Lee Tomlin: A Posh Fan Runs The Rule Over Celtic's Next Playmaker
Despite Peterborough’s eventually ill fated Championship campaign last season Lee Tomlin impressed throughout, only behind Tom Ince in the Championship combined goals and assists table. Purely on these stats it is no surprise that Tomlin was courted by Celtic during the transfer window. The initial bid of just over £1 million (which rose to nearly £2 million) seems a little derisory considering the £6 million fee received for Dwight Gayle. However despite his success, Tomlin is a player who often continues to frustrate the London Road faithful, a group of supporters who have admittedly been relatively spoilt with talented young players over the past few years.
Aside from statistics Tomlin is a player who can turn a game on its head through his brilliance. A deft first touch, combined with excellent vision, a goal scorers instinct and not a bad turn of pace for a fat bloke, he is the sort of player who will always draw the scouts' attention. In many ways I’d describe him as a lower leagues version of Rooney, aside from the weight issues and his poor temperament he has the ability to scare defenders and drops off from the front two into space.He also has the tendency to drop deeper when Peterborough are playing badly something Rooney is also prone to.
The frustration with Tomlin is that the fans sometimes feel he could give more. On his day he is unplayable at League One level and even in the Championship last season. I have been one of his biggest critics over the past few years but he does show signs of maturing. His fitness and attitude have improved significantly, just look at photos of him when we were promoted in 2011 and now and you see a huge difference. However anyone who saw him play against Crawley a couple of weeks ago when his head had clearly been turned by the Celtic bid will know he’s still not the perfect pro.
Off the pitch Tomlin was in trouble with the police in 2011 after bizarrely telling a police officer that he ‘looked like a tramp’ and to get a ‘proper job’. The irony of a footballer telling this to a policeman perhaps lost on a 22 year old drunk Tomlin who had recently led Posh to a promotion to the Championship, more than I for one had achieved by the age of 22, or 27 for that matter. He’s also had his fair share of disciplinary issues on the pitch with two red cards that stick in my memory playing Leeds in 2011 a rare occasion when London Road was sold out, and against Bristol City in a relegation six-pointer last season. Both teams went on to go down.
Despite all this he is a player with huge potential and should be destined for bigger and better things than league one football with Peterborough. However at 24 he’s not getting any younger and I doubt he’ll ever be a Premier League player. Celtic would be a good move for him, he’s already proved himself in the Championship a stronger league than the SPL and he’d get a chance to play at the top level in the Champions League. Celtic just need to offer realistic fee or more likely wait until his contract is running out. All posh fans can ask of Lee now is to play his heart out for this season, get Posh promoted and then we’ll wish him good luck wherever he goes.