Player in Focus: Taylor Moore

Taylor Moore is beginning to establish himself as a key part of Bristol City’s promotion challenge, so Gabriel Sutton (@_FootbalLab) casts his eye over the defender’s progress.

Initial concerns

Only a few months ago, there were major question marks over whether Moore could make the grade at Bristol City.

He had had a mixed loan spell in 2017-18 at Cheltenham Town where, having been only used to youth football, he struggled to adjust to the physicality of League Two.

The following season, Moore had a difficult stint at Southend United, being part of a Shrimpers side that conceded 68 League One goals and only stayed up on the last day.

He toiled as a left-sided centre-back in the opening day 3-1 home loss to Leeds United, before being dropped from the match-day squad for the 1-1 draw at Birmingham the following week.

The young defender was struggling to prove that he can hold his own at Championship level, let alone thrive in a team with lofty ambitions.

Moving to the right

Moore started on the right of a back-three for the 2-0 victory over QPR and since that game, it has become clear that he is strongest in that position.

On the left, he appeared to position himself more timidly because it may have been harder for him to tackle or intercept with his weaker foot; opposing players were therefore able to make more headway as a result.

On the right, though, he is more confident and aggressive, so we are seeing better all-round performances.

And yet, last time he played on the left of the defence – the 1-0 win at Reading last time out – he was much improved from the time against Leeds, which shows he is developing.

Bulking up

Early question marks over Moore’s possible lack of physicality have been quashed, with the defender bulking up following his two loan spells.

Moore is still not great at winning headers against a target man - a responsibility that fellow centre-back Ashley Williams often takes on - but he is now a lot more comfortable with the physical side of the game.

Although Moore still makes the odd mistake, like every young centre-back, he continues to develop each week.

Leadership

It does Moore no harm to learn the game next to Ashley Williams.

The Welshman has not only won promotion from this level with Swansea but also played in the Premier League for seven years running, including two at Everton, managing 86 international caps too, scoring against Belgium at Euro 2016.

Williams is a natural leader and, it seems, those qualities are being acquired by Moore, who now has the confidence to organise and instruct players with far more senior experience.

Because the Robins have fostered a culture in which leadership in different individuals is encouraged, they maintain a solidity in almost all their games, which enables them to pick up points when perhaps not at their best in possession.

Wide range of qualities

There are probably better centre-backs in the Championship than him on individual categories: Dominic Iorfa might be quicker, Sean Morrison is stronger in the air, Alfie Mawson looks more accomplished in possession.

What appeals most about Moore, perhaps, is that he is competent in a lot of different aspects of the game; he brings the ball out well, he has pace, he has completed as many as 29 interceptions this season – Ben White is the only one to have completed more.

Whereas a lot of centre-backs specialise in one or two main areas of their game, Moore is a jack-of-all-trades.

The future

In terms of Bristol City, Tomas Kalas is set to return from a knock to add to Lee Johnson’s options after the international break.

Whether or not Moore’s place comes under threat through the increased options will be a marker of how far he has come, but now, it looks more likely that Williams would drop out to incorporate Kalas, in order to manage the veteran’s minutes.

Thinking longer-term, there is no reason why Moore cannot go onto play in the Premier League, as Adam Webster is now doing off the back of his excellent centre-back performances at Ashton Gate.

He may even get an England cap, having represented his country at four different age groups.

Each of the Three Lions’ current centre-back options – Harry Maguire, John Stones, Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, James Tarkowski, Fikayo Tomori and Lewis Dunk – have all played in the EFL.

The future looks bright.


Bet £5 & Get £20 FREE BETS! 😍
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 2 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS. FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG
Claim Bonus
♦️ Bet £15 & Get £15 FREE BET + 2 x £5.50 tickets to our Poker Tournaments! ♦️
18+ | New UK and Ireland customers only | Min £/€15 deposit get max 2 x £5.50 tickets to FootyAccums Poker League | Bet min £/€15 on sports and get £/€15 free sports bet, minimum odds must be 2.0 | Tickets credited automatically after eligible first deposit | Tickets expire in 30 days | Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned | T&C’s apply | BeGambleAware.org
Claim Bonus

🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔴 Bet £10, Get £20 in free bets! 🔴
New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Claim Bonus
✅ BET £20 AND GET YOUR MONEY BACK IN CASH IF IT LOSES! ✅
New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit Card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Betfair account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £10 & Get £20 in Bonuses 🌟
18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive a £10 Free Sports Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days.  Plus a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Claim Bonus
BET £10 & GET A £10 FREE BET! 💪
New UK customers only. £10 Min Deposit. 100% matched free bet on your first deposit of £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bets. Debit Card deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Full Terms apply. 18+. BeGambleAware.org. Bet The Responsible Way.
Claim Bonus
When The Fun Stops. Stop.