Ian Ross: Right to be brought back?

Last updated : 29 January 2007 By Paul Smith

Ross arrived as the final one of the many summer signings Notts County manager Steve Thompson made ahead of the current League 2 season.

He arrived with the highest pedigree, and arguably the most potential. After a hugely successful loan spell in the same division last term with Boston United, in which he scores three times in two months and earnt a ‘Player of the Month' accolade for League 2.

Ross... Returned for the good?
His return to Sheffield United saw him fight for a first team place, and he appeared twice as a starter with the Blades looking, and eventually finding, promotion to the Premiership. He scored once during his brief stint in the side.

With a clutch of teams racing for his signature, Thompson secured the deal to the delight of Notts' fans who had heard of his potential.

A fine pre-season performance at home to Doncaster saw fans label him as the playmaker who would carry Notts to glory, during a proposed sixth month stay.

As the season started, Ross found himself heavily involved, his delightful free-kick forcing Adie Moses to head an own goal at Lincoln on the opening day. That earnt Notts a point, and he was heavily involved as the Magpies continued there impressive start.

His set-piece also did the damage as Notts recorded a win at Rochdale, and with Notts going through August and September losing just once, Ross' set-pieces grabbed most of the headlines. It appeared Notts' greatest source of produce, and it is certain to be one of the big reasons for Thompson's great desire to see him return.

He didn't grab his first goal, despite attempting to claim Moses' at Lincoln, until Notts visited league leaders Walsall at the end of November. That happened to be the first the Saddlers had conceded at home all season, but the direct free-kick couldn't prevent a 2-1 defeat.

As Notts' form suffered, so did Ross'. He fell from a potential fan favourite and certain match winner, to somebody regulars on the NCM Messageboard would rather be out of the side.

The arrival of Jay Smith pushed Ross further from the fans thoughts, his passing ability lacking, and his inability to grab the game by the scruff of the neck as he should have been doing, saw Notts question his inclusion, particularly as Notts couldn't buy a win.

As he left to re-join United, Ross saw Notts take six points from nine in his absence, though his return following a spell in United's Reserves, is still welcomed in some quarters, mainly on his form at the start of the season.

After making 23 starts and seven substitute appearances in his initial stay, Ross' return until the end of the season has been muted with a view to a permanent move.

Here is what the ever popular NCM Messageboard made of the deal.

Martin... Preffered ahead of Ross?

Nottscountyson: Whilst Ross obviously has reasonable technical ability with his range of passing and set pieces, he still lacks the penetration, goal scoring ability and physical presence that Notts are so desperately in need of.

MagpieMike: Simple, good player, lots of promise, great to have in the squad, but not at the expense of Dan Martin who is a much better player in all departments. Dan's the man, build the team around him, and leave Ross on the bench, or on Sheffield United's bench.

Life_of_pie: Most naturally skilful player along with Dudfield, as long as he plays with Martin in midfield all will be good.

Sandpie: Should be used on the bench as back up to Jay Smith ,who has offered far more in a far shorter period of time with the club.

Natty: Now that we seem to have turned the corner and the results are improving, Ross could be a real asset. He's obviously not a battler but when Notts are playing well he has that extra quality that makes the difference.

Nagpie: Depends on if he toughens up and stops being a wussy Ross!

Ron2611: Ross has a lot of natural ability and when he gets stronger he will be a very good player. Don't get on his back, he is still learning his trade, give him a time.

Ryan-ncfc: Money could have been better spent on a central defender.

Pies4u: I'm not really bothered if he stays or goes. Conference within 2 seasons in my opinion. Neil Warnock wont want him for the Premiership, that's for sure.

I see no evidence that he is the creative midfielder that we were promised. He is not an incisive passer and rarely, if ever, supplies any penetrative passes in the final third of the pitch.