Kieron Dyer: Jack’s back! But would I start Flynn against Rochdale?
Former Ipswich Town star KIERON DYER takes another look at the footballing world, from Ipswich Town to Gareth Bale and Soccer AM!
I always enjoyed working with Jack Lankester when I was coaching at Town.
A ‘fearless’ player he has come back from a horrible back injury but certainly made his mark on Saturday at Bristol Rovers.
When I call him ‘fearless’, what I mean is, Jack is a player who is always trying to create. He doesn’t always take the easy option and often looks for that ‘killer ball’.
Jack has come through the ranks with striker Charlie Brown, who has now moved onto Chelsea. Jack would always be putting balls through for Charlie to score - they were a great combination.
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Jack’s playing wide at the moment but probably his best position is in the No.10 role. But it’s rare to break straight into a first team position like the No.10. I remember playing a whole season at right back when I first broke into first-team football, before moving into midfield.
So, at the moment at Town, with us playing 4-3-3, Jack is going to be playing wide. We really only have Gwion Edwards as an out and out winger, although playing wide does at least give Jack a chance to cut inside.
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On Saturday it was good to see him back and making an impression when he came on.
His injury last season was a tough one to come through, but he has done so, although I know the physios at the club will be keeping a close eye on him.
Jack was certainly one of the bright spots to come out of the Paul Hurst era.
Hurst clearly took a shine to him and Paul Lambert carried that on when he took over. Let’s hope it’s the start of a good run of form and games for young Jack.
As well as Jack coming on the field of play to make an impression on Saturday, so did Flynn Downes.
I said in this column last week Flynn needs to play and he is doing just that - and impressing when he does come on. Now the conversation has moved onto whether Flynn should start against Rochdale - there was talk of whether he should start at Bristol.
But Flynn’s inclusion in the starting line-up is down to the manager. Paul Lambert has gone on record praising the current midfield three, Andre Dozzell, Teddy Bishop and Jon Nolan - and that’s fair enough.
My thoughts on it are this. If you are the best player in the team, you should play.
I believe if Kevin De Bruyne or Sadio Mané came back from injury they would get straight back into Manchester City or Liverpool teams, regardless on how the team had been playing.
It’s tough and that’s football but that’s very much the challenge managers have.
However, it’s two league wins out of two for Town and just the start we all wanted.
I think the pleasing thing about it all at the moment is not only are we getting the results, but our style of play is also pleasing.
Last season although we made a great start, I think many people felt - I know I did - we weren’t actually playing that great and some results could have gone a different way. So, to be playing nicely and getting results is a double plus for everyone at the club.
I see Gareth Bale is back in English football. I’m pleased about that, apart from anything else I might get to have a game of golf with him. We know each other well and share the same agent!
I think Gareth had a bit of a rough deal at Real Madrid to be honest, He helped them win numerous trophies during his time there and his goal ratio for Madrid is excellent.
Spurs have some attacking options now! Wow! Dele Alli wasn’t even on the bench when they beat Southampton 5-2.
There have been plenty of goals so far in the Premier League and I think some of it has to do with the risk or reward strategy teams are taking by playing out from the back. When it works it looks good and teams can build, but one mistake and it only takes two passes from the opposition for the ball to be in the back of the net.
I was on Soccer AM on Saturday, with my good friend DJ Spoony.
It was good to catch up with Jimmy Bullard, who was a big favourite at Town of course when he was here. I beat Jimmy in the drill challenges, but had a nightmare with the volley game! I blame it on the Michael Jordan trainers - good for basketball, not for football!
I’m doing co-commentary for Villa’s home clash with Sheffield United tonight on Five Live. I like doing radio as I always think you manage to say more and give the fans more of an insight into tactics, etc. You are their eyes. It will also be my first time watching a game with no fans in the stadium. I’m sure it will be a bit surreal.
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON