I was absolutely delighted to read yesterday that young midfielder Taylor Miles isn’t too far away from fitness again, because when he returns it will feel like the new signing we all crave.
The transfer policy of Danny and Nicky has always seemed quite transparent. They only sign players who add value to a club, it may not mean the player delivers but they add something. Tom Champion is a good example, he’s had a really rough ride at City, but the idea of Champion is sound. Who wouldn’t want a six footer, dominant in the air, in front of the centre backs but able to get forward as well?
Until this all became clear Taylor Miles was the one signing that confused me a little. They had no hesitation in bringing Alex Woodyard to Lincoln and having watched him in a City shirt you can see why. Sam Habergham was in the team of the year last year and a quality left sided player will almost always add value. Then there’s Taylor Miles.
Miles came off the bench 29 times for Braintree last season putting him in the bracket of squad player rather than a crucial first team player. It seemed to me he had been brought as an investment, a player whom they saw enough in to continue mentoring but who perhaps didn’t add the immediate value the other players did. After all why would we need a substitute from a rival when we have Captain Power, a veteran of 200 outings and a proven performer? Taylor Miles was the anomaly that disproved the ‘always add value’ philosophy Danny so often waxes lyrical about.
I think Power’s omission in recent weeks has proven that the management don’t see him as having a crucial role to play. Attacking in recent matches hasn’t been as potent as we saw against North Ferriby, Gateshead and Southport either. For me we’ve lacked the player that provides the pass for a goal. We’ve got it out wide with Arnold, Anderson and Hawkridge, but through the centre we’ve been a little blunt. I think games have been crying out for an Alan Power type figure ahead of Woodyard but behind Matt Rhead and whoever is running off him that afternoon.
Danny billed Alex Woodyard as ‘the player that plays the pass to lead to the assist for the goal’ or something along those lines. It suggests to me that there should be a ‘plus one’, a player ahead of Woodyard who is there to provide the killer ball. I think Champion was brought in to push Woodyard further up the assist chain, but with Miles recovering I suspect we could see a return to the intended Plan A.
I had a look at the number of starts Miles got for Braintree last year, 10. Towards the end of the season the regularity of those starts increased, and now rather than thinking he was an investment for the future I feel maybe Danny feels he had just started to see a real talent emrging, a talent that was too precious to leave behind when they left. They have asset stripped Braintree, it may have been done fairly and with a degree of courtesy, but they brought the crown jewels with them, and what they couldn’t carry out they’ve gone back for recently (Akinola).
When my colleague Ben spoke to Jonny Margetts for the latest Ferret he was told that Taylor Miles was the best trainer at the club. In Jonny’s own words ‘he’s technical very good and sharp every day’. Given that we have players such as Jack Muldoon who runs himself into the ground at training every day as well that’s quite some praise for the youngster.
Fans are clamouring for a new signing at the moment, Eliott Whitehouse has been mentioned, as has Liam Agnew. I don’t think we need a central midfielder as things stand, because when young Miles recovers full fitness he will be like a new signing. However he will be like a new signing that has spent four months or so with the squad, and even longer with the Cowleys at both Concord and Braintree. He will be a new signing who already buys into the philosophy and culture being instilled at the Bank.
Most importantly he will be like a new signing that actually trains with us everyday, and I think the importance of that has been laid bare in recent weeks as well.
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As you know by now I’ve made it through to the finals of the Football Blogging Awards 2016 thanks to your votes, and I need now need your votes again. There are a couple of ways you can register your vote. You can click on the link below and select ‘The Stacey West Blog’ from the drop down menu under the Best New Blog Category. All you need is an email address to vote. If you voted in the first round you can now VOTE AGAIN in the final stage.
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