George Porter: Talented, but a wild child

SouthEastSteve, Flickr SouthEastSteve, Flickr
Jamie Smith July 3, 2012
Jamie Smith
Indeed. Seems a good strategy to pick up young lads ... 3 years ago

Leyton Orient fan and freelance journalist James Masters gives us the lowdown on Burnley’s new winger George Porter.

Burnley’s decision to offer George Porter a three-year deal was … well … rather surprising.

Eddie Howe is well known for getting the best out of younger players, but he may well find himself facing a severe challenge from his latest acquisition.

There is no doubt that Porter possesses the raw ingredients to make up what is required to succeed at Championship level, but doubts remain over his attitude and ego.

While some might say that his youth and naivety are to blame, his online spat with his shirt sponsor, a long-time Orient supporter, was rather embarrassing for all involved.

His quick fire verbal jousts on Twitter didn’t win him many fans either. It was from this that many Orient fans concluded that Porter was far more interested talking about himself and his upcoming trips to Marbella than trying to establish himself in the first-team.

That may be harsh on Porter, who was not always given a chance by Orient boss Russell Slade in a team that struggled so badly last season. While Porter’s pace and trickery would have proved useful, Slade appeared to remain sceptical about the player’s ability to track back, work for the team and stick to instructions.

Perhaps in a more flexible side which boasts more of an emphasis on width, Porter would be able to express himself without feeling shackled by responsibility. At 20, he still has time to develop and become a quality player

His pace, which is such a commodity in the lower leagues, is his main asset and although he does tend to fall over far too easily, he remains a potent threat. In League One, where defenders cower in the face of speed, he has excelled during his cameo performances.

But there has not been anything to suggest, particularly during the final part of last season, that he is ready for Championship football. There are doubts over his ability in front of goal, his final ball and his upper body strength. All three of these areas will no doubt improve while playing at a higher level of football. Yet, it would take a brave manager to throw him straight into the mix.

Hopefully Porter will go on to have a successful career and remember his time at Orient with some fondness after they gave him his break from non-league football. He is a raw talent and if given the correct advice and training, could become a successful league player.

Like a lot of young players, he has the capacity to thrill and infuriate at the same time. Perhaps Burnley will bring out the best in him.

Follow James on Twitter.

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  • Adam Haworth
    Adam Haworth

    Interesting and very good article from James there. Funny that he seems to think he’s billy big bollocks and it’ll be quite interesting to see how Howe deals with that problem, should he actually have to and what comes of the risk Howe’s taking by signing him atm.

  • Kevin Robinson
    Kevin Robinson

    Keith Treacy: The Sequel

    • Kevin Robinson
      Kevin Robinsonin reply to Kevin Robinson

      Another Keith Treacy character who causes controversy on Twitter…. as long as this one keeps his clothes on………

  • Jamie Smith
    Jamie Smith

    Sweeping the bad lad stuff to one side…he sounds like an exciting talent who will be useful from the bench. Too many games last year we didn’t have anyone to bring on to offer something a bit different. Sounds versatile too, which is always important.

  • Michael Connell

    I suppose the thing is, if he comes in from League One for a small fee and on smallish wages it isn’t that much of a gamble if it doesn’t work out and Howe has to cut his losses. Howe seems to specialise in working with young players though so hopefully it does work out and we make a profit on him.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Michael Connell

      Indeed. Seems a good strategy to pick up young lads for quite cheap and spend a bigger wedge on players like Shackell who should make a difference to the first team.