Josh’s midfield role has been hard to define mainly due to the fact that he has been played both as a deep lying play maker and right behind the striker in the hole.
Reserves team boss Dermot Drummy preferred him in a more advancing role as a playmaker where he had the ability to orchestrate the play, make runs and linking up with both the midfield and the forwards. In my analysis, the more suitable position for Josh will be the role of an advancing midfielder and he showed that when he helped Chelsea win the FA Youth Cup in 2010.
On the other hand Carlo Ancelotti preferred Josh in a more deeper role just in front of the defenders. Although seeing Josh’s amazing passing ability and vision the deeper role still allows Josh to dictate play and tempo though somewhere down the line it diminishes his ability of linking up with the forwards, something he is more comfortable at.
Although he has been played in various positions this variation has shown an interesting characteristic about his career-Versatility.
For a 19-year-old to play a different position to what he is used to in front of 42,000 people in a game of the highest level shows nerve, guts and pure courage. And to play the position with such composure and grace highlights the boy’s potential.
One of the best attributes of Josh is his ability to keep the ball and not give it away. His England U-21 debut is a very good example of this attribute. His amazing ability to deliver pin point passes is something people twice his age crave.
The vision he also possesses is first class, Josh has this excellent ability to spot runs and slide an inch perfect ball splitting the defense in half. Josh is extremely graceful on the ball, his quick feet have often helped him take on defenders and dummy past them, also helping him twist out of tight areas when up against a couple of defenders.
So what awaits Josh?
I believe Josh needs more game time and needs to step ahead of the reserves league and substitute benches. That is where his loan move to Middlesbrough comes in, it should give him just that and benefit his long-term development.
Also with England’s “Golden Generation” about to come to an end, Josh can do himself a world of good if he can get a good run of games under his belt and target a place in England's Euro 2016 squad.
image: © ajenks