Ben Wilson’s transformation from a back-up player only to be used under severe duress to one of the best goalkeepers in the Championship is one of the stories of the season for Coventry City. At the start of the campaign, the assumption would have been that if Ben Wilson had started a significant number of games for the Sky Blues, something would have had to have gone severely wrong for the team. While that was true – with the complete disintegration of Simon Moore’s powers as a goalkeeper being what went wrong – that Wilson was able to step up is a testament to the player’s ability to handle pressure, as well as being another demonstration of just what Mark Robins and his coaching staff are capable of.
While Ben Wilson had a decent spell in goal two years ago when Marko Marosi was injured there were some clear flaws to his game which meant that Mark Robins was keen to replace him with a more reliable and experienced player at pretty much the first opportunity to do so. Those flaws were being very rash, almost suicidal, in coming off his line in one-against-one situations and also not being particularly commanding of his penalty area from crosses. While Wilson has been shielded to an extent by the team deploying a deeper defensive line, which limits the requirement for him to come off his line both in open play and for crosses, he has notably grown in confidence in his role as the season has progressed and gone from being quite an erratic presence in goal to a calm and reliable one.
There are further areas to Ben Wilson’s game, most notably his kicking, that still need to be improved upon and, at the age of 30, the question is whether he is capable of getting better than he currently is, however, he has demonstrated this season that he is worthy of being a regular Championship goalkeeper and it would be the almightiest of bold decisions not to stick with him next year. While Ben Wilson has benefitted from Mark Robins adapting his tactics to limit the workload of the goalkeeper, keeping 20 clean sheets goes above and beyond what a serviceable player in his position would be expected to achieve. Watching Wilson grow into the role as number one goalkeeper this campaign demonstrates that just about any player can rise to a high standard of performance if provided the right environment to do so.
1 thought on “75 Games In: Ben Wilson”
I remember your introduction to Wilson when he was first signed. Hard to believe it is the same player!