Once upon a time there was a football club that didn’t do it’s business until July 1st. Nobody really cared because, after all, a season starts in August.
It might be a bit much to say nobody cared but thanks to Facebook not being invented, those that did weren’t able to express it unless they wrote to the Sports Echo. Few did.
As little as two years ago there was a certain apathy to new signings and pre-season. Rarely did Lincoln City conduct all their business within the first month of the summer and often, new faces would arrive after the season started. Gary Taylor-Fletcher arrived three or four games into the 2003/04 season, but we did alright then, didn’t we?
All that has changed recently, maybe social media allows people to worry more openly, maybe people feel they have more insight and hence more understanding of the issues. Whatever the belief is, fans are currently split as to whether the current rate of progression is acceptable, in their eyes.
Our summer so far has actually been very strong. Bruno Andrade is a huge signing for us, 22 goals last season and 15 assists too. Because he’s come from the National League, few are attaching the importance to his arrival they should. He was like Forest Green’s Doidge, Dover’s Miller or Cook. He’s a great signing and, had he been snared this week, we’d be applauding his arrival. Instead, within hours of him appearing in an Imps shirt, people wanted to know who was next.
Harry Toffolo was next, the first of three reveals in the last fortnight. He’s a name people don’t recognise and because he came on a free, there’s probably not enough value being put in his signing either. The same couldn’t be said for Michael O’Connor though, Notts County wanted him and we got him. That’s a coup in some eyes, but of course no sooner had he signed than the fans, much like greedy children at Christmas, wanted more. They got Grant Smith, an England C international but by now it’s late June and many are in a frenzy. Dennis, Hemmings, Walker and Taylor are all on the move.
Are the fans right to worry and if so, why is there so much concern when so far, our acquisitions have been very good? Nobody is pretending we don’t need to sign players, but Oldham have signed nobody so far and, on average, every other club has signed around three players. We’re no further behind than anyone else, although we haven’t signed that one, all-important striker. Not that it would matter when we do, last season Ollie Palmer and Matt Green signed and everyone still chased the fourth name, rightly or wrongly.
I’m also interested to know what people feel about paying a fee for a striker. There seems to have been an opinion that you only get a good striker by paying for him, something Danny has said he wouldn’t do.
I posed the question on Twitter, are people worried and if so, why? The more balanced views and my assessment of them can be found on the next page.