The media and the Ibrox fan sites are wetting their pants again over Calvin Bassey, but amidst all the outpourings of joy and rapture they have missed a few crucial facts from the report they are basing all of their euphoria on.
They are all quoting the same source; a blog called All Nigeria Soccer. Yes, that’s what they are relying on for all the rave reviews for Bassey’s performance for their national team in a match against the mighty footballing superpower of Ecuador.
All the reports quote the same wee section about him.
“The Rangers defender was great in his left-back role … he kept El Tricolor’s defenders on their toes with driving runs and outstanding deliveries into the box. Would have gotten a few assists if the strikers brought their shooting boots to New Jersey.”
Apart from how amusing I find it that the Nigerian national team is nicknamed El Tricolor, you’ll have noticed the paragraph break, represented in those three dots. Now, a paragraph break is usually used in a quote to eliminate extraneous information or repetition … but occasionally it is used by unscrupulous types to gloss over something important.
So what’s in that space between how great he was and the line about keeping opposition defenders on their toes? What could it possibly be?
Well, some fairly critical words actually. They are; “despite a few positional mistakes.”
Hmm. So other than a few positional mistakes – a critical skill for a defender – he was pretty good, right? Against the strikers from Ecuador. His forward play was good. Wow. How wonderful. But he’s a defender at the end of the day, and in that particular element of his game there were “a few positional mistakes.”
Remember that piece I posted about him about a week ago, highlighting some of his “positional mistakes” from last season? Some of them were pretty costly. That’s what happens when a defender is caught cold, when he makes “a few positional mistakes.”
It costs his team points, and even trophies.
It’s not hard to see why the reports wanted to leave that particular observation out, is it? I’ll tell you what though; watching scouts will not have missed it. They will see those “positional mistakes” as critical factors in deciding whether to recommend him to clubs.