The transfer window has shut until Christmas, and despite it being a thoroughly underwhelming day for Lincoln fans, we must not be despondent. It has become clear as the day move on that our primary target has slipped from our grasp, possibly to sign for Pompey? Who knows?
Despite us looking to be one light up front, we still have far better squad than when last season ended. It has been the most productive and sensational transfer window I’ve ever known as a Lincoln City fan, with the marquee signings coming thick and fast. We’ve been spoiled, with every Matt Green, Michael Bostwick and Billy Knott we’ve got greedy. The clamour today for a big name front man seems to have built up so much we’ve missed this salient piece of information: we’re not looking for a number nine, or even a number ten. We needed a fourth striker, cover if you will for what we already have.
Many teams went in to today looking for key components for their starting eleven, not us. In an ideal world Danny would have brought in two more bodies, a left full back and a forward, but he won’t bring in anybody. There’s no deadline day panic buy, no last minute rush down the supermarket shelves scraping whatever he can into his trolley. Danny Cowley is a man who meets the players first, gets references from other people in the game and studies videos. He was never going to be swayed at ten to eleven by a new name or new face. If he wasn’t on Danny’s radar this time last week, he won’t be joining us today.
There has been some good business done. Oliver Hawkins deserves his chance at League One level, he’s a big target man that performed well for Daggers, but in my eyes he wasn’t what we needed. Maybe the plan was to shift Ollie Palmer to the ‘mobile’ spot we have vacant and have Hawkins as the target man. It’s irrelevant now though, isn’t it?
Sometimes in life you don’t get what you want, but other times you have to look at what you have, not what you don’t have. Over and above the title winning side from last year we have much more strength and depth. Billy Knott is technically as good as anyone I’ve seen in this League so far, and I don’t doubt he’s one of the best on his day. Michael Bostwick is a player that would literally walk into any team this side of the Championship with ease, we’ve not even seen 25% of what he can do just yet. Matt Green is what we’ve always craved, a proven goal scorer. Look at his record already, three in six. Over a 50-game season that’s 25 goals. Who said we needed another 20 goal a season striker? Last year Portsmouth were promoted with their leading scorer on 13 goals, Plymouth were promoted with a leading scorer on 14, and Doncaster had John Marquis on 26, the next highest on 13. We never needed a big-name striker, we needed cover. Matt Green will eclipse those totals and possibly get near the 26 of John Marquis, the real key is finding goals from the wide players.
There is no reason to despair at all, not all of the business done today has been done rationally and part of me is glad we haven’t rushed through something late on just because we need to. I’m surprised we didn’t find another full-back from somewhere, perhaps more so given the number we trialled in the summer, and I am a little surprised that we haven’t announced a loan forward too. I’m not the manager though, I don’t know what constitutes a good deal, and I’m not paid to either. If Danny felt Hawkins was going to be a good addition fair enough, if he feels there wasn’t value elsewhere, fair enough. I did really fancy Akinola in a City shirt, I feel that is a match made in heaven, but it isn’t to be, yet. Simeon is a lad that hasn’t shown his best at Barnet, but I know Danny really rates him, and Tom Champion aside I haven’t seen Danny put a foot wrong in the transfer market as yet.
Anyway, the circus has closed it’s doors, the window is shut, the curtains are drawn and the dressing looks now pretty much the same as it will do for the next couple of months. One person who might be smiling this evening is young Ellis Chapman, he’s been on the fringes of the squad, but Danny may now choose to utilise Josh Ginnelly through the centre, meaning Ellis steps up as winger number four. It’s tenuous, but I know he’s a highly rated lad whose potential the club are keen to play down. One less through the door means one less for him to have to fight for a spot on the bench.
Never be disappointed, especially not when you’ve brought in quality all over the park already, as we have. I remember a few weeks ago telling somebody that the one thing I desired when the window slammed shut was ‘Sean Raggett in a City shirt’.
I that respect it’s ‘Mission Accomplished’.