Date:Wednesday March 1 2006
With Leicester City today signing 22-year-old Sunderland winger Andy Welsh on loan until the end of the season, the question arises, what now for City's Arsenal loanee Ryan Smith?.
Loss of form and illness has sidelined Smith for most of Kelly's managerial reign and it seemed significant that he wasn't even on the bench at Ipswich. Sylla took his place but didn't play.
Whatever the reason, on several occasions City manager Rob Kelly has referred to looking out for 'the right type' of player and searching for people - as he described Andy Welsh - with 'the right attitude'.
Do those quotes in any way suggest he believes that the 'right' attitudes are missing in what we have at the club just now - in respect of any or all of our wingers? Or were they simply random remarks.
Hard to tell but Kelly doesn't seem much into small talk.
All managers, be it in sport or in industry, want to surround themselves with loyal, determined and dedicated employees.
People who work endlessly and, if necessary, fearlessly for the cause, forever perfecting their skills while being pliant enough to do exactly what is wanted and always in a co-operative manner.
Is Kelly getting all of those things from our wingers?
Just as with Sylla and Hamill, I have no knowledge of Smith's character one way or the other but some fans feel his days at Leicester may be numbered.
But are they? This was a young man who lifted us at Derby, who was a crowd favourite before Christmas and helped us to a dazzling win over Sheffield United. Has all that been forgotten never to be recaptured?
Certainly it is no use to his Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, and it is no good for Leicester City or Smith himself if he doesn't play.
However, at least in theory, Kelly could now play two wingers against Hull - adventure indeed - but if 'right attitude' considerations apply, who will he choose?.
After all, Kelly has barely used any resident wingers so far. That may be coincidence, or it may be confidence in what the chosen team has already achieved in lifting us closer to safety.
Kelly so far has shown little sign of being particularly happy with any of his wingers. But then he is not usually especially praising of any individuals.
Saturday, for the first time, may at last show us how he is thinking because the options are there to play either one or two wingers, or to leave them out - and that hasn't generally been the case so far. His choice will be more than usually interesting.
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|20. Leicester City||26||4||6||16||-18||18|
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