In hindsight Chris Coleman's spell as manager was a massive underachievement to say the least, he was the last manager to have funds and a squad good enough to challenge for promotion to the Premier League. The golden generation of youth between 2008 and 2010 makes me fuel with anger how we could only muster up 17th in the league. Towards the back end of it and one of the final fairly big money signings we made was Martin Cranie for what was rumoured to be around £500,000.
Being able to deploy him as either a centre back or a right back really helped us out, although the latter of these positions was slightly unfamiliar at first, he grew into it very quickly in his first season. Throughout all 3 seasons he was a mainstay, the odd small injury or suspension may have kept him out here and there but he was a very reliably player to have in our back four. Aidy Boothroyd was reported to have rejected a bid from Norwich City after an impressive first campaign.
There were a coupe of individuals responsible for keeping our heads above water in the 2010/11 season, the main one that sticks in the mind of most people is Marlon King. But Cranie was an unsung hero in us accumulating enough points to have just one more season in the Championship. In fact early on we were looking like potential play off candidates until the horrendous mid-season from killed us off, winning just 1 in 18 league games.
The poor business in summer of 2011 the let go the likes of Keiren Westwood and Aron Gunnarsson on free transfers is what put the final nail in the coffin in terms of our second tier status. Cranie was unfortunate to be a part of the relegation side but was certainly one of the shining lights compared to some of the rest. He displayed signs of wanting to stay but we likely offered pittance given the trouble we were just months from entering, I don't blame him in the slightest for choosing to move to Barnsley instead.
Barnsley gave him another 3 successful years but they also ended up getting relegated to League One, after which he moved to Huddersfield. As we've seen in more recent times, this was a very good decision, as The Terriers gained promotion to the Premier League back in May. I was very happy for him, I met him once and he seemed like a really nice guy so I'm glad his career has worked out well. Hopefully he can get a few more top flight appearances under his belt this season as they look to stay in the league.