Has a Wrexham player ever divided opinion like Jeff Louis?
On the one hand his lack of energy exasperated fans and pundit alike-in the press box the ex-players who work in the media universally criticise him. Likewise his attitude, as the bald facts of his itinerant career suggest, has been open to question to say the least.
On the other, he was our top scorer, scored eighteen and shared in a prolific partnership with Marc Williams. Can we afford to jettison a player who has been so prolific, the only target man we’ve got?
I’m afraid the answer is a resounding “yes”. Louis put Dean Saunders in a position where he had no choice.
Louis’ erratic behaviour off the pitch won’t be missed by the coaching staff. Ostensibly it might appear that this season has seen a turning point in this respect: this is the first time he’s seen a full season out with one team since 2002-3, at Oxford!
However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. His bizarre behaviour at Woking, which I inadvertantly had a ringside seat for as I cleared away my equipment in a deserted ground, was an insight into what it’s like to handle such a wayward talent, and any manager is likely to draw a line in the sand and say enough’s enough eventually.
It’s a shame as he showed in the first two thirds of the season that he had the wherewithal to be an effective Conference striker, although his horrendous dip in form after Marc Williams’ injury suggested either that Williams made him look better than he was with his energetic efforts, or Louis struggled to take responsibility as the senior striker.
His self-serving attitude was perhaps summed up in the Non League Paper last Sunday, just two days before his departure from North Wales. Asked to name the best XI he’d played with he named only one Wrexham player: himself.
Well, he’ll have plenty of scope to tell the managers of southern teams how great his favourite player is this summer, although without wanting to trigger another FA inquiry into dubious betting patterns in the Conference, I advise a stampede to the bookies to wager on Louis scoring against us for Hayes or Grays next season!