sure to watch the defence more than usual during the game last weekend. Caldwell was pretty decent; in the first half he made a great saving tackle after a break from the Sky Blues – the kind of tackle where you have to be bang on or you give away a penalty. He did it with a coolness that made me think a little of Kenny Cunningham – maybe not the quickest defender but with enough of a footballing brain to understand where a striker is likely to make a run and to be able to stop it.

He’s been doing it all season though – to pick up only five yellow cards in forty-two appearances pretty much proves that he doesn’t often make rash challenges – because he doesn’t need to. Whilst we all love a proper goal-saving last-ditch block a la Roger Johnson it’s great to have a centre-back who doesn’t have to resort to that to keep out an attacker. I think his calmness is also the main reason he wears the armband in the absence of Stephen Carr; he’s not a ranter but he clearly does lead the defence and the team when needed.

It’ll be interesting if Caldwell can keep his place in the team should the Blues get promoted back to the top flight, but I can’t see any reason why he shouldn’t. At 31, he’s not incredibly old for a defender; whilst he’s not quick I don’t think it’ll be a bar to him doing well for Blues – especially if paired with a more mobile centre half such as Davies. I hope he can deliver more of the polished performances we’ve come to expect in the next year.

Steven Caldwell stats – 41(1) appearances, 0 goals.

Voting will begin on Sunday.

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4 Responses to “Player of the Season nominations – Steven Caldwell”

  • RichardW says:

    Curtis just edges it for me because of his goals but I endorse everything you say about Caldwell. He’s a leader and a footballing centre-half and he complements Curtis in the same way Upson and Cunningham were such a good partnership – his distribution is far better than Cunningham’s though.

  • nicko says:

    i think its the hardest player of the year for a long time spectre the steady eddie never lets us
    down murphy best season for us davis and caldwell rocks fahey improproves every game
    burke a match winner i must admit myhill still worries me.if i had to pick one it would be murphy
    special mention to elliot rooney and ibanez never let us down never moaned k r o

  • jazzzy786 says:

    I still say Burke though there has been great performances by Curtis, Murphy, King, Caldwell.

  • Bluehobba says:

    Totally agree that Caldwell has had a good season. I knew of him but never really knew what he was like before he came to Blues. He has formed a great partnership with Davies and I do feel slightly uncomfortable when either one of them is missing from the side. They have both been worth a lot of points for Blues so far.


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