Tuesday, 26 July 2011

What's next for Vladi?

At the end of the 2010-11 season Vladimir Weiss (21) stated that he had spoken to Mancini and was given the impression he would spend another year on loan to hone his talent playing on a regular basis.

He had a mixed time in his season-long loan with Rangers (both on and off the pitch), ultimately lacking the consistency that hampered his inclusion in City's 1st team. The early indication was that a team in Spain, possibly Espanyol, would be the Slovak's next destination. But would being sent to Spain really be of any help to him at the level he's at when it comes to playing in England?

There would be definite benefits to it as Spanish teams focus much more on technique than English clubs tend to do, and the pace of the Spanish league would mean he would get more time on the ball than he would in England enabling him to develop that side of his game.

But here's my point, Vladi is already technically adept. If you've followed City for a while you will know that this lad has always been very good on the ball but has always lacked the end product, that final ball into the box on a regular basis.

In the first game of pre-season against Club America it looked like we had the same old Vladi (albeit with a few more tattoos), bags of pace and dribbling ability that ran down a blind ally and got tackled before delivering a ball into the box. But in the second half he slowed his game down a little, took a second or two to look up and did make quite a few outstanding passes. He also did this against Vancouver, showing that when he holds back from just belting down the wing he does possess a good range of passing prompting me to even consider he could play a similar role to David Silva given a little time.

Weiss was certainly one of the stand-out players of the US tour for City with his pace and energy. We still have the Dublin Super Cup to play in yet so if he is involved he may impress enough to stay with City this season. But if not and the loan option is explored, where would offer Weiss regular and competitive game time needed for his further development?

Firstly I would prefer him to stay in England. He not only has pace but he has acquired a good deal of strength over the last year or two so he has the attributes to be able to cope with the physicality of the English game. That being the case I would have chosen a club in the Premier League, but which one?

Bolton Wanderers would be high on the list of preferred suitors. The last two seasons have seen Owen Coyle's side play some attractive football whilst utilizing a couple of young players from other Premiership clubs (Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge). Coyle does seem to have a knack of getting his players to up their game and before becoming Manager of Bolton he won promotion from the Championship with Burnley which in itself was a fantastic achievement.

This will most likely not happen now as it appears as though Coyle is set to sign Chris Eagles (a player who greatly improved under Coyle's management) from his former employers at Burnley. So who else is there?

How about Aston Villa? They've just lost Ashley Young to Manchester United and Stuart Downing to Liverpool and although they look to be in line to sign N'Zogbia from Wigan that still leaves them short of one wide man. My only problem with this move though is that I don't think McLeish would be the right man to improve Vladi's game any more than it has done and give him the confidence to push on.

I know I've said I'd prefer him to go to a team in the Premiership if he was to be loaned out, but there's another team in the North West I think would be good for him. Burnley. No stop laughing, bare with me on this. Burnley are almost certainly going to lose Chris Eagles, possibly the most creative player in the squad and he will be a big miss for them this coming season.

Vladi can play the exact same positions as Eagles, but is quicker and I'd say he's also stronger then the 25 year old. I'd hazard a guess at him being a sure fire starter for almost every game and although it's not the Premiership I'll stick my neck out and say it's better overall than what he was playing against in Scotland.

Then there's the factor of Eddie Howe being the manager there. Howe is touted as one of the best young managers in the football league at this moment in time after gaining promotion with AFC Bournemouth in 2010. Although Howe's ability to nurture young and aspiring talent has yet to be really tested, Vladi has the necessary talent already and just needs regular competitive games and a manager with enthusiasm to boost and keep his confidence high and bring the best out of him. I believe Burnley and Howe can offer them both as they strive to get back into the Premiership.

Whether a move like this could happen is yet to be seen, but there has been a feint whisper that it could be a possibility. And lets look at the positives (as there are very few negatives); It's a short journey from Manchester, Ben Mee and Kieran Trippier (Vladi will know both very well from City's FA Youth Cup winning squad) are already there, the opportunity of plenty of games in a physically demanding environment with the responsibility of providing that creative spark, and an enthusiastic and talented young manager with designs on pushing the team forward. If Vladi does go out on loan, Burnley could well be the best place for him.

1 comment:

  1. You were right, Eagles just signed 3 yr contract with Bolton...


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