Theo Bair: How Motherwell striker has changed narrative at Fir Park

We are an affiliate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Theo Bair scores against Kilmarnock
Theo Bair took his tally for the season to seven by scoring Motherwell’s equaliser against Kilmarnock

Five goals in four Scottish Premiership games. Seven goals for the season overall. A better minutes-per-goal ratio than Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi.

If you told St Johnstone fans those statistics would apply to Theo Bair when the striker left Perth for Motherwell last summer, a look of disbelief would be the least you could expect.

The 24-year-old Canadian scored just one goal in 38 games in a tough 18-month spell at Saints. In Lanarkshire, he has scored seven times that tally in 25 matches.

“The criticism Theo gets, it’s amazing how many people who doubted him have changed their opinion,” Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell told BBC Scotland.

“He’s such a handful, he’s tidy in possession and he gives us a platform with his energy and pace. He’s a major asset for us.”

‘Blocking out noise’ and proving doubters wrong

Bair does not blame Motherwell fans for questioning the club’s decision to sign him, accepting that his St Johnstone goalscoring record is the reason for the doubters.

At his previous club Vancouver Whitecaps he scored only three times in 39 games.

Doubts from the Fir Park support initially spurred the striker on, but he has since learned to “block out the noise” rather than being spurred on by having “something to prove”.

“I assumed people would be a bit sceptical,” Bair told BBC Scotland. “But I’m glad I’m showing them what I’m really made of.

See also  Victor Osimhen: Premier League or Real Madrid - where next for Napoli forward?

“Initially it was difficult, but with the support I’m getting from the people who watch me day in, day out, that’s all I need to make sure I can perform.

“The staff work with me so much. I do a lot of video work, so again credit to them for helping me. I’m learning all the time and what they’re teaching me is clearly working on the pitch.”

More prolific than Kyogo and O’Riley

All the pre-match talk before Kilmarnock’s visit to Motherwell was about Kevin van Veen, as the striker made his return to Fir Park after signing for Derek McInnes’ side on transfer deadline day.

Because of a lack of match fitness, the Dutchman had to settle for a four-minute cameo. It was instead his counterpart at the opposite end who lit up the 1-1 draw.

Bair burst behind the away defence and coolly slotted in his side’s equaliser, but there was more to the forward’s game that caught the eye.

The striker created two chances for his team-mates – no player managed more – while winning eight of his 14 duels. McInnes said Bair, along with Blair Spittal, had the “most influence on the game”.

His leveller on Saturday was his seventh strike of the season – all scored in open play from 16 starts. He also boasts a better minutes-per-goal average than Celtic pair Kyogo and Matt O’Riley.

“I’ll say ‘I told you so’,” Kettlewell added. “I took a lot of questions when Theo came in, but he’s so receptive, he’s a brilliant lad, and that’s the type of player you want to work with. He’s reaping the benefits now.”

See also  WSL LIVE: Arsenal vs Manchester United score, commentary & updates - Live


Source link

Check Also

Leeds United 3-1 Leicester City: Whites produce stunning fightback to close gap on leaders

We are an is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an …

Leave a Reply