has sunil gulati in his sights
- Dec 15, 2002
soxfan121 said:TB, how much of the Revs growth is a result of having the confidence/professionalism of Jones at the training facility? If you had to guess, has Caldwell upped his game because he's got a better role model?
Arroyo Con Frijoles said:I don't see how there's any way any of us could guess as to that.
Yep, it's all speculation. Jones does seem to like Caldwell. The NT talk in the link, I think, is well-intentioned puffery from a teammate. But the larger point is that Jones seems to like Caldwell and I'm sure playing alongside Jones is a good thing for Caldwell -- even if Caldwell's and Jones' skillsets are entirely different. Caldwell's bread-and-butter is defensive positioning, cutting out passes, and quickly circulating the ball with quick passes. He doesn't have Jones' athleticism, physicality, or ability to hit sweet bazillion-yard switches.
I do think that Jones' on-field presence has allowed Caldwell to grow as a player. With Jones playing as a #8 ahead of him, it takes the edge off Caldwell's duties as a #6 and has given him space to refine his game. When your midfield partner in MLS is Jermaine Jones, that covers a variety of sins.
Jones has only started one game at CM this season so far, so hopefully Caldwell's good play despite having Dorman as a partner is a sign he's continued to improve. He just turned 24 and this is his third season in the league. It's a common to see MLS guys take a step forward at this stage.