I don’t think the lad is without ability, clearly that isn’t the case. He is a skilled player and good passer, he is exactly what you would expect in that regard for a graduate of the Arsenal academy under Wenger.
I’ve seen him have some excellent games, one against Newcastle at the City ground in particular stands out when he got Shelvey sent off.
So it isn’t that I don’t think he can play, he isn’t a Holman for example.
It takes more than ability on the ball though, you need grit, determination, the right character. Now I don’t know the guy so I can’t asses him as a person but what I’ve seen of him on the pitch is a player that, in my view at least, doesn’t have enough of those traits.
At Forest he never really dominated games or sufficiently influenced them given his ability on the ball. It’s true he has a great spell in his final season with them but I almost felt that was a bit Lee Hendrie like, if you recall his form always used to improve when his contract was running down.
I just had the impression Lansbury was looking for his big move or big contract and his form improved. He isn’t alone in that, I think it happens a lot, far more often than we as fans perhaps realise.
Since he got his move, well we’ve seen next to nothing of note from him. Granted he has had injury problems but it still remains true.
So I don’t think he is without ability but I felt at the time we signed him he wasn’t the player we needed or a particularly good signing.
What I’ve seen since has only enhanced that view and I don’t really see a reason to think it’s likely to change especially now we are at a significantly higher level.
I will though conceded that there is a better chance of him performing under a manager like Smith than Bruce but I’ll stop there as I think the world knows my views on the later and I’d bore myself covering that ground.
So to answer your question, I think he has ability. What I doubt is his ability to impact that ability on games in anything remotely close to a consistent way, as for the reason for that well it’s impossible to say for certain but I’ve my own thoughts.