It’s that time of year where every newspaper, message board and website is packed full of rumours and half rumours about players joining our club. Someone has seen Michael Bridges at the Bentley, Daryll Clare has just pulled up at Sincil Bank and ‘my sources’ tell me that Dwight Yorke will be on the coaching staff by tea time.
Everyone claims to have an insider or a secret source. Aside from Paul Dawson (who did) I doubt anybody actually has a reliable source, but language is a great thing. People read ‘my insider says Habergham is on his way’ and immediately you assume that insider is Sam Habergham’s Mum and it’s solid gold truth. More often than not it isn’t. I used to edit a website called Lincoln City Mad, and when Michael O’Connor left us it was rumoured he was going to a Championship club. I looked down a list of clubs, picked Scunthorpe because it would be news worthy and pretended a source had told me his arrival was imminent. As it happened he did sign there within hours of my article, but I didn’t have the inside tack. It was guess work, click bait if you like and that is what a lot of these half rumours we’re reading now are. I’d guess the Lincolnshire Echo just have to put the word Southwell in a headline and hundreds of anxious City fans would click it hoping to read something about the Boston striker. ‘Dayle Southwell eats sandwich in Lincoln’ would probably get them some valuable clicks.
However the last 24 hours have seen us linked with James Caton, a player we’re familiar with. At first the rumour mill had him poised to sign, then it had him unconnected with us and now apparently he’s had a medical and talks. The truth of the matter is only James Caton and a handful of insiders who wouldn’t divulge the information will actually know the truth.
Now I haven’t said too much recently as I’ve been tied up with getting the Ferret up and running, but being linked with James Caton has got my blood pumping and my writing fingers all itchy. I blogged about him the first time I saw him and his permanent arrival could be a major coup that some fans could under estimate. While talk of Southwell and Habergham grabs the headlines, a player who ended the season on our bench might not get pulses racing. It should.
James Caton is football league quality, fact. His early appearances for City were full of energy, switching flanks, finding space to run into and hitting the back of the net. He freed Muldoon up to offer us a ‘plan B’ in the centre alongside Rheady, and he looked a constant threat. Towards the end of the season we saw George Maris and Eliott Hodge take preference as youth got a chance, and when he left I didn’t think it likely he’d be back. The boy has talent, make no mistake. Had he not got injured we might have finished a place or two higher. Maybe.
I think he is exactly the type of player Danny Cowley will want to bring to the side, but he comes with the added bonus of already knowing the squad. The management team have watched DVD’s of all our games, and they would surely have seen stand out performances from him during our little spell of form after McCombe arrived. He’s young, he’s quick and he can create and score goals. He’d fit right into the squad as well having been here before. He basically ticks all of the boxes the manager will want to be ticked. We’re light up top and he can play centrally as well as wide so he’d offer us options. In my opinion signing him is a no brainer, but then again I’m paid to sell kitchens not buy footballers.
I hope we sign Habergham, Fry and Southwell but over and above all three of those I hope we sign James Caton. Players like him make a difference, they have the ability to influence a game. He’s not unlike Gareth Ainsworth and David Puttnam, two of my favourite players of all time. Players of his ilk will be the difference between challenging the top five successfully or fading away. I know Clive Nates reads my blogs (cheers Clive) and I sincerely hope Danny Cowley does the same. I may not be involved in football, but I know enough to hope that this rumour is one that turns out to be true.