Grounds extension represents good business for Blues
Jonathan Grounds` contract extension comes as no big surprise. The left-back, who turns 30 next month, has clocked up 165 appearances for Blues since signing from Oldham Athletic in the summer of 2014.
It`s fair to say that Grounds will never be the most technically gifted player in the world. But what he lacks in flare and guile he makes up for in reliability. Blues have always had players who 'do a job` and Grounds is the perfect carrier of this label.
In some quarters, Grounds is dismissed as 'not good enough` but since the day he walked into the club as somewhat of an unknown quantity, he has always been relied upon. In fact, five different managers have selected him ahead of competitors in what can often be a problem position in football.
His performances have ranged from positionally suicidal to absolutely solid. But more often than not, they are somewhere in between - perhaps consistently decent would be an accurate description.
In the last two seasons alone, more skilful alternatives have been tried and tested. Cheick Keita was drafted in from Virtus Entella by former manager Gianfranco Zola last January with a reputation as one of the brightest young players in Italy. On occasions, he wowed the fans with an array of step overs and a burst of pace but defensively, he was found wanting.
This term, Cohen Bramall was bought in on loan from Arsenal by Harry Redknapp. But after just three appearances, it is expected that Bramall will be sent back to his parent club this month.
Grounds` consistency has been the sole factor of his success at Blues. He is a player who will never get the credit he deserves - some people fail to look beyond the odd defensive mishap - but his contract extension has been earned. It represents a good piece of business for Blues.