It’s finally gone through and been announced. Andy Webster is now a Coventry City player. Though the move never seemed in doubt after it was revealed on Wednesday that he was speaking to the club, it’s good to see him actually sign for the club before the Bristol City match. Aside from being a central defender, thus doubling those available in that position at the club, what can we expect from Webster and what has his career been like so far?
The first thing about Andy Webster that people know about him is that he was behind what became to be known as the ‘Webster Rule’ in football. The ‘Webster Rule’ is basically that a player can buy themselves out of their existing contract after a certain period of time. Webster was the first play to exploit this clause in football contracts to move from Hearts to Wigan, thus the rule was named after him.
Unfortunately for Webster the protracted length of the legal wranglings between himself, Hearts and various sporting courts meant that his Wigan career never really got off to a start. Furthermore when he finally played he struggled to cope with Premier League football and eventually signed for Rangers. Ever since then he has been a solid, dependable defender up in Scotland, earning himself 28 caps for the national team.
Pressley and Webster were central-defensive partners for Hearts and at times the Scottish national team, so he’s a player that our manager trusts and knows well. Pressley has joked though that Webster learned a lot of his game from him and therefore cannot pass very well. Which I do find slightly worrying that Pressley’s got rid of a number of centre-halfs because of their poor distribution but brings his mate in regardless. However I think Webster’s experience and ability (he’s part of the Scotland squad for the England match next week) make him a much needed addition to the side, someone who can lead the team and help out the younger players.
It will be interesting to see whether Pressley decides to pick Webster for Sunday’s match against Bristol City. Both because of who he drops to make space for him and also due to Webster’s inclusion in the Scotland squad. Furthermore Webster didn’t have much pre-season training and may struggle to find the required fitness levels for first-team football right now.
Overall though I’m pleased that Webster’s been brought in, aside from a fairly poor injury record, he should inject much needed experience and defensive nous into the team, perhaps something that’s been lacking so far this season.