Dust off the keyboard…the season is nearly here

The fingers creak back into action after a busy off season in the Mosque household and an intriguing one in the Luton family.

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, in the off season I’ve been busy setting up my own business (having got tired of working for the idiots who previously employed me) and so less time for posts – but more time for interesting things like Excise duty and VAT. Not. In-between meetings with civil servants I’ve managed to assiduously avoid PDW in the same building at Lords (I was wearing a Luton tie how could he miss me?) and watch poor Northants crash to defeat after defeat. As I type this I’m watching multi-coloured, corseted Scots pretending to be happy on a giant bit of hardboard laid across Celtic Park. No. No drugs involved. Not here anyway.

So, what of the summer moves out? Dear Andre, I was expecting him to go. I think we all were. Selling him to Brentford – two divisions above – is somewhat surreal. It’s a bit like being a captain in the Army and suddenly having to salute someone who was previously a corporal. The world is strange. The order of things is wrong. The team to whom we sang “We’ll never play you again” in 2005 is one tier off the top, whilst we are slumming it in the basement division. However, should things not go to plan for Brentford and go to plan for LTFC we will be playing them again on a level playing field next year. I wish Andre well. I thank Brentford for the money. Just seems strange that’s all. A bit like loaning players to Bristol City a few years ago: I grew up with them in the top flight. Perhaps Brentford is an ideal move. Andre is far from the finished article, improving all the time, but is an excellent goal scorer. Moving to a bigger club would imbue him with a greater level of expectation. Hopefully, he can learn, grow his game against stronger players and push on from there. It might just be the next perfect stage in his development. Good luck AG and thanks for all the goals.

Ronnie Henry was a different kettle of fish. I was genuinely caught cold with that one. Couldn’t agree a new contract? Presumably – when he was signed under Buckle he was on big, big money – he was the star signing of the close season and we probably  broke the bank to sign him. Now, he is no longer the biggest star and JS will have gone to him with his valuation and I suspect it was well short of what he was on. You can either break your own rules and sign him anyway or cast him off if he can’t agree his valuation. JS would have stuck to his guns as to what Ronnie was worth and off he popped. I think it is a shame. Ronnie didn’t want to go. Would have happily stayed, but who would take a pay cut or a relative pay cut? Would you? Having captained the side to promotion, to be playing in another division and being asked to take less as a wage albeit a fair wage for the division? Oh well, these things happen. We had already recruited young Curtley Williams as an understudy and so now we needed to recruit a first teamer (which we have in Connolly). Thank you Ronnie and you are part of a small but perfectly formed list of Hatters to have lifted a trophy. You are also the right-sided bit of a defence which kept a record number, a ludicrous number, of clean sheets in a season. Whilst I don’t think you ever filled the opposition with sleepless nights – once you had settled in, you were the epitome of solid. I’d like to wish you well with Stevenage, but we’ll be playing you twice this year and your manager is a cretin. I hope you are a success, but have a ‘mare against Howells, Drury et al.

JJ O’Donnell was different again. Recruited from St Albans along with Godfrey “on fire” Poku by that great leader of men Richard Money, he had struggled to nail down a place in the team. Tried at left midfield, left wing, left back and central midfield it was clear he had something – but not quite enough to be at the head of the queue. Often out on loan, last season he melded and bonded with our friends from Gateshead and drove them on to the play off final, where they lost to Richard Money’s Cambridge. He spent so long at the Bigg Market that he decided that the life in the North East was for him. And good for him. At the end of the day Gatehead wanted him more than we did, and whilst JS only wants players who want to play for Luton – JS wanted to play for Gateshead. He will always have a special place in our hearts and also LTFC history. That acceleration into space against a Premiership team and the inch-perfect cross lead to us hitting the headlines and the record books. Reminding folk that we hadn’t gone away and giving the poor Norwich fans an early warning that all was not well with their club. Best of luck JJ – I truly and genuinely hope that you go onto fantastic things with Gateshead and beyond. From the bottom of my footballing heart I wish you all the best success in the world.

That’s enough for now – sleep beckons – a view on the new boys later on next week sometime, after my appointment with Santander and her majesty’s taxmen.

