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2017/18 Season Review - Steven Davis
Wednesday, 6th Jun 2018 09:20

Steven Davis could perhaps lay claim to be one of Saints best ever signings when considering value for money, but is his Saints career coming to a natural end ?

When Steven Davis arrived from Glasgow Rangers in the summer of 2012 on what was initially a free transfer from Glasgow Rangers due to their financial issues but was later changed to a fee that was rumoured to be around £700,000 no one could have perhaps guessed the impact that he would have on the club.

But with 159 Premier League starts plus another 31 as sub to his name it looks like the coming season might well be his last as he approaches his 34th birthday in January.

In his six seasons for the club he has given sterling service, but this last season has been perhaps his least productive in terms of appearances, he still managed 17 Premier League starts plus 6 as sub, sadly the 15 games he missed through injury stopping him hitting the 200 mark in this season at least.

He would play little part after January, his only appearance since the home defeat to Liverpool in the first week of February, when he played 10 minutes as sub, being half an hour in the draw at Leicester.

In many respects Davis was the only real leader we had in the squad and although things weren't great in terms of performances before his injury, we lost something in terms of leadership that we never quite regained till the final fortnight of the season.

The 10 games he missed at the tail end of the season saw 5 defeats, 3 draws and only 2 wins.

Never a prolific scorer, although he did score on his debut, but this season he did manage 3 goals in the Premier League, the first away at Palace, the second in a draw at Brighton gained three points for the club that without those two goals they might not have got and both mattered greatly come the end of the season, his third and final goal of the season being the final goal in the 4-1 defeat of Everton.

So what does the future hold for Steven Davis, it cannot be denied that his fitness levels and stamina are not up to his previous levels, hence a penchant for picking up niggling injuries these days, however he does have a role to play next season.

He needs to be part of Mark Hughes plans to bring back order, discipline, motivation and desire to the squad, Davis can be a part of that off the pitch as well as on it, perhaps his days in the starting line up are numbered, but he will be a good man to come off the bench to close off games and keep the side tight and disciplined.

Perhaps I am being a little harsh in almost writing him off, I don't mean to be I have utmost respect for him, but sadly age catches up on all of us.

Having amassed the aforementioned 190 Premier League appearances for the club and added to that another 30 in Cup competitions including the Europa League, Steven Davis can truly be counted amongst this football club's legend's and there aren't many player in the top flight these days who manage 6 seasons at a club and 220 games for it.

Indeed in the last 40 years only 27 players have played more games than Steven Davis for this club and if he can play a decent part next season he could overtake around 8 of those including names like Peter Shilton, Alan Ball, Steve Moran, Rickie Lambert, James Beattie and Ken Monkou, that would be a fitting way to end his playing career with the club.

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KriSaint added 10:24 - Jun 6
Well written lines about Steven Davis, Nick.
Great signing by the club back in 2012. He played his best games under Koeman who kept picking him as what I would call a kind of "playmaker" in his system. I hope we will keep him for at least one more season.
He hopefully reaches 100 games for NI and hopefully a few more than those honourable 200 PL games for us that he almost has under his belt.

SonicBoom added 10:49 - Jun 6
He's been a solid pro for us, but i don't think being at a club for a while is enough to be called a "legend" is it?

SaintNick added 13:31 - Jun 6
Sonic, as I mentioned, only around 27 players in the last 40 years have played more games than him, he has been Mr Consistent, he has played a big part in re establishing ourselves back in the top flight .

He has a long way to go before he can emulate the likes of Nick Holmes, but over the past 15 years there arent many who can lay claim to the same level of commitment and quality

GeordieSaint added 13:47 - Jun 6
Great player with loads still left to give I reckon. It feels like a long time ago now but I remember watching Koeman do one of those football analysis programmes and he was practically drooling talking about how 'Davo' could play anywhere and would never give the ball away. High praise off a Dutch master.

ChristchurchSaint added 16:23 - Jun 6
I think that SD is one of those players who rarely have an outstanding game, but also rarely has a bad one. He has been a good steady player to have in the squad, and has been a quiet but very efficient skipper. As Nick says, he can be just as important off the field as on it. Maybe he can follow the same route as Kelvin Davis.

underweststand added 11:16 - Jun 7
Well written Nick.
Although some fans can point out that SD has rarely been MoM , he can certainly be classified as "Mr.Reliable ".He reads the game well, one would have thought with more accuracy he might have scored much more - given some of the positions he got into.

Over 550 games since he started as a teenager with Villa, and 30 odd games at junior level for N.I ...before he eventually got his 100th full cap last season. As captain of the N.I. national side he oversaw some of the best times that N.I. had seen in many decades.

Age and injury take their toll when a player reaches his mid.30's but we can hope that we haven't seen the last of his skill - even if it is only the occasional sojourn off the bench.

However, I agree that Mark Hughes (who himself played into his late 30's) may still have a place for SD in the squad, that he will undoubtedly re-build during the summer.

Meanwhile "Davo" may disappear from the team quicker than he will from the memory.


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