There’s been no rumblings of discontent yet, but the apparent lack of new faces will no doubt have some fans hoping that the club soon get a move on, grab a neck warmer from the club shot and give Sporting Hortin a call to get down the Bank. When Alex Woodyard signed I think some people expected a glut of other Braintree faces to follow suit. Aside from young Taylor Miles this hasn’t happened and to the ill informed it could cause pointless panic.
Of course nobody reading this is panicking because the signs that our new manager knows what he is doing are there for all to be read. His recruitment follows a classic manager pattern from any industry: bring in familiar faces to help settle yourself in and implement your ideas. Of course we were going to sign a Braintree player or two, it’ll be easier for the managers to influence the dressing room with a few friendly faces in there. I was delighted to see both the boys arrive from Braintree as that young, hungry player is what we want to see. Taylor Miles has a great youth pedigree and in these times of foreign owned top flight clubs it is better for young English talent to drop down the leagues in order to climb up. West Ham don’t have youth players if they can’t play a bit of football, so I’m expecting big things from him.
Missing out on Dayle Southwell was harsh, but his amiable personality and the fact he chose Gareth Ainsworth has made it a bit hard to get mad. I’m sure Mr Ainsworth could defecate on any Lincoln fan’s car bonnet and we’d still take him out for a steak meal afterwards. He’s a legend and very few people begrudge young Dayle a stab at league football. Plus he’s from Louth so if I write anything nasty about him he might come to my house.
We are used to seeing a mass of out of contract players signing up on June 1st, so to be three weeks into June with minimal news of new faces is a little alien to us. It is also a very good barometer of how far the squad had come under Chris Moyses. There’s no big clear out, no wholesale reshuffle of the pack. There’s a tactical player here and there, tweaks to an already talented bunch of players. I like that we’re not signing players like mad, it always frustrated me. I loved Keith as much as anyone but his transfer policy was a bit like throwing shit at a wall: eventually something would stick. For every Gareth McAuley there was an Omari Coleman, for every Simon Yeo a Dene Cropper and for every Jamie McCombe there was a Michael Blackwood just waiting to let you down. This summer I don’t think you’ll see many players join who are there to make up squad numbers, the signings will be well thought and right for the club. We don’t need squad fillers with youth like Hodge and Everington waiting to get a game, we need game changers and that’s what we’ll get.
Of course the one thing we do need is a striker, and to get the right one will be a true barometer of what these Cowley boys can achieve. There’s been so many times when the signing of a striker has been badly messed up. Remember Steve Torpey? Ben Hutchinson? Chris Fagan? Every time these players came to the club we were looking for the indication that the manager had his head screwed on, looking for that number 10 to shoot us on to the next level. Instead we got poor attitudes, journeymen veterans and Chris Fagan who I’m not sure falls into any category other than ‘anonymous’. He’s still the reason I hate Glenn Hoddle, academy my arse.
We need to find the next Jamie Vardy, the next Aaron McClean or even the next Gareth Ainsworth. If the new men can pull a name like Moses Emmanuel out of the hat, maybe I’ll start to believe they do have a midas touch when it comes to football management. If they manage to bag a player who can score twenty a season and run about a lot at the same time then I think we could be in for quite a season.
Let’s just be patient, eh?