Friday, 23 September 2011

Scout and about - Shaun Wright Phillips

When our resident Scout comes into the office on a Monday morning, he usually brings with him tales of young, new, little known players he has seen on his weekends away.  Royston Drenthe @ Everton, RubĂ©n Rochina with Blackburn or Paul Pogba @ Old Trafford amongst others have all had him salivating into his first hot cuppa and cheeky Hob Nob of the day.
So this week when the name Shaun Wright-Phillips was on every one's lips we thought we'd heard it all before. But with his early season form and promise of regular first team football, SWP could about to be a player revitalised.

Arriving @ Loftus Road as the transfer window had started to creak to a close, Shaun faced an on the spot interview from the Sky Sports Reporter who had taken up squatting rights there that particular evening and it was clear for all to see that he really didn't want to leave Manchester, but with the only other option that of getting splinters on his bum from warming the City bench, he decided the time was right to leave the club he loved and played for twice for a new life in West London.

Now 29 years of age it's fair to say that he wasn't helped in his first few seasons at Maine Road by lack of stability at the club, going through managers like a dose of salts and the added bonus of relegation probably didn't help.
But after breaking into the side under Kevin Keegan he became a fans favourite winning the 'Young Player of the Year' award on four successive occasions. It was then that he first appeared in an England shirt and attracted the attention of Chelsea, who paid £21m for his services.

Once again managerial turmoil at a club hindered his career, add to that this time the owners need for instant success and SWP was once again on the periphery of things. During his time he did however continue to appear and score for his country.
Inevitably really after one managerial shake up too many he fell out of favour completely and was granted a return to the Sky Blues.

Without taking anything away from QPR something SWP is more likely to get now is first team football and of course if a player is playing week in week out their confidence and form improves. This could lead to a return to the England set up where his bustling, energetic approach has earned him praise on International Duty in the past.
England have had their fair share of wingers trying to stake a claim for a regular spot in the team, but even if the early season form of Ashley Young has made him a first choice, there is still a place on the other flank there for the taking.
Let's hope for Shaun's sake that the recent  takeover @ The Hoops doesn't mean a case of history repeating and that this new start isn't another false dawn.

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