There, I’ve said it. The centre-half that was on trial with us was Ben Nugent, the former Rochdale and Gillingham defender. It doesn’t matter now anyway, it looks like he’s off to Stevenage.
It was a well-observed silence in the main, ridiculed by many but still observed by everyone. It was easy to have a pop at my borderline ridiculous article calling for silence, but similarly those laughing didn’t actually want to name the player themselves, you know, just in case. Still, it’s not like it made much difference. The chatter is that he’s about to sign for Stevenage, having played for them on Saturday, less than 24 hours after leaving City.
Don’t think for one second we lost out, the same with Chesterfield-bound Lee Shaw. Danny didn’t want either player and they moved on.
It’s a shame about Shaw but he wasn’t going to be part of the first team set up, that was never going to be the case. His dream is to play as high as possible, but it appears it simply wasn’t viable to bring him in under budget. Whilst my own personal opinion is that we could have done with the player in the squad, or we could have loaned him out, I haven’t seen him train, nor do I know what numbers Danny is playing with.
Switching back to Nugent, having seen him twice I’m going to confess I wasn’t all that struck. it is hard in friendlies, his communication with fellow defenders would be in its infancy and obviously he wasn’t up to speed with us tactically, but I didn’t see anything better in him than in Luke or James Wilson. I did a bit of digging to and it turns out the rejected Gillingham deal isn’t as impressive as it looks.
It seems the Gills offered him the sort of deal it was easy to reject, a deal that would just about pay his mortgage, but led him to conclude League One football was not coming his way. That is how he wound up at City and although it looked impressive, it is the same as saying Grimsby pulled of a coup because Elliott rejected us for them. Did we feel aggrieved? No. Gillingham wouldn’t either.
In fact some of the comments on their message boards worried me immensely. Under a thread named (imaginatively) ‘Ben Nugent’ there was a selection of comments of which I’ve picked a handful.
Statotheblue – Playing left side as part of a three doesn’t suit him. With Ehmer they are not commanding enough .So while I feel that left-sided centre backs are hard to find it could suit both parties.
Hessisgod – Can’t say I’m unhappy. Very limited in my view and distribution awful. I’m surprised we offered him a deal.
Donut – He won’t get a start at any club, even in League 2, better to stay somewhere where he was actually wanted, albeit as a bit part. Might get a regular start in the Conference. Hope he’s considered his money options or he may find himself with problems. Not overly concerned, we were doing him a favour offering him new terms anyway.
Lenny38 – If you want hoof football he’s your man. I’m pleased personally.
As well as that, I found a report by Imps’ fan Luke Cawdell, now Gills correspondent for Kent Online. In that report it was made very clear by manager Steve Lovell where Ben stood.
“I couldn’t guaranteed him a start,” said Lovell. “Ben is great and he would have stayed. I have been honest with him and said ‘you might as well find yourself another club’ because we have got three centre halves and perhaps another one who could come in and play there.
With Nugent out of the picture, things are still moving. Michael Hortin tweeted about both situations, revealing Danny’s plans and why Lee Shaw wasn’t offered a deal.
On Lee Shaw, Danny likes him as a player. However at Football League level, with needs he has for squad and budget remaining he couldn’t make a deal work for Imps and for player.
— Michael Hortin (@michaelhortin) July 16, 2018
Danny still after at least four signings a CB, MD, LM and CF for @LincolnCity_FC. CB closer than most to being done, but that can of course change as market is very fluid.
— Michael Hortin (@michaelhortin) July 16, 2018
Firstly, if Danny liked Shaw enough as a player, he would have signed him. I’m not being harsh no calling Danny a liar, I’m sure he saw enough in him to like him but not enough to really like him. Someone pointed out on Twitter that fans called Theo Robinson for his running, but showed excitement when Shaw did the same. I buy that, but as a firm Robinson fan I thought Shaw brought what our FA Cup hero did. Still, lets not cry over a decision Danny’s made unless we have cause to. If he scores 40 goals for the Spireites, including one to knock us out of the FA Cup then maybe we can have a go, but we’re just one the periphery are we not? I would have loved to see Shaw play for City, but apart from his goals tally how many times have I seen him in action before last Tuesday? How many times had any of us?
Danny had, and he’s worked closely this week and he’s made his decision. as fans we can agree or disagree, but there’s no point in lashing out on a subject we know very little about. After all, it isn’t like we’re going to have three forwards again, is it?
Thanks to Michael’s second tweet, we know where Danny is focusing his attention. It sounds to me as though we said ‘no thank you’ to Ben Nugent and immediately focused on our top target, how else would a deal be ‘close than most’ if we weren’t already a long way down the line with it? If I was a gambling man I’d probably wager we’re looking at a far more familiar left-sided centre back, one we know full well can do a job and make a difference. If I was a betting man that is.
Which I’m not, so lump your money on a young player on loan from the top flight and chuckle at me being wholly inaccurate.