Jerome Thomas ticks all of Mick McCarthy’s boxes, says Matt Holland
- Credit: PA
Ipswich Town trialist Jerome Thomas ticks all of manager Mick McCarthy’s usual boxes, according to Matt Holland – a man who knows the duo well.
Holland was a team-mate of Thomas’ for four years at Charlton, between 2004 and 2008, while he also played under the management of McCarthy as a Republic of Ireland international.
And so, as a former Ipswich skipper himself, Holland was interested to see that the two have become united at Playford Road this week.
Thomas’ arrival in Suffolk on trial has left many Blues fans underwhelmed given that the free agent winger, who is 32 years old, made just 10 appearances during his recent two-year stint with Crystal Palace.
Holland, however, believes the ex-Arsenal and England youth teamer could be a risk worth taking given his Premier League pedigree and hunger to prove a few people wrong.
“He was a regular under both Alan Curbishley and Alan Pardew when we were together at Charlton,” explained Holland.
“And he went on to play another 100 or so more games in the Premier League for West Brom too.
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“He’s a dynamic player; direct and pacey. I just remember that he was always an outlet ball. If you were under pressure you always felt you could give it to him to get a bit of a breather because he could get you up the pitch quickly by running with the ball.
“When I played with him he was very much a right-footed player that played on the left, but he’s capable of going both ways past an opponent. Technically he’s good too. He’s happy to receive the ball when tightly marked.
“If there was one criticism it’s that he maybe hasn’t scored as many goals as a player of that type maybe should. He’s a good deliverer of the ball though.
“And he’s certainly not a shirker, no way. He does his defensive work and he takes his kicks. He’s a tough lad.
“I can see why Mick would like the look of him because he’ll do all the things Mick wants of a winger.”
Holland added: “The move to Crystal Palace obviously didn’t work out for him and his fitness will obviously be the question mark having not played for a while.
“I’m sure he will feel he has a point to prove and that’s a quality that shouldn’t be underestimated. Mick has got the best out of these sorts of players plenty of times before so it could be a good match.”