Brace yourself – this is going to be roughly 300 words of adulation for Kieran Lee.
Now Kieran might not have the showmanship of Fernando Forestieri or the same presence on the pitch that Kieren Westwood possesses. He doesn’t even have a catchy song like the Scottish Zidane but Kieran Lee has become one of the first names on the team sheet these days and he thoroughly deserves it.
Under Carlos Carvalhal’s tenure Kieran Lee looks more confident, freer and I’m convinced he even looks taller. Against Aston Villa last Sunday he was everywhere, picking up loose balls from failed Villa attacks, constantly pressing higher up the pitch and getting into attacking positions.
Under Stuart Gray, Lee struggled to secure a first team place. When you compare the football philosophies of Gray and Carvalhal it suddenly makes sense as to what Lee brings to the game. We saw flashes of it under the previous manager but there was always a sense that he’d been given orders to stick in a defensive central midfield role. Carlos seems to have given him more room to manoeuvre.
What Kieran needs to start doing is taking shots. He gets himself into some lovely positions in the box but rarely does he look up and just have a go. He told the Star a few weeks ago that “I want to score more goals” and we’ve seen that he’s capable of it he just needs more belief that he can do it.
The majority of his goals have come from running in and picking up a rebounded shot, well not all, let’s not forget his 98th minute winner against Rotherham United. We already have the attackers, what we need is back up and this is exactly what Lee needs to add to his all round game to shine even more.