Monday, 14 May 2012

The Daggers Player Review - Part One.

In two Blogs we'll take a look at every single player that has donned the Daggers shirt this season and evaluate their contribution and what next season holds for them. As we have an abundance of players on the books that have played this season we'll split the review up into two separate Blogs.

Chris Lewington – It’s pretty simple really, this man has had a superb first season in The Football League. Despite the fact he may have had a few lapses which have cost us points, he has done more than his fair share to win them back. It’s not just his shot saving abilities that have endeared him to Victoria Road though, it’s the way he’s stepped into the void left by long standing ‘keeper Tony Roberts; something that I imagine is extremely hard to do. He’s a player that really excites me for next season where we’ll hopefully see him develop even more.
Dave Hogan – This season has really seen the emergence of Dave with his cameo in the 0-5 home defeat to Cheltenham being his highlight. He tries his best and is the last gasp option on the bench, that’s basically it.
Jonathan Bond – Bond came in for a brief five game stint midway through the season when Lewington was banned and for the large part played a very important role. Like Lewington he had good shot stopping abilities with a particular save at Morecambe standing out in many people’s memories, a good ‘keeper who should make the grade at Watford if he continued to progress and gain experience out on loan.
James Shea – Originally signed on loan for the entire season, Shea played just four games before he was recalled by parent club Arsenal because of lack of first team action. Unfortunately for him the form of Chris Lewington meant that he was reduced to cup appearances, he will however be remembered for the penalty save against Orient which sent us through in the JPT after an enthralling contest.
Mark Arber – The Daggers captain has had something of a two sided season. Throughout the first few months he carried an injury but continued to play, something that can be viewed as quite brave and quite naive as it did hinder the team. He came back from that sensationally though and has been like a rock in the second half of the campaign, his performances obviously improving significantly and once again justifying why he’s still a superb central defender. The flak he’s had from some fans this season is barbaric and I for one hope he continues on next season either as a squad player or a starter.
Damien McCrory – It’s been something of an indifferent season for Damien who hasn’t really performed to the best of his abilities throughout. Despite his attacking prowess down the wings when bombing forward, the defensive side of his game leaves a lot to be desired at times which has angered some fans.
Femi – I cannot tell you how much of a shame it’s been that Femi has been injured for large swathes of this season as it had the components to be a really defining year for the youngster. The games he has played he’s looked very impressive and played with a maturity beyond his years, a hard going competitive youngster, I think he’ll make the left back spot his own in the next campaign providing he has no more injury setbacks.
Mathieu Baudry – This man needs no introduction, quite simply the best loan signing we have ever made.  The on loan Bournemouth defender has made eleven appearances and if truth be told has looked far better than his counterparts in the majority of this. His calm play it out from the back style combined with hard hitting tackles has made him a favourite in his short time at Victoria Road; the only disappointing aspect is that he couldn’t bag a goal to be remembered by! With Bournemouth having released him I hold the very slight optimism that we may be able to bag him on a permanent deal.
Exodus Geohaghan – He made two appearances against Port Vale & Southend United and he’ll be remembered for either being a donkey or nearly gifting a last gasp winner to Southend at Roots Hall in the first game of 2012. The less said about the lanky centre half the better.
Scott Doe – This campaign hasn’t been one of Doey’s best I’m sure he’ll agree, but he has been important nonetheless. He has shown gradual improvement and good manoeuvrability when being forced to play at right back towards the end of the season, something which is highly valued by John Still. Not only has the defensive side of his game been pretty impressive, he’s also chipped in with six goals, the majority coming via his now infamous front post run.
Richard Rose – It’s very hard to judge Richard Rose as he’s hardly had a run of games this year. The game he has played he’s looked like a pretty solid player apart from the roasting Ryan Hall gave him at Roots Hall. His lack of pace doesn’t really favour him but he makes up for that with good tackling and popping up with the odd 95th minute goal to nick a win against Crewe.
Phil Walsh – I really do love Phil Walsh as a person, but as a footballer I don’t quite think he’s up to the standard required. He tries his hardest and at Bristol Rovers this season I began to think it may work, but with his contract running out and overall poor form I think it may be the end of the Daggers’ favourite character.
Charlie Wassmer – Another loan defender who’s sole contribution in a Daggers shirt was giving away a penalty at Port Vale. He did look very composed though when forced to see out those final twenty minutes, furthermore he looked even better when Crawley visited us in late April.
Abu Ogogo – Abu is renowned around Victoria Road for being Mr Consistent but this season he’s added another string to his bow by becoming Mr Versatile. In the first months of the season he excelled in his familiar right back role but in 2012 he was switched to centre midfield to combat injuries to other players and for the large part he hasn’t looked back. His energy and willingness have seen him become a fantastic player in another position despite some early nerves; a fantastic season for Abu and for many people, the Daggers’ player of the season.
Mickey Spillane – Where do you start with Mickey? One of John Still’s best signings, since joining from Brentford in November Mickey has played 33 times and made a telling contribution in each of the matches. Whether he is scoring with a pin point header, stringing passes together in a midfield role or putting in crunching tackles at centre half he’s been vital and is well worthy of being included in a player of the season vote. A sensational season from the 23 year old and I don’t really have a bad word to say about Mickey.
Ahmed Abdulla – Ahmed has been a bit part player towards the end of the season who hasn’t really had the chance to make an impact. I don’t feel he was suited to our style and as a result I never really took to the former Hammers midfielder; despite this it was a shrewd move by Stilly to bring Ahmed in for midfield cover.
Ollie Lee – Following his loan stint here towards the back end of last season we took him back for the first couple of months where he once again proved that we were just not suited to eachother. Despite trying his best to play the ball on the floor and scoring a superb free kick against Morecambe, he will ultimately be remembered for his scuffle with fans favourite Jon Nurse after the 3-1 defeat at Crawley Town in October.
Eoin Wearen – Yet another West Ham youngster who was limited to just four appearances, two of which came in the FA Cup against Millwall. I quite liked the look of him from the minutes of action we saw from the lad but he’s another who wasn’t here long enough to make an impact or for me to give a real assessment.
Matt Saunders – Matt was brought in following another midfield crisis in 2012, making his debut on Valentine’s Day against Oxford United. In the five games he did play before his season was corrupted by injury he looked like a dynamic midfielder which excited me, the high point being his match winning free kick against Bradford City, with the low coming when he injured himself in the celebrations. A player I’m looking forward to seeing more of next season.

Kevin Maher – Kevin was signed towards the end of the summer and within hours he found himself ruled out thanks to a broken metatarsal. After eventually making his debut and establishing himself in the side during the Christmas period, the Daggers went on a run of seven games unbeaten which is surely no coincidence. The aging midfielder gave a confidence to play the ball on the floor which helped dramatically, whether he’ll be here next season though remains to be seen.

This is the first half of the review completed, the second part will come either later in the week or over the weekend depending on how much spare time I have to contend with.

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