Max Ehmer’s time as a Bristol Rovers player will be one remembered for all the wrong reasons as the central defender never looked happy, comfortable or even competent in the blue and white quarters.
His departure on Tuesday, as Rovers quite sensibly cancelled his contract enabling a return to Gillingham, brought a quick end to an original transfer that didn’t work out for anyone concerned.
Ehmer was unable to fulfil the role of captain and dressing room leader, while his performances on the field became increasingly sub-par amid two managerial changes and then the appointment of Joey Barton who simply didn’t rate him.
Barton’s public criticism in the wake of a disastrous performance at Plymouth was strident, to say the least, and Ehmer has maintained his silence on it.
However, within an hour of his Gillingham move being confirmed, the 29-year-old tweeted message celebrating the transfer with five words that spelled out his thoughts on Rovers: “proper place to play football”.
In fairness to Ehmer, from his position, he was sold a project under Garner that was quickly disbanded, moving to a coach who failed to endear himself to any of the players – not knowing many of their names for weeks – followed by Barton, who won’t be regarded as a particularly influential individual in his career. So he perhaps has good reason to be upset.
But then, equally, Ehmer has been Rovers highest-paid player and held a position of responsibility as club captain and the performances he delivered – irrespective of any mitigating circumstances – fell far below the requisite standard.
The last player to have their contract cancelled to facilitate a transfer was the infamous Stefan Payne, and Ehmer’s performances in north Bristol and this particular gesture are likely to ensure he’s considered in the same category among Gasheads.
With Ehmer gone and significant space freed up in the wage bill, Barton will now concentrate on adding to his defence with Mark Hughes and Nick Anderton already through the door.
Bristol Live understands that Stoke City prospect Connor Taylor is another possible defensive addition on a season-long loan.