By Tony Attwood
Some players’ transfers you just can’t understand. OK, sometimes you see a player coming in or leaving and think “Why?????” but then within a year or so you see why. Hidden depths to the player coming in. The start of a decline with the player leaving, cleverly disguised both from us fans and from the buying clubs.
But sometimes even history doesn’t make the purchase or sale look good.
This is how it was (in terms of purchase not sale) with Jimmy Carter. He was born on 9 November 1965 in Hammersmith, and he came to us from Liverpool. But his record screamed “he’s not good enough” and so it appeared.
Two years at Palace, two at QPR, with no senior games. Then four years at Millwall where he played over 100 games. Millwall had bought him for £15k, and to be fair he was part of the team that gained their first ever promotion in 1988.
Jimmy Carter played them from 1987 to 1991. This was not, to be clear, the Millwall managed by George Graham (who was there from 1983 to 1986), but the club built on his foundations.
And then, for reasons which I can’t really understand, Liverpool bought him for £800,000. Maybe Carter was unfortunate at this point since he was signed by Dalglish who suddenly resigned soon after.
Carter lasted under a year at Liverpool and was then purchased by Arsenal for £500,000. George Graham was the manager and Arsenal were champions for the second time in three years.
During the 3.5 years Carter spent with Arsenal the club won three different cups, but Carter managed only 25 games and two goals and did not play in any of the finals.
After the fall of Graham, Rioch loaned him to Oxford, before going to Portsmouth and then back to Millwall in 1998 where an injury curtailed his career.
According to Wiki Jimmy Carter has appeared for Arsenal in the Masters Cup Football competition and plays for the Arsenal Charity Team. This summer (2013) he also appeared in the Talk Sport two-hour show on the history of Arsenal – something I remember because it was a programme the Talk Sport allowed me to chatter away on for quite some time.
All this must seem like a diatribe against the player, but I write it as a fan who, in this case, simply couldn’t see why we had bought a player who clearly looked from the off to be second division, rather than suitable for a club winning everything in sight.
But the fact is that both Arsenal and Liverpool saw something in him, something which never matured on the top stage.
I don’t know what else he is doing now. If you do, please let me know.