Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Monday August 15 2011
Being asked to play out of position is often thought in footballing circles as a big ask.
In essence it seems pretty simple... large hulking man with good fitness and paid by the bucket load being deployed in a different part of the pitch appears fairly simple and not that strange.
But the attributes required to play central midfield and centre back are very different.
A central midfielder is required to be more mobile, to cover more ground across a football pitch and to provide a link between defence and attack.
Sure with both positions you have to be strong in the tackle and have a certain level of discipline but with a defensive role comes a higher degree of anticipation and positional awareness.
On both those counts young Steve N'Zonzi fell brutally short on Saturday. It wasn't pretty, his deployment at centre back was done out of necessity not choice but it did knock the stuffing out of the tall Frenchman.
It's occasions like that which can knock a guy's confidence for a long period of time.
But despite being the worst performer on the pitch by a fair distance, one horror show should not cloud the fact that Steve N'Zonzi will be a BIG player for Rovers this season.
Steve Kean has set us out to be expansive and attack this season. We actually have the players (bar that one big striker) to open sides up but we need that solid base at the back of the midfield that allows us to settle and protect our interests at the other end of the pitch.
Steve N'Zonzi is that man and he has the capabilities to regain the level of form and confidence that allowed him to be Player of the Season two years ago.
He's never, not in a million years, a centre back but he is most definitely a quality central midfield player.
A return to his prime position will see the Zonz come out of the traps.
Date:Monday August 15 2011
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