It seems to be the subject of the moment, so I thought I ought to write about what has actually happened.
Luton Town haven’t signed Alex Woodyard. The tweet circling social media is a fake, a badly worded fake that doesn’t use the correct colour for the Luton hashtag and doesn’t even have a capital H for Hatters. Also, when a player is unveiled, 995 of the time a club will put some form of picture below the message. Even Lincoln United do that now.
It’s a shame that such a blatantly fake tweet can receive such a huge amount of attention. The messages I saw on my phone when I finally sat down this lunch time included ‘I can’t believe the news about Woodyard’ and ‘Well, it’s better he moves on if he wants to’. Hang on, so now we’ve gone from a fake tweet to Alex Woodyard being unhappy in the space of three tweets? Damn.
I got slated for discussing Danny and Ipswich Town a while ago, shortly after he came out and said he would be remaining at Lincoln and that was good enough for 95% of fans. When Alex said the same in January, did it not carry the same gravity? Does a player saying it mean less than a manager? He turned down Luton because he claimed he could achieve what he wanted here, do we doubt that more than we doubted the manager?
The other side to this is the number of fans who are saying we’ve can do better, he always passes sideways, etc etc. Lincoln City have just been through two of arguably the best seasons in history, with a National League title, Wembley appearance and FA Cup Quarter final. Alex Woodyard has played in almost every single minute of those two seasons, how on earth is he not good enough now? I find it utterly staggering that him performing the tasks he’s asked to by our manager earns him some form of condemnation. In fact, at times I find it completely angering. I’m certain his backward balls and sideways balls are aimed at retaining possession and ensuring we get the ball to one of the players who is looking to hit Rhead on the diagonal. Don’t blame the player for heavens sake, blame the system. Only we won’t, will we? Because the system has brought so much success.
— BBC Radio Lincolnshire (@BBCRadioLincs) May 29, 2018
The fake tweet and resulting furore has caused BBC Radio Lincolnshire to get the actual facts, yes there have been League One bids for Alex but no, they haven’t met the release clause. If those bids were Luton, wouldn’t they just meet the release clause like they did in January? The likelihood is that other clubs are interested, it is inevitable. The possibility is that someone will meet the release clause, that too seems likely. After that though, why is Alex’s word worth less than our manager, when he’s featured in every minute of those wonderful two seasons? He might stay, he might go, but it isn’t something to be celebrated. Yes, we’d move on but maybe we should worry about that if or when a club meet the expected £225k release clause.
It’s similar to those clamouring for the return of Terry Hawkridge, saying we miss his link up play and his pinpoint crosses. Interesting, especially as he started just 24 of our National League winning matches, scored three goals (two of which came in the final game) and provided one assist every three games he started, a ratio the same as than Billy Knott and worse than Adam Marriott (one every two), Jack Muldoon (one every two and half games) and Lee Angol (one in three).
We’ve reached a stage where social media suggests re sign a plyer who wasn’t deemed good enough last year, for cash remember as he’s under contract, and move on a player who played every minute of a play-off campaign in League Two and saw us lift a Wembley trophy.
I’m flabbergasted this afternoon, genuinely. Fake tweets, ever-present heroes being written off because of it and half-decent players from the National League being heralded as the next best thing. The world’s gone mad.