Often Partisan

Jacques Maghoma

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.


58 Responses to “Jacques Maghoma”

  • Kaje says:

    You’re absolutely right, he has been a revelation and has got better and better as the season has continued.

    What worries me is whether the club will revert to a selling one in the Summer. We know there’s ‘money’ available – although how much is anyone’s guess – but will we need to move players like Maghoma on if interest comes in?

  • Dave Mann says:

    Biggest critic in pre season as I saw him in friendly games where he was bloody awful and that’s putting it mildly but he’s certainly changed my opinion and as staffs says he’s first on the teamsheet for me along with Toral and a fit Cotterill so hope he starts tomorrow in a 4-2-3-1 formation for away games … Kuszczak, Shotton, Morrison, Robinson, Grounds, Kieftenbeld, Gleeson, Cotterill, Toral , Maghoma, Donaldson….That’s the team I think Rowett will go with though I would argue Caddis for Shotton and play him centre half and other fans might want Fabbrini starting but for me it’s Toral because even though he’s more than likely going back to Arsenal he’s here for these last 14 games and he has to play if we’re to have any chance of a playoff position IMO. KRO

    • Bluedad says:

      Good article.
      I agree with DM’s comments and his team though I might want to squeeze Davis in, if just for his tigerish qualities like Maghoma, I think Robbo is there on merit and should stay where he is for now.

      • Alexjhurley says:

        Based on his performance v bolton, i’d say Caddis is a better RB than Shotton who did not impress – especially with the ball. If I were Caddis I’d be very aggrieved indeed if not picked on Sat.

        • ChrisG says:

          Agreed Alex, I think Caddis offers a lot more going forward than Shotton. I just wonder if GR isn’t a fan of Caddis cos he dropped him as soon as Eardly was fit too.

          • Mikeyboy says:

            Caddis is a defender. He cannot defend. Shotton is a defender. He can defend. There’s your answer

  • Rkboosh says:

    I think that team has a very solid look about it Dave and will be GR’s first choice through to seasons end — subject to injury and squad rotation. You can make a case for Caddis starting over Shotton in home games or against opposition lower in the league to give us more going forward. Well done Dan for shouting up an unsung hero in Maghoma and next you might think about Jonathan Grounds bcs I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves and was very solid again on Tuesday.

  • Jaffa says:

    Agreed Dave Mann.Qpr are there for the taking and your team selection look’s spot on.I am going tomorrow and i will keep an eye on Maghoma.

    • Dave Mann says:

      I’ll be there to mate , looking forward to it and if Hull can spank Wednesday tonight and we beat the Rangers then it’s all square again with 6th place and 13 cup finals left ! KRO

      • paule says:

        If Hull spank Sheffield tonight & we can beat QPP then we’ll be on the same points as them with a game in hand so fingers crossed, got my tickets for tomorrow so hope its a good win for us!! KRO & come on Stoke

  • DaveP says:

    At the start of the season I was worried Maghoma would be the new Gomis, but since watching him against Bristol Rovers in the cup earlier this year he’s been one of GR’s best signings.

  • Surnoble says:

    On that note Dave we suddenly find ourselves with arguably 2 of the most creative players in the league in Toral and Fabrini and I think both should play because it seems to me all we have to do is give them the ball. Probably have to change formation but so be it

  • Agent McLeish says:

    In GR’s eyes JM was probably a zero risk signing as he knew the player so well from his Burton days. Like other players from the lower leagues he just needed a bit of time to adjust to a higher standard of football to see if he was up to it.

  • Tilton Blue says:

    I was at the game on Tuesday and can only agree with all of the positive comments aimed at mags and he did deserve his MOTM award BUT… i counted 4 or 5 occasions when he did great work cut in cut out cut back in again but didn’t shoot? i think if he could add this to his game and stopped trying to “walk it in” he would be deadly and one of the best wingers in the division and his goal tally would be in double figures for the season, we would also have a 5 million pound player on our hands

    keep it up Mags my son, you get my vote KRO

  • I thought Maghoma was man of the match on Tuesday in what was a poor game where Blues didn’t play well but fortunately came away with a win. I agree with Dave Mann’s comments 100%. With respect to Shotton, I didn’t think he had the best of games and I would certainly consider bringing Paul Caddis back in for him but it’s all a matter of opinion isn’t it?

