Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Au revoir Eric

Eric Sabin has retired. It perhaps says everything that he is just 31 and rather than play professional football with Oxford he wants to develop a printing career. Perhaps his heart has been broken by relegation, perhaps he can earn more money doing other things. Who knows? I liked Eric during his short stay, he had an enigmatic style about him. A bit of the Thierry Henry; black, French, intelligent and quick as a flash. Perhaps this is why so much was expected of him. Many times the Oxford Mail Stand would rise to its feet as one as Eric would glide past the opposition's hapless right back only to overrun the ball and watch it roll harmlessly into the hands of the keeper. Though goals did come (9 in 34 starts) they were usually a scuffed half chance or tap in. Completely out of kilter with his otherwise stylish approach play.

Aside from the touch, he just didn't seem to have the requisite nasty streak that gets goals in League 2, nor was he a player you could imagine chugging down the wing at Leigh RMI. He existed in a footballing netherworld between the league he couldn't quite set alight and the Conference he was too classy for. Perhaps this where his enigma came from. Perhaps its a testament to his style and grace that he's walking away now rather than tumbling down the leagues under the delusion that one day, and with a decent break, he'll grace the highest echelons of the game.

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