Come on you Hatters – it’s nice to be back. Roll on August….The fingers creak back into action after a busy off season in the Mosque household and an intriguing one in the Luton family.

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, in the off season I’ve been busy setting up my own business (having got tired of working for the idiots who previously employed me) and so less time for posts – but more time for interesting things like Excise duty and VAT. Not. In-between meetings with civil servants I’ve managed to assiduously avoid PDW in the same building at Lords (I was wearing a Luton tie how could he miss me?) and watch poor Northants crash to defeat after defeat. As I type this I’m watching multi-coloured, corseted Scots pretending to be happy on a giant bit of hardboard laid across Celtic Park. No. No drugs involved. Not here anyway.

So, what of the summer moves out? Dear Andre, I was expecting to go. I think we all were. Selling him to Brentford – two divisions above – is somewhat surreal. It’s a bit like being a captain in the Army and suddenly having to salute someone who was previously a corporal. The world is strange. The order of things is wrong. The team to whom we sang “We’ll never play you again” in 2005 is one tier off the top, whilst we are slumming it in the basement division. However, should things not go to plan for Brentford and go to plan for LTFC we will be playing them again on a level playing field next year. I wish Andre well. I thank Brentford for the money. Just seems strange that’s all. A bit like loaning players to Bristol City a few years ago: I grew up with them in the top flight. Perhaps Brentford is an ideal move. Andre is far from the finished article, improving all the time, but is an excellent goal scorer. Moving to a bigger club would imbue him with a greater level of expectation. Hopefully, he can learn, grow his game against stronger players and push on from there. It might just be the next perfect stage in his development. Good luck AG and thanks for all the goals.

Ronnie Henry was a different kettle of fish. I was genuinely caught cold with that one. Couldn’t agree a new contract? Presumably – when he was signed under Buckle he was on big, big money – he was the star signing of the close season and we probably  broke the bank to sign him. Now, he is no longer the biggest star and JS will have gone to him with his valuation and I suspect it was well short of what he was on. You can either break your own rules and sign him anyway or cast him off if he can’t agree his valuation. JS would have stuck to his guns as to what Ronnie was worth and off he popped. I think it is a shame. Ronnie didn’t want to go. Would have happily stayed, but who would take a pay cut or a relative pay cut? Would you? Having captained the side to promotion, to be playing in another division and being asked to take less as a wage albeit a fair wage for the division? Oh well, these things happen. We had already recruited young Curtley Williams as an understudy. And so now we needed to recruit a first teamer. Thank you Ronnie and you are part of a small but perfectly formed list of Hatters to have lifted a trophy. You are also the right-sided bit of a defence which kept a record number, a ludicrous number, of clean sheets in a season. Whilst I don’t think you ever filled the opposition with sleepless nights – once you had settled in, you were the epitome of solid. I’d like to wish you well with Stevenage, but we’ll be playing you twice this year and your manager is a cretin. I hope you are a success, but have a ‘mare against Howells, Drury et al.

JJ O’Donnell was different again. Recruited from St Albans along with Godfrey “on fire” Poku by that great leader of men Richard Money, he had struggled to nail down a place in the team. Tried at left midfield, left wing, left back and central midfield it was clear he had something – but not quite enough to be at the head of the queue. Often out on loan, last season he melded and bonded with our friends from Gateshead and drove them on to the play off final, where they lost to Richard Money’s Cambridge. He spent so long at the Bigg Market that he decided that the life in the North East was for him. And good for him. At the end of the day Gatehead wanted him more than we did, and whilst JS only wants players who want to play for Luton – JJ wanted to play for Gateshead. He will always have a special place in our hearts and also LTFC history. That acceleration into space against a Premiership team and the inch-perfect cross lead to us hitting the headlines and the record books. Reminding folk that we hadn’t gone away and giving the poor Norwich fans an early warning that all was not well with their club. Best of luck JJ – I truly and genuinely hope that you go onto fantastic things with Gateshead and beyond. From the bottom of my footballing heart I wish you all the best success in the world.

That’s enough for now – sleep beckons – a view on the new boys later on next week sometime, after my appointment with Santander and her majesty’s taxmen.

Come on you Hatters – it’s nice to be back. Roll on August….

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