  • All teams have to have what i call bread and butter players , grafters that keep the team in a game when the team looks like being overrun ., Jacques is in that group …..KRO

  • Bax1875 says:

    Couldn’t agree more with this piece, Maghoma really does epitomise the working ethos that Rowett is trying to instil into our club/team. Didn’t realise until Tuesday just how easy he can beat a man as well.. Squeaky bum time now ladies and gents, final push in what has already been a fantastic season.

    Very proud. #KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I must be one of the few who hasn’t been surprised by Maghoma’s form. His form wasn’t brilliant at the start of the season, but when you consider that he spent 9 of the first 10 games on the subs bench waiting for Gray to sod off, you can understand it tbh. Since he’s had a run in the team, he’s not had that many poor games, certainly no more than anyone else. He’d definitely be amongst the first players on the team sheet for me.

    As for the 4-2-3-1, it’s served it’s purpose, but I’ve never been a fan tbh. I prefer the 4-3-3, which works both at home and away.

    • ChrisG says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more staffs. My only criticism of Magoma is that he doesn’t shoot often enough, but that’s just me being picky. He’s definately gotta be the fastest in the squad & certainly one of the fittest for the amount of ground he covers. It’s a toss up for me between him & Torel for player of the season atm.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        That is the one fault with Mags, he tends to over-egg the twists and turns a bit. If he could let fly a fraction earlier, he might have a few more goals by now. It’s his strength and power that often drives us forward.. and his defensive duties can’t be faulted either.

    • Dave Mann says:

      I wouldn’t argue with 4-3-3 tomorrow staffs with Davis coming in and maybe Cotterill starting from the bench . KRO

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Yes, I’d definitely bring Davis in for this one. Also, with Gleeson and Kieftenbeld sailing close to the wind with bookings, Davis needs some game time. I think the 4-3-3 will snuff out QPR’s attacking game too.

    • Barny Blue says:

      I believe that 4-2-3-1 suits us better to be honest Staffs. 4-3-3 doesn’t make the most of our creative ‘number 10’ players, and risks Donny becoming even more isolated. 4-2-3-1 allows us to have more attacking players on the pitch with more options going forward. With that said, I can see a role for 4-3-3 for certain away games, but as the need for victories becomes ever more vital as the season draws to it’s conclusion, I think 4-2-3-1 gives us the better chance for success. KRO!

  • Eudyptula says:

    Hi all.
    Hope it’s not out of place to ask if anyone has a couple of tickets for the QPR game? They were sold out by Monday. :/ Cheers.

  • Tony says:

    He should have scored that one against the Vile

  • Steve in Yorkshire says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Deserves the credit. I just wish he would just put his foot through it more rather than always trying to work a shooting angle, but great at what he does. I do think he would complement Cotterill better though as they offer something different. Maghoma doesn’t get hardly any crosses in, he tends to link up short instead or cuts inside. When we have Mags and say Buckley on the other side balls don’t seem to get crossed in.

    In terms of Shotton, I think his distribution did look rusty at times v Bolton. I thought he did better at Rotherham, but I do like him and with Robbo at centre half offers another body with height and physicality to complement Grounds and Morro which is important in modern football. We all love Caddis and he certainly offers more coming forward, but defensively he is limited, as was Eardley when fit!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Yes, Caddis is excellent going forward, but he often leaves our right side wide open to counter attacks. That’s been responsible for a number of goals conceded this season. Because our game is based on being strong defensively, I think that’s probably why Rowett is in two minds with Caddis.

      • jonno11blue says:

        There have been more goals come from our left, due to Grounds being totally out of position or allowing the player to just walk pass him. We’ve needed a left back for 12 months but GR still picks him week in week out why? And as for his passing on Tuesday in the first half alone he failed to find a blue shirt on at least a dozen occassions

  • Rob says:

    Shotton was poor (distribution wise) on Tuesday but we can’t dismiss on the basis of that one game surely. Talk about being reactionary. Take a one game snapshot of any player at blues and if you pick the right one they could look awful, it’s where we are at. We haven’t conceded, albeit against poor sides, in either game Shotton has played in. Why would he change it???

