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Opinion

What is the problem with Dwight Gayle?

2 months ago
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You know, kournalism has really gone downhill in recent years, when simple questions either can’t or won’t be asked by those in the media.

It comes to something when an ordinary fan such as myself, has to ask a prominent and pertinent question such as the one I am about to ask and that nobody has the wherewithal to ask anybody relevant at the football club, but here goes.

What is the problem with Dwight Gayle?

Against Spurs on Sunday, Eddie Howe repeated the Steve Bruce trick of putting Gayle on the bench but then failing to put him on the pitch when the team are trailing and goals are required and to say this is annoying me, is an understatement to say the least.

Not a lot was going to change the result the other day but an opportunity was missed once again to pair Dwight Gayle with another striker in Chris Wood, for the chance to see what either/both could do as a front two.

The opportunity has arisen before when Callum Wilson was fit, to throw the pair (Wilson and Dwight Gayle) together and see what happens, but after a quick glace back through the fixtures I can’t find an occasion where that opportunity has ever been taken. That’s now two managers who have had a striker at their disposal and refused the chance. Hence why the question should be asked and the frequent omission questioned.

The way I see Dwight Gayle, is that of a top Championship striker. You’d certainly be hard pressed to find one better if you’re looking for promotion to the Premier League. At £20m, he would be a snip for someone. Unfortunately, Chris Wood falls into the same category. However, both CAN do a job in the Premier League, but they have to actually play to do anything constructive.

In many ways I see Gayle as a similar type to Craig Bellamy. Nippy and quick enough to trouble defences but likely to miss a few sitters and lag behind the main man alongside him in scoring goals. That’s why Bellamy was bought to complement Alan Shearer. I could certainly see Chris Wood (or ideally Callum Wilson) and Dwight Gayle causing a few problems for teams. A poor man’s Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy combination if you like. The option is there and it’s certainly better than not using it at all.

Now people may carp on at the fact that Dwight Gayle isn’t Premier League standard and they may be partially right. I firmly believe he could do a job as part of a two and when the chips are down, what the hell have you got to lose? The fact that he was retained in the 25 man squad for the rest of the season is now looking a very stupid move, as it’s blatantly obvious that pretty much under no circumstances is he going to play. Why?

Barring an injury to Chris Wood (God forbid), would Dwight Gayle be selected? Not if Sunday was anything to go by, as when Wood was withdrawn we ended up with Alan Saint-Maximin up front for heaven’s sake. Again, Howe repeating his predecessor’s folly of going with no strikers in a game we are chasing, with options to use one, or in Steve Bruce’s case, two when he had Gayle and Andy Carroll often unused on the bench.

So again I’ll ask. Why? Is it some way contractual? If Gayle hits a set amount of appearances/minutes does he get a new deal or more money? Surely more money is irrelevant when points and games are at stake?

Is it fitness? Can Gayle only last a certain amount of minutes? Surely if that was the case then you don’t put him on the bench at all, heck you wouldn’t even have him in the 25 man squad.

I and others speculated that he’d had a falling out with someone, possibly Graeme Jones or Steve Bruce. This would surely be ridiculous as the latter has gone and anyway, why would he be on the bench at all if it was an issue with Jones. He’d surely be bombed out the squad altogether.

Either way, something is definitely up with Dwight Gayle and it’s currently a dereliction of duty from journalists to not be asking the right questions on the matter. Either that, or they know what the issue is but aren’t reporting it. I know which one I’m inclined to believe.

In the modern day of twitter and what not, reporters don’t have to dig for a story, they usually comment on someone else’s and call it journalism. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein wouldn’t have had to chase around Washington DC looking to crack the Watergate scandal, if it had occurred in 2022. They’d just write what they thought based on someone’s social media feed.

Well here’s somebody’s chance.

In Thursday’s pre-match presser for Wolves, some hack can give their head a shake and use the opportunity to ask what the hell is going on with Dwight Gayle and why he’s always keeping the bench warm week in week out, while points are being thrown to the four winds.

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