Vital Interview - Crawley fan on Hope Akpan
With great thanks to Crawley season ticket holder Jim Goyder (@CTFC_Goyder), who kindly answered questions last week for our visit to Crawley, now answers a few questions on our signing of Hope Akpan. We ask Jim about Hope's general strengths and weaknesses as a player and his potential to play in the Premier League and you may be in for a surprise when you read the quotes!
1) Were you shocked that Hope made the move this window, or did you half expect it?
Cant say I was surprised in the slightest, we knew he only had 6 months left on his contract and quite honestly he was far too good for League 1. I expected a few bids for him, and also I hoped to sell him this window as Id rather see him leave for a fee rather than next to nothing.
2) What are his strengths?
He is tireless, and will put 110% in to every performance on the pitch. He knows how to make a challenge, and is a special player in the fact that he chooses at what temp a match will be played at. Hope can also provide a fantastic range of passes, and knows where the back of the net is.
3) What are his weaknesses?
Probably the fact he gives 110% every match, sometimes he tries too hard and you can see when the game is not going his way he gets extremely frustrated. Akpan is a great tackler but at the same time he can make some horrendous challenges, I wouldn't call them malicious, more mistimed or naive.
4) From what I have been reading, his disciplinary record isn't the best, does he have an attitude on and possibly off the pitch?
Don't read in to it any more! As I mentioned previously, yes he does make some poor challenges, but I think this is down to his age and the position he plays, lets call it inexperience. Hope is a player who plays with his heart on his sleeve, and he will commit to the cause, sometimes this boils over to a crunching challenge, Id rather that than a midfielder who is scared to put a foot in. He was sent off against Portsmouth this season, but quite honestly it was a shocking decision, I don't know many Crawley or Pompey fans who will say it was a red card.
Off the pitch I would say he is generally a model professional, I live local to most the Crawley players and have seen many on a night out, however, I have never seen Akpan. He did have one incident off the pitch, when he was charged and fined by The FA for a homophobic tweet. Hope did claim innocence, stating it was a younger family member who got on to his twitter account, we will never know.
5) Akpan is at the tender age of 21, do you think he has the potential to play in the Premier League now or probably in a few years time?
He is good enough for the Premier League now. Reading of course face a fight to stay in the Premier League and with signing Hope I think you have increased your chances in staying up. He will not be scared to go toe to toe with some of the world's best midfielders, and he certainly wont be scared to let them know he is there. I reckon between now and the end of the season Hope will pick up 3 yellows and one red, but he is also going to score 2 league goals.
In years to come, with the greatest of respect to Reading FC and the fans I think Hope will move on to an even bigger club, he started at Everton and I can see him returning and becoming a first team player. You have signed a truly special youngster, and just for the fact that you have signed him, I have adopted Reading FC as my Premier League club. COME ON YOU ROYALS!
Thanks to Jim (once again) for answering our questions and I hope some Royals fans take note of these comments, as a lot of fans have questioned why we signed Akpan. Also, it's good to see that Jim has taken a liking to us and I think everyone concerned with Reading FC would wish the Crawley the best of luck for the rest of the season. Last week's game was a great occasion for both teams and a good, 'proper' cup tie!
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