If Chris Wilder threw together his team this season, he fair blew it to bits on announcing his retained list this week.
It’s a heartless business, and in a sense its sad to see the likes of Barry Quinn and Yemi take the bullet. Quinn, I maintain, was never a defender, but he was a good hard working pro. Yemi was given ample opportunity to shine, especially against Northwich, and failed miserably by skulking disinterestedly on the wing like a sixth form goth in a games lesson.
Craig Nelthorpe was a surprise, presumably brought in because his wages were right, and his performances were decent. We all know that wingers’ performances are fitful, but Nelthorpe was a player in the mold of Beauchamp, Cook, Angel and Powell – we’d not had his like for some time. His attitude was spikey, which may have been a reason for his release.
Chris Willmott deserved better. His injury record, lack of versatility and wages will have played against him; but his partnership with Foster this season was immense. Perhaps there is better out there and Willmott’s role would have been as a back up next season, but it still seems wrong.
It also leaves a vacancy for Oxblogger’s Official Favourite Player and post-clear out there’s not masses to choose from. But one man fits the bill. In the same way that Kate Moss is attracted to men who are not classically good looking, the Oxblogger Official Favourite Player is should never be a classically good player. No Turley, Constable, Murray et al. We like our players flawed, but we love watching them succeed; so no bench-huggers need apply. Just one man does it for me; and that’s Mr Damien Batt: Official Oxblogger Favourite Player number 3.