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Player Reviews 2021/22 - Forwards
Monday, 16th May 2022 15:00 by Chaff

We conclude our player reviews for this past season with the forwards. * Disclaimer - This is just the opinion of two Dale fans, stupid enough to trek up and down the country spending more money than they earn watching Rochdale.

Abraham Odoh

Chaff – 5/10

AtThePeake – 6/10

Chaff – I like Odoh, but he can also be a frustrating player to watch as well. There is evidently a very talented player there, quick, tricky and someone who wants to run at people, there’s just not enough end product for me. He’s scored just three times this season and got zero assists, I think. Compare that to Alex Newby who has been released and come in for criticism, he’s got 6 goals and 3 assists. He’s an exciting player to watch and if we can get more end product from him then we’ve got a superb player, but that’s a big if I think. He’s got the ability to change the game coming off the bench as an impact player but I want more from and think he has more to offer.

AtThePeake - As with Grant, I'm willing to give Odoh the benefit of the doubt due to his lack of experience as at times this season, he has been very exciting to watch, in a campaign where excitement has been at a premium at times. I was also impressed with his willingness to slot in and perform well at wing-back when required. However, the lack of end product is incredibly frustrating for a player with such quick feet and close control and for a player making a total of 35 appearances in all competitions in his position to fail to register a single assist is damning. There is talent there, but he needs to start making it count next season as he will turn 22 before the next campaign begins and won't be able to use inexperience as an excuse for much longer.

Matt Done

Chaff – 4/10

AtThePeake – 5/10

Chaff - Great servant but Doney hasn’t been the same in this spell at Dale. I do partly blame Hilly for that in turning him from a player that got a move to the Championship for playing up front, to a left back but still, we’ve not seen enough from him in the past three or so seasons. He scored his first goal of the season on the final day in what turned out to be his last game for the club and it was quite fitting but for all the sentiment and adulation, it’s not been a good season for Done unfortunately. I wish him well and thank him for all his efforts, his effort, has never been in question.

AtThePeake - A great servant to the club over the years, Done's effort can simply not be questioned and to be fair to him, in the latter stages of the season he's done a job helping to press against the opposition and to drag defenders out of position, but he simply hasn't offered enough with the ball this year. His lack of appearances for quite some time when the team were up against it were quite telling and unfortunately, while the willingness is there, at 33 the energy perhaps isn't anymore and it's time for the club and probably Doney himself to move on at this stage. An unbelievable servant over the years though and should be fondly remembered for his earlier spells.

Alex Newby

Chaff – 6/10

AtThePeake – 5/10

Chaff – Another player who has seemingly gone backwards in his career at Dale is Alex Newby. He started the season off really well and for half the season, I was constantly calling for him to be in the starting line-up. There was a stat where we’d only won one game while Newby hadn’t started for 90% of the season or something daft but in the back half of the season, he was far too inconsistent and ineffective in games and became something of a passenger. That said, he’s still ended up as our top scorer (of players still technically at the club) with 6 goals. A very good player on his day, but too much of the Brad Inman’s about him, if you know what I mean!

AtThePeake - If we were asking for a first-half of the season rating, this would be a lot more generous. However, if we were asking for a second-half, this would be among one of the worst in the whole squad. For all of his early creativity and threat, Newby has been anonymous at best for the majority of the campaign and for every time he showcases his clear ability, we see five instances of him giving the ball away needlessly or shirking a winnable challenge. Selfish, physically weak and looked like he wanted to be literally anywhere else for the last few months, the pretty average return of six goals and three assists are not enough to mask his obvious deficiences. Glad we didn't offer him a new deal.

Danny Cashman

Chaff – 5/10

AtThePeake – 5/10

Chaff - Really looks the part as a footballer, but unfortunately, we’ve just seen far too little of what talent there is there, and I have no doubt this lad has talent. He looked like he was getting to grips with professional football during the first half of the season but then seemingly disappeared with Stockdale alluding to the fact it was performance based in training. In all honesty it’s probably been a waste of a loan, but he has given us moments to savour, the goal against Tranmere was fantastic, and the pass for Corey’s goal was absolutely sensational.

