Vital Wolves member Daniel Grigg runs the rule over on loan from Chelsea man Michael Mancienne.
I think most of us would be in agreement that Michael Mancienne had his best game of the season on Saturday against Sunderland, but he still lacks consistent positional awareness.
He takes up poor positions so often in midfield that you find it hard to believe he ever came through at a club where Claude Makalele, John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien were playing.
What Mancienne is good at is defending in deep areas of the pitch, either in his better position as a central defender or as a very deep lying midfielder. He played pretty deep against Sunderland and defended well, but it does mean the midfield sometimes feels like it’s often on the back foot and defending too much, apart from Jarvis and Milijas of course.
Unfortunately with Henry and Guedioura both injured, Mick McCarthy now doesn’t really have a any choice but to continue with Mancienne in midfield, but it might cost us.
His passing is definitely good enough to play in midfield, but it would be great if he really started to impose himself in the middle of the pitch and seemed to fill the space. Too often he gets bypassed or doesn’t seem to really stamp his authority on a game and I feel this is probably done to the slight lack of positional awareness.
The fact he’s played so many games for the England under 21s speaks volumes; I think it’s somewhere approaching 30 matches for Stuart Pearce now. He’s got plenty of natural talent both tackling and passing, but it’s the awareness of danger and on occasions the lack of urgency that’s stopping him really becoming a top quality player.
Having said that, James Milner and Tom Huddlestone both played tonnes of games for the under 21s and had times when people thought they weren’t good enough and now they’re two of the most highly rated players in the Premier League.
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