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Gardner underwhelming since Blues return

Gardner underwhelming since Blues return

Craig Gardner`s loan at Blues has today been made into a permanent deal, with the midfielder extending his stay at St. Andrews for a further three years.

The deal also comes with the option of a further year so I wouldn't back against Gardner ending his career at his boyhood club.

When he rejoined the club in January, I think we all had high hopes that Gardner was going to come in and really improve us as a team.

His past with the club led us to expect him to come straight in and have the impact that he had when he was with us in the Premier League days.

As we know, Gianfranco Zola`s reign went terribly wrong and it nearly cost us but for the intervention of Harry Redknapp who looks set to continue as manager.

The whole team underperformed since the turn of the year but I don't think I'm alone in saying that Gardner`s performances have been underwhelming to say the least.

The circumstances have been difficult, I'll give him that, but I just don't think we've seen enough from him since rejoining.

One thing that's stood out the most has been his set piece delivery. The amount of times we've seen his cross go straight into the goalkeepers hands or fail to beat the first man has been countless.

I think the fact that he is a Blues fan and he knows what it's like to be one of us has somewhat let him off the hook a little.

We all saw what it meant to him when we secured safety on Sunday but I wouldn't say it's been down to his influence on the field, far from it in fact.

The quality you would expect from a player that, previously, had never played outside of the Premier League just hasn't been there.

His influence off the pitch, however, would've definitely rallied the troops and I think he played a vital role in that sense.

But, I still expect a lot more to come from Gardner next season and he really needs to show up. If it was any other player, then the criticism would've been twice as worse.

I still think that he can be a key player for us particularly under a manager like Redknapp so hopefully we`ll see some top displays from him next season.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Luke Turner
Date:Thursday May 11 2017
Time: 6:19PM


Totally agree, whats more is the fact that he has signed a 3 year deal. Particularly agree with your comments on his set piece delivery, its been awful. Based on his performances so far he is a squad player at best for the coming season
Dean Smith
11/05/2017 18:47:00
Let's not forget he hadn't played for a long time before joining us. Then he had to endure Zola's tactics. Give him a full pre season and hopefully he'll be back to his best.
Rob Wildey1
11/05/2017 19:30:00
Yes Rob, fair point about Zola's tactics but I hoped he'd still stand out more than he did. He just looked ordinary
Dean Smith
11/05/2017 20:19:00
In terms of open play he isnt the best passer of the ball but he has earned his corn by getting stuck in along with his ability to hit the ball well from distance. This is what we got last time and its what Sunderland and the Baggies got, so lets not get carried away with what we expect. Sure he wasn't up to much in our run in and maybe certain circumstances dictated this so just getting back the reliable Gardner of old will be a decent squad player next season.
11/05/2017 21:58:00
Zola's tactics. And being played out of position would not have helped. A full pre season and he will be fine.
11/05/2017 22:31:00
Gardner I think will be used at right back at times making him a useful squad player a la Spector.WBA used him well.
12/05/2017 06:53:00
What will be interesting is what Harry does with Donaldson,Jukey and Cotterill. With players coming in,I don't see any of these making a shout for a top six attempt.
12/05/2017 06:57:00
Brooklyn, The Don will be valuable from the bench and Juke needs either service or a partner.
Rob Wildey1
12/05/2017 07:46:00
Rob,fair point. However we are talking about a very different situation now. Harry will want pace in a lot of positions and up front will be his priority,someone to pair up with Adams.Imo,I just don't see Donaldson or Jukey spearheading anything apart,as you say,coming off the bench.
12/05/2017 08:18:00
In my opinion,Harry will have replacements in for Shotton,MK,Maghoma,Gleeson,Donaldson.As for Frei and Keita and Stewart,expect quick exits.
12/05/2017 08:22:00
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