Friday, 21 May 2010

The dream is over

I never warmed to Chris Dickson, but I have always felt sorry for anyone who is released by their employers. For Chris, Alan Pardew plucking him from the obscurity of Dulwich Hamlets into a Premier League Club was a dream come true and even the relegation to The Championship, I am sure, did not dampen those expectations of glory.

His first experience of first team football was not quite the glory he had expected as Dario Gradi's Crewe took him on loan but soon returned him, still without a league goal. Pardew had always said that Dickson was a rough diamond and would need time to develop and it appeared that his Crewe expereince had a positive effect as he joined Gillingham and soon became a goalscoring machine, to the extent that Scally and Stimson then pursued him for months to come. the romance of every football fan is fed by the romance of a player like Dickson, rags to riches, emulating his hero Ian Wright, and both pardew and Parkinson were dogged by fans calling for Dickson to be given a longer run in the team.

Other fans pointed to his lack of work rate and poor level of skill and there were rumours of poor training and an over inflated ego. Despite this he won himslef international honours with Ghana and he and his agent were banging on Parkies door for more time on the pitch, whilst Scally was placing stories about how poorly Charlton were treating Chris and how much Scally and the Gills wanted him.

Ultimately, though, he went on loan with former Charlton manager Lennie (why do Charlton managers not use their real first name) Lawrence, at Bristol Rovers, all augered well after his first game scoring twice against Brentford, but another 13 appearances delivered only one further goal and a question by Robin, sorry Lennie to Parkie (is his real name Phil?) how do you cope with Dicksons agent, who apparently over inflated Dicko's ego and continually battered at the managers doors over how hard Dicko was done by. Despite a deal to buy him being on the table, Rovers decided to send him back to the Valley, in a no returnable envelope no doubt. Gillingham finally got their man, after a performance against Brentford which showed off Dickos talents to their best as he won a penalty with his speed, he was shipped off to the team who had courted him for upto 24 months to repeat his feat of 7 goals in 12 games, but as fate so often does it kicked him or was it Gillingham in the teeth and his tally in this second loan period was 1 in 9. This is markedly better than his Charlton tally of 2 in 34. Soon after his loan period started murmurs, all too familiar, about work rate were coming out of Priestfield. If you are a goalscorer then work rate is not an issue, but if you are a non scoring goalscorer and you don't have a work rate ethic then you have nothing and that is Chris's problem. Before Gillighams fate had been sealed and that of Stimson, soon to be sacked, it was announced that the soon to be out of contract Dickson would not be joining Gillingham and now we know that Gilligham will be playing 4th tier football and there was no consideration for making that decsison after their fate was known, so in their opinion not good enough for third or fourth tier.

So finally Chris returned to the Valley, maybe in the hope that he would have a part to play in the play offs, although I suspect the plagues of hell would have had to befall us before that came true.

Today the Club has announced that Chris is being released, his career at Charlton is over. Hopefully the promise seen by Pardew can be revivied through the shock of unemployment, maybe he can change his agent and knuckle down to develop the parts of his game that will make him at least a valued squad member of a 4th tier or conference club. Goalscorers are a rare breed and for one to be discarded as he has been damns him and his other talents, maybe there is a manager out there who sees something that can be redeemed, I hope so, but so far and unusually i have not read any message boards expecting him to one day return to the valley and bite us on the bum. I hope he finds a club and he does well and in 10 years time, like some of the strikers rolling around the third and fourth tier at Brentford and Orient, he can look back at a career of establishment in the lower leagues and a record of goals.

Meanwhile, Parkie find us a goalscoring machine from the lower leagues and quick.

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