Ask any Newcastle United supporter who their worst player in recent years has been and they will point out almost in unison – Titus Bramble. In his five years at St. James’ Park, the 26-year old central defender had been taking too many sticks in his back and made a fool of himself all too often. He has gone into Toon history as one of their most comically erratic players ever and most other football followers wouldn’t rate him too highly, either.
But now he is undergoing some revival of sorts, if decent performances in two matches can be said to be signs of improvement. Bramble scored his first-ever goal for Wigan Athletic, the club that snapped him up after Newcastle didn’t give a second thought to not renewing his contract in the summer, against Aston Villa and followed that up with a spectacular goal against Liverpool on Wednesday that helped the relegation threatened club to earn a 1-1 draw and pull themselves out of the drop zone.
The Sun has reported that Wigan boss Steve Bruce is happy with the lift in the player’s form with his new club and has warned opposition teams and fans from taking the mickey out of him. He has also said that at 26, Bramble does have time on his side and is only going to progress in the long run. Said Bruce:
”It was a terrific goal from Titus and, in my book, he has had some unfair treatment over the years. He is only a young man. Central defenders get better later in their careers. You can see him emerging as a really good player now.”
So Bruce appears to be optimistic about the future of Bramble. But can the player really prove himself after years of failure and facing ridicule by the football community? Is Bramble really not that bad or is his current purple patch with Wigan just an aberration?