The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

The last salute

3 April 2019

Another Wednesday, another player leaving the building. Apparently. Reports eminating from local BBC suggest Wes Thomas has been banned from training and is therefore likely to have played his last game for Town.

Sources have claimed an 'altercation' after the defeat at Oldham, which may or may not have included other players. Certainly, Jolley alluded to players wanting (or not) to play for the club after that game – and if it is true then what do we make of the efforts of our top scorer?

Well, Thunderdiary has pointed out his impact for Town already on these pages but can update you: Thomas's 11 league goals have contributed 11 points. Basically, if he hadn't scored (and no-one else had, for instance, walloped one into the top corner vs Port Vale), then Town would be back near the bottom of the table.

That's a point per goal. Even James Norwood at Tranmere has only contributed 21 points for his 29 goals.

Thomas has a one-in-three strike rate. This, albeit in many fewer games, puts him on a par with Kevin Drinkell and Clive Mendonca. And I suppose that's the nub. He will never feature in the higher echelons of our memories because the game is different from the days of Kev and Clive. A season here, a seaon there and you're a journeyman who may get into double figures in that year. Strikers of the 80s and 90s tended to stay a little longer.

Social media, as ever, has come out and either supported Thomas or castigated him. Goals that won games, say some; lazy so-and-so, say others. I don't think you can underestimate what it's like to work far away from home – that's going to have an effect – but I also think the loss of form of Elliot Embleton in the new year has had something to do with Thomas apparent lethargy on the pitch.

His range of goals were impressive – beautiful headers, thwacks, and of course the Hand of Cod. He should be fêted just for that.

My view?  I'm glad of his contribution, but once more it highlights how hard it is to get that 20- or 25-goal striker who invariably helps you knock around the top end of a division. Until that problem is solved I fear the likes of Wes Thomas for a few more years to come.