AtThePeake - Cashman's long-running absence from the team was baffling given that he started the season with a couple of important goals and looked to be an exciting loan addition. However, his lack of physicality did see him swallowed up by many League Two defences and although he had his moments, it's fair to say this loan move will have benefited him and his parent club Coventry City rather than us. He was largely ineffectual after being re-introduced to the team later on but did at least show more heart than Newby in these performances even if he wasn't quite getting the required minutes to build up any momentum in his displays.

Josh Andrews

Chaff – 5/10

AtThePeake 5/10

Chaff – Injuries have had a big part to play in Josh’s season meaning I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him. He can finish, we have seen that, but for someone the size of The Undertaker, he’s not physical enough and doesn’t win enough in the air at all. A very stop-start season that makes me wonder how much of an impact he could have had, had he been able to stay fit.

AtThePeake - Another one who probably would've scored higher had he been able to gain more minutes without injuries and a COVID-affected pre-season holding him back. Andrews has actually impressed me at times, but for his size he is nowhere near enough of a threat in the air and given his lack of mobility, that lack of aerial threat is particularly frustrating. That said, he has taken some of his goals really well (particularly getting on the end of a fine team move at Hartlepool) and he offers something different to our other forward players. His inexperience told at times but if he could build that match fitness up he could be useful for us if he was to return next season as Robbie Stockdale has alluded to in recent interviews.

Tahvon Campbell

Chaff – 6/10

AtThePeake – 5/10

Chaff – It's hard to judge Tahvon yet because I don’t think he’s been played in the way that he, or Stockdale will have wanted him to play. He came in and Andrews got injured, so any potential plan for him to play off the big man was scuppered. It took Charman longer to get to grips with the EFL than I think we’d hoped and so they’ve not played together really yet either, so Tahvon has been asked to play a lone striker role and that impacted our goals and chances created as he was very much isolated far too often. That being said, I thought he did alright and took to the EFL quicker than Charman did and look forward to seeing more of the forward that Woking fans saw!

AtThePeake - I still don't really know what to think about Tahvon Campbell. He cut a lonely, frustrated figure in the majority of his appearances before injury, being forced to play in a role that he clearly wasn't suited to in needing to hold the ball up under pressure facing away from goal with little support. He took his two goals well - but also missed good chances against Harrogate and Carlisle. Could burst into life after pre-season and if partnered with Charman on a regular basis, although in the one game they did start together at Scunthorpe they didn't exactly click, and the latter was withdrawn at half-time. The jury is out.

Luke Charman

Chaff – 6/10

AtThePeake – 6/10

Chaff – I think you can see there’s a real player in Luke Charman, it’s just taken us far too long to see him on the pitch. He scored a hattrick in a bounce game just after he signed as he was suspended when he joined us and I think the expectations sky-rocketted because of that and his record at Darlington which was fantastic. Fact is, he came from working a 9-5 job and playing part-time to a full time EFL League Two club and it’s taken longer to get him up to speed than we’d have liked. When he did finally get his chance, when Campbell was injured, it took a while, but we’ve now started to see reasons to be excited for next season. His two goals against Hartlepool were superb and he’s really put himself about more and I think it’s lit a fire in him and he’s playing with miles more confidence now. More to come from this lad, definitely!

AtThePeake - I've been slightly more impressed with Charman than with Campbell thus far, simply for his willingness to try and drag defenders out of position in comparison to the more static Campbell. He's struggled for goals with just two to his name so far, both coming in the home defeat to Bristol Rovers, but in reality, he hasn't exactly been supplied with many chances either. He seems to have an aggressive streak and enjoys the physical side of the game which will prove pivotal at this level. Again, the jury is out, but in Charman's case there's more to be excited by than with Campbell so far for me.

Photo: Action Images



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