Pompey fans on Mullins
Following the loan signing of Portsmouth midfielder Hayden Mullins last week, Vital Reading asked two Pompey fans what they thought of the 32-year old. Great thanks to Daniel and Martin for answering these questions.
1) Many Pompey fans considered Mullins one of their most consistent performers, do you agree with this?
Martin: Yes, never rated him as a Prem player but solid in the C'ship and seemed to improve the longer he played for us.
Daniel: Absolutely, he's played almost every game last season and has been an ever present this season, and seldom puts in a bad shift. It's fair to say our squad isn't the largest but even when we did have a bit of a competition for places, Hayden was usually the first name on the team sheet in most people's opinions.
2) What are his strengths?
Martin: I am no expert as my eyes are shot to bits but you only seem to notice him when he isn't there. Tough tackler, reliable.
Daniel: He is the perennial defensive midfielder. His positioning is always spot on and his distribution rate is second to none. He's one of those players that you wouldn't notice in a game yet does so much, and much of this is down to his own discipline, he always gives the simple pass and never tries anything too audacious. Rightly deserved his Player of the Season award last year. He is also versatile, and willing to play in a number of positions.
3) What are his weaknesses?
Martin: Maybe a tad slow and his shooting can be awful.
Daniel: Not always a weakness, but he is very defensively minded, which can be a weakness when chasing the game. He will occasionally attempt a defence splitting pass but more often than not he will play the ball square or backwards to ensure we maintain possession. He's also not the strongest in the air.
4) What sort of a midfielder is he? Sits in front of the back four or box-to-box?
Martin: From my eyes he sat more and broke up play.
Daniel: He'll sit in front of the back four all day long, and do it to perfection. You may see him stray forward once or twice in a game, and his shooting is very inconsistent. He did score a screamer for us against Watford last season, but don't be surprised if his connection isn't always that pure.
5) Do you reckon he could still do a job in the Premier League?
Martin: He would need all the right players around him. If you had a confident team around him who all knew their roles i would say he could do a job.
Daniel: It would depend on how the team was set up. Before we got relegated, Hayden wasn't setting the world alight with us, getting quite a bit of criticism from some fans. Whether this is because he wasn't playing in a system that he was used to or the standard of football was too high is hard to say. However, given the fact that he has played week in, week out for the last 2 seasons will no doubt keep his confidence high, and if I was the manager, I would probably have him in my team before a number of defensive midfielders starting in the Premiership at the moment.