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Ex-Cobblers players with the most unrealised talent

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Author Topic: Ex-Cobblers players with the most unrealised talent  (Read 1233 times)
Peles Big Toe
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« on: January 10, 2022, 10:20:02 am »

Regardless of their output for us, in terms of natural talent which Cobblers players over the years do you think could have gone on to a higher level?

Kev Thornton is the prime example for me. Had three Championships seasons under his belt as a youth player at Coventry before he joined us, and occasionally you'd see flashes of brilliance where he'd wriggle through 3 players and thread a killer ball. Clearly wasn't fully fit while he was here, from the sounds of it he's had issues with drink and simply didn't have the discipline or mindset to be a professional footballer. If he sorted that out I reckon his ability was good enough to be a Championship level career rather than slip into semi-professional football.

Bayo is another. Despite being revered at every club he's played for and a stellar goals record, I still believe he could easily played higher and have held his own in the second tier in his prime.  Superb touch and hold-up play, eye for goal, intelligent positional awareness. Probably overlooked due to his size, but there's been dozens of clogger targetmen that have held down Championship level careers with half of his ability.

Guttridge played most of his career in the bottom tier but could have gone higher.

In terms of loanees Emyr Huws (now a free agent at 28) and Ben Marshall (semi-retired at 30) were stand-outs.

Then bit of a left-field one as he was only a trialist, but I'm surprised Michael Hoganson never solidified a professional career. Looked a real talent in a handful of friendlies for us before Derby swooped in with an offer. Has made 6 appearences on loan at Alfreton before disappearing into non-league.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2022, 10:21:56 am by Peles Big Toe » Report Spam   Logged

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tcobb
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2022, 10:47:06 am »

I suppose at the end of the day it comes down to opinions,  those who's opinions really count never rated the players. If they were any good and their heads were in the right place, they would have made the grade.
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2022, 11:26:58 am »

Michael Warner (when Atkins was manager) was the player I could never understand why he didn't get a run in the team. Never did anything there after, so I guess Atkins was right all along!  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2022, 11:30:06 am »

Regardless of their output for us, in terms of natural talent which Cobblers players over the years do you think could have gone on to a higher level?

Kev Thornton is the prime example for me. Had three Championships seasons under his belt as a youth player at Coventry before he joined us, and occasionally you'd see flashes of brilliance where he'd wriggle through 3 players and thread a killer ball. Clearly wasn't fully fit while he was here, from the sounds of it he's had issues with drink and simply didn't have the discipline or mindset to be a professional footballer. If he sorted that out I reckon his ability was good enough to be a Championship level career rather than slip into semi-professional football.

Bayo is another. Despite being revered at every club he's played for and a stellar goals record, I still believe he could easily played higher and have held his own in the second tier in his prime.  Superb touch and hold-up play, eye for goal, intelligent positional awareness. Probably overlooked due to his size, but there's been dozens of clogger targetmen that have held down Championship level careers with half of his ability.

Guttridge played most of his career in the bottom tier but could have gone higher.

In terms of loanees Emyr Huws (now a free agent at 28) and Ben Marshall (semi-retired at 30) were stand-outs.

Then bit of a left-field one as he was only a trialist, but I'm surprised Michael Hoganson never solidified a professional career. Looked a real talent in a handful of friendlies for us before Derby swooped in with an offer. Has made 6 appearences on loan at Alfreton before disappearing into non-league.
The brief period that we had Emyr Huws on loan Lewis Hornby was also playing for us and I remember thinking at the time how little difference there was between them. I thought Hornby was as good if not better than Huws even though Huws had already been capt of Man City reserves.
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2022, 11:36:51 am »

Have to agree about Kevin Thornton. I remember his brother, Sean, was a good player for a few different clubs and was available at the same time, Sammo was our manager and I've known Sammo for ages, so I asked him if he was interested in Sean, his reply was " One Thornton is enough for any manager"  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2022, 11:50:13 am »

Agree about Michael Warner. Thought he was technically a very good player. What we as fans never see is how they are in training, the attitude towards improving and personality.

 When Chris Carruthers got his England under 20 call up he was looking good to progress in the game.
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2022, 12:34:30 pm »

The obvious one must be Christian Lee, does anyone know if he did get sold for a million.

I would have liked Efon Elad and his happy feet to have made more of a mark in the professional game.

Good thread - memories, opinions, debate, this is what we like.
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2022, 13:14:03 pm »

Micky Bell. In his first season(s) with us I thought he had significant potential as an orthodox winger. I know he had a decent career but never as good as I thought he might. I ranked him as potentially as good as Eddie M and Dave Gilbert at the time.

There are a few whose careers were cut short by injury (Paul Stratford for example) and a few who revitalised their careers with us (Keith Mcpherson for example).
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2022, 13:45:24 pm »

Agree about Michael Warner. Thought he was technically a very good player. What we as fans never see is how they are in training, the attitude towards improving and personality.