    Agree completely re Maghoma. We played sheff weds away around a year ago and I remember seeing this guy go past 2 of our players….rapid, great feet and looked strong and powerful….then he carried on running and ran the ball straight out for a throw in without even looking like he wanted to stop. When we signed him I thought as long as we tell him the boundaries of the pitch we’ll have a player here

  • Mitchell says:

    I don’t think a day will pass without my lifelong gratitude to Caddis. We all remember where we were when that ball hit the Bolton net. It is up there with Martins goal at Wembley and of course Carter’s goal against Norwich. Apart from emotion-Caddis is the player we need to push upfield. Shotton is ok but that is simply not enough to displace imo a far better player. Tomorrow is a tricky game with Phillips a real threat and therefore only one man to keep him from scoring is Davis. Play Fabrinni and Toral by all means but MK and DD is essential.

    • Bax1875 says:

      Well said Mitchell. I doubt there was a bloke here that wasn’t in tears that day…

    • Dave Mann says:

      Sorry Mitchell but when Martins scored we won a major trophy , when Carter scored we got in to the premier league , when Caddis scored it kept us out of league one … It was relief more than celebration , with respect please remember that because we’ve got out of league one before it was easy , winning a major trophy and getting in to the premier league is much much bigger , not digging by let’s put things in perspective , I was there at Bolton and it does not come near Wembley , Brugge , millennium so that’s my opinion .KRO

      • Shirley Blue says:

        And we got lucky that day as Leicester, who had already won the title, beat Doncaster or Caddis’s goal wouldn’t have mattered. To be perfectly honest the 2 and a bit years under LC I will never look back on with any fondness – we were appalling. That day at Bolton was all about avoiding disaster it wasn’t a success in any way.

        • Dave Mann says:

          Totally agree mate . KRO

          • Bax1875 says:

            Don’t disagree with either of you but I know I wasn’t the only nose that day worried. League 1 had the potential to ruin us a club…

            I’m with Mitchell, and I was at Millennium, Brugge and Wembley.

            I think the one thing we can agree on is we never want to be in that precarious situation again!


      • Mitchell says:

        Yes I take your point totally- but it was the whole circumstances at the time. We had endured a terrible few years with horrific Saturday’s ending each week lower than the week before. Clark was totally shot ,Zigic out of favour and with league one beckoning with realistically no chance of an immediate return -if anything we could have been in for worse the following season. Zigic header gave us hope but only that-but that lingering ball in the air for the smallest guy on the pitch to head in did something to me physically that only is on apar to Martins and Carter. I was at all three memorable games and have to be honest that the relief of Bolton was beyond words.Wembley and Millenium were different as they were pure joy.

        • Dan Hickman says:

          You’re all wrong, Paul Tait’s was the best! ;-) I agree Dave that trophies and promotion to the promised land are better achievements, and mere survival is not something to be celebrated, but the thought of what would have happened to the club had we gone down still makes me shudder now because I don’t think it would have been anything like as easy as 95. As for Leicester, I think it was Danny Murphy scoring for Fulham late on that took our relegation from the PL out of our hands? Other results have always had an impact. I wasn’t at the Bolton game because I have to be selective which games I can make and I wasn’t there in 2011 because I was in Afghanistan, but still feel entitled to an opinion on how important each was for our club. KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    As I was Mitchell and yes it was relief .. But the other two was pure joy , that’s the difference . KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    There’s an article on bcfc this afternoon: “Gary Rowett says he has been so impressed by the performances of Jacques Maghoma he is looking to reward the winger with a new and improved contract.” Good job.

  • Dave Mann says:

    As cilla would of said , supprise supprise . KRO

  • Steve-0 says:

    Come on you Tigers !!!!

  • Waycoolblue says:

    DAN when I posted on your site that Maghoma would be a important player for us and a game changer You shot me down and told me I was speeding fouls hope. Well hope you like Humble Pie.
    I know you will not allow this to post to your site but I hope you read it and see that you are not always right.

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