Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Sunday March 26 2006
With the departure of Clive Clarke last summer to then newly promoted West Ham and John Halls' move to Reading in the January transfer window, we thought it was time to review their progress at their new clubs.
Both players had regular first team places at the Britannia last season. But while we always recognise that players should always want to better themselves, it is important that players make their move based on the opportunity it affords, rather than just the salary alone. This is especially important when you're still in your early twenties and have, hopefully, a good few playing years ahead of you.
Every player has the dream of playing in the Premiership, but in Clive Clarke's case the Hammers have only given him 3 outings this season - and all of these were in the Carling Cup. In fact, even West Ham's official website only can only manage to say that 'he has been a consistent performer in the reserves'. Hardly Boy's Own stuff.
Although John Halls has only been gone a couple of months and moved to another Championship club (albeit one destined for the Premiership next season), we would have expected him to hold down a steady first team place. But he has only appeared in two FA Cup ties and not started a single Championship game.
Now I know that both players will not be missed too deeply by most Stoke fans - 'you make your bed and you lie in it' springs to mind and their latter performances did not endear them to the Boothen End faithful. I hope for their sakes that they are not regretting a move from 'deeply unfashionable' Stoke to the bright lights of south east England.
Let's just see who makes the move back into the Football League first....
Date:Sunday March 26 2006
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