Date:Monday March 26 2007
Hot on the heels of this week's poll vote about Lee Bullen's future at the club, Carl Parkin has his say on the future of Bully at Hillsborough.
Is there room for sentiment in Football?
Now the transfer deadline has passed, the main talk is about who are we going to sign in the summer, who will be leaving, and of course who will be getting new contracts.
Unfortunately most of us are blinkered due to our love for past glories of our stars, and we just say 'give them a new contract' rather than possibly getting in someone younger fitter and better.
Lee Bullen is a god in my eyes, and most of yours I guess. I have the picture of him lifting the playoff trophy, and also the one of him sat in the dressing room at Cardiff with the trophy, and a beer.
This man has given his all for us. His family are all still in Scotland, but he has stayed with us, and he has led us to one of our best days out in years. He has regained his place this season, and alongside Bougherra he was amazing.
I love the guy, and I would have loved to name my kids after him, but they are all girls, so it would be a bit stupid!
You may have guessed it, there is a big BUT on the way.
Lee Bullen is no spring chicken, and as much as we love to have him here for life, we have to be realistic. If we can't offer him a coaching job, can we really carry him for another year because we all love him, and not for his footballing ability.
Since Bougherra left, Bully has struggled. When he played with Coughlan we has a centre back pairing with a combined age of 70, and this was not good enough.
He is a great skipper, and I would give money to have a statue of him put outside Hillsborough tomorrow, but we need to be realistic.
Next season we want to push for the Premiership, we need more Bougherra's to play at the back. I would love to have him in the dressing room as an inspiration, but we are almost £30 million in debt, so we can't pay thousands of pounds out to have him as a motivator: if we were not skint I would have him in dressing room every week, but we have to get the best of what we can afford.
Brian Laws has a problem. In the eyes of the fans Lee Bullen is untouchable, but his job is to get us promoted next year. He has to get the best 11 players he can on the pitch every week. To get promoted we have to have a team fit for the Premiership, but is Lee Bullen really a Premiership player?
If Bully does not get a new contract, it will be one of the saddest days I have had as a Owls fan, but the reality is that it will be for the best, he will be back with his family, and we all know how important our kids are.
He will go back with the best wishes of us all, he rescued us from the depths of the lower leagues, but it is time to be real, and we now need to return to the hallowed halls of the top division where our team belongs, and the great leader Lee Bullen will not be a part of that.
The King is dead, long live the king...
Date:Monday March 26 2007
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