When Antonio Conte thought it an idea to keep Victor Moses and transubstantiate a winger with raw, unproven basket of talents into box-to-box, lung-busting uber-effective wing-back, most people thought it would be a mere improvision that won’t even last half the season till Chelsea could scour around for a natural, polished wing-back to replace the experiment.
It could have been so if Victor Moses had got the script and played his supposedly redundant role effectively but he didn’t get the screenplay and grabbed the chance and the responsibilities of the position with an unprecedented ease and deftness.
He’s often come off to onlookers as a lazy, bit-part winger who thought one or to slalom runs through the opposition defense is enough, infact since that revelation 2011/2012 season at the DW Stadium in the blue and white striped jersey of Wigan Athletic, he’s been struggling to reach the threshold of that amazing season, being bundled around on loan like goods surplus to requirements.
Like Jaime Redknapp rightly noted “he taught himself” the rudiments that make up a marauding wing-back, he adjusted his stamina to the optimal level that the position requires, topping his already blitzing pace and slicky footwork in the process.
He was ever-present in the Antonio Conte’s title winning squad, manning the space on the right side of the line up week in week out. His defensive side of the game kept improving while his natural attacking side was the sharp-edge of this cornrowed maverick.
With contemporary football analysis heavily tilted towards figures, the impacts of players in the same ilk as Moses, not known for audacious number of goals and assists, always get muffled in the never-ending bing of calculators working out inconsequential statistics. His directness and willingness to take on defenders which forces opposition to commit players on him, affording his attackers the space needed to wreck havoc could only be captured watching his games.
His performance against Newcastle United on Saturday, his first game since carried off injured against Crystal Palace back in October, culminated all that have been said on the 26-year-old.
Even the man who saw the elusive ability in him, Conte also believes he’s been criminally underated.
“Moses has great quality, technique,
physical strength and the ability to cover 70 metres of the pitch. I find it incredible that somebody like him can be underrated.”