Date:Thursday November 25 2010
So Marcus Tudgay left Hillsborough for the City Ground today - Wednesday's 'prized asset', someone who was Premier League bound only a few months ago...but is it such a blow for the Owls?
I think not.
Tudgay's loan move to Nottingham Forest, which is expected to turn into a permanent deal come the January transfer window, doesn't have Wednesday fans up in arms, it doesn't have them at panic stations, and it doesn't have them questioning exactly how much we're losing our' star striker' for.
It's a sign that Wednesday don't need him and it's a sign that Tudgay has fallen rapidly down the pecking order at S6 in such a short space of time.
The former Derby striker, who arrived at Hillsborough for a bargain price believed to be £250,000 after signing on loan in 2006, has been a bench warmer for the Owls in recent matches.
A suited strike partnership of Clinton Morrison and Neil Mellor, with Paul Heffernan as back-up, has excelled in recent matches at League One level, and should do for the rest of the season.
But even when Tudgay was in the team for Wednesday, he didn't pull up many trees.
Owls boss Alan Irvine and indeed former boss Brian Laws, who tried and failed to take him to Burnley, usually had him down as the first name on the team sheet whether he was in form, which was rare in the last year-and-a-half, or not.
When Tudgay arrived at Hillsborough in 2006 he and Wednesday were the perfect match. He came in on the cheap, needed regular first team football, and it was that next step from Wednesday being a promoted team in the Championship to getting players who could perform consistently at that level.
He did it in his first season, and he continued to improve, excelling in the 2008-09 season with 14 goals which made him a wanted man outside of S6.
Who could forget that wonder strike that won Wednesday the Steel City derby at Bramall Lane -a derby double, thanks to a superb strike in front of the Bramall Lane kop.
It was indeed his finest hour in the famous blue and white stripes, and one that Wednesday fans will cherish and not forget in a hurry. For that Marcus, we thank you.
But he never managed to live up to expectations the following season and, in-line with Wednesday's troubles, his form struggled and he was often the target for criticism from Wednesdayites.
That below-par form continued into this season, possibly due to rejected bids from Burnley and Blackpool over recent seasons, who knows.
One thing was for sure, his place in the Wednesday starting eleven was no longer guaranteed and, more recently, the Owls have been better for it.
It almost seems like the right time for the Owls' relationship with Tudgay to come to an end - both parties need a fresh start for the better.
We wish him well at Forest, and no doubt he'll show signs of improvement following a poor year-and-a-half for Wednesday - let's just hope we can get a good bit of cash for him come January.
Date:Thursday November 25 2010
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Tom Lees - Premier League with Wednesday is my aim! (Wednesday November 25 2015)
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