Issue #95 The strange decline of Andrew Davies

As told by Michael Wood

Ross County? Really?

That Andrew Davies has left Bradford City an unpleasant reality. That he has seemingly taken a move downwards to join Ross County lends the whole situation a baffling air.

On Davies I shall say this. He was my player of the season last term and I believe that when he is not in the City team that difference manifests itself in the number of goals conceded. Put any other defender in in Davies’ place and City concede about one more goal a game.

(I’m tempted to add “Put Christopher Routis in and it is two” but it seems both uncharitable and troublingly prescient)

That Davies often does miss games is the unfortunate part of this equation and it is said that City offered Davies a deal tied to how many matches he played in. It is my belief that in the balance of games he played he was worth employing for those he missed.

Seemingly Phil Parkinson disagrees and so Davies has accepted another offer which over two years will – one assumes – pay him more than City were offering.

But Ross County? Really?

No disrespect

I’m not going to claim that Scots football is a lowly enterprise or that the quality of the football played in it equates directly to a division of the English game. Ross County are a top division side, albeit one who finished in ninth position last season.

And with Davies aged 31 and no stranger to the treatment room one can see how his value in the marketplace is not as strong as it could be but he is the man who stopped Drogba, and to exit English football so soon to join a team that with the best will in the World are playing for Second (and probably not likely to get it) in Scotland borders on early retirement.

There will be games at Celtic Park for sure and who knows if The Staggies can make Europe there may be some interesting trips on the road but all those things would surely have still been open to a 32 year old Davies had he taken another year at Valley Parade.

Of to a 34, or 34, year old Davies had he been able to use his exposure this season to promote himself to another club in English football. I would have written here that a Championship side would have found him a useful recruit but I remember watching Sunderland and suggest that if he were prepared to be a bit part player he could have aimed higher.

Really, no disrespect

Which is not to say that had Andrew Davies remained in England with Bradford City or anyone else he could have guaranteed himself another Chelsea away, or a trip to Wembley, but in heading North so early he seems to have excluded himself from having those opportunities in favour of the not especially attractive proposition of middle league Scottish football.

Which is really not to be rude to Ross County or to Scottish football but one cannot help but have the feeling that whatever there is for Andrew Davies there would have waited a year or two more for him.

On the bright side his arrival will make Ross County more likely to be more top half than bottom half next season, more likely to get a “famous win” at Celtic Park, more likely to take a Cup perhaps.

The only that that exceeds my puzzlement at Andrew Davies’ move North is my desire to wish him all the best at his new club.

He deserves it.

The strange decline of Andrew Davies

He started at Middlesbrough in the UEFA Cup and moved onto Southampton who were a league below and then Stoke where it did not work out and he went to a series of increasingly lowly loan deals before settling at League Two Bradford City who he played for before joining Ross County.

Reading Davies’ career written out sounds like a managed decline rather than the endeavours of one of the biggest hearted, most characterful, and best defenders I’ve ever seen play the game with my own two eyes.

Chelsea away might be a part of history, and Davies’ part in that history and the rise of Bradford City, might be recorded but to a stranger who did not see those days Davies career is not what it should be.

We were there, it was glorious, but as he starts life at a new club it seems that rather than reading like the annals of a defensive hero that it was Andrew Davies’ career has the sound of a strange decline.