Should They Stay Or Should They Go?
WIE's chief pundit, White Socks, takes on the role denied him by the Hobbins brothers and casts his managerial eye over the squad, each time deciding whether the player should stay or go. It should of course be pointed out that this was written prior to any changes Adrian Pennock made to the squad.
Charlie Mitten - GO
This might seem a bit of a controversial start but I think we can do better. The main reason I am against retaining him is that I feel he collects too many injuries: there always seems to be some niggle or another and it is patently clear he wasn't fit for the latter part of this season. Some Welling fans have to understand that goalkeepers at this level are far from perfect else they would not be plying their trade at this level in the first place. In the modern game keepers have to be a lot fitter and sharper and his kicking from open play leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not saying the bloke is a bad keeper but I feel we could do better.
Lew Watts - GO
No real surprise here. From one season he has gone from being player of the year (and rightly so) to being a liability. There is no reason why he shouldn't be a real force again at this level but that attitude problem will never go away. Despite the fact that the Hobbins like him and that he is one link with a better past I don't think AP is a fan and his actions at the end of the Maidenhead game might have just tipped some people over the edge. I can't believe he has got away with his Friday night 'training' for so long and if we want to be more professional as a club we need to do so without the likes of Bud Boy.
Tony Browne - GO
Well I did try to stand up for the bloke (for longer than he really deserved) but even I have given up the ghost now. The strange thing is that I really rated him when he played against us for The Frenchies and never noticed quite how much of a tart he really is. He has had numerous opportunities throughout this season to cement himself as a permanent fixture in the starting XI but has never done himself justice and his performance against Lewes just went from bad to worse and ought to be his last in a Wings shirt. He still has his fan club on the coast but I'm not sure if they can afford him.
Matt Lee - GO
This might seem a little harsh but I always worry over players that have had long-term injuries. I suppose AP will know him better than most after his stint at G&N but on the few occasions I have seen him he never really impressed. I suppose he offers a bit of versatility as a makeshift centre back or even right midfield at a push and that may prolong his PVR career. However I do recall him not going down to well at Welling Old Boys (aka Tonbridge) earlier this season and that is quite a step down from Conference South level. So, three right backs in a paper-thin squad and I'm not keeping any of them!
Ian Wiles - STAY
At last he keeps a player! I am now starting to think of him as a recognised full back rather than a centre back out of position which I suppose is a sort of back-handed compliment. He needs to learn a new trick apart from bashing the ball diagonally as far as possible although it could be said that we could have made more of that ball at times during the season. Of course he also offers the option of playing as a centre back and in a squad of 16/17 players we will need some versatility in all areas of the team.
Chris Moore - STAY
I don't think there can be much argument on this one and I hope he gets the armband next season. He should have got it at the end of this campaign but I wonder if they gave it to Slatter just to try and convince him to hang around at PVR a while longer. WIE has long been pleading for the big centre back to put on a Welling shirt and we seem to have found a good one here. He was player of the year at G&N and if it had not been for a fall out with Ford he might still be playing Conference National football. He seems to have settled in well and will be one of the mainstays of the team next season.
James Smith - STAY
No surprises here but I should stress these are the opinions of Mr Socks which may not be shared from within the club. In my humble opinion he would be the worst player we could lose pre-season in terms of potential and value to the team. I'm not saying he will be at PVR for an eternity but another season wouldn't go amiss. I have rated him from day one and have noticed how valuable he is when watching games from the new stand as opposed to behind the goal - with him and Moore we could have one of the best partnerships in the league next season. Of course there will be rumours flying around about him throughout the summer.
Danny Slatter - STAY
I thought after PP left that Slatts might sulk and go into his shell but, in fact, his mentor leaving was the making of him in some ways. I still much prefer to see him wide right where he can influence the game going forward. In the middle he gets too involved at times which results in some stupid challenges which invariably hurt him more than his opponent. He wasn't my choice for POTY but I can't argue too much with that decision but he is definitely no captain for my money. A lot of speculation has surrounded him post season there are some who feel that Conference South is about his level and nothing more.
Jamie Day - STAY
One of the few to have arrived from The Frenchies who (finally) did himself justice in a Wings shirt. After Christmas, discounting Smith, he was arguably our best player and that appeared to be down to an improvement in fitness as much as anything else. He also delivers a good set piece which is a great source of goals at all levels of football and we finally have a few players on board to take advantage of this. He can be the holding player who keeps things ticking over but will have to curb some of those reckless challenges (see Weston away) which could lead to all sorts. He is obviously well respected amongst the other players to get their vote as POTY.
Lee Spiller - GO
Now after three months of the season he was about the only bright spark in a sea of mediocrity. However, when you look a little closer (as Daish did) was he actually performing well or just surrounded by some serious under achievers? There is a school of thought with some PVR fans that effort and commitment alone excludes one form criticism and you certainly can't fault him on those fronts. I also read disturbing reports that he has some long-standing groin injury which would probably explain why we put him on a well-paid two-year deal. I remember the comments that Day and Spiller could not be trusted in a four-man midfield. At the time we all thoughy that was to supplement Day but the more I think about it, the problem may well have been Spiller as his discipline and positional play can leave a lot to be desired.
Dan Talbot - GO
It might seem slightly harsh to dispense with him and I admit to liking him as a player. The main downside for me is that I don't see him surviving a big run of games in a short space of time and the physical nature of this level of football might prove too much for him. He is clearly a very neat and tidy player but I feel he would probably flourish more at a higher level of the game. I'm sure his dad has a few contacts and will be trying to get him back into the pro ranks during the close season. I am all for Welling having as many 'footballers' in the team as possible but a midfield including the likes of Day, Slatts and Talbot, whilst punching above their weight, would still leave us short in the physical department in my book.
Ashley Probets - GO
Clearly behind Mr Talbot (and perhaps Mr Bourne) in the pecking order and for that reason alone he is probably already surplus to requirements. I'm not sure he ever really got a fair crack of the whip at PVR and there were some quite impressive little cameos. However if I am dispensing with Talbot then I have to do the same with him.
Chris Bourne - GO
I never quite saw what other people saw in him but I am prepared to be proved completely wrong. His main asset is quite clearly his pace but there seemed to be a lack of end product most of the time. I think the team got the ball to him quite a few times but he never really convinced me he knew what to do with it. I'm not sure he wouldn't be better as an out and out striking option but he would have to beef up a bit at this level for that idea to ever take shape. He would certainly be a fairly cheap and cheerful option if AP persists with him. It does strike me as farcical however that in a squad of this size we basically have three left midfield players and three right backs to pick from.
Tommy Tyne - GO
The best thing about TT has always been his workrate and effort in his game but we saw precious little of that during the latter part of the season. Granted he had a long injury lay off but he was barely surviving an hour in those last few weeks of the season before blowing up. I suppose he could be kept on as a utility player who could do a job in the wide midfield roles but as a supplementary striker then he has to be looking at double figures for goals and frankly I don't see that happening. If he can get his appetite (and fitness) back then, once again, I am prepared to be proved wrong in my judgement.
Paul Booth - STAY
I have probably left the toughest one until last. His form (and fitness) over the last few weeks of the season would mean a resounding 'GO' but we simply can't afford to ignore a player that gets 20+ league goals a season. I realise it might all come down to travelling at the end of the day but with better players around him and a bit more help on the goals front we should be looking to keep him. I'm not sure what AP thinks however as he basically became a 60-minute player during the last month of the season and we have to get more from him than that - perhaps he is another who was carrying an injury of sorts?