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so farewell then...

simon lynch

So farewell then Simon Lynch. This was not the sort of activity we'd been hoping for when the transfer window opened. Lynch's desire for a first team chance is perfectly understandable. O'Neill's reticence to play him isn't.

Simon Lynch was one of the youngsters blooded by Dalglish in his last game at the helm, and he was the one who made the biggest impact. That season had been, almost, a complete disaster. The Barnes fiasco was compounded by the loss of Larsson, which was the real hammer blow. The only crumb of comfort was the League Cup. The last few games of the league had been almost laughably bad, but the final game against Dundee United promised something special. Henrik was on the mend, although most our other players were injured, so it was the turn of the youth team. Gould, Mjallby, Lambert and Berkovic were the only first team regulars. Every other player was under 20, and they played really well.

Having come close in the first half, Lynch scored in the second with a nice shot high into the net, after he thrown a wee dummy and made himself some room. With Henrik coming on for the last 20 minutes it was the best possible end to the season. Everyone who was there felt that we had a crop of decent players coming through.

Unfortunately, season 2000-01 was a washout for Lynch. He played in the first round of Europe, but wound up missing the rest due to 'growing pains'. This was regrettable given that Sutton missed a fair bit of the season through injury, and with only Tommy Johnston for backup it's a fair bet that Lynch would have pushed for a place.

He reappeared at the end of last season, scoring two at Hearts, and again hopes rose that we might be seeing a real talent emerge. But again this season he's been frozen out.

Now of course it isn't easy to replace one of our forwards, but when you consider that he wasn't even chosen for our League Cup game against Thistle (he spent the whole night on the bench) then it's easy to see why he became frustrated.

Many people thought that he'd only gone to Preston on loan, basically because it was fairly unthinkable that we would let such a promising talent go. It'll take some explaining if O'Neill doesn't sign a new contract after he's allowed a player like this to leave.

AB MURDOCH