Nathan Dyer - The New Leon Knight?
Last month I saw Nathan Dyer start for the first time in his loan spell at Sheffield United against Crystal Palace - a massive game which signalled the return of Neil Warnock to Bramall Lane. The match I witnessed produced little in the way of footballing highlights, but in all fairness Nathan Dyer was one of those positives. He scored a tremendous goal just before the break, anticipating the mistake of the Palace defender, before showing poise and a great finish to put the Blades 1-0 up.
In fact, the friend I watched the game with (a Sheffield United seasonticket holder) commented on his disappointment not to have seen more of Dyer during his loan spell given his good performance in this game.
Some Swans are most definitly aware, others may not be so, but Nathan Dyer was convicted of a rather nasty and cynical crime not so long ago. On a night out with some friends, drunk, he stumbled into the cloakroom of the club he was in and proceeded to steal from the waitresses of the nightclub. He was found guilty, ordered to pay the stolen money back plus costs and do 100 hours community service which would become a jail term if not completed.
I've been keenly reading messageboards and guestbooks since the announcement of his arrival and must say I'm not at all surprised at the divided view. What I will add to this is that, whilst his crime was awful and cowardly and rather pathetic in all honesty, I do think it's not so serious the lad should not be allowed to get on with his life. After all, he didn't drink-drive, or even speeding - both crimes which can actually put the lives of people in danger, but would in my opinion, cause less of a stir.
With Leon Knight, it was interesting that because Kenny Jackett was so out of favour with many of the fans, Knight was cast as the victim, although I must say Jackett was ultimately proved right with Knight being sacked by his latest club, Rushden - a sad situation for such a talented player.
I think ultimately fans opinions will rest on his performances. Martinez will be well aware of all the facts, and was even around for the Knight fiasco. He knows what a bad-boy could do to our team ethos, and I'm sure if there was any trouble from anyone, Dyer or otherwise, they would be surplus to requirements. Let's not forget how long it's taken Alan Tate to get a run in the team after he came back from pre-season with a bad body fat percentage - The same Tate who joined us at the with Martinez, and together helped save the club from the Conference. Ultimately, only time will tell....
Dominic O'Shea writes about a range of different sports on his own website at www.osheasport.co.uk