Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Daggers Player Review Part One.

A review of every player that's pulled on a Dagenham & Redbridge top this season, whether it was a loan or for just 3 or 4 games, you'll have my opinion on them! We also have the players that left, this is just the first part, the second will follow soon.

1. Tony Roberts- The man, the legend. Tony Roberts the 41 year old stalwart in the Daggers goal has had perhaps his best season in a Daggers top on the biggest stage he's played for us. Having kept us in so many games this season and missing just two or three through injury he has been phenomenal and would be in contention for my player of the year. The best save in my opinion was against Bristol Rovers from point blank range. However he can improve on his. poor kicking, but then again that and his amazing banter with home and away fans is a trademark of the player we know and love. A Daggers legend, lets hope he continues into next season. Robbo's reaction to Sheffield Wednesday draw.

3. Damien McCrory- The Irish has had a bit of a topsy turvy season to say the least. Starting off in the team up until November, after the Leyton Orient defeat in the Cup, he was dropped not to return until a replacement against Huddersfield in February for Femi. Just when it looked as though he had his spot back, he picked up an injury, which meant a return for the rest of the season for Femi. Not all was lost, he scored his first Daggers goal in August against MK Dons and earned a call up to The Republic Of Ireland Under 21's. One of my favourite players, I and others wonder whether it would be better for him in left midfield next season.

4. Scott Doe- One of the players of the season, reflected in the clubs player of the season vote where he finished in the top 3. A trademark of his game his his amazing ability to make last ditch tackles which has been tested on many occasions this season. A strong player who will be sorely missed should leave during the Summer, he doesn't get enough credit in my opinion. One thing to improve on is perhaps the use of his weaker foot, renowned for clearing the ball with just one foot in a weird motion.

5. Will Antwi- Big Will Antwi. He's been stuck with a season largely on the bench although when he's needed he's been fairly consistent. Coming in for his first start this season he marked it with a goal in a 3-1 win away at Yeovil in November. He then disappeared for the rest of the season, coming in again as Scott Doe injured himself against Plymouth. A strong player who does need to work on how to shield a football as shown at Huddersfield and how to judge a ball coming down from the air. If Doe leaves he will become a key player for us next season, no doubt.

6. Mark Arber- A captain who leads by example. He never shys away from a challenge and will put his head in with the biggest of them for the cause. Always close with his marking and a worthy captain of Victoria Road, maybe just a little more speaking is needed, but on the whole has been an amazing player for us, especially this season, very consistent in the centre of the defence. Down to Earth as shown on his Twitter and the tears at Peterborough only emphasise the Dagger that he is.

7. Danny Green- This man does not get the credit he deserves. Expected to perform every game, if he doesn't some fans jump on his back without fail. But, without Greeny we would be deep in the mire this season, his ability to carve out crosses and chances is second to none. His crossing is amazing, from the tightest of angles, whether it's in mid air or beating two opponents, he's capable of it. With 12 assists in the league and 10 goals, he's been a major player in our season and I can only hope that if he is reading this that you stay next season Greeny. A true fans favourite who will always go in full blooded, if a bit rash at times, if we keep him next season, I wouldn't put it past an immediate return to the third tier.

8. John Akinde- On loan from Bristol City from early January he didn't make his first appearance until the start of April against Exeter after a Hernia operation. A lot of weight on his back and for the preparation he had, done pretty well in all honesty. His penalty winning appeal is second to none, getting four for us this season and bagging two goals in 9 games has been a pretty big influence in our end of season run in. He does however need to improve on the one on ones, a number that he missed could have made a significant difference in the final standings. Now at Crawley, I wish him all the best, despite the club he's joining!

9. Jon Nurse- The real fans favourite. His sheer determination and energy is applauded from 3 sides of the ground and has turned into a key player for us after January. A slow start where he was limited to substitute appearances, John Still started him quite a bit after the New Year and become our main striker. Doubles against Brentford, Carlisle and other vital goals against Charlton & Swindon were key. A brilliant player, forever a legend for the goal at Wembley, I'm not the only one that thinks a Nurse/Scott partnership will do us the world of good next season.

10. Josh Scott- A bad season, by no fault of his own I have to stress. A decent start to the season, where he was unlucky against Notts County in particular, hitting a shot against the post before we lost 1-0. He lost his place after the 3-0 defeat against Bristol Rovers and never really regained it due to various reasons. A few substitute appearances before arriving back on the scene against Southampton on January 3rd. A great header that did in the end prove to be a consolation, it's a shame, if it wasn't for his blood clot, he would have played a major part in the season. A bigger loss than Benno perhaps, I can't wait to see him back next season.

11. Gavin Tomlin- A bit if a false dawn in truth. In pre season he looked great, scoring a very good goal against Norwich. His trickery was always seen in every game he played, but never really had that goal scoring prowess that we needed. Two goals and a number of bench places up until April, saw him shifted on loan to League Two Torquay, where he predictably started banging them in weekly, I wish him all the luck for the Play Off Final. Another one I would like to see next season, however he may choose to stay at Torquay, if he can find his shooting boots for us, a he will become a key player.

12. Phil Ifil- A player that was perhaps brought in at the deep end. A replacement for Abu Ogogo for when injured, Ifil never really lived up to any expectations, however, I'm not sure what those expectations were. From his first game against Bournemouth to the final day against Peterborough, when called upon he was effectively torn apart. I have to say, he has great ability to ping a ball though. You can defend him, and I will because Abu was a class above and coming into a team like that must be very difficult but he was simply not up to the task. A player that I am glad to see released.

14. Paul Benson- He did play for us at the start of the season, he didn't really shine, but should always be remembered as a Daggers legend. The tears he shed against Tranmere at the end will always be the memory of him for me this season. Cheers Benno.

14. Victor Palsson- The Icelandic midfielder on loan from Liverpool never really got a chance to shine in all fairness. His first game against Orient in the cup, he looked decent with a good bit of strength about him, but the he was reduced to the bench afterwards with the return of Solly Taiwo. The harsh Winter really stopped him playing a more vital role, we didn't even get to witness one of his free kicks.

15. Damien Scannell- A player that never really got a run of games, however when he did he wasn't consistent enough. His most vital contribution was the strike against Swindon Town, he may well be a starter next season depending on comings & goings. A powerful shot on him and a decent cross, he was fairly average for us, but popped up with some good stuff.

That concludes the first part of the player reviews, the second part will be posted either on Sunday or Monday. We will also have another fan interview tomorrow on the separate blog. Thanks for reading!

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