New Boys -Ikechi Anya
Hot on the heels of his fantastic piece on Matej Vydra, Rams fan and self confessed Watford sympathiser Jon Rodgers gives us the lowdown on our second arrival from Vicarage Road this summer, Ikechi Anya.
Take it away Jon.
“There is absolutely no chance of a lack of application and commitment from this guy. In fact, I think he’s probably played to the limits of his capabilities at Vicarage Road. I mean that in a positive way, he’s going to give his all for us.
Anya’s background was a strange one. Wycombe Wanderers, then that strange rehabilitation soccer academy that Glen Hoddle ran. He was on loan at Celta Vigo from Granada when he pitched up at Watford. Zola played a 3-5-2 system and Anya excelled at the wing back role. I’m pretty sure he’s two footed so he could cover both sides. I wouldn’t say his defensive attributes were his strong point but he could certainly do his fair share of tackling and tracking back. He’s also filled in at full back, winger and occasionally as a striker. His versatility is probably one of the main reasons he managed to spend so long around the Watford squad, even when they got into the big league and started spending millions on players.
Anya’s best attribute is his pace and this is probably one of the things that attracted Pearson’s interest. His Road Runner-esque scampering down the wing is a joy to behold sometimes and I would imagine he’s still one of the quickest players in our league, despite approaching his 30th birthday.
He also has an infectious, positive personality, which has already been obvious from his media interviews and his rather excellent tweeting. This might seem a bit trivial but having a character like Anya in the squad is pretty important for team spirit.
He’s not perfect though. He suffers from the curse of the versatile player – you never know what their best position is. I get the impression he wants to play as a winger and I would imagine that’s where Pearson sees him too. If he gets a good run in that position, I think we’ll have a very effective player on our hands. He needs to improve his delivery both from crosses and when through one on one with the goalkeeper. His goal scoring record is poor but that may change if he’s given a consistent run out on the wing. He has scored a few great goals though.
Overall, I’m confident Anya will prove to be a great aquisition for Derby.”
If you haven’t seen it yet, this video is well worth a look. There’s also more than a few link ups with Vydra. Enjoy.