Vital Blackburn on Jason Roberts
With great thanks to Vital Blackburn editor Mike, we ask a few questions about new signing Jason Roberts.
1) Do you think the time for him to leave was right?
Absolutely with a shadow of a doubt. He had reached the point in his career where at Premier League level he was not going to get the games and with the contract situation he found himself in at Rovers he was at a very clear crossroads in his career.
He was being prevented from playing at Blackburn as Venky's had decided they didn't want to pay him the bonuses in his contract for playing/scoring which meant he joined the likes of other 'contract problems' like Michel Salgado in being an outcast at Ewood Park through no fault of his own.
He needed to leave Rovers to start again and he leaves with our blessing.
2) What are his strengths?
Well at the risk of sounding obvious his main strength is, er, his strength. Roberts is very tough to shake off the ball and he is a willing channel runner which gets him his reputation as a work horse.
J-Rob is a team player, can shift himself at a good pace and has a knack of scoring important goals.
3) What are his weaknesses?
He can be a frustrating guy to say the least. Roberts has a tendency to be wasteful when presented with good opportunities to score and he can be one of the clumsiest players on the planet. Jason has an over reliance on backing into defenders and he seems to like arguing with referees during games more than actually playing.
4) Do you reckon he could do a good job in the Championship? Could he maybe of even stayed in the Premier League?
I think now is a very good time for him to make the move to the Championship.
At Rovers (who are now a third tier EPL team) he was often 3rd choice in a squad of fairly average strikers and his goals to game ratio in the Premier League was dwindling compared to his Wigan days.
Having said that he does have the attributes to do a job in the Championship. It's a tough league and it is more rough and tumble than the top flight and with Roberts skills and the fact he's been around the block more than once he won't need to adapt his game once. I think he would have been a great signing for any Championship side and Reading have made a good call signing him.
5) What sort of striker is he? Does he play best on his own? Does he work well alongside others?
He had a very good spell at the club for six months at the club with David Dunn playing off him from midfield when Roberts was deployed as a lone striker but I think for J-Rob to really play to his best he needs someone to compliment up top.
Players like Junior Hoilett, Benni McCarthy and Nathan Ellington have all dovetailed with Roberts given their complimenting attributes and I think for him to thrive again he'll want and need a partner.