Sidwell can hold his head high
Had Jose Mourinho’s first stint in charge of Chelsea lasted beyond September 2007, Steve Sidwell’s career may have gone very differently.
May 1st, 2014
Convinced to swap Reading for Stamford Bridge at the end of his contract with the club, the then-24-year old appeared to be a rising prospect of the English game having put his career back together with the Royals.
Training with better players and being smartly used by Mourinho to ease him into the limelight would have helped Sidwell. It would have helped his game no end and could have turned him into something close to an England regular for a spell in his career.
Instead, he struggled to get playing time under Avram Grant during 2007/08 and was sold to Aston Villa. Instead of potentially preparing for the second leg of a Champions League semi-final, Steve Sidwell has spent this week working with a Fulham side that need to produce two out of the ordinary performances to retain their Premier League status.
Fulham are only one point from safety, although Sunderland do have a game in hand on the three teams currently nestled in the Premier League relegation zone.
Sidwell has been one of the few players in the Cottagers team that will be able to walk away from the 2013/14 season and be pleased with his own personal performance. It will likely be of little comfort to the 31-year old to know that he performed admirably throughout a season of constant changes; but it should.
Steve has scored seven times in the Premier League this season; more than he has ever managed in a single top-flight season and more than any other Fulham player. He’s also been a consistent presence in the Fulham midfield, keeping the opponents honest even when the rest of the team have been flat at times.
Sidwell doesn’t deserve to be relegated. His performances this season and his experience should mean a club are willing to give him one last contract in the Premier League should Fulham fail to find a way out of their current mess.
He’s been the one player to give everything this season.