Yet another average and at times frustrating performance against Burnley meant that Liam Lawrence was dropped to the bench for the visit of Aston Villa last Saturday. The Irish Midfielder hasn`t been a regular in the starting 11 this season and some mediocre displays as a sub have seen his future at the club seem less than certain.
After joining from Sunderland in 2006 Liam proved to be that missing ingredient that the Potters so badly craved. A right midfielder with a bit of imagination, who could turn a game on its head. The move subsequently worked and Lawrence, alongside Ricardo Fuller, fired the Potters to the Premier League with an impressive 15 goals.
However, Premier League life has so far been difficult for Liam. He was seen as one of the Potters major players after scoring the first ever top flight goal at the Britannia Stadium, but since then things have gone steadily down hill. A freak accident which saw him trip over his pet Dog kept him out injured for 4 months and he missed a sizeable chunk of the Potters Premier League campaign. When he did return he looked rusty but after a decent last few games which saw him net winners against both Blackburn and Hull, we looked to have the old Lawrence fit and firing.
But this season things have failed to get of the ground. Dean Whitehead has forced his way in to central midfield with some impressive form since his move in the summer, and it has been Lawrence who has been the one to make way. When he has played he hasn`t looked anywhere near as sharp or effective as I remember and Tony Pulis seems to agree because now Lawrence seems to only start when others are injured or unavailable.
Is it lack of form or a player who just isnt up to scratch in the top division?
The Premier League does have a knack of sorting the good players from the average ones and now it is time for Lawrence to show which he is in the remaining 8 games of the season. That is if he gets a run in the team.