Billy's take on the James Bree and Peter Kioso situation
Inconsistent performances has halted James Bree’s progression in recent weeks, with his display against Cardiff City triggering a lot of frustration within the Luton faithful.
However, that is football in a nutshell. If he was consistently putting in performances like he did earlier in the campaign against the likes of Swansea City and Coventry City, then he would be operating in the Premier League.
Bree is often the centre of a lot of criticism when as a collective, we do not meet the standards expected.
And whilst this sometimes can be just, it seems that the views towards Bree have been over-amplified by the fact that Peter Kioso was allowed to depart on loan on deadline day.
It has created some sort of notion that Kioso is some sort of saviour who is miles clear of Bree.
I am not writing this to say that Bree is the better player and Kioso is not Championship ready, ultimately I don’t know that.
The argument I am trying to put forward is that Nathan Jones made a decision based on months of monitoring the pair and I trust his judgement.
There has been lots of speculation and theories as to why Kioso departed and seemingly left us with one out-and-out right-back, and admittedly, it was a move that I did not see coming.
However, Kioso had been progressing up the divisions at a constant rate and it would have been quite a large leap to go from a relegation battle in League One, as he was with Northampton Town, to challenging in the top half of the Championship table with us.
For that reason, I do understand a move to a club like MK Dons who are competing at the right end in League One.
As much as we do not want to compliment the Buckinghamshire club, they play an attractive brand of football which has seen Kioso given a lot of attacking responsibilities.
For me, this is a very smart move from the Hatters, as from what we have seen of the 22-year-old so far, he meets the physical demands of the Championship, and has the tenacity and grit to operate at second-tier level, he just needs to technically adjust to the higher level.
Operating in a team that dominates possession, moves the ball quickly and looks to carve teams open with midfield and defence splitting passes, I think this could be an excellent learning experience for Kioso.
It appears that Kioso has made an excellent impression at Stadium MK, with goals, chances and Team of the Week places being earned by the young defender.
This experience has been vital in his progression, and it would be interesting to see if his loan deal was cut short if he would go on to secure regular first-team football with us in what remains of the season.
It would be equally as intriguing to see if added competition would help Bree find his feet again.
Bree has played every single minute of our Championship campaign so far, and whilst Jones did suggest that Jordan Clark is an option at right-wing-back, he is much more effective in the final third, as we saw on Saturday.
A bit of healthy competition could give Bree the nudge he needs for his confidence to return.
There is a lot to like about Bree, with his relentless energy, pace and intelligence making him an excellent outlet.
He has also proven to have the crossing ability to hurt teams in the Championship, but it is the consistency factor that is required.