Not Spec-tacular but Jonathan Earns his keep at Birmingham City

Versatility can be a useful attribute for a footballer, especially one with limited ability. And having a player that’s a decent enough performer in four positions is a real bonus for a manager. Jonathan Spector has been offered a new deal at Blues and my assumption is that Gary Rowett sees his versatile nature as a key brush in the make-up of his squad.

Let’s look at the facts – Spector is now 29 years old and in his four seasons at St. Andrew’s he has made 127 appearances, an average of 32 every campaign. Yes, he is prone to injuries and that coupled with being the highest paid player in Blues’ squad won’t convince the doubter’s that Rowett has made the right call in offering him fresh terms. We mustn’t forget that the manager sees him in training every single day. And don’t his recent performances at centre back warrant the new contract? At Bolton, he was a stand-out performer.

The American can play anywhere across the back as well as central midfield, and while he isn’t Blues’ best option in any of those positions, he is decent second choice in all of them. The manager’s he has played under at Blues have all rated him highly, especially Chris Hughton who signed him from West Ham back in 2011. Most notably, Lee Clark went on record to say that Spector was ‘probably our most consistent player’. And clearly, Rowett is keen on retaining his services.

Spector was spotted by Manchester United whilst representing USA U17’s in a Milk Cup fixture. Sir Alex Ferguson gave him a debut in the Community Shield match against Arsenal at Wembley in 2004. After a successful loan spell at Charlton Athletic, Alan Pardew paid £500,000 to take him to West Ham where he clocked up 115 appearances. Then five seasons later, Hughton bought him to the Second City and his debut came in the goalless draw at Nacional in the Europa League qualifier.

As most Blues fans will know, Spector severely lacks pace and at times he has the tendency to do his trademark ‘blind pass’. You Bluenoses must have seen the several occasions he has passed the ball sideways across his own area without even looking at the situation. For the most part, he has got away with it, but it has cost Blues the odd goal in the past. I, for one, haven’t decided on Spector’s best position. He has been fairly impressive at centre back in recent games alongside Michael Morrison, but I do not see him as a permanent fixture in that position. Rowett’s trail of thought is probably completely different to mine, though.

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