This is one of the most debated questions between Blackburn fans this season. Who should start at right-back? – new signing Paul Caddis, or hot prospect Ryan Nyambe? Both players have good reasons to be picked to start, but which one should get the nod at right back? Bare in mind, the following is just my opinions and observations on the players I’ve seen. Give us your thoughts on Twitter – @rovers_chat!
Last season, Ryan Nyambe made 31 appearances (in all competitions) in Blue and White. He started at right back, with the only real competition he had being captain Jason Lowe, who was too busy starting in central midfield. However, this season with the arrival of Paul Caddis, Nyambe will have to fight tooth and nail for a starting spot in the Rovers XI.
In the 2016/17 season, Ryan Nyambe really made the right back position his own, putting in decent performances across the board. Not making any huge mistakes, however not being a world-beater either. Nyambe made some crucial tackles and interceptions in big games. As a right back, he has a very good work rate, tracking back to help out his fellow defenders when he is further up the pitch. He is tall, fast and strong, which are the attributes we need in a right back. At only 19 years of age, Nyambe shows huge promise for the future.
His pace and strength seem to be his best part of his game, however he often seems scared to mobilise whenever he gets the ball, often with awkward movements around the ball that take too long. We rarely see the pace and strength of Nyambe really come into fruition, for what seems like a lack of confidence makes him pass to another player, even if Nyambe himself is in a better position.
This season, Nyambe has been playing out of position and has played as a centre back in a back 5 or back 3, due to rovers lack of fit central defenders. At centre back, Nyambe seems way out of his depth, not showing the same promise he really showed last season when he played in his natural position. My hope, if he starts, is that Tony Mowbray decides to play him at right back instead. We haven’t seen the best of Ryan Nyambe this season, but I hope we do.
Paul Caddis signed for Blackburn on a two-year deal in June 2017. Caddis previously played at clubs such as Celtic and Birmingham. He is also 29 years old, which adds some experience to the starting line up, which will be invaluable to our young team members.
Caddis is versatile, being able to play at either full back position, or even in right midfield. With a hefty schedule with a lot of games this season, this versatility could be great for rotation if he loses the starting spot to Nyambe. As a right back, his natural position, he gets forward often. He is very hardworking, going up and down the pitch on a regular basis. He is deceptively quick, and has fairly good delivery from crosses. We saw the best of Caddis in Rovers’ 8-0 thrashing against York City, where he put in a great performance and also scored a brace. Caddis also started against Bradford City in the league, where he kept a clean sheet and put in a decent performance – making it into The Football League Paper’s (@TheLeaguePaper) League One Team of the Week.
Despite his positives, he is not as tall or strong as Nyambe, at only 5″7. This hinders his ability in the box and at stopping crosses, as Nyambe can throw his body in the way. Caddis’ movement on the ball can also feel very sluggish, despite himself not being a very slow player.
Despite both having positives and negatives, I believe Paul Caddis should take the starting spot this season at right back, based on what we have seen from him so far this season. Despite being out of position, Nyambe hasn’t impressed anyway, even when drifting into the right hand side of the pitch, he seemed too slow on the ball picking out passes. He seemed to have lower confidence, which could be due to his change in position. However, despite me thinking Paul Caddis is better, I believe in the future Ryan will become leaps and bounds better than Caddis, as he is only 19 with many years to improve.
Let us know who you think should start at right back for Rovers this season. Tweet us at @rovers_chat with your thoughts!