Well 2010 is gone now and what a year it was for everyone connected to Dagenham & Redbridge. Promotion from npower League 2 was sealed with a memorable 3-2 win at Wembley over Rotherham United and now the team are proudly fighting it out to survive in League 1 this season.
This article originally was going to be about the player of the month for the Daggers for December just gone. Seeing as the team played only once in December due to the atrocious snowy weather conditions, I’ll change focus on this one and focus on who I believe has been the Daggers player of the season so far.
I asked several Daggers fans that I know who has been the team’s player of the season. I was expecting guys such as Tony Roberts, Danny Green and Abu Ogogo to be suggested, but was slightly surprised when four out of the five fans came back with the name of Romain Vincelot.
It’s not that I haven’t heard how Vincelot has played this season as he’s racked up 26 appearances for the club in all competitions this year which rounds up to 2327 minutes on the pitch. An important stat behind that stat is the fact that he’s only been subbed off once in those games in which he hasn’t come off the bench once either.
That shows just how much John Still rates the Frenchman in the heart of his team in midfield, as the hard working Frenchman has been one of the first names on the team sheet this season. It’s a credit really to both manager and Romain himself that he’s been a success story for the Daggers this season.
Originally signed on as a defender from his native France from Gueugnon, this year has seen Vincelot switch from a defender to an accomplished midfielder. So far he has scored 6 goals this season including a famous double in a 2-0 win over Leyton Orient at Victoria Road in September.
Vincelot’s form was even recognised by the fans who nominated him in the Football League Player of the Month award for October. Sadly for Daggers fans, Huddersfield’s talented winger Anthony Pilkington won the award but it was a credit to both club and the player himself that his form had been noticed to warrant even a nomination.
It’s vitally important when you are in the lower half of the table that every player gives you 100% commitment week in and week out. Certainly Romain’s form this season has been welcomed by Daggers who know that if they are to survive in League 1 this season they will need people putting in sometimes more effort than they believe they can put in.
Unsurprisingly Vincelot’s form is attracting attention from bigger clubs, which would be totally understandable given his performances. If you believe the rumours Championship sides Ipswich, Millwall and Reading are those clubs rumoured to be interested and all would be good moves for the Frenchman.
Of course no Dagger fan would want to lose Romain whose impact so far this season would most certainly be missed. But the fact that the club have talented players who clubs of that stature would be interested in is actually a great compliment to the club and Still himself.
January so far hasn’t been kind to the Daggers, as the side have lost their first 3 games of the year. However on paper they’ve played well in those games and although the boys currently sit 8 points of safety, fans must continue to back the team. There is after all still a long way to go this year and it would be wrong to lose faith when the team is playing well and refusing to give up.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.