Departure Lounge – Miles Addison
Miles Addison’s Rams career reached its predictable and anti-climatic end yesterday, with a low key “undisclosed” move to Bournemouth. He was the Rams longest serving player, popular with the fans and a former England Under 21 international. However, injuries took their toll and unfortunately, it just wasn’t to be.
Despite three early career end of season appearances, Miles Addison’s Derby career started in earnest early in the 2008/9 season. The Rams were still on their knees after the Premier League debacle and it was approaching a year since Derby had won a league match. Paul Jewell’s tally of new signings was into its teens and we still didn’t look like winning. As a final throw of the dice, Jewell put Addison into midfield for a Carling Cup tie at Preston.
He was the best new signing Jagger never made.
The Rams won at Preston and soon beat Sheffield United in the league to prevent a winless year. Addison was a complete breath of fresh air amongst Davies’ left overs and Jaggers Carlos Kickaballs and the Rams briefly shot up the league. He played 36 games in that season, captained the side and was called up for the England under 21’s. Unfortunately, Miles’ season was ended in February by the foot injury that would continue to plague him.
To me, Addison always came across as “one of us”, summed up by his quote
after captaining the Rams for the first time: “it was a dream to captain the side who I support” (despite his London birth!). This was typified by the Forest home match that season. Forest had their worst side in years and were down to 10 men but Derby just couldn’t turn the screw. Miles took it upon himself to win the match singlehandedly and in the space of a few minutes caused mayhem in the Forest box leading to us winning a penalty and Miles himself heading a “winner” in the last minute. Only to be disallowed by the infamous Stuart Attewell for…well, we still don’t know. It was like watching a big boy in kids football as the Red Dogs bounced off him. How we’ve missed players like that over the years.
He came across as the antithesis of Giles Barnes. Whilst Barnes always seemed aloof, if not arrogant; Miles always appeared humble, glad to be there and desperate to do it for the fans. He could often be seen after the match, sharing a lift home with other young players and I remember exchanging a “thumbs up” gesture with him as he drove away after a poor home defeat by Leicester, whilst other fans were barracking the team. Addison was one player you knew would be as hurt by the defeat as us.
After his first injury, Miles’ Derby career never found the same momentum. Clough was undecided about his best position and injuries meant Miles was often paired with Bucko in what was far from an ideal pairing (both need a senior player alongside them). At times they were good (a clean sheet at Newcastle away) but at times they were bad (Scunthorpe at home). In fairness to Miles, he was in need of an operation and was packed off to America soon after.
Once fit, Addison was given a years contract extension before being sent to Barnsley for six months to get some games. It was here, out of the view of Rams fans, that his Rams career began to end. Barnsley also could not decide whether he was a defender or midfielder. Injuries restricted him to just 11 starts and fans didn’t take to him. When offered Miles until the end of the season, Barnsley declined. It was Keith Hill’s judgment, rather than Clough’s, that was the nail in the coffin. Instead of a rebirth, it was a microcosm of the past two years.
I would love to have seen him remain with the Rams for the second half of the season as, even not at his peak, he offered something we often missed. A midfield destroyer, physical presence and game closure (once Bucko was promoted). He certainly wouldn’t have allowed Neil Danns 45 minutes shooting practice and would have done everything Tom Carroll didn’t (couldn’t).
So its farewell to Miles. I genuinely wish him well and hope his career gets back on track at Bournemouth, where he will hopefully have a good run of games and get back to his best. If he does become the £2m man he once was, at least we have a sell-on clause.