I’ve done a few pieces on different free agents we could sign, but it does look as though Michael Appleton is set to stick with his current squad until January.
It makes sense, after all there is little point in loading the squad with ageing cast-offs that nobody else has already snapped up, is there? Do we really want to be like Doncaster Rovers, who recently offered a contract to Rakish Bingham despite him failing at Cheltenham last season?
Maybe there is a diamond out there, one so tarnished and covered in grime that he’d take some real polishing, but it’s possible that we might have missed one player that could make a difference between now and New Year. There is a player out there who is 30-years-old and who scored 72 goals in 110 appearances between 2015 and 2017.
He’s played League One football and was once the subject of a clamour for his signature. When he’s on form he’s arrogant, in your face and cocksure. He can finish with aplomb but has been through a difficult time. Maybe, just maybe this striker could come off the bench in the dying minutes for us and add something a little different to John Akinde’s brute force and Tyler Walker’s smart runs.
Who is he? I daren’t even type his name for the barrage of debate this is going to cause. His name is Ricky Howard Miller.
Yes, I know. He’s soiled goods in some people’s eyes, but he did have a relatively trouble-free spell at Port Vale last season and if Doncaster can see value in Rakish Bingham there is surely some to be found in Miller. Okay, he’s been on a downward spiral, but I’m not talking about a long-term deal here. I’m talking about two months until the New Year, a chance to get ten minutes at the end of fixtures and maybe (if tomorrow goes well) a start in the EFL Trophy.
He’s a proven goalscorer, albeit in the National League, and he might just add something I think Michael Appleton likes in a squad. One of his first signings at oxford United was Alex McDonald, best described as a ‘horrible bastard’ who is as likely to get in one of his teammate’s faces in training as he is the opponent. I know we don’t have that right now, anyone who had that rebellious spark was shipped out by the former management. They liked the harmony and once told me you could only have one troubled soul in the squad. In truth, they never got the best out of the troubled souls they brought in; Billy Knott, Ollie Palmer and Cameron Stewart all had interesting facets to their personality and none really succeeded.
Even Michael Bostwick, an obvious animal, isn’t the angry ball of aggression you’d think behind the scenes. I think Michael Appleton wants to throw a Doberman amongst the kittens, a lion amongst the pigeons. I’m not saying our squad are too soft, I am saying that MA is the type of manager who likes an edge to training to invoke passion, aggression and personality.
Whether you agree with that or not, Ricky Miller might well be worth a punt for a couple of months. You and I know it won’t happen, He scored crucial goals for Port Vale last season, including a bace that beat Mansfield and ultimately kept them in League Two, as well as a winner against Crawley to help keep Port Vale up. It’ll certainly make for an interesting discussion in the comments….
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