Sunday, 25 May 2008

The Mystery of Trundle

If anyone can explain the enigma of Lee Trundle I'd love to hear it.

I've watched football long enough to understand that players can enjoy a sudden upturn of fortunes with a change of club; a guy who looks like a total donkey can dramatically flourish and look like a different man. However, what has ahppened to Trundle is subtly, perplexingly different.

Yesterday Trundle was ninety minutes away from getting into the Premiership; indeed, if a late close range chance that fell to him had found its way in he would have been the author of his elevation. He has, of course, been a cult hero over the last few years at Swansea and Bristol City, and I just don't get it.

I've never seen anything like Trundle's first six weeks in a Wrexham shirt; I honestly thought I was watching a player who would go on to the highest level as he didn't just look too good for the Third Division, it was like watching a professional play against the Under-10 team! A procession of match-turning performances and incredible goals, from an overhead kick to spark a 3-2 win from 2-0 down at league leaders Walsall to the best hat trick I've ever seen a Wrexham player score against Oxford. And then nothing.

Well, I suppose that's a bit harsh, but suddenly teams worked him out. They realised he was one-footed, and if you kept him on his right he wasn't going to hurt you much. In his first full season he produced very little as we were relegated, and although he went on to play a big role in our promotion in 2003 he had reinvented himself as a foil for our main striker, Andy Morrell.

So how come he has since gone on to a higher level and reverted back to his old self? Surely better defences than he came up against for Wrexham should have worked him out too? Has he improved so much? Has he been subjected to stricter coaches-I often felt brian Flynn indulged him a little, and he didn't like it when Denis Smith appeared to insist on a more disciplined approach. Whatever the reason, it's a mystery!

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