There is more to football than talent alone, Kyle McFadzean’s impact in his time at Coventry City demonstrates that. At 34 years old, lacking pace and capable of the odd clanger, McFadzean shouldn’t be an integral part of a Championship team. However, the centre-back provides less tangible assets to the defence in his leadership and aggression that has made him a player who is close to impossible to be without.
How different Kyle McFadzean’s time at Coventry City might have been had it not been for Mark Robins’ double substitution against Fleetwood Town in League One back in October of the title-winning campaign? Dropped from the team due to that lack of pace and errors in possession, slotting McFadzean into the heart of a centre-back trio proved to be the best way of harnessing his leadership qualities while avoiding leaving him exposed. McFadzean went from a dud to hero very quickly and was integral in the team’s push for the League One title. Two years later, and McFadzean is still making that kind of impact at a higher-level.
There will be a day where the team will have to move on from Kyle McFadzean. As well as things are going in the here and now, that day could be sooner rather than later. At his age, there is always a danger that the decline can be sudden and rapid, which Mark Robins will need to be mindful of. Players who offer the leadership qualities that McFadzean does are rare, he will be a very difficult player to replace. Right now, it is hard to picture a Coventry City side without Kyle McFadzean at the heart of it.