Should Brett pop his Premier cherry?

Bournemouth striker Brett Pitman is subject to interest from Premier League new-boys Blackpool, Carl Burkitt ponders whether he should make the step up or sit tight in League On

With a league total of 1,468 goals and seven strikers scoring 20 or more, last season’s League One spoilt the fans as far as net-rippling action was concerned.

But with a number of big hitters leaving and potentially even bigger hitters dropping down, predicting who will finish top scorer this year is tough.

Big Rickie Lambert and Lee Barnard of Southampton must be up there as favourites. But then, Swindon’s Charlie Austin got himself 21 from only half a season last year, and he now has a Togo international as a partner in Thomas Dossevi.

Hold on, haven’t Sheffield Wednesday brought Neil Mellor and Clinton Morrison along with them? And if I’m not mistaken, I swear I saw Plymouth’s Rory Fallon (and his elbows) single handily bring world champions Fabio Cannavaro and Marco Materazzi to tears at some little tournament over the summer.

You also certainly can’t discount the likes of Jordan Rhodes, Jermaine Easter, Adam Boyd, Matt Sparrow… you get the picture.

But there is one man who slipped under my radar. A man who grabbed Bournemouth by the scruff of the neck and dragged them up a division earlier this year. A man who scored a 16 minute hat trick at the weekend, prompting an out-of-the-blue bid from Premiership new boys, Blackpool.

Brett Pitman banged in 28 goals last season and although the initial bid was rejected, by the time this blog goes up, he may be slipping on the orange shirt of the Seasiders.

But would it be the right move for Brett? If you ask me, the answer is no.

The Jerseyman has had his ups and downs with the Bournemouth faithful. During a frustrating home defeat to Notts County in 2009, the fans started to get on his back. Boss Eddie Howe told the BBC: “I suppose the problem is that his body language lets everyone know how he is feeling. Brett didn’t actually play that badly but his body language wasn’t the best and the fans picked up on that.”

Personally, that reminds me of a certain fan-clapping, shoulder-slouching, boot-dragging England striker of late. And going by anecdotal evidence, when Pitman is smashing the goals in he shares a relationship with the Cherries fans that Rooney has with United’s, but when the goals dry up, it’s more like the one the hairy scouser is currently experiencing with England fans.

But to be honest, he gets goals. Lots of them. And in League One that is one heck of a priceless commodity. A commodity Bournemouth fans would happily put up with if it means a little bit of an Henry-esque sulk every now and then. A commodity that is worth double the reported £400,000 - £700,000 being offered by Blackpool.

From Pitman’s point of view, would leaving League One at 22 do him any favours? The decision to leave the division is getting tougher and tougher. Rickie Lambert, for example, has terrorised League One defences for years now and while having the talent to give the QPRs and Cardiffs of this world that final push required to make it the Premiership, he’s never made the move. And I can see why.

2008/09 top goalscorer Simon Cox has had limited chances to impress at West Brom. Watching Leeds draw away to Nottingham Forest at the weekend, I can’t see Billy Paynter making Simon Grayson’s 4-3-3 ahead of Becchio. Jermaine Beckford will be lucky to get more than 10 starts this season if Louis Saha and Yakubu stay fit.

And now the delightful 25 man squad ruling - designed to give young English talent a chance - has been put in place, the foreign players, the fringe players and the not-wanted-anymore players that don’t make the cut will simply filter their way down the English league on loan, limiting chances even more so.

Craig Bellamy won’t be sitting on the bench at Cardiff, for example, so does that  mean last year’s 18 goal scoring Michael Chopra will lose his place or his 12 assists supplying partner, Jay Bothroyd.

Of course, you play Bellamy. But isn’t this type of loan move still putting the young lads, like those who got Cardiff to a fourth place finish, one step backwards in their development and ultimately stifling the chance of a Pitman or Lambert making an impact at a Championship club, for 90 minutes every Saturday?

The seduction of Premier League football must be indescribable for a professional. But, despite being second in the Premiership, Blackpool isn’t the right club for Brett. He will probably get chances, but not the right kind.

His pace, strength and aerial ability just won’t cut the mustard against Vidic and John Terry. He won’t get the clear cut shooting opportunities he’s been used to in the lower leagues, and he certainly won’t be strolling through the centre of the park and blasting it in from 30 yards past Cech and Van der Sar.

This wouldn’t do any young striker’s confidence any good. Especially one that sulks for not scoring at home to Notts County.

If I were Brett, I’d stay at Bournemouth. Move the club that gave me a big opportunity up one more division. Get more goals on my CV. Learn my trade. Then wait for a move that will guarantee me first team football and keep my form up.

Just look at Millwall’s Steve Morison.

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