Poor old comrade Pavlyuchenski. A number of things have conspired against him. Before we dip into these, it’s important to remember that every player is ultimately the master of his own ship. This isn’t a race horse that wasn’t trained right, wasn’t fed right and nobody knew because the horse couldn’t speak.
In true Dragon’s Den speak, here’s where the old mad Russian is at right now.
“I have to do something in the transfer period. We’re ahead of the European Championship. If I don’t change my club then Euro 2012 will be played without me. I was fighting and fighting but it was useless. Does Redknapp believe in me? Now I don’t think so.
I do the training as good as the others. I do everything with 100 per cent effort. I don’t cry and I don’t say that everybody is bad but I’m a good footballer.If I score in each game then I can play but it’s not a reality to score in each game. That’s all.
“Will I ask the club to sell me in December? Yes, it’s 100 per cent.”
So about these conspiring factors then. Getting on the pitch was an occasional issue. There was a rumour flying about that the manager preferred Tall Circus Man and a Midget Gem to him. Was this a justified preference? Well, the most common way to assess this type of situation is usually to tally up the goals scored. And 3MP & Defoe were routinely bloody useless.Pav’s ‘not much better’ stats are artificially bumped by a number of Europa games in which he played with a rag tag collective of kids and other second stringers.
That said, when Pav did get a run out all we got were occasional flashes of what might have been. Did he get a fair go and fail to cut the old mustard? Or was he playing against a loaded deck? On balance it was a bit of both. I was a fan and a part of me always will be. This game is as much about the visceral as it is about anything.