Steve Evans has made a bit of a fool of himself today as he unveiled the signing of former Imps loanee Bobby Olejnik from Exeter City.
Olejnik spent a short spell on loan at City in 2007, but never got a first team break. Since then he’s forged a decent career at places such as Falkirk, Peterborough and latterly play-off finalists Exeter City. Evans has swooped in to make him his 12th addition of the summer, and the second keeper after Conrad Logan.
Evans was delighted with himself, as he usually is:
“I ran a final analysis on Bobby when I watched him against Carlisle United and Blackpool in the recent League Two play-offs and it has to be said that he was excellent, so I went about meeting him with his representatives. Once again our CEO, Carolyn Radford, was able to negotiate strongly and get a deal suitable for the lad to want to be at Mansfield Town.”
So Steve conducted his due diligence in watching Olejnik in the play-off final against Blackpool, no stone turned and all that. Only…. wait….. what is this I see?
Yep, that’s right. Olejnik didn’t even play in the final. That master of recruitment, Mr Thorough himself has got one salient piece of information wrong. So was he watching Christy Pym instead? Does he know who he has signed? Maybe he was keeping a keen eye on Olejnik’s bench warming skills, seeing if he would leave enough room in the dugout for the other thousand players he intends to sign?
Or maybe he isn’t doing his due diligence at all, maybe he isn’t getting character references and considering his options carefully. Maybe he’s treating buying players like a kid buying sweets in a shop, just pointing at the ones he likes letting Mummy and Daddy Radford go to the checkout to pay for the expensive purchases. I’d say he’s getting carried away, but like the parents of a spoilt only child, I’m not sure they dare say no.
Either way it is a bit rich that a man who once accused John Schofield of being a ‘Coronation Street’ scout should make such a fundamental error. When we signed Dany N’Guessan, Evans accused us of letting him do the scouting and us reaping the rewards whilst our manager sat watching Coronation Street. The boot is firmly on the other foot now as we scour the scene for quality players (such as Lee Angol) only for him to come in with his fat chequebook and start making offers players can’t refuse.
That’s what is meant by the last line by the way: Caroline Radford, was able to negotiate strongly and get a deal suitable for the lad to want to be at Mansfield Town basically means she just started counting and waited for the player to say stop on a weekly wage he likes. Negotiation at it’s best.