Date: 4th September 2016 at 10:15pm
Written by:

One of the few things that has disappointed me this season, has been the criticism from some areas towards George Cooper.

Us as Crewe fans should know as well as anybody that player development is a slow, winded process and that we should accept the frustration when it comes because it all becomes worth it in the end.

I do believe, however, that a lot more can be done by the people in charge to deflect the criticism that gets directed towards him.

Before I begin, I`ll just clarify that this isn`t a dig at the manager, at George Cooper; or anything that is happening at the club at this present moment in time.

But the debate exists; is George Cooper operated and used correctly when he features for Crewe Alex?

I recall an interview the manager, Steve Davis, gave last season. He basically said that in his own opinion, he should be operated in a right-wing role, where he believed he was personally more effective.

I happen to believe that he is wasted in this position.

When he first broke into the team, towards the end of 2014, he was used in a role where he played just off the lone striker; or as otherwise known the ‘number 10` position.

Although he was young, held no baggage and had no real pressure on him; that was the best spell that I have ever seen him have as a first team player and when operated in a similar role for the under-18 squad in their respected youth cup run that took them to Man City, when he looked equally as capable.

For me, the reasons for that are simple. Cooper is in my opinion, the best creative player at the club. He has that ability to find the killer pass in dangerous areas. The ability to find the runs of forwards and generally make something happen.

He is not the sort of player who can consistently beat a player with skill, defend a wing or beat a player for pace. In my opinion, that is just not his game.

His ability shines when he has the opportunity to, as mentioned above, find a pass or when he is provided with the opportunity to create a dangerous opening. So for me, he should be provided with the opportunity to do this.

James Coppinger did a similar job for Doncaster on Saturday, he was the type of player that his forwards trusted to find them when they get into the correct position. I fully believe that should he be given time to grow into this position, and develop accordingly, Cooper could eventually become the same player in our team.

The beauty of football is that it is a complete and utter opinions game. Nobody is right, nobody is wrong.

If the manager believes that he can get the best out of George in his current position, then I hold every belief that he can. After all, I and the rest of the fanbase only see him for the hour and half of entertainment that we are provided with on a Saturday afternoon.

The manager, on the other hand, sees him every working day of the week, so realistically; should know his game inside out.

It would just be a shame to his development stall because of decisions that are out of his control.

By Steven Dale