Post by chewbacca on Dec 4, 2019 13:38:55 GMT
With us now in the last month of the
zeroes naughties 00's TEENIES?!, it's a good time to look back at the last decade and reflect on the good... and not so good times. So here's my team of the decade;
GK - Mildenhall. A relegation and two promotions for the veteran stopper who originally joined on loan. You could make arguments for us having better keepers in the decade but for length of service and achievements with the club Steve has to be number one.
RB - Smith. In the dire years leading up to the relegation in 2014 Smudge was a stand out. While there have been decent fullbacks since, I don't think any have met the levels Smith did. He can currently be found smashing in rasping drives against Germany.
LB - Brown. Goes without saying really, like Mildenhall one relegation and two promotions. You could make an argument for Browner being Rovers player of the decade. An important penalty at Wembley and that goal. An all time Rovers legend.
CB - Lockyer. A youth product that went onto make the thick end of 300 appearances and captain the club. Lockyer burst onto the scene as a defensive midfielder before playing at rightback and then finally centreback. A crucial cog in both promotion teams Tom can now be found going to the Euros with Wales.
CB - McChrystal. A calming presence that no one could understand. Macca is our most successful captain, and will probably best be remembered for sinking to his knees after the Wembley penalty shoot out win. Often forgotten is his goal in the Bristol Derby oh, and often not forgotten was his stint in goal at Wrexham. My captain.
RM - O'Toole. The much maligned midfielder has to be in this team, his 16 goals from midfield in 59 games kept us up in 13 and helped give us a chance in 14. Probably given the most stick out of the relegation squad despite being one of the few players that actually performed at all that season.
LM - Bodin. The Robben of the English lower leagues, Billy would cut in and score again, and again, and again. Sometimes streaky, always greedy but with excellent feet and a great eye for goal. Bodin would make you stand up (if you were sat down) and had the ability to make something for nothing. Probably the closest to Lambo we've had post-Lambo.
CM - Lines. Two spells during the decade, Rovers most promoted player can't miss out. Rangy runs, sprayed passes and the occasional thwack into the net. Lines is one of the clubs most underrated players ever (in my opinion). He plays like a continental 8, box to box, dictating the play. Important in the Conference run in, important in League 2 and important in achieving midtable in League 1. An all time Rover great.
CM - Mansell. Lee Mansell was the personification of the new side built by Darrell Clarke post-relegation. Manse lead by example on and off the pitch. Mansell was another involved in the back to back promotions and although often played without the armband was an absolute leader on the pitch. Hard work with a devilish set piece, Manse played with a smile on his face and to the best of his ability. Oh, and he was ice cool.
ST - Taylor. Sure it ended badly but Taylor was outstanding in the quarters. An incredible two and a half year period has to see him recognised with some of our greatest strikers. Taylor had a habit of being in the right place, at the right time. He pressed the opposition high and ran himself into the ground. His goalscoring record was outstanding, it's just a shame he tarnished it a little.
ST - Clarke-Harris. Why have we signed another player from Coventry? Clarke-Harris plays like the bastard son of Jason Roberts. Big, brash, cocky, rockets in his boots and strength that worries most third tier defenders. Clarke-Harris kept Rovers up last season and continues to find the net regularly. How long will we keep hold of him? I'm not sure, but let's enjoy him while he's here.
Lumley, J Clarke, Parkes, Sinclair, Monkhouse, Harrison & Sercombe.