As he comes towards the end of his short-term loan spell, a Doncaster Rovers fansite told us the biggest problem Ben Sheaf faces on the pitch right now.
Sheaf is on loan with Doncaster until this month, but it’s very possible he extends the spell to the end of the season.
In the meantime, the below report concerns Ben Sheaf and his performance in the Doncaster game against Accrington on December 21st.
With the busy festive period for Arsenal, we didn’t get a chance to put it out earlier, but it’s still well worth a read for an update on Sheaf’s current struggles.
We should have further reports on the Christmas and New Year matches soon. With that said, read on to find out more on Sheaf’s biggest area of improvement right now.
Player Report from ‘Into The Empty Net’
Ben Sheaf’s downturn in form continued in Doncaster’s 1-1 draw with Accrington.
Without midfield partner and team captain Ben Whiteman to help him along, Sheaf struggled throughout and earned plenty of frustrated comments from fans in the stands with his error-strewn play when in possession.
In Whiteman’s absence, Sheaf had to provide more of a creative role than he is usually asked to and unfortunately it was not something he excelled at. Indeed, stand-in partner Madger Gomes came away with more credit having made more runs into danger areas and helped to create the side’s only goal of the game.
Sheaf’s main problem is one that he has had all season, that being his inability to execute simple passes or think quickly enough to progress play. Despite now playing in League One regularly for almost five months, he still dithers on the ball often finding himself dispossessed.
He is capable of spreading play very well and put a couple of delightful cross-field balls to the wing to help attacking moves, but his short-range passing has become nothing short of a liability for the team and something he desperately needs to work on improving.
The most galling example of this against Accrington was when he turned the ball around in his own half and looked to set James Coppinger away through midfield, needing just a simple five-yard pass forward, but instead opted for a ball with the outside of his foot that simply wasn’t necessary, skewing it to an opponent instead.
It wasn’t a total disaster for Sheaf, despite the feelings of some Rovers fans, as he was still the player who put in the most tackles to turn possession back in the team’s favour. He is a smart holding midfielder in this respect but needs to work on the aspects of his game that will make him a rounded professional playing central midfield.
As Whiteman is due back for upcoming games, Sheaf may feel more comfortable and improve his play, but unfortunately, it is just as likely that he will now be dropped to the bench after a run of games in which he has been below par.
Follow Into The Empty Net to stay up to date with Sheaf’s progress.