In the home game against Rochdale Andy Yiadom had been a contender for the Man of the Match award yet come the game against Southend United he found himself on the bench, replaced by Mauro Vilhete. This was Mauro’s first start of the season.
There have been other examples of Edgar Davids selecting a player who he felt in the particular game in question could offer something different to the previous incumbent.
Andy Yiadom was himself selected ahead of Barry Fuller at right-back at Bristol Rovers; and this was the first match that Barry had not been started since the opening game of the season.
On a couple of occasions top-scorer Jake Hyde has been on the bench, in one instance Taiwo Atieno was preferred in the central strikers’ role in a 2-0 home win over Bradford City. (Atieno getting his solitary goal for the club in this fixture.)
Edgar Davids certainly seems to pick horses for courses, if he feels the opposition will be stretched by the qualities of a certain player he does not shrink from shaking up his team to get that player into the starting line-up.
This concept is deemed to have benefits over the supposed advantage of playing with a settled team: and with seven substitutes in League 2 there is certainly scope to implement Plan B, or C.
The only way then to ensure that you keep your place is to become a better all-round player and to maintain exceptionally high-standards and by doing so you are saying, in a polite and erudite fashion that you just have to be one of the first eleven names of the team-sheet.