Marcus Stewart to keep playing until he's 102

Monday, 7 June 2010

Finally, news! Something happening in the very quiet world of Exeter City, other than us signing a Polish keeper who was on loan at Burton next season. Yes, Marcus Stewart has said he won't be hanging up his boots just yet and will play on for another season.

Look, throw me a fricking bone here. I said it'd been quiet recently. Literally, NOTHING of interest has happened for a good couple of weeks.

So, anyway, Marcus Stewart. The veteran has said this will be his last season as a player, as Paul Tisdale has convinced him to stay playing for one more season. The former Ipswich striker will continue in a coaching role.

Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth from around 75% of Exeter City fans.

Despite his legendary status in Suffolk and his goalscoring record in the Premier League, Stewart isn't the most popular player in the red and white. This is largely due to:

1. Him being old

2. Him being unable to run as fast as other players

3. Him starting a lot.

4. His brain being a lot quicker than most other players in the side so most of his clever little balls never get picked up on.

5. A generally perception that he's past it.

Which is all a shame. A lot of people expect the 37-year-old to be as good as he was ten years ago, which isn't going to happen.

Granted, he certainly wasn't City's best player last season, and he had his share of disappointing games, but he was nowhere near as bad as most fans would have you believe. His footballing brain is still light years ahead of most other players and he's a valuable option to have in the squad or bring off the bench.

In a rare disagreement with Tisdale's tactics, I also think he'd be better as a deep sitting central midfielder than pushed out to the flanks where he doesn't have the legs for the work rate required.

By largely I'm not too disappointed he's here for another season. If he's used like Rob Edwards has been, for the occasional game, plus an experienced head off the bench in tight games, then he'll be an asset to the squad. Sadly, I suspect a fair few of our supporters won't see it that way.

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Happy As Larry

This is an Exeter City fan blog by Gary Andrews, covering news, views and action from the real St. James' Park.

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