Please Don’t Sell Miles Storey
Is Miles Storey set to be on his way to Inverness Caledonian Thistle, a club where he went on trial last January before his loan move to Newport County? Steven Fyfe has one last-ditch attempt to persuade Lee Power to retain the striker at Swindon Town…
At the end of pre-season, Swindon’s second longest serving player was informed he was surplus to requirements. Lee Power confirmed he was looking to offload Miles Storey for a fee, and there has been some suggestion he would consider a loan if the other club were prepared to pay Storey’s wages. Mark Cooper validated the decision when he claimed Town’s style of play did not suit Storey and “the lad needs to play games”. The exit door widened when Storey was not given a squad number. Fast forward to today and Storey is still here and, due to the injuries of Obika and Hylton, he finds himself back on the bench and with a squad number.
I believe Storey could still be a valuable member of this team and that he does fit in, therefore I hope no rival managers can see what I am about to outline below, proof that the player Power and Cooper are looking for is right under their nose.
Miles joined the club’s academy in 2010 after his release from Coventry, he has since gone on to make just 32 appearances scoring 4 goals. He has also had loan spells at Salisbury, Shrewsbury, Portsmouth and Newport making a combined further 44 appearances scoring an additional 4 goals.
Since caretaker manager (and then youth team coach) Paul Bodin gave Storey his debut as a sub in 2011, Storey has been around the club through relegations, promotions, failed playoff campaigns, title winning seasons and a JPT final failure. Arguably his two most high profile moments in a Swindon shirt demonstrates both the highs and lows of football. His brace against Premier League side Aston Villa in the league cup after coming on as a substitute is potentially his best moment in a Swindon shirt. The then 18 year old got his side level at 2-2 from 2-0 down before Christian Benteke scored a late winner.
On the other side of footballing fate, Storey is likely to be remembered for missing the crucial penalty against Brentford in the 2013 play-off semi-finals. Fans leapt to his defence asking why would (then manager) Kevin MacDonald ask a 19 year old to take such an important kick?
This leads me in to what Storey can offer the team now. Despite his still tender age, he has gained valuable experiences. He’s also worked under a variety of managers who will have giving him guidance and played in different formations.
The fact he was prepared to take the ill-fated penalty showed great bravery, confidence and maturity, all of which are key mental characteristics required in the current set up. He also possesses a strong work rate and desire which are key in the pressing element of the current sides’ tactics. He had a fairly consistent pre-season and even scored a few goals. I was there for the Solihull game and in a match where quality from Town was lacking, with the exception of Fabian Robert, he was our most dangerous attacking player. This shows a desire to do well and a want to be here, again key mental traits.
Physically he offers one obvious positive to the squad, pace. With the way Swindon play, pace is a good quality to have, especially away from home where counter attacks are important. He also appears to have stocked up a little, making him slightly more physically imposing. These things considered give Miles that one invaluable commodity that Power and Cooper are always looking for – versatility.
Based on the standard formations used by Swindon currently 3-5-2 or 4-3-3, there are a number of positions Storey can play tactically, and perform the roles well. In the 3-5-2 he would be a good partner for Michael Smith, offering that pace and being a willing runner that a target man often thrives off of. In a similar ilk to the currently injured Jermaine Hylton and much coveted Nicky Ajose.
As previously stated the fact he is slightly more physically imposing now means he could also perform like Andy Williams and be the main target, should Town be hit by a severe lack or strikers due to injury. In the 4-3-3 again he can play the central role if required but his pace, dribbling and confidence means he offers adequate cover for Robert and Byrne in those wide areas.
The final two reasons I see Storey fitting into the current profile of the club are his age and his cost. Like most incomings he is under 24, still eager to learn and a bit of a rough diamond. By his cost I mean he is a cheap option, that sounds harsh but by that I mean as a “squad player” it can be suggested his wage is (probably) nowhere near that of a top earner, nor a premier league prospect that Town may look to loan to do the same job. Power prides his time at Town (and rightly so) on how we are self-sustainable now and paying (and playing) Miles Storey in my opinion helps that. No point paying him not to play and no point spending more money on someone to do the same job to the same standard.
Storey’s most recent appearance was on Saturday against Sheffield United. Before the game he was seen signing autographs for the fans and when he came on as a second half substitute for Michael Smith he got a good reaction from the supporters proving he is still highly thought of by the fans. Although his performance lacked any real moments of quality, he did show some of the attributes highlighted above such as work rate and being a willing runner.
They say form is temporary but class in permanent and I see that in Storey. Give him a run of games and Swindon will again see the quality that only 3 short years ago saw him called up to the England U19 squad and capped.
Mr Power, Mr Cooper if you happen to read this #GiveMilesachance and don’t sell him to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.