Martini Time For Collins
Steve Claridge has given his own person take on Wolves defensive power house Neill Collins performance on Sunday, and his potential in the game.
Talking in the Grauniad, Claridge has nothing but praise for the young centre-half who has turned out to be yet another of Mick McCarthy's shrewd transfers.
Likening him to Arsenal legend Tony Adams he says :
'I like him immensely, an opinion clearly shared by Mick McCarthy...'
'He uses his height and strength well and on Sunday was clever in using his frame to stand over West Bromwich Albion's Kevin Phillips, not allowing the forward to utilise his fantastic spring.
'He went through the back of his opponent a couple of times to let him know he was there and his single-mindedness to spot the danger from the person he was marking was clear for all to see.'
'I also liked the way Collins looked after his team-mates, particularly after one (Michael Kightly)had been on the end of a nasty challenge. He was quick to remonstrate with the offending player on that occasion - managers like it when players look after each other on the pitch. That togetherness cultivates good team spirit and Collins has bought into that collective philosophy.
'He attacked everything with relish, enjoying the physical challenge, but also revealed a mental capacity that meant he was anything but limited in his play. He is still learning but there is enough promise to suggest Wolves pulled off a coup to get him for only £150,000 in January.
'Many people argue about whether this player could play in that era, or whether that player could cut it in modern football. But I have been in the game for 25 years and I saw a player in Collins who could play any time, any place and anywhere.'
Claridge may not be the most popular person at Molineux, but few are likely to argue with that assessment.