50 Games In: Ben Wilson

After a spell as first-choice two years ago, the prospect of Ben Wilson reclaiming that spot in the side had looked very remote. The team appeared to have moved on with a more experienced and reliable number one goalkeeper, in Simon Moore, and there seemed little reason to even consider the possibility that Wilson might be capable of doing a better job. It is to Ben Wilson’s credit that he has been able to do so, although, that opportunity only came around due to a startling downturn in form from Simon Moore, as well as the club’s dire league position forcing Mark Robins changing the team’s entire style of play in order to minimise the amount of work that Wilson would have to do in goal.

For the first month or so after being parachuted back into the side, it seemed apparent that Ben Wilson was benefitting from that extreme level of protection in front of him, keeping clean sheets while only having to make a few saves. As the team’s confidence and style of play has improved more recently and the protection has eased, Wilson has continued to look a solid presence between the sticks. Capable of some excellent reaction saves, Ben Wilson’s command of his area looks to have improved since his last spell in the team – albeit, there have been one or two dropped crosses along the way. The only notable flaw in Wilson’s game at the moment is his distribution, where he not only struggles for accuracy but has a habit of rushing unnecessarily and putting his team-mates into danger.

On paper, Ben Wilson’s overall record in goal for Coventry City is mightily impressive and there is a case to be had that much of the question marks against him pertain to his age in relation to the number of games he has played in his career. If Wilson was five or so years younger, there would probably be fewer doubts against him, eased by the notion that he could get better. However, the truth is that Ben Wilson is a 30 year-old goalkeeper with little experience prior to his time at Coventry City. There are flaws in his game that are unlikely to be improved upon and the team is likely to be best served by replacing Wilson with a goalkeeper that is either better or younger (preferably, both) in the near future. That is not to denigrate Ben Wilson’s achievement of establishing himself as first-choice Championship goalkeeper on merit.

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