 When Chris Carruthers got his England under 20 call up he was looking good to progress in the game.
I liked Liam Davis, but I remember chuckling when you said he was made of paper.
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tcobb
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2022, 13:53:54 pm »

A few years ago a retired Football Coach moved into our Village, Had many a long chat with him regarding players. His view on young players was, when they are 16-19 they must show they have potential to improve as a player, any player in that age group who looks the finished article, irrespective of how good they were,  was rarely  going to be a long term prospect. I would imagine to see this in a player you need to see them on the training ground as well as the pitch. We only have 90 mins, less if they are a sub, to form our opinions.
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2022, 13:54:39 pm »

Mark Hughes was one for me. Always thought he was better than League 1. Think he went off to America or Australia or somewhere random like that after he left us.
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2022, 15:04:39 pm »

Don Martin under-achieved when he spent so long in Division 2 with Blackburn Rovers. Mark Bunn of course could have had a better career. Joe Kiernan could have left after 1966 and graced the top division. Alan Starling spent too long in Division 4.  Should have, and could have and would have. We’ll never know. If Barry Lines hadn’t got injured, he might have played for England, and as for Tommy Fowler…..
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2022, 15:08:36 pm »

I liked Liam Davis, but I remember chuckling when you said he was made of paper.
Blimey you have a good memory! True though. Good player but a bit lightweight and injury prone. Hope you’re keeping well.
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2022, 15:32:46 pm »

Martin Smith could have been mega. He was a reel footy genie-us.
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2022, 16:26:15 pm »

Don Martin under-achieved when he spent so long in Division 2 with Blackburn Rovers. Mark Bunn of course could have had a better career. Joe Kiernan could have left after 1966 and graced the top division. Alan Starling spent too long in Division 4.  Should have, and could have and would have. We’ll never know. If Barry Lines hadn’t got injured, he might have played for England, and as for Tommy Fowler…..

Bunn is up for debate. He had a pretty decent career compared to the majority of footballers. He just didn’t have to do a lot to earn it. If he’d actually played more he might not have done as well! Fair play to him.
He wasn’t tall enough to compete with the top keepers.
Don Martin, Barry Lines, Joe Kiernan, Tommy Fowler….showing your age. A lot of people on here won’t remember Robbie Fowler!  Grin
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Peles Big Toe
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2022, 16:52:53 pm »

The brief period that we had Emyr Huws on loan Lewis Hornby was also playing for us and I remember thinking at the time how little difference there was between them. I thought Hornby was as good if not better than Huws even though Huws had already been capt of Man City reserves.

Great shout in regards to Hornby, always looked super composed with the ball which is rare for a youth player. Definitely would have made it professionally if it weren't for the injuries. Hope he's doing OK now as I can't imagine anything worse than getting so close to your dream only for fate to snatch it from you.

Mark Hughes was one for me. Always thought he was better than League 1. Think he went off to America or Australia or somewhere random like that after he left us.


Positionally Hughes was superb and a proper leader on the pitch. Athletically he was a bit lacking however, lacking in both pace and real height to make it much higher IMO.

Similar to Lee Collins (RIP) who I also rated, just had a knack of being in the right place at the right time.

Back to loanees, I always thought Mark Little looked better than Kyle Walker when he was in, but looks like he carved out a decent career mostly in the Championship.
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Peles Big Toe
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2022, 17:00:08 pm »

I would have liked Efon Elad and his happy feet to have made more of a mark in the professional game.

Elad was a bit before my time but I've heard he was similar to Del boy Asamoah. Probably still to date my favourite Cobblers player, absolute electric whenever he came on and I could never wrap my head around why he rarely started. (lack of goals looking back at his career stats)

His careers a bit of an odd one, bounced around a few league clubs then stints in France, Scotland, BULGARIA, China, Korea, before returning to England. Looks like he was still actively playing in non-league as of last season.

David Seal was another that always looked quality as a late substitute yet never consolidated himself. Bagged tonnes of goals in non-league after leaving us.
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2022, 17:02:35 pm »

Martin Smith could have been mega. He was a reel footy genie-us.
I think the one thing Martin Smith lacked was pace, he had every thing else, he could open a tin of beans with that left foot.
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Peles Big Toe
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2022, 17:08:01 pm »

I think the one thing Martin Smith lacked was pace, he had every thing else, he could open a tin of beans with that left foot.

From what I remember he was mostly deployed as a striker before joining us, which seems at completely at odds to his skillset. Whoever decided to play him deeper deserves credit as easily had the best eye for a pass of anyone I've seen at the club. It wasn't Calderwood was it?
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2022, 17:35:34 pm »

From what I remember he was mostly deployed as a striker before joining us, which seems at completely at odds to his skillset. Whoever decided to play him deeper deserves credit as easily had the best eye for a pass of anyone I've seen at the club. It wasn't Calderwood was it?

Yes it was. Best thing he ever did.
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