"Robbie was feeling his groin again"/ Transfer Troubles

A great post match comment from Mr Brabin. He does come out with the occasional faux pas, or on this occasion double entendre. He’s good value for money.

I got back pretty late on Tuesday night and so didn’t get a chance to do a report. Bearing in mind we lost three key players of Keane, Willmott and Lawless’ quality (at this level at least) then the patched up midfield of Howells, Watkins and Dance were pretty sound replacements if you ask me. We fought to the end and well deserved the equalizer, wonderful delivery from Jake.

But what about all of this transfer speculation? Three points to make.

Firstly – we are obviously trying to get players from clubs who don’t need to sell them, and whose strikers don’t want to come. Constable, having signed a 3 year deal earlier this year has made it quite plain he doesn’t want to leave – and Oxford have made it pretty clear that our offer is short of where what they would even consider.

Styche has just signed a new deal to stay at the country retreat of Nailsworth. Doesn’t show much ambition, but I would suggest that their gyppo hippy of a chairman has flashed the cash once again to keep him there – either that or he has a very good agent playing us off against FGR to get a decent deal for his player.

I hear various things about others we are trying to bring in, all of them rumours. GB says he is working 24/7 on bringing someone in. I know we nearly signed someone this week and then he had second thoughts. What does it say to Crow, AMS and co? I want to bring in a big man, I like playing 4-3-3, so you’ll be warming the bench my son. Motivation out of the Richard Money school of Human Psychology.

Let’s remember that two things have to be in place for a transfer to occur a) we have to offer so much to a club that they can’t afford to turn the offer down and b) the player wants to come.

We might have ambition to sign the likes of Constable, but if we can’t back it up with a eye-watering bid then we need to walk away. Sustainability first, ambition second. We cannot afford to live beyond our means. We are experiencing what happens when we do.

It is no also no good trying to compete with clubs who are existing unsustainably (eg FGR). Sounds a ludicrous thing to say – but if we only have so much capital to splash then why try to tempt a player from a club who has a millionaire who can chuck money at players?

Which options does this leave us with? Getting a player from a club who really do need the cash, getting an out of favour player with a club, tempting a player who wants 1st team football. Or a good youngster on loan from somewhere.

Now this brings me to my second point. Richard Money and Mick Harford and Mike Newell were very well connected, having spent their lives in professional football at the top level they have more contacts than a Hollywood agent. This might not mean we ever got Ronaldo on loan, but it does open doors. I think Gary Brabin is honest enough to admit that whilst he is reasonably well connected in the lower leagues and non-league, he is not as well connected as others in the business, neither is he as shrewd as a Pleat or a Kinnear or Big Mick for that matter.

What this does mean is that to a certain extent we are on the back foot in the transfer market, we have less choice – GB has more work to do than just picking up a phone to an old mate.

How much did we pay for Steve Howard – was it £50k? We need to find another Howard equivalent from somewhere. We need to uncover a bit of a rough diamond. But that is harder to do unless you have the contacts, the bargaining power or the gift of persuasion.

Which brings me on to my third point. MBH has gone on loan. And how bizarre, he has gone on loan to a club above us in the football hierarchy. How odd is that? Does that not further emphasise our strange position trapped temporarily in the fifth tier? We’re loaning out players who can’t get in our team (or who get on with the manager for that matter) out to clubs in need of a striker who are two leagues above us. If he starts banging goals in for them, then I know we have a fundamental problem at our club.

Onto Braintree tomorrow. I know nothing of them I must admit – I don’t even know what colours they play in. I do know they are a big banana skin. They’ve already humbled Grimsby, and whilst I know the league hasn’t settled down yet, tomorrow is a great opportunity for us, but also for them.

Will they come and stick 11 behind the ball? Will they timewaste? Or will they come and give us a good game? Let’s hope they don’t play 4-5-1 – the perfect formation for dealing with our 4-3-3!

Anyway – all comments welcome on the ongoing transfer saga please.


Wrexham Revelation

Now – if your performance the night before had been described by your boss as the “worst in history” how do you think you might be treated the next day?

I am sure some of us would have had the first XI starting at 9am (despite getting in in the early hours) doing a few extra laps of the training ground, as well as some pretty tough and monotonous physical work to shake them into the right frame of mind. I would have had them there until 5pm, and when the training was done I would have got them all to sit down in the classrooms there and write letters of apology to the loyal and excellent fans who spent their money watching the display the night before.

However, I understand that the players had the Wednesday off, only to go on a jolly-boys beano to the races in the evening, where much fun and frivolity was had and a glass or two of pop. So much pop in fact that a certain very senior member of the management team staggered to the front of the coach on the way back and demanded that the driver stop by a cash point, as he needed to get some money out. Only for the team to find the said senior member of the management team not using the cash point but propped against a bus shelter having a piss.

All good fun of course. Been on countless such evenings out myself with a few misdemeanours too along the way.

However, seems strange to reward the team’s poor performance with a night at the races.

For those of you who are parents – how many would reward their children’s poor behaviour with a trip to the zoo/pictures/pool?

It is very odd, especially after the hoo-hah about the players laughing and joking on the pitch.

Perhaps it is a symptom of Mick being too pally with his mates the players. After all Mick did say last night that it “wasn’t the players fault”. Perhaps rather than losing the changing room – he’s too close to it?

Ironically of course – the team building worked with the turnaround at Cambridge on Saturday, so you could argue that they should do that after every defeat….

By the way this information came to me directly from one of the first team squad – I’ve not made it up! You couldn’t make up the events at our club, because no one would believe them.