Joe Ramage: Is Hartlepool United striker suffering burnout?
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Umerah has been a big success at the Suit Direct Stadium this season, one of few summer signings made under Paul Hartley who have consistently made the grade with 14 goals to his name in all competitions.
But over the last few weeks, Umerah has hit his first lull in a Hartlepool shirt as he struggles for a little bit of form and fitness.
The question is; should Hartlepool, and Askey, be worried about Umerah?
Despite Hartlepool’s struggles as a collective, Umerah enjoyed a positive first half of the campaign with 10 goals in 26 games heading into January - a month where he also scooped the PFA fans’ player of the month award having continued his form with three goals in five league appearances.
It was the kind of form which drew interest in the 26-year-old’s services heading into the transfer deadline with League One side Burton Albion among those credited with an interest.
But since then, Umerah has found the back of the net just once in 10 appearances as he wrestles form and fitness concerns.
Umerah has featured in four of Askey’s six games in charge, scoring once against Northampton Town, but was substituted midway through the second half of the win over Swindon Town last weekend having been slightly off the boil, something which has crept in over recent weeks.
It would be easy to suggest Umerah’s failed move in January has impacted his season. And yet there could be an element of truth within that.
Umerah has been honest in his desire to work his way back up the league’s after an impressive season in non-league with Wealdstone last year.
And no matter what happens, you suspect there will be one or two eyes on the striker in the summer with just one-year left on his deal.
Should Hartlepool drop out of the Football League that will become immaterial anyway as Umerah would unlikely remain at the club. But even if they beat the drop this season, it’s a situation which will be worth monitoring throughout the summer.
Alternatively, there is the likely scenario that Umerah is reaching a stage of burnout this season having carried Hartlepool on his shoulders for the first half of it.
He has been tasked with delivering the goods for Hartlepool in front of goal as well as being that physical presence, that battering ram, in the final third - a role he has performed quite admirably.
Are we then at a stage where the wear and tear of the season is impacting Umerah? Possibly so given his resistance in terms of being a constant has wavered with illness and injury in the last two months.
And within that it creates a dilemma for Askey for the relegation run-in as to how he manages his talisman.
Umerah still offers plenty for Hartlepool but there is an undeniable labouring at what is a critical time.
Fortunately for Askey, there have been other sources of goals emerging of late with Dan Kemp, Callum Cooke and Connor Jennings all notching multiple times.
And they have needed to, as they take their turn in putting Umerah on their shoulders.