Kyle McFadzean is currently playing his best football ever in a Coventry City shirt, defying his age to affirm his status as one of the team’s most important players. It is a far cry from his first 10 or so games at the club, where he looked slow and error-prone, when it wouldn’t have been a surprise to have seen him swiftly moved on. It really is remarkable that nearly four years later, and in a higher division, Kyle McFadzean is not only still at the club but has made himself the beating heart of this team’s defence.
It is not just that Kyle McFadzean is a physically strong centre-back who can effectively outmuscle some of the biggest, toughest strikers in the Championship, it is how he leads and marshals the defence. As a supporter watching from the stands, it is those little moments of nous in how he can use his body to steal a few metres of space away from younger, quicker forwards, or hearing his shouts to his defensive colleagues over the course of the game, that evidences McFadzean’s leadership role in defence. Just what his impact in the changing room is can only be speculated upon, but it cannot be a coincidence at this stage that Coventry City’s defence has always tended to look more robust with McFadzean standing in the middle of it.
There will surely come a point when the physical effects of Kyle McFadzean’s increasing age will limit his ability to be effective for this team. It is true that Coventry City cannot deploy as high a defensive line as they might prefer with McFadzean in the team, however, the defender more than makes up for it with his contributions at the back. The planning for Kyle McFadzean’s successor will surely be a key element of Mark Robins’ summer recruitment plan, however, the issue is that any successor for the centre-back would face a stiff challenge right now to unseat his place in the side.