You know what it’s like on the last few days of the sale. You’re suddenly overwhelmed with a mad urge to buy up all that’s left. Things that you wouldn’t normally be seen dead in, become attractive.
And so to the last days before the new season. The price has dropped sufficiently on Michael Standing for Jim Smith to snap him up. Smith has been admiring him for some weeks. All reports suggest that this is a pretty decent bargain.
Slightly more perplexing is that from nowhere, Arthur Gnohere has been signed up, making him the first Arthur at Oxford in a generation (or six). Presumably Smith simply thought he’d look nice alongside his impressive centre-back collection adding to Corcoran, Quinn, Willmott, Gilchrist, Foster and Day.
No disrespect to the player, but given this roll call; why do we need him? Perhaps he looked great in the shop… it makes you think that he might end up left in the back of the cupboard never to be used?
Signings 2, 3 and 4 appear to be on their way with Jeannin, Trainer and Ledgister all being offered deals. Jeannin is probably the most interesting of the three in that he fills the obvious gap at left back. And he’s French, which just seems so exotic. It’s like Christophe Remy all over again.
Jim Smith is quoted on the official site as saying that Ngoma isn’t going to be offered a contract – “He is a decent player but that’s against him” is how it’s stated. Presumably his right-sidedness is the problem not his ability.
We’re less than a month from the opening game of the season and it wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t see another signing. The four newbies will restore numerical parity to the squad, if you take Gunn, Kennet and Beechers out of last year’s equation. Whilst none of the new signings get the heart racing, there is some reason to look at the squad as being more solid. Like a vintage classic car, last year’s squad looked shiny and stylish when tootling along during the summer months, but as soon as the rain came the windscreen wipers (or Gavin Johnson) fell off and the roof(us Brevett) started to leak. More of a Ford Focus this year, perhaps. A lesson well learnt.
Corcoran may come in, a welcome addition, but the Big Zebroski’s appears to be skulking at the back of Milwall’s pre-season squad hoping nobody’s noticed he’s still hanging around.
A signing! Only a bloody signing! And not any old signing either, it’s only bloody Gary Twigg. You know Gary Twigg don’t you? From Airdrie. Yes, that Gary Twigg. Not a man who’s been setting the football world alight in recent years, admittedly, but Jim Smith must know something we don’t because he’s been after him for a while. Who knows what snags can be hold up a lower league journeyman’s transfer. Image rights?
Twiggy, as he may or may not become known, is an international man of mystery on the Internet. Airdrie have the worst official website in history, unlike our own hyperactive monster, and there doesn’t appear to be a mention of their star man anywhere.
Typical of this level, Twigg appears to be of no fixed abode when it comes to the position he plays. Apparently he notched a moderate number of goals from midfield in what was hardly a season of legend for the Waysiders, but he can play on the wing or as a striker. Which probably is simply a way of hedging your bets when starved of service; “Me? Striker? Never, stick me on the wing, then you’ll see me do the business”.
But, he did score goals last season, up front or from midfield that’s not to be sniffed at.