Getting worried now.
Why are we hearing nothing?
All our targets are joining other people.
The joys, and occasional irritation of social media. Giving everyone a voice means everyone uses it, and at the moment the so-called lack of action on the transfer front is causing some real consternation, especially on the banter pages. My question is this: what exactly are you worried about?
Do you think we’ll go into the season without enough players? Do you think come the start of August our programme will have a squad of 13 listed on the back and no more? This isn’t 1982, this is 2017 and come the big kick off I’d wager our squad will be more or less ready, bar a couple of late loan signings.
Last season Alex Woodyard signed first, and he arrived in mid-June. In the days of Keith Alexander we often waited until July 1st when a list of the players who’d signed contracts with us would be released. I remember getting an Echo with the names of seven players we’d signed (Keates, Kerr, Cryan and four other who escape me). Back then there was no real panic, no pressing sense of urgency.
In my eyes the 2016/17 season finished last night with the Champions League Final, traditionally the final knockings of football across Europe. With that in mind in baffles me that people are concerned with our situation at present, the season has literally just finished. I know the counter argument will be ‘look at Mansfield though, all their business is done’. Granted it is, but at what price?
Danny has a sensible view of he transfer market, he knows that a players ‘value’ now will be as high as it can be, and as the days progress and the panic sets in those prices will come down. Let me ask you this: do you think come August 1st there will be a glut of clubs picking from one or two players, or do you think there will be a massive list of footballers without clubs? It will be the latter, and just because one or two are snapped up now does not mean ‘all the good ones will be gone’.
What motivates a player signing a deal at this point in the season? Financial security? Getting the inflated wages that their agent has asked for? Almost certainly. Take Terry Hawkridge, and this is no slur on Terry. Has he joined Notts County because he desperately wants to further his career, or has he gone because they’ve offered really good money for two years? Now flip that over, would we want players who were simply joining for the money and stability, or do we want hungry players desperate to work under a successful management team, not motivated (as much) by pounds and pence?
Look at Angol. I’m led to believe we had a clause to sign him, but I imagine if others joined the race then we’d have to raise our bids accordingly. Angol claimed (allegedly) that he wanted to play football higher than Lincoln, and then signed for Mansfield. Has he signed for Mansfield because he believes they are a great route to better things, certainly stronger than City? Or have they bought his loyalty and commitment? Can you buy loyalty and commitment? I don’t think you can. Luke Waterfall signed a deal with us despite intense pressure from other sides, and I’m told much better offers. He’s stayed put because he buys into what we want to achieve. I want players like that to sign for our club, and if it means waiting until July then so be it.
Agents are busy behind the scenes, desperate to get their product on the shelf before anyone else, but in two weeks time prices will creep down. There are players out there like Arnold, Waterfall and Alex Woodyard who are not all about money and immediate security, but they’ll be assessing options based as much on footballing merit as anything. There will be players who are still on their holidays, not even thinking about talking to clubs until this season has ended. Just because other clubs are signing good players doesn’t mean there will be non left. Remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure as well.
Finally, how do you expect to sign players when Danny is on holiday, possibly Nicky too? Why would you expect them to have their phones turned on all the time when they are getting that precious family time together? If you work in Tesco, would you leave your phone turned on whilst you were on the beach in Spain, or wandering around beautiful Italian cathedrals? No, of course not. Now I know their job is more high profile, but the concept of a holiday remains the same. You might think things are quiet at City, but did you know in May Grimsby don’t even open the ground? Everything stops for a few weeks off. Nothing has stopped at Lincoln, it is just happening at a reasonable and considered rate.
In this modern world where everything is immediate, everyone has a voice and life moves quickly, it is easy to get caught up in things, but the truth is our apparent lack of activity is fictional. In years gone by we very rarely had any business sorted by the first week of June, and a lot of the time we didn’t by the first week of July. Social media and rich teams clamouring to spend quickly have given us a false impression of the football labour market, and we all just need to calm down and have faith.
I’m fine with the situation, and I’m the most pessimistic person I’ve ever met. I know we’ll be well-equipped come the first game of the season, and I know we’ll get better from there. I have no doubt that the players Danny really wants, the ones he has truly targeted, they will still be without a club. There may be the odd one (Angol) that we miss out on, but taking a wider view I don’t think we’ll be losing out left, right and centre. After all, when I read ‘another player we’ve targeted joins someone else’, I wonder on what authority people have it we’re targeting players? I don’t know everything, I speculate whenever I read something on the internet be it on a clickbait site or a proper news source.
I saw a post yesterday lamenting the fact Morgan Ferrier had joined Dagenham, but bar a click bait site and some analysis on here six months ago, we’ve never been officially linked with him. Danny has never come out saying he’s interested in the player either, so how have we missed out on an apparent target? It was different when Angol went to Mansfield, but officially nobody really knows who we are or are not after, and therefore we don’t actually know if we’re being outdone in the transfer market at all. Now if Jordan Williams rocks up at Field Mill…
If you’re worried about the squad, so-called lack of signings and lack of news coming out of the club, I have some advice. Open a six pack, pop the cork on your wine bottle, roll a Jamaican woodbine, do whatever you do to chill out. Then, go and actually chill out.
This will come together. If come July 14th we still haven’t signed anyone, then (and only then) shall I be concerned about the lack of progress.
Photos credit Graham Burrell