Rochdale’s Remarkable Contribution To Prem Scoring Charts
Adam Le Fondre, Rickie Lambert, Grant Holt, Glenn Murray… What have all these hit men got in common? Well, they have all had fantastic seasons so far, all have led their clubs front lines with distinction, all have banged in the goals and most surprisingly of all, they have each represented at one time or another Rochdale AFC.
My knowledge on Rochdale could easily be wrote on the back of a postage stamp in Times New Roman font 40 but I find it remarkable at one time or another four of England’s hottest marksmen have played for the League 2 side. Rochdale is somewhere around Manchester according to Wikipedia. It is also the place where televisions school based drama Waterloo Road is set, that’s it really.
So on the face of it Rochdale is a pretty unremarkable town one that won’t feature highly on my must visit places, sorry Rochdale. What is remarkable is the players I have mentioned have had spells at Spotland.
Let’s start off with the best known of the four Grant Holt. The lardy Norwich forward, a man who earlier in the season we dismissed as overweight and out of sorts. He has really redeemed himself and despite carrying more extra timber than a lumber jack who has gone mental with an axe in the Amazon he’s had a decent season. Once again the shouts for Holt to gain an England call up have been all over the media and with England’s limited striking options, Uncle Roy getting on the blower to Grant is a real possibility. Whilst this season, due to personal issues hasn’t been as explosive as last, his 5 goals this term in a poor Norwich side where he has often been overlooked has been a commendable return.
The next former Rochdale man to have taken to the Premier League like a bored professional footballer takes to gambling and genuinely behaving like a moron is Rickie Lambert. Rickie’s a mystery to me not because his name is spelt like his Mum is a dyslexic whack job but because it’s taken til now for Premier League snobs to realise this man is a goal machine.
Rickie sprung to my consciousness in a slightly bizarre way, as a 15-year-old I was trying to have a cheeky post match pint without drawing attention to myself when I ended up getting into a chat with some Bristol Rovers fans on their last away game ‘fancy dress party’. Three men dressed as chickens proceeded to burn my ear off about Lambert, good way not to draw attention to yourself Aido.
It was after this comedy scene that I really began to take notice of Lambert and his extraordinary talent for bagging goals. His time at Bristol saw him snatch 51 goals he then carried this form to Southampton where he managed to again be amongst the goals, 100 in 185 appearances and rising. Like Holt, Lambert is now backed for an England call up and like Holt the step up to the big time of the Premier League hasn’t bothered him one bit.
Adam Le Fondre like Holt and Lambert hasn’t struggled to adapt to the Premier League. Whilst only playing a limited amount of minutes for Reading he is doing an excellent job of playing a passable tribute act to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Le Fondre has managed to chalk up 10 goals, a player of the month and be the League’s minute for minute deadliest striker. Great statistics for a player costing just £350,000. Adam like Grant and Rickie has been linked with a call up for England who could do worse than having this man coming off the bench, that’s if he doesn’t pick France of course.
The final player of the four former players to pass through Spotland at one time or another is Glenn Murray. Whilst most bang on about Manchester United’s new signing Wilfred Zaha, Glenn has arguably been Palace’s real star. Glenn Murray currently finds himself just behind Lionel Messi but ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in Europe’s goalscoring charts. I’d put serious money on Glenn being able to do the exact same thing he’s done at Palace this season at the higher level aka the Premier League.
What all four men illustrate for me is that if you can ripple the net at one level you can do it at any level – goal getting is really a transferable skill. Shame Rochdale couldn’t keep hold of them, if they did I might have a scooby about the place!
Aidan Fulham (@AidanFulham)