Player Profile No. 1: DAVID PRUTTON
||PLAYER PROFILE – DAVID PRUTTON
In the first of a new feature here on Owlsalive this season I’ll be taking a look at some of the players that make up the Wednesday squad for the 2011/12 campaign.
As the season develops I’m hoping to speak to some of the key men at the club and ask them some pertinent questions about how the season is going – both for themselves personally and the club as a whole.
Let’s face it, as fans we’re sick of hearing all the usual media-trained rubbish about how it’s important to take each game as it comes.
We want to know where these boys EXPECT to finish come May; how many goals they’re going to score and what targets they’ve set themselves for the coming weeks. First up, though, I’ll be introducing a man who made a dream start to his S6 career, but has since suffered a disappointing injury setback.
None other than the messianic David Prutton.
|WHAT’S THE STORY
If you’d not heard of Prutton before he came to S6 then you’ve probably not been watching much English footie for the past ten years. The man from Hull came through the Forest youth system, making his debut in a League Cup game against Bristol City just a week after his eighteenth birthday. Prutton enjoyed a terrific start to his career, spending four-and-a-half seasons at the City Ground whilst also featuring 25 times for England under-21s.
In the 2003 January transfer window he made a £2.5 million move to Premiership side Southampton, however he did not feature in their FA Cup Final defeat to Arsenal as he was cup-tied. After two successful seasons at St Mary’s he then had a forgettable end to the 2004/05 campaign.
||Having been sent off against The Gunners for a late tackle on Robert Pires, Prutton failed to leave the field, pushed referee Alan Wiley and then remonstrated with the assistant who was trying to remove him from the field.
This earned him a ten-match ban and he only returned for the last game of the season where the Saints were relegated after a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United
Two years of frustration in the Championship followed and by February 2006 he was back at Forest, this time in League One where he helped the Reds into the playoffs; however he was sent off in the second leg of the semi-final against Yeovil which Forest lost 5-4 on aggregate. The following season Prutton had the misfortune of ending up at Elland Road where he suffered further playoff heartbreak two seasons running with final and semi-final defeats to Doncaster Rovers and Millwall respectively. Prutton became a bit-part player under Simon Grayson in the 2009-10 season and spent the second half of the season at Colchester. Prutton then moved on to Swindon last summer and despite making 41 appearances he couldn’t prevent the Robins from getting relegated to League Two.
|HE LOOKS FAMILIAR
Unsurprisingly Mr Prutton isn’t an unfamiliar face to the Hillsborough faithful. He made his fourth ever career appearance at S6 as Forest were thumped 4-1 by Wednesday in the third round of the 1999/2000 Worthington Cup. In total he has played against Wednesday nine times in his career; in 2002 he scored as Forest beat Wednesday 2-0 at S6; he featured for Southampton on Wednesday’s return to the Championship in 2005 and his final appearance against the Owls came back in April when he was part of the Swindon side handed a 3-1 defeat which sealed their fate.
|SO WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM PRUTTON?
|His pre-season showings and performance against Rochdale showed exactly what we should be expecting from Prutton.
He displayed a terrific eye for a pass, got stuck in and capped an excellent home debut with a goal.
With the destructive Semedo next to him it seemed he may even get a few goals this season.
However, his season hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly since then. He was virtually anonymous in successive away defeats at Bournemouth & Bury.
He was substituted after just 17 minutes in the farcical defeat to Bradford in the JPT; and brought off at half-time during the catastrophic 5-1 thumping at the hands of Stevenage. He marshalled the midfield in the 3-2 win at Yeovil but was perhaps fortunate to retain his place as Chris Lines was ruled out through illness.
The boot is now on the other foot with Lines back in the side at the expense of Prutton who is set to be sidelined for up to 4 weeks with a muscle tear to his thigh. Prutton faces a race against time to be fit for the Steel City derby and if Lines continues where he left off against Exeter, Prutton may well be getting to know the substitutes’ bench rather well.
When he does return we can expect as many cards as goals from the man with the flowing locks. Last season he was booked five times and sent off twice for the Robins while only scoring three. This was only one short of his most ‘prolific’ campaign – he scored four times in 49 appearances while at Leeds back in 2007/08. This season he has been booked twice while his opening day strike remains his only Wednesday goal to-date. Indeed his goal against Rochdale was only his second goal of the calendar year unless you include his pre-season strike against Leeds.
Megson will be hoping for more goals from the 30-year-old yet it is defence-splitting passes which will become Prutton’s trademark rather than ferocious volleys.
|WHAT WILL BE HIS AIMS FOR THE SEASON?
In the first instance he’ll want to prove some doubters wrong. Whatever went off at Swindon last season, Prutton is clearly a class act who should have the self-belief to know he should be playing at a higher level than this. He may also be looking to exorcise some playoff demons having three times lost out at various stages of the end-of-season lottery. Having also been relegated twice you could say Prutton hasn’t had much luck in his career. Indeed while his Leeds teammates were promoted in 2010 he was on loan at Colchester! Having not played in the Championship since New Year’s Day 2007 Prutton will be determined to show that, having recently turned 30, he isn’t destined to remain in the lower leagues for the rest of his career. His first job, however, is to make the central midfield berth his own at Hillsborough.
|I NEVER KNEW THAT!
Prutton is a massive AC/DC fan and once wrote a review of their album ‘Black Ice’ for The Guardian website. It ends: “[AC/DC] speak to the irresponsible, rebellious adolescents in us all. Now, I’m going to cut the sleeves off my favourite black shirt, get out my vinyl copy of Back in Black and thoroughly piss my neighbours off.”
|YOU CAN QUOTE ME ON THAT
“Football is a game that can make you feel amazing but can also really upset you. Like in any job you have good and bad days, but you can’t get too up or too down – not everyone can play well all the time, can they?” (while at Southampton, 2006)
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