John Buckley: ‘Technician’ Coppinger is simply the best!

James Coppinger
James Coppinger

I personally think James Coppinger is the best ‘technician’ to have ever played for Doncaster Rovers.

Richie Wellens runs him close, but for me it’s Copps.

Those two in the same team, alongside Brian Stock in midfield, were a pleasure to watch. Some of the football was just sublime and it was like Coppinger and Wellens had a telepathic understanding.

Copps is an asset not just because he is fit and sharp but he has the ability to twist and turn people. It’s no surprise at all to see him enjoying himself at the tip of the diamond at present, where he will keep hold of the ball for you and look to get people in.

One of the things that marks him out as a special player is the number of positions he has played in: number ten, right wing, anywhere in a diamond, centre midfield in a four, even full back.

He’s never afraid to work hard, even it’s not happening for him, and that’s one reason for his longevity in the game. He’s valued by his managers and teammates.

To reach 500 at one club is a remarkable achievement in today’s game - and it’s not just on the pitch where Coppinger has been a fantastic servant to Rovers. I’ve got a lot of time for him as a guy. I coach the under 16s and he’s been down a few times to watch, and he’ll think nothing about having a word with the boys. He’s always got time for people.

He’s a great character, and the sort that could go on and make a successful manager, if that’s the way he wants to go.

For now he’ll just be concentrating on his football and, because of the condition he keeps himself in, there’s every chance he could yet go on and reach 600 appearances for Rovers.

Saturday’s game will be another tough one on the road. Morecambe have started well and Jim Bentley is doing a good job there.

We had enough chances to win the game comfortably at Crewe and if we keep doing that we’ll win more games than we lose.

Bucky’s charity bet: Morecambe 1 Rovers 3