|Dan Harding Leaves For Nottingham Forest|
Sat 28th Jul 2012 12:40
Good luck to him at the City Ground, although he wasnt one of my favourite players he had his moments in a Saints shirt.
Some people on this website think that I had some sort of grudge against Dan Harding, nothing could be further from the truth, I simply felt that he flattered to deceive and that his end product at the end of a run was somewhat lacking.
The book Soccernomics is a very interesting book, in one chapter it actually relates the story of how a Premier League club several seasons ago, noticed a trend emerging from its scouting system, the scouts were recommending a disprportionate amount of blonde players for more detailed analysis, who on a second look were actually not that much cop, it was found that blonde players were sticking out more in the scouts mind and standing out, this very theory could well apply to Dan Harding.
Harding of course stuck out with his blonde hair and wristbands and it cant be denied that he went on some great runs down the wing, but a view of statistics showed that rarely did these runs come to much, his record of assists was poor, indeed Danny Fox provided more assists in one game last season that Harding had done in the entire season before and this is the reason why Nigel Adkins felt the need to replace the man who had been Alan Pardew's first signing, Adkins is a man who thinks about the game deeply and with the technology to hand that tells everything from assists to goals, even to how far a player runs during the game, you can be sure that he had noticed than Dan Harding was not producing.
In Nigel we trust, is a phrase that you hear used often by Saints supporters, although it seems that many didnt seem to trust him in his judgement at left back, hence Fox has never had the unquestioning backing from certain Saints supporters that Harding enjoyed, they could not quite accept that their hero was part of the problem and not part of the solution, therefore opinions of Fox being poor defensively are bandied about, again the truth is not quite backing up this "fact" for instance in the last ten games Saints conceded 13 goals, some would have you believe that Fox was at the heart of all of them, a look back on Saints Player actually shows that he was at fault for precisely one, Reading's opener and even then his mistake should have been marginalised if our central defender had been marking his man properly.
So good luck to Dan Harding, he gave great service to this club, although sadly for him the club progressed quickly into areas that were above his capabilities, if Nigel Adkins had been content to sit on his laurels last season, then im sure Harding would have done a job and played most of the games, Adkins though was thorough in his plans and what positions he needed to strengthen in long before a ball was kicked, great for Southampton Football Club not so great for Dan Harding, Nottingham Forest ball boys beware !!!!!!!