Friday, 24 June 2011

New Signing Profile: Jon-Paul McGovern

Following the excellent reception for Ben Barrett's profile of Andy Welsh I'm delighted to be able to bring similarly informed views of CUFC's second summer capture, JP McGovern. Chris Ledger custodian of the excellent 'Obscure Music & Football' blog details his days at Sheffield Wednesday while Ron Smith of Swindon blog 'The Washbag' brings us up to date. Over to them...

JP the Owl

'Carlisle United may well have picked up a bargain in Jon-Paul McGovern. During his time in League One, he displayed his best form at Sheffield Wednesday during the 2004-2005 season; he also won the club’s player of the season award when the aforementioned season finished. The Scottish midfielder is a dynamic and consistent player - who displays good trickery on the right wing and also has a fine eye for goal, as shown by his eight goals in 49 League One matches for the Owls.

He does lack pace, but his commitment and work ethic makes up for it. His strengths include tracking back to get the ball, and he can also defend and overlap the right back effectively. His chemistry with Lee Bullen at Hillsborough means that McGovern should form a promising partnership with Frank Simek next season. The ex-Owls favourite is also a strong character in the dressing room and this was a big reason why Sheffield Wednesday got promoted to the Championship in 2005.

McGovern was plagued by injuries in the 2005-2006 season, mainly with back problems, and was released on medical grounds in May 2006. His regular appearances for MK Dons and Swindon Town, however, seems to suggest that injuries have not affected McGovern’s post-Hillsborough career.

If there is one aspect of McGovern’s game that has divided Sheffield Wednesday fans, it is his “hit and miss” delivery of crosses and set pieces. Although his delivery is adequate enough and can create goals, they can sometimes be mediocre and miss the intended target. But, with the right training, improvements can be made.

Overall, McGovern is a useful addition to any League One side and has a superb attitude to match some good all-round play.'

JP the Robin

'JP McGovern joined Town back in August 2007 and has made over 130 appearances over four seasons. A solid first team player in his first seasons under Sturrock, JP suffered from Maurice Malpas’s poor decision to force him to play in a defensive role in midfield, which coincided with poor performances all round. Soon JP found himself behind Anthony McNamee, Mark Marshall and even Craig Easton for his natural right midfield position and begun to wonder whether his future was away from Swindon.

Even when Danny Wilson joined the club back in January 2009 JP’s position at Town was still in question. Hal Robson Kanu joined on loan from Reading and made the right wing his own for the remainder of the campaign. JP found opportunities limited and after an ankle injury in February his only other game came as a right wing back away at promoted Peterborough on the final day. At this time JP admitted he saw his days at Swindon were numbered.

So, at the beginning of 2009/10 and to everyone’s surprise, JP was thrust back into the first team following the 5-0 defeat away at Gillingham. JP capped a great performance with a moment of brilliance scoring a 35yd goal against his former team.This moment of individual skill pretty much set the ball rolling for the season to come. JP featured in every league, play-off and cup game, making a total of 55 appearances, only failing to play full 90 minutes twice and scoring two goals. McGovern became our creative linchpin with 15 assists, the most of any player in League One that year, contributing equally well by his set pieces.

As for 2010/11, JP's form hasn't been a patch on a year ago with only 3 League assists, but the same failure can be said for the whole squad. Similar to earlier days, McGovern has again suffered as a result of manager changes, also competition from Paul Caddis on the right and a narrowing midfield, JP has rarely played in his preferred wide right role so he was never going to repeat the near Play of Year performances of a year ago.

What you get from JP is a hard working wide midfielder who can whip in some fantastic crosses, although I'd wish he'd refrain from using his left foot so often are these rarely find the mark. However, he's getting older, losing pace and find the space harder to find, so whether he'll be able to keep it up in League One for Carlisle is another question.'

So a mixed bag with arguably more good than bad. Sounds like the calculated risk Greg Abbott loves to make. Here's hoping he works his alchemy and resurrects another career at Brunton Park.

1 comment:

  1. bloody hell. If y'all sign Chris Brunt, I'll be seeing about transferring my season ticket from Hillsborough to Brunton Park. I loved JP