By Charlie Summerbell
July 28 2009
After at first denying it, Chris turner has now admitted that Hartlepool United midfield man Richie Jones has asked for a transfer. The club is not releasing any details, but it seems a good guess that Jones - who played more thsan 40 games last season after signing on a free from Manchester Utd - wants out because he has not been given much action in pre-season games so far.
In fact, for somebody who was virtually an ever-present last season, Jones has been cruelly overlooked in a run of four Pools pre-season games, all of them ending in defeat.
He hasn't started a game yet and Turner's team choices in the team's two games in Holland followed by matches against Sheffield Wednesday and York City strongly suggest that he doesn't rate Jones as highly as some others do.
There are reports that if Jones's request is granted there will be a lot of interest in him and it's even possible Pools could make a tody profit ona player who cost nothing.
But most fans will be wanting to know why Jones has been overlooked in pre-season and, even allowing for the fact that he may be over-reacting by asking for a move so soon, why Pools appear to think the team and the squad can do without him.
Pools had a bad season in 2008-09, but as an individual Jones didn't do badly at all and was one of the few players to come through the season with his reputation enhanced.
Yet Chris Turner appears to think he is surplus to requirements.
If that is the case, new midfield players like Jon-Andre Fredriksen and Lron McSweeney must be dead good and players like Antony Sweeney, Andy Monkhouse and Gary Liddle must have improved a lot since last season.
Chris Turner has been very busy during the summer, but pre-season results suggest that there's a way to go before the work he has done proves successful, and allowing a player like Jones to become unhappy is a bad sign.