Writer: Niall Cope
Date:Friday August 24 2012
With rumours gathering pace about new arrivals in central midfield, added to the signings of Jamie Ness and Geoff Cameron, surely it has come to a time where Rory Delap is no longer required to pull on the red and white striped shirt of The Potters ever again.
No one can deny that Rory has been a good player for the club, with the emphasis being on good. He has always been a solid performer whenever called upon but has ultimately not set the world alight in terms of his technical ability, apart from his long throws.
With stiff competition in midfield from Glenn Whelan, Dean Whitehead, Wilson Palacios, Jamie Ness, Geoff Cameron and any other imminent arrival in that position, it should most definitely end his City career if the club is to move forward, however there is always a 'but` with TP in charge.
Despite Delap`s advancing years and the Premier League`s decision to normalise pitch sizes to UEFA standards this season, the Dubliner you feel, will still have a part to play even if it looks to be at the cost of further progression.
Down the years the manager, as well as the club`s players, have spoken of how Rory is not just a throw-in specialist, instead pointing out his defensive attributes.
The first two seasons in the Premier League were a success for Delap, terrorising teams with his unique ability and more than fulfilling his role as the deep-lying midfielder, but since then his contribution to the cause has deteriorated. His long throws-in have, just like his understudy Ryan Shotton, been found out whilst his advancing years in a high-tempo league have seen him commit countless rash challenges in dangerous positions.
Rory himself must know deep down that left-wing is no place for him at stadiums like Old Trafford. His ability to cover the ground he used to do has gone while his competence on the ball is that woeful it will ultimately hold the club back.
TP has made some positive signings so far this transfer window but you just hope he does not persist with Rory, even as a substitute in the last ten minutes of a game. The manager has more than enough players now not to have to call upon Rory and as much as he won`t want to do it, the time has come to drop his battling midfielder and make way for his new signings to take the club onto the next level.
We as supporters will never forget the contribution Rory has made since his arrival in October 2006 but even the most die-hard Delap backer can`t deny his days at the club should definitely be numbered.
Be Loyal Be Proud Be Stoke
Date:Friday August 24 2012
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