Often Partisan

Save the Saviour?

Paul Caddis completed 90 minutes today for Blues Development Squad as they won their PDL clash with Ipswich 3-2 at Playford Road. The full-back has only featured in the first team once this season, playing wide right in the 1-0 extra time loss to Oxford United in the EFL Cup.

The complete omission of Paul Caddis from the Blues first team in the Championship this year has been one that has met with some confusion and disappointment by fans. While I think it’s fair to say Caddis isn’t a superstar, he has been a fairly reliable force at right-back prior to this season and it’s easy to understand how the reluctance of Gary Rowett to pick him would be met with questions.

I think there are a few reasons why Caddis has been bombed out of the squad; some which are public knowledge and some which aren’t. Brian Dick reported in the Birmingham Mail that Caddis’ fitness was definitely an issue, Rowett stating:

I just felt as though condition-wise he [Caddis] wasn’t quite where I wanted him to be – yet.

Having seen him in pre-season, I can understand this viewpoint. I said a month or so back that the new Adidas kit wasn’t doing Caddis any favours, with the Irvine-born full-back looking particularly portly around the saddlery regions against Solihull Moors (and yes, I do know how ironic it is me saying that). It seemed obvious even then that he was going to get bombed out in favour of someone else.

I think Caddis’ lack of height also works against him. I’ve remarked on how Rowett seems to have followed the Tony Pulis path, wanting a tall backline including full-backs and at 5’7 Caddis is nowhere near the required size. I have to admit that this is something I don’t agree with Rowett at all on; while I can agree at centre-back height is needed I think full-back is a much more complicated position and it requires not only a player who can defend but one who can support attacks too and thus I’m not a believer height is such an issue as a bit of attacking nous is.

However, I do wonder if the biggest reason Caddis has been seemingly bombed out is because he’s pulled a “David Edgar”. I’ve heard rumours – and I must stress, only rumours – that Caddis has told Rowett he sees his position further forward. If this rumour is true, then I can only imagine Caddis is done; Rowett has shown in the past not only with the aforementioned Edgar but also with Wes Thomas that he does bear grudges and will completely drop a player from contention if that player crosses him with his opinion.

If this truly is the case, then it’s not good. Caddis showed against Oxford that while he’s a fairly competent Championship level full-back, he’s not even a League One level midfielder and the Scot should accept that. On the other hand, I think Blues – and David Cotterill in particular – are missing what Caddis can offer in the full-back berth and while Jonathan Spector is a capable defender he’s not a person to burst forwards on the overlap supporting a wide midfielder – and we do need that.

I hope I’ve heard wrong; that Caddis will show his mettle and do what he needs to win his place back. I’m not saying that Caddis is the “saviour”; however what I am saying is that I think he is too big a player in our squad currently to be bombed out.

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