Date: 8th March 2017 at 8:05pm
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It has been revealed recently that an extension in experienced fullback Zoumana Bakayogo’s contract has been triggered, and as I understand it he has accepted it. Zooms, as he is more commonly known, is now contracted with The Railwaymen until 2018 -in my opinion, that is great news. Zooms brings bags of experience and ability into the side, whenever he plays, and that is much needed in a young squad. The 30 year old is also very vocal on the pitch which offers the younger and less experienced players guidance and support, as well as showing his knowledge for the beautiful game. He also appears to have a burning desire and passion, not just for the club but for the sport, and when he’s in the side that seems to rub off onto other players. If you can’t see his passion in his play, it is clear through the fact that when he played his first twenty minutes for Crewe after two years out with a knee injury ( which looked to have ended his career) he came of the pitch in tears saying ‘I never thought I’d play a game of football again’. Despite being one of the older players at the club, Zooms is still extremely agile and can get up and down the left flank for most of the 90 minutes, a great feature to have at any club.

Though Jon Guthrie appears the more favoured option in the left back position, especially under David Artell, I still believe the extension will come as a massive bonus to the club. I mentioned his passion in the opening paragraph, that has remained with him even though we are in a difficult position – it’s mindsets like that which can really aid a team, especially in tougher times. That mindset will be valuable and possibly even vital when we are coming onto the home straight, and need to remain consistent to stay up – it is very much a time where, as Artell worded it, it’s a case of dog-eat-dog.

Bakayogo got his first team recall when Jon Guthrie recently had some time off, to have and recover from a hernia injury. I personally believe Zooms has done enough to keep his spot in the starting eleven, though many other fans prefer Guthrie in the left back role. I am a fan of Guthrie but believe he is a lot more efficient in the centre back position, that is also because I prefer Zooms in that role – he is a full back by trade. As well as his defensive ability he also adds attacking qualities to the team, a huge advantage, which is massively valued in the modern game. Back to Guthrie though: According to the chants, sung by Crewe Alexandra supporters, ‘There ain’t no body like Jon Guthrie’ and ‘We all dream of a team of Jon Guthries’. For me over the course of this season so far, and previous seasons, both of those ‘statements’ are proving to be true. I have watched the Alex in most home games and multiple away during Guthrie’s time at The Alex, and have found him to be one of our most consistent players – however that is in the centre back role. The left back role, in my opinion, belongs to Zoumana Bakayogo. Guthrie’s role is centre half, however there is then the question: Do you drop Ray or Nugent? If any, which one do you drop? Those questions are up to people’s football philosophies, and simply opinions. But despite what your answer may be, the only people who can answer are Dave Artell and his coaching staff.