Lee Bowyer has come out and defended his choice to buy smaller players, explaining they’re needed to have balance.
The Charlton manager recently brought back Erhun Oztumer to the club – a creative midfielder who sits at just 5’3”.
When asked about the signing by Richard Cawley from the South London Press, Bowyer told him that the team has to be able to play football and that there is no point in having 11 specimens who can’t kick the ball very well.
He said to the South London Press: “We have to be able to play, that’s the way we do things – we play football. There is no point me having a lot of meatheads who can’t play football, that wouldn’t suit the way we want to do things.
“We have got to have a balance – people who can compete and fight, who then give it to people who can play.
“We weren’t any different last season. I know the Championship is a more physical league, but I watched Cardiff and Reading on Sunday – Cardiff were big, strong and physical but it doesn’t mean they are going to win every match.
“Erhun can play on the right, left or as a number 10. He can also play left or right in a diamond. He brings us variation – he is clever.
“Erhun creates and scores goals, he’s quite similar to Jonny. It’s being able to rotate so that if I leave one out I have a good replacement that is not going to let us down. A lot of the lads we have brought in are like-for-like because we are going to need to rotate.
“It’s going to be tough this season, so once we do rotate two or three I want those coming in to be just as good.”
However, height and strength do not guarantee success, much like he said. So far, Williams has picked up three assists in as many games – the most out of anyone so far in the division. Playing in that attacking midfield position that Williams does, it can be beneficial to be smaller: he has a low centre of gravity – which is bound to improve his ability to control the ball – and he is able to sneakily find positions between opposition lines.
Much like Bowyer said, it is important they have a replacement for him if he gets injured or needs a rest, and with Oztumer they have that.
It is hard to argue with Lee Bowyer when you see how things have gone so far this season. Considering there are some players with really strong technical ability – such as Lyle Taylor, Williams, Cullen, Connor Gallagher etc. it’s important they get the most out of them and get them playing rather than just playing long balls.
What’s more, Bowyer has signed a lot of players who are capable of replacing each other straight away if there’s an injury or a problem. This way the players do not have to adapt to a new position or new style as they already know what to do and how to do it. Bowyer obviously feels this is a more sensible idea than buying a new squad which is just strong and trying to compete purely on a physical level – and so far, it’s working, with eight points out of twelve.
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