In addition to the players we’ve looked at in the previous articles, there have been one or two other lads that have played a part. Most of these have already moved to pastures new. One in particular is still very much an unknown quantity. As we prepare to take a big step forward, each deserves a mention.
The Club’s longest serving player, yet the least likely to get a game; if it wasn’t for injury he would have finished up the season at McDons. There’s a better than average chance that Mitch will have done his last for the Latics. A decent player who doesn’t let you down, but has never really had the chance to show anymore. It’ll be sad to see him go, if only for the fact that he came through the ranks.
The fact that he was a fan’s favourite had little to do with his performances and more to do with him acting like one of us. The epitome of Jewell’s chase paper analogy but it was obvious from early days that he was unlikely to push his way into a permanent midfield place. Flynn’s signing proved not enough to stop Gillingham going down, but he should be more at his level in League One next year. He’ll always be remembered for his goal celebration at Blackpool a couple of years back. Good luck Flynny, I’ve a feeling you’ll do alright.
I’m not the right person to ask about Bomber. He was all effort and heart but he was a striker, and we paid an awful lot of money for him, I suppose that’s hardly his fault though. The abiding memories for me are his goal against City in the league cup and someone (mentioning no names) at the player of the year awards, a few years back, asking Neil whether he’d sorted out a club for next season yet, only to get the sheepish response that he had another year left on his contract yet. Now at Donny and then fans there seem to love him. Again you can’t wish him anything other than good luck for the future.
Whatever the reasons, and there have been plenty of rumours, it was bloody obvious that Dinning wasn’t going to see the season out at the club. Both he and Jewell must have sighed in relief when Bristol City agreed to take him on a permanent deal. A former record signing, Dinning should have been the holding midfielder that we’d cried out for since forever. In reality that hope disappeared relatively quickly to be replaced with weekly discussions about why he wasn’t getting picked. Without knowing too much about the situation it appears something similar may have happened at Bristol as Tony quickly ended up plying his trade at Port Vale.
This season’s big signing has… well nothing really. He got his 15 minutes in the Stoke game, looked like he spoke a different language to the rest of the team (which he does, I suppose) and then disappeared for a period of acclimatisation. I suppose Wigan is a big enough culture shock to faze anyone though. At the moment Andreas is more famous for alleged speeding offences than football but Jewell has promised that he’s one for next season.
I’m with Portsmouth on this one. Southampton are wrong uns. A player wants to leave your club, he’s not making your bench, and a club wants to sign him he wants to go; so you drag your feet. Eventually you give in and allow him to go out on loan, only to recall him the first excuse you get, put him on the bench for the first game and then he disappears to the reserves. Brett’s as good as promised that he’ll be back next season (clubs willing) and I hope he is. He looks the sort of player that Liddell was when he signed, and he didn’t do too badly did he? Brett didn’t do too badly when he was here but didn’t set the place on fire either, there’s a number of possible reasons for that, not least that he’s probably more suited to partnering the Duke (who he replaced) than Roberts. Hopefully we’ll get to find out how good he is next season.
It’s all his fault you know? Who knows how our season would have panned out if the big Dane hadn’t gone and got himself a career ending injury when it was still summer? I’m firmly in the “we’d have won the league easily” camp. As it happened we did manage to replace his experience and steadying influence, but only in March. After his distinguished career in English football it’s a shame that it ended in the way it did and, for the first and last time, I’m sure our neighbours from Horwich will wish him good luck in whatever he chooses to do next.
That ends our look at the players that got us to where we are going, but there’s more to a season than just the players. Hopefully,over the the summer weeks (remember when it used to be summer months?) we’ll get around to giving our views on the management and some of the events and issues that made 2004/05 the ‘interesting’ season it was.
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