So, yeah, about Simeon Jackson…

Canada’s new golden boy is, for the time being, still stuck in League One. Despite all of the hubbub towards the end of last year about Jackson’s potential moves to a bigger club in the Premier League or Championship, here we are with the winter transfer window closed, and the 22-year-old striker is still plying his trade for Gillingham.

Frankly, I blame George W. Bush.

Not to get too obtuse here, but his ideologically-driven deregulation and intentional non-oversight of the securities markets led to the subprime mortgage crisis, the recession and, subsequently, the reluctance of most clubs to spend any cash this January.

Well, OK, that’s not entirely fair… the free-wheeling, reckless financial practices of most European clubs put them in the position where an economic downturn would inflict critical damage on their ability to spend on players (notable exceptions include Manchester City and La Liga’s big two, of course).

Then again, maybe it’s not a lack of cash, but a lack of interest. We Canadians could be excused for overstating the significance of what little success our players have with their domestic clubs. So maybe we just created the perception that a move up the ladder was inevitable for Jackson? Perhaps, according to the scouts and other watchers on the other side of the pond, Jackson’s talent level has him precisely where he should be.

No matter the reason, Jackson staying in League One is no good for Canadian soccer… it means much more than our 1-0 loss to Jamaica on Sunday. That game took our national team’s goalless streak to a staggering 422 minutes, so we could really, really use someone with a nose for the net (a la Jackson) whose skills are being honed in as high a level of competition as possible.

With the likes of Landon Donovan and Stuart Holden (probably) catching on in the EPL, our southern neighbours are showing that North America can produce players capable of contributing at the highest level… and, many fans agree, such contributions are giant boosts to the domestic and national teams on these shores. Sure, we’re many (many) steps behind the USA in this respect, but having Jackson catch on with an EPL club would have certainly made the future a wee bit brighter for our national team.

Sure, he could very well be transferred in the summer, or next season. That just means he’s spent another six or 12 months of his prime in a less-than-prime league. It may not seem like much… but in the long, arduous trudge towards qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, we need every little bit of help we can get, as quickly as we can get it.


6 Responses to “So, yeah, about Simeon Jackson…”

  1. There is a Gillingham fan that is following me on twitter and he was very nervous about the prospect of Jackson leaving. I think that another factor is the fact that some premier league strikers are taking desperate measures to get jobs. Mido is on a salary of 1,000 pounds a week at West Ham, which is unheard of for a premier league player, especially a London based one given that 1,000 pounds a week would barely cover the rent in some parts of the city. I think that the other thing that hurt Jackson’s transfer chances was that he peaked at the wrong time, he started the season amongst League One’s top scorers but now the top scorer has nearly double his total. There was a lot of transfer talk in October, but it had dried up by January. I agree that Jackson needs to move onwards and upwards in the summer, especially given that the Gills are in a relegation fight and he could find himself back in League Two.

  2. I think the best we can hope for is for Jackson to picked up over the summer by a Premiership club, even if he is only to be loaned back down to the Championship (hopefully not back to League 1). He is only 22, so he has another 6 – 8 years of growth left in him.

  3. Serie_AHH Says:

    When Jackson lights it up with the CMNT in SA this summer he’ll have clubs begging for his services. (we wish)

    I actually don’t have any doubt that Jackson will move up the ladder within the next 12 to 18 months. Clubs don’t only look at what you’ve accomplished this season and he has been successful previously. He’ll get back in form and will have some buzz around him again.

    Also you touched on the economy. I can see club looking for cheaper alternatives to fill out depth positions. Jackson wouldn’t command a high wage bill or transfer fee. I could see a promotion club or lower table EPL team taking a flier on him.

    Nice to see Pompey Canuck around.

  4. raoul castro Says:

    I have trouble following all the division names around the world but the best player in the country is playing in the THIRD division in England?


    That’s the best we have to offer?

    Heck, even Haiti has a first division player!!

    • Raoul.

      Ha! You’re obviously new to following Canadian soccer. Welcome.

      While as always we’d love to have you along, I feel morally obligated to warn you that if you value your psychological well-being you should immediately forget you ever heard of the Canadian Mens’ National Soccer Team.

    • Actually, the guy who most people would consider the country’s best player is toiling away at, ridiculously, Toronto FC.

      And no, I’m not talking about Ali Gerba.

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