The science of Darren Potter
He won't score many and he doesn't often steal the headlines, but Darren Potter could be one of MK Dons' best ever signings, according to the man who brought him to the club.
On Saturday away at Fleetwood, the former Liverpool midfielder is likely to make his 200th league appearance for Karl Robinson’s side.
Signing in June 2011, Potter was sent off in just his fourth appearance for the club in a 1-0 win away at Yeovil. Going on to win Player of the Year during his first season in 2011/12, Potter, 31, has been a stalwart in the side, racking up 230 appearances in all competitions, doing the unsung job of marshalling the back four, orchestrating play.
“He brings tackles, leadership, ball retention,” said his manager. “I saw one of the best passes in the 93rd minute which went through three Oxford players into Kieran Agard’s path. It didn’t get the credit it deserves.
“He’s some player, he really is. We miss people when they’re not here and he’s one of them. I think he has been one of my best signings.
“Sometimes the simple things are the hardest to do.
“We’re all trying to impress, but Pottsy isn’t playing to try and get a move. Sometimes you see players playing for themselves, trying to play a worldie pass or take it past 10 people, and give it away. Darren Potter play for MK Dons, not for a move.
“As a manager, you can see that everything he does is for the team. He has developed at one of the best clubs in the world, and you don’t just play in Liverpool’s first team if you’re average. He’s so instrumental in what we do.”
But at times, Robinson admits Potter ‘becomes a passenger’ when Dons play a more direct style of football. His role, specifically carved by Robinson to play the style of football he wants, means his game won’t always suit the way the game goes.
Robinson though insists he is as good as anyone when it comes to the game he’s sent onto the pitch to play.
He said: “If you played 4-4-2, I don’t see where he’d fit into it. Playing him where we do, he’s as good as you’re going to get, as long as you play through him.
“If you go over him and play long, he becomes a passenger. And there are certain players in a 4-4-2 who are better than him. But if you play through him, he’s as secure as anyone I’ve seen.”