Thursday, 24 July 2014

The New Arrivals - James Wallace

This week on A United View we will be hearing about each of United's new arrivals from the fans who watched them last season. Each day we will be hearing the reaction to losing a player and getting an idea of what we can expect in the coming months.

Next up is esteemed Tranmere blogger and podcaster Paul Harper (@PaulHarper82 on twitter) who is editor and presenter of Total Tranmere . I was delighted to guest on the podcast ahead of a Blades v Rovers match; a game sadly not to be repeated this season.

Paul took a quick break from his comprehensive coverage of Rovers' pre-season to offer up his opinion on James Wallace.

James Wallace

There is no doubt that James Wallace has got the potential to become a very good midfield player. Unfortunately, injury halted his progress in developing that potential during his two year spell at Prenton Park.

He first arrived at the club for a loan spell for a couple of months at the end of the 2011/12 season and helped keep the team in League One at the end of a difficult campaign for Rovers.

During that temporary spell, he looked a very promising player. A dynamic, energetic midfield player who enjoyed getting forward but could also do the defensive side of the game too and that led to then-manager Ronnie Moore signing him up permanently for the following season and making him club captain.

In the first three months of that first full season, he was excellent. He led by example with his all-action performances, giving 100% commitment and that desire to win every ball probably led to his long-term injury lay-off.

In an FA Cup game against Chesterfield, he took a heavy touch and dived into a tackle and came out worse and had to endure over 11 months on the sidelines.

And to be honest, since his return, which was actually a goalscoring return away at Coventry, we didn't see a great deal of him due to further injury issues and a suspension after a red card on New Year's Day at Wolves.

We could have done with him on the pitch at the end of last season, but unfortunately another injury lay-off meant that was not possible. His presence on the pitch, I'm sure, would have kept Tranmere in League One.

He was offered a new deal with the club, and had he signed then I would have been happy. When fit, he is an excellent player. But can you keep him fit for long enough for him to have enough of an impact? There are huge doubts about that.

Because of that reason, a lot of Tranmere supporters weren't overly disappointed when he left the club to join Sheffield United.

He is certainly a good player, but at Tranmere, with a small squad, we can't afford to have a player who might not be available for large parts of the season. And with him never having played a full season, it is still a massive unknown as to whether he can do that.

I wish him well and hope that he can remain injury-free and enjoy success in his career because there is no doubting his ability.

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