The Inquest: The chemistry was missing during the experiment

Rovers' Fabien Robert nicks the ball past Ipswich's Carlos Edwards. Picture: Andrew Roe

Rovers' Fabien Robert nicks the ball past Ipswich's Carlos Edwards. Picture: Andrew Roe

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IT was great to see Fabien Robert at Doncaster Rovers’ end-of-season dinner.

The young Frenchman was the only foreign import to attend the sombre awards night, which tends to speaks volumes about the dynamics of the Doncaster dressing room during the so-called experiment.

However, it would be unfair to lay the blame for Rovers’ demise squarely at the door of Willie McKay, who has constantly told the press that the club approached him for help back in September.

Robert has shown genuine potential during his loan stay, while the enthusiasm and energy he has displayed would be welcomed back by the majority of supporters next season.

The efforts of Carl Ikeme, Pascal Chimbonda, Habib Beye, Marc-Antoine Fortune and El Hadji Diouf - at least on the pitch - must also not be forgotten.

But did the nature of the experiment mean it was destined for failure from the beginning?

Bringing high-profile individuals into the club is one thing, but creating a team ethos and togetherness is another thing entirely.

The loan system is there to help clubs like Doncaster and can be a very effective way of unearthing a gem - like in the case of Robert - or plugging a problem position, like Ikeme did.

But perhaps the experiment also showed that the loan system is not there to be abused, not if you want to build a successful unit.