New Boy – Tamas Priskin
So the Rams have at last bagged a striker in the shape of Ipswich and Hungary’s Tamas Priskin.
As is traditional on Ramspace, we asked a couple of our mates what they thought.
“There’s no doubt that Tamas is a technically good forward but his application for Town has, overall, been poor.
Without doubt his big moment was scoring the winner in the Carling Cup semi final against Arsenal. However after paying £1.7m for, Keane ruined him and shot his confidence to pieces. To be fair to Priskin, he wasnt the only big money Keane signing who didnt work out and it will be interesting how he gets on with the Rams.
One thing is certain you need to partner him with a worker, because if you play him up top on his own, you might as well play with ten men! However Brendan Rogers rates him highly and despite a relatively poor loan preiod at Swansea last season, the word was that Rogers did ask about makng the move permanant.
Not many Town fans will be sad or surprised to see him move on but we wish him all the best”
My Ipswich mate Ollie
“Priskin arrived at Watford from Hungary as a 20 year old the summer of 2006, as we were promoted to the Premier League under Aidy Boothroyd. He cut a frustrating, sometimes forlorn figure initially; it’s not unusual that young players, particularly lanky strikers, look like loosely tied parcels… all the pieces are there, but just not quite tightly enough tied. That was the case with Tamas. A great touch, good on the ball and a good finisher… but not physically robust, painfully frequently caught offside, and criticised for a lack of fist-waving enthusiasm – how much of the latter deficiency was merely poor PR on his part and to what extent it reflected a genuine lack of effort would still spark debate on Watford forums, personally I’d side with the former. Mitigating any criticism was the knowledge that this was a very young man who arrived speaking next to no English; nonetheless, he was afforded less tolerance than local English boy of similar age might have been afforded, possibly influenced by an undisclosed transfer fee that was reputed to be close to seven figures.
Under Boothroyd my recollection is that he never progressed hugely; there were glimpses of a very talented player, but too many games that he was bullied out of, or – and particularly in the top flight – was an easy scapegoat for poor performances, his lack of willingness to chase lost causes not helping him here. After Watford’s relegation in 2007, we signed Nathan Ellington from West Brom – a costly flop, but with Marlon King and Darius Henderson prolific in front of goal for the first half of the following season (supplied by loanee Adam Johnson) and Ellington on the bench, Priskin barely got a look in. When King left in the January the wheels came off – we had been 12 points clear in first place on Boxing Day but ended up clinging on to a play-off spot and being gubbed by Hull City over two legs in the play-off semi. So, as in the top flight, Priskin suffered through playing in a struggling side.
Boothroyd was dismissed early the following season having adopted a more cavalier attitude that had seen us score lots of goals but concede even more. Under Brendan Rodgers, Priskin suddenly bloomed; his technical ability was brought to the fore, and with Rodgers’ emphasis on providing passing options (rather than needing Priskin to hold off challenges or hold the ball up) he looked like he’d made it. And that clinical finishing suggested at early in his career suddenly came to the fore; put through on goal he would do a goalkeeper with his eyes, and any number of goals came from him dinking a ball over an onrushing keeper that season. From memory, cup goals against both Spurs and Chelsea – perhaps visible on YouTube – both ticked that box. There was a goal in a fine late season win at Charlton which saw Priskin put through for a late winner (3-2)… three of us sitting together shouted “dink!”, just as he did.
Despite this, as Rodgers moved quickly on to Reading there was little wailing and howling as Priskin went to Ipswich for £1.7m. After two years of flattering to deceive there were still plenty of doubters, and everyone saw the fragility of his new-found form in the context of the manager moving on. Perhaps had ex-Ram Tommy Smith and Mike Williamson not left at the same time, two very significant players, Priskin’s departure would have been more of a central issue. As it was, £1.7m was always a good deal, as his (generously) patchy form since has suggested.”