The Bigger Picture
I have to say that I was more than a little disappointed with some of the reactions to Gary Abbott's recent arrival back at the club. Of course it
must be considered that Abbo is in the twilight of his career and that this, his fourth spell at Park View Road, will almost certainly be his last but
he deserved a better welcome than he got.
I won't dwell on the reasons for his leaving the club at the start of the season. Suffice to say that there probably isn't a footballer alive who
wouldn't have gone for the cash when the Grays gravy train came calling. A little cynical it may be, but it would have been purely a financial decision.
And an understandable one at that too.
What I do have a problem with are the moans that it wasn't a forward looking (or thinking) move by the club. In what way exactly? It's a judgement
made simply on Abbo's age. But the one thing that can't be denied is Abbott's goalscoring record, which speaks for itself. And goals are exactly what we
need right now. Paul Booth has looked a class act since he arrived at PVR, but he's been unable to do it all by himself. His need for a partner up front
has been obvious and it had to be somebody capable of taking the strain away of being the lone goalscorer in the team. Which is exactly what Abbo
This may well prove to be Abbott's last season, but it's a decision that will probably be his to make. He's in good shape and has retained a good
level of fitness. So although it may be true that there may not be the real prospect of longevity with his signing, his potential for providing goals in
the short term should be the only real issue. And following our 2-1 defeat to Dover they'll be more than welcome. Just three points off the relegation
places, we've only scored 36 goals in 28 league games. All of which means we desperately need Abbo's goals to help pull us clear of the bottom end of
the table to ensure that we're playing Premier Division football again next season.
And there's another potential angle to consider, although I'll admit it maybe wishful thinking on my behalf. The absence of a reserve and/or youth
team has been the subject of some debate on other forums and has probably not gone unnoticed by the powers-that-be. If this problem is addressed sooner
rather than later, then who better than Abbo to play a significant coaching role. He's a footballer in the purest sense, sharp of mind and intelligent
on the ball. His love and appetite for the game is self evident in that he's extended his playing career for as long as he has. Also his affection for
the club is well documented.
So, where better than PVR to start a new career in coaching/management? He might covet a higher profile job elsewhere to begin with, but that's where
the club must think imaginatively. Under Bill Williams' wing would be no bad place to start, and with the club's past penchant for promoting from within
Abbott might one day find himself in poll position should he perform well. It's just a thought.
Welcome back Abbo. Some of us are more than happy to see you back where you belong.