Date: 4th March 2017 at 5:31pm
Written by:

As the team news was unveiled today, ahead of our match against Portsmouth at Fratton Park, many Crewe fans were quick to highlight a noticeable absence. Winger George Cooper was only named on the bench, which came as a shock as many fans consider him one of our key players – he is hailed by our ‘player of the season’ so far by many supporters. David Artell named the starting 11 as:

1 Garratt
2 Turton
5 Ray
6 Nugent
14 Bakayogo
18 Bingham
24 Cooke
8 Jones
22 Kiwomya
16 Bowery
21 Wintle

The bench consisting of; Richards, Kirk, Ng, Ainley, Pickering, Finney and of course George Cooper. Artell’s bold decision paid off, The Alex making the trip back to South Cheshire with three points courtesy of a 1-0 victory. Cooper playing the last 10 minutes off the bench. George has been a star turn this season impressing many with his positive performances, which have been much improved from last season’s negative approach.

Cooper admitted himself that he let himself and the team down with his low work rate and how he let his head drop when the game weren’t going his way. This season however has been a different story than that of last season, always looking to attack and not let his head drop – being willing to help his team to get back into the game. The youngster has initiated attacks with; short, confident and precise passing, good vision to try and pick that long piercing pass, which will tear defences apart as well as excellent and exciting off the ball movement making the attacks possible. My only concern with Cooper is his lack of consistency.
However being dropped will help improve that, it will help him realise a first tem spot isn’t always guaranteed – despite how influential you are or can be. It will give him the hunger, when he is given a first team spot to metaphorically say ‘I have to go out and cease this, it is a chance not a given and I have to keep it’. Knowing a place isn’t defiantly his will help him improve – he will want to earn his place, after all any player wants to be playing as much as possible.

I expect to see a return to the side for who fans call ‘super George Cooper’ and claim is ‘better than Zidane’, and consider the place on the bench to be a warning and a wake-up call to the young winger. However there is also the argument why change a winning side, to which my reply would simply be ‘you don’t’. If a side can go to Fratton Park to face a team who are 15 places and 22 points above you, unbeaten in 5 games, and win 1-0 when you are only 4 places clear of the drop zone in my opinion you do not change that side.

Next we face a struggling Newport County, who sit in a very uncomfortable position; 11 points clear of safety. It is a game we are more than capable of winning and realistically should win. They have won one out of their last 10 games, a statistic which is reflected in their league position.