Pearo – the second coming?
On the quiet, the Rams have put together some decent results recently. There’s been some good performances individually and collectively (as Arthur Cox might say) and we can see who might be part of the squad for next season. One player who has definitely looked an asset is crowd un-favourite Stephen Pearson.
Since signing, Pearson has not been the most popular Rams player, except for a brief spell in May 2007. But even clinching promotion in such dramatic style didn’t particularly give him much good-will credit beyond the following August. One of Silly’s fateful January 07 signinigs, Pearo may have outlived Teale, Fagan, J-Mac, Mears and co. but he has never
gone beyond the nearly-man tag. Pearo’s stock was probably at its highest the following season (mainly due to featuring in a 0-1 Scotland victory at the Stade de France) and he was loaned to Stoke for a reported fee of £500k with a view to a £2m move in the summer. Despite gaining promotion, Stoke didn’t take up the option and only months later a move to Birmingham for a knock-down £600k also broke down.
Pearson remained, featuring just 13 times in the 2008/9 Jagger/Clough season, before playing in 42 games (his best return in professional football) last season. The season certainly had its ups and downs and compared to this season really wasn’t so bad. However, Pearson began this season injured and by the time he joined the party, the rot had set in. He was asked to play when not 100% fit and inevitably wasn’t at his best. Unfortunately for him, in a team of under-performing players he was singled out to become one of the few Rams players in my lifetime to be audibly booed by his own fans.
I have to admit, I’ve never been a big fan of Pearo, basically because over the years his end product (final ball, shot or cross) has let him down (and therefore the team as the move breaks down). A frustrating end to his bursts from midfield, be it down the middle or wide.
However, in the past few weeks, Pearo has suddenly started to exhibit the very skills he has hitherto lacked and shown us the player he can be: arriving in the box for a goal at Palace and almost winner at QPR; crossing “properly” against Leeds; and humiliating Paul Connolly at Pride Park. Though for me, the great leap for Pearo has been his ability/confidence to play accurate short passes and more subtle balls. Slipping in Ward against Leeds or even a right-foot square ball to Brayford make me think I’m watching an improved player.
With Green out for the foreseeable, Savage retiring (?), and Dave Martin out the picture, Pearo’s chance is there for the taking. Already highlighted as one to keep on this site, could Pearo finally come of age as a Rams player, four years after signing? I hope so.