The work John Sheridan still has to do to build new-look Chesterfield side, particularly in a problem position
Even before he’s made a signing, John Sheridan has cover for most areas of the pitch, but not Chesterfield’s problem position.
It’s two years since the Spireites could boast a left-back who could both defend and attack.
Injury robbed Town of the services of Dan Jones for too often, but when he was on the pitch there was a degree of consistency and reliability in that position.
He could cross a ball well, frequently.
Jerome Binnom-Williams, brought in by Gary Caldwell and Guy Branston in 2017, could certainly be a dynamic force going forward, but a defender he was not.
The former Peterborough man failed to find consistency throughout his time as a Spireite and although he could often burst or trick his way past defenders, the final ball was often lacking.
Ellis Chapman was a central midfielder who Sheridan converted to a left wing-back.
Going forward he was excellent and his deliveries were consistently of a high quality.
Defending is not yet the teenager’s strong suit.
The left flank is the area in most need of attention this summer.
At least down the right Sheridan can call upon Jonathan Smith to play right-back, someone you know will do a decent job, and Lee Shaw to play further up.
Shaw proved a decent crosser of the ball and his tenacity gave defenders a hard time of it.
Shwan Jalal will need competition between the sticks.
Should Haydn Hollis accept the deal on the table, he’ll partner Will Evans in the heart of the defence again, with Laurence Maguire staking a claim for that position or central midfield like he did towards the end of last season.
Another, right sided, defender is probably required.
The middle of the park is where Town have the most competition for places, with Robbie Weir, Smith, Curtis Weston, Sam Wedgbury, Joe Rowley and Charlie Carter all under contract.
Looking at that group, you might wonder if a playmaker is still required, someone to take the ball off the defenders and get Town moving.
Weir, Wedgbury and Smith are all more known for their defensive, combative abilities and Weston, whilst full of running, didn’t show a lot of quality on the ball last season.
Sheridan spoke ad nauseam of the need to take care of the ball better.
Rowley and Carter have quick feet but seem more likely to make an impact higher up the pitch.
Up front, Tom Denton and Scott Boden will be keen to resume the partnership that blossomed in the latter months of 2018/19.
The frontline will need at least one more addition, even if Luke Rawson and Levi Amantchi are waiting in the wings to make their breakthrough.
You could field the guts of a decent side from what Sheridan already has in the building, it’s not major surgery that’s required.
One thing that is distinctly lacking, however, is pace.
Natural wingers who can blow by a full-back have been a rarity at the Proact in recent seasons.
And Sheridan likes his wingers.
There’s work to be done, but it should reassure fans that Sheridan has almost always built competitive sides who play good football.
Armed with a healthy budget, there’s little to suggest he won’t do it again.