Issue Another day, another midfielder as O’Leary signs

As told by Michael Wood

Stephen O’Leary has signed for City until Christmas making the Bantams third midfield recruit in a week following Michael Flynn and James O’Brien and finishing the Bantams rebuilding of that area of the field.

O’Leary has previously impressed for other clubs but has much work a head of him if he is to win a longer term deal than the one which sees him come to Valley Parade that ends as the Winter transfer window closes in January 2010 with Lee Bullock and Flynn tagged as the starting pair.

When one includes Luke Sharry in the mix boss Stuart McCall has five more similar players than last season’s midfielders with O’Brien perhaps the most close to a number four (it is about the position, not the numeral) but not as defensive thus far as Dean Furman was. Likewise Flynn is not as attacking a player – or number eight, if you will – as Nicky Law Jnr was leaving McCall with more options for personnel but fewer options.

As such a balanced midfield will be easier to strike – even the most attacking pair of Bullock and Sharry would have defensive merits a Law and Kyle Nix partnership would fail to match.

One can expect a midfield picked more on form than on approach perming two from the five rather than tipping the balance by selection.

After a summer of drawing out the differences between number four and number eight City have – at least until January where three are out of contract – pulled together a group of box to box midfielders.