“Another four or five players”
“We also wait for another four or five players, so it was not a fair game, but it’s ok.” Not really ok, but I assume that there is a big element of Luzon biting his tongue there after an unsatisfactory weekend of friendly games.
I had already questioned the worthiness of playing St-Truiden on their 3G pitch, but the way it panned out with a 2nd half team of development players was ridiculous. “60 or 70 per cent of the players who played today will not be in our first-team squad, it was the young players from the academy.” Luzon said.
Add this to the mixed team of trialists, U21’s and first teamers that turned out at Dulwich ending in a pre-match knock to Stephen Henderson and a much worse injury to Rhoys Wiggins, this part of pre-season was little short of disastrous. Luzon will certainly be hoping that he can add those four or five players to his pre-season programme back in South London this week. Tuesday has been slated for an announcement or two, one player supposedly to be a bit of a breath-taker. We’ll wait and see.
It is encouraging to see Luzon have some say in his player deals though. The Israeli is said to be a big fan of Ahmed Kashi and German Patrick Bauer. Equally it is solely down to the head coach that Andre Bikey is training with the U21 squad.
“Four or five” maybe an arbitrary, or a throwaway number. Personally I think we need more like seven or eight. Cover at right back, a left back if Wiggins leaves or misses the start of the season, a left winger, cover at right wing (we now have the tallest bloke in the world to aim at), another striker and that long sought after creative midfielder. Either this or we have to rely on a host of young players making a similar impression to Joe Gomez a year ago.
That is a lot to ask of academy players such as Aaron Barnes, Regan-Charles Cook, Mikhail Kennedy, Ollie Muldoon, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis and Ayo Obileye. We also need more evidence from the likes of Karlene Ahearne-Grant, Joe Pigott and Harry Lennon that they can perform consistently at Championship level. I expect that Roland Duchatelet will restrict Luzon to those four or five players and our season will be reviewed once the loan window opens to see if we need further recruitment. A typical frugal strategy from our owner, and worrying when you look at our first run of fixtures.
Bearing in mind some of these players are either transfer listed, or could still be sold, this is what the 1st team squad currently looks like:
GK – Henderson, Pope, Dmitrovic, Mitov
RB – Solly LB – Fox, Wiggins (inj)
CB – Bauer, Lennon CM – Jackson, Cousins, Ba, Diarra, Kashi, Moussa (inj)
LM – Harriott
RM – Gudmundsson
CF – Vetokele, Watt, Makienok, Pigott, Ahearne-Grant
22 in total, but more holes in it than a Tetley tea bag.