Kevin Malaga – You say Allo, we say goodbye
Poor old K-Mal. He’s only been here a minute, and he’s already been told to sling his hook. Having only recently joined on a three year contract, the news yesterday that he was the first on Robins’ “sod off” list came as a bit of a shock to some.
I’m speculating now, but this tweet by big Billy Edge appears to suggest he didn’t expect to see his pal shown the door so early either. Either that or someone’s finally told him that we’re not actually expecting a relegation battle this year.
Surprised. I had absolutely no idea…
— William Edjenguele (@WilliamEdj23) October 4, 2012
Saying that, there have been rumours for a while now around why KM’s not in favour – a primary one being because his English isn’t up to scratch. This theory alone doesn’t sit very comfortably with me. I can’t imagine a situation where a new boss will come in and use that as his main criteria to get rid of a player.
Robins does come with a reputation of being ruthless, but you can only assume that Malaga’s simply not doing the business in training, especially as those who are supposedly in front of him aren’t making a particularly good impression themselves on the pitch. He must be doing badly if they’re seen as being ahead of him.
From a purely pragmatic perspective, they’re trying to alter the dynamic of our peculiarly large squad, and that’s certainly understandable – it’s unmanageable for us to have so many numbers at this level. But there’s always the niggling doubt with decisions like this that simplicity and convenience have trumped over genuine talent.
And that’s the most disappointing thing here. We haven’t really had the opportunity to have a decent look at the guy ourselves, but from what we did see, he looked neat, comfortable, and provided an air of control along our back line. He also offered a very noticeable threat from attacking set pieces when he pushed up. Not the main purpose for him being in the team, but it’s something we’ve struggled with for years, so left many of us keen on his inclusion.
Of course, he did also spank the ball high into the stand that one time for literally no reason at all, but we just don’t speak about that (except to have a bloody good laugh about it).
Robins wasn’t here to witness Malaga’s contribution on matchday, but Richard Shaw was, and he immediately made it clear that his opinion towards big Kev wasn’t favourable. He was swiftly removed from the squad, and hasn’t seen sight of the first-team bus since. He didn’t seem to be Shaw’s cup of tea, clearly, and you can’t help but wonder how much Robins has taken Shaw’s advice on this one.
I’m not knocking the decision to let him go necessarily; Robins clearly needs to shake things up and get his house in order. I guess I’m just a little quizzical of the idea that the four other options in the centre – Wood, Billy Edge, Brown and Cameron – have shown anything this season to elevate them above Malaga?
If we’re going purely by matchday performance, they certainly haven’t. Defensively, the first three names especially, have contributed to some appallingly fragile displays by our rear-guard. Maybe Robins just sees potential improvements in those four? We could bloody do with it.
The upshot of all of this is that I smell a new centre half on the horizon, and the impression we’re getting from the club is that they’re trying to get shot of Malaga as soon as possible to allow that to happen.
Putting that aside, I felt compelled to offer my commiserations to Kev. It’s a shame for the lad – he was the finest Darius Danesh lookalike I ever saw in a Sky Blues shirt.