Huddersfield Town supporter Charlie Johnson answers our questions on new Swindon Town signing Gary Roberts…
Were you surprised Gary wasn’t offered a new deal?
Not entirely, as he turned down a deal at the end of last season, and was then continually linked with a move to Sheffield Wednesday & Southampton, so we got the impression that he was open to other things. However, as a Town player he never let us down, and would’ve been a safe pair of hands in the Championship.
What type of player is he, and what can Swindon fans expect?
He’s a winger with the ability to score goals and provide assists. He isn’t particularly fast and won’t beat a man too often, but he has a trick or two and can be a real handful for defenders. However he can drift out of games, and can appear a little lethargic.
If you can get him fit and eager you have a match winner on your hands. He’ll hit an early cross regularly, so as long as you’ve got someone to put those in you’ll see the best of him.
Di Canio often plays with inverted wingers, can Roberts play on the right or left? Would he suit the inverted role or does he hug the line?
He’s arguably better on the right cutting in, although he is a naturally left footed player. He likes to get on the ball so will have no problem stepping off the line and getting involved. It sounds as if he will be a good fit for your style.
He will certainly fit our style, however with Ritchie making the right wing position as his own, on the basis Ritchie stays, I’m struggling to see Roberts playing second fiddle. How does Roberts perform when he plays on the left side when facing the right back?
He’s very comfortable on either wing, but as he’s naturally left footed many argue that he should play on the left. He probably had his best spell at Huddersfield whilst Anthony Pilkington occupied the opposite wing & the two would regularly switch sides. On either side he’ll be a threat though
He’s scored plenty of goals throughout his career, what type of positions does he get into and what type of goals does he get?
He’s a very attack minded player and is not interested in tracking back, but he will often cut in from his wing and find space around the box. However, I see him more as a finisher rather than a player who smashes them in from 25 yards. If he latches onto the ball in the area he’ll more often than not get it on target. He’s a regular scorer though which is the key fact, and he will score goals for Swindon. If Roberts is on song he is a very dangerous player to have around.
Does Gary have any particular strengths or weaknesses?
He takes a decent dead ball, is good technically and will look best in a team that likes to attack.
On the downside he’s not great at the defensive side of things, isn’t overly quick and might be a little past his best.
Have injuries held Gary back this season with just 18 appearances?
He hasn’t quite been the same player since he broke his arm against Swindon actually, and his last season at Huddersfield was disappointing, but that’s in part due to the high standards he set in his previous years at the club.
He looked a little off the pace this year, and I think a change of scenery will benefit him greatly. He was in and out and this season showed that he needs a run of games, like most players, to find his best form.
Does he have the stamina to play 90 minutes every week?
I’m not sure he does anymore, although if he can get fit and get 40+ games this season he will be one of the best signings you make all summer. If he doesn’t he’ll more than likely be flagging in the second half, and this season he has made more appearances from the bench than ever before.
Overall how has Roberts progressed in his four seasons at Huddersfield?
He made great progress, and after years without many good technical and tricky players at the club, when he arrived he was a breath of fresh air. Up until his injury he was one of the first names on the team sheet, and had become a man you could turn to in order to change a game and make something happen.
How will Gary be remembered?
Nobody at Huddersfield will have a bad word to say about him, and his last act in blue and white was scoring his penalty in the epic shootout against Sheffield United. He was always a player capable of doing something special, and up until last season was one of our star performers.
I predict good things for him at Swindon.