Monday, 9 May 2011
380 Joe Thompson
Position : Winger (also played in midfield and as a forward)
Played : 2005-06 to ?
Appearances : 126 (to date)
Goals : 14 (to date)
Contrary to what many think , Joe originates from Bath but went to school in Rochdale. When he came on as sub in the game against Carlisle in May 2006 the annoying woman who used to sit in front of us in the WMG said she'd seen him in schools action and assured us " he'll certainly get stuck in" . Some would say we're still waiting for that.
This is the post I've least been looking forward to writing as I don't want to knock any of the current squad. I'm not one of Joe's fiercest critics and don't get on his back as quickly as others but I do get very frustrated with him. I acknowledge that he's slowly improved season on season but think that he's been given an extraordinary length of time (for our club) in which to develop and the payback so far has been modest. I'd love to know if any other club has ever enquired about him.
Joe got a couple more substitute appearances under Parkin because our squad was so thin at the start of the 2006-07 season then made his full debut in Keith Hill's first game in charge away at MK Dons. He played on the left wing and showed a willingness to chase and ability to cover ground rapidly but little else. For the next couple of years he was a fringe player winning the League Two Apprentice of the Year Award in 2007 and scoring his first goal a header at home to Darlington in January 2008.
He started staking more of a claim to a first team spot in 2008-09 particularly after his hat trick away at Aldershot in January 2009 . He started getting some good crosses in and showing odd bits of skill on the ball but there was an obvious reluctance to go into hard tackles and his reading of the game left a lot to be desired. I thought he had one of his best games in central midfield away at Bury in March 2009 but he hasn't played there since.
Joe played in most of the games in our promotion season and started scoring more regularly ; for the first time I found myself thinking he deserved to be in the side. This season just gone he hasn't been particularly impressive but hasn't looked seriously out of his depth either.
Joe concludes the 2005-06 season.