A GRAY DAY CAN SUDDENLY BECOME FULL OF COLOUR...
WHEN Andre Gray thrashed home a glorious late winner at Bolton last weekend, Sean Dyche turned to his bench. “That’s why,” he nodded. “That’s why.”
By almost any measure, the striker was woeful at the Macron. Scarcely involved, wasteful on the ball, offside more than prime Pippo Inzaghi. So frequently did Gray misjudge his runs that the poor lino must have had tennis elbow by full-time.
Yet when the chances came – and neither was exactly easy – Gray pounced like an alligator exploding from a swamp. Suddenly, the most ineffective and infuriating player on the pitch had turned the game on its head.
Dyche, of course, has heard all the criticisms of his £6m record signing.
That he misses too many chances, that he disappears from games. But, like the statisticians at Brentford who were so desperate to keep him, the Clarets boss knew that Gray possessed something far more important: instinct.
Nobody in the division is better at anticipating rebounds, reacting in the box or attacking dangerous areas.
That uncoachable nose for goal will win plenty of tight games and might – just might – clinch a place in the Premier League. As Dyche said, that’s why you pay the big bucks.