Just the 5 or 6
Another day closer to Bury and another day still without the 5 or 6 players Russell Slade thinks we need as a minimum. And I think he is being kind. And that is 5 or 6 on the basis no one else leaves and Solly, Ajose and Bauer will be match ready.
Slade was very honest in his assessment after a poor performance at Leyton Orient and said:
“We’re miles away. I’d like to think between now and the start of the season that we can get another five or six additions to the group. In all honesty, if we’re going to be competitive at the top end then that’s what we need to do. Even against a Leyton Orient that will have a campaign in Division Two, they’re making substitutions and sending men on. I’m sending on a lot of young players.”
Interestingly a year ago after a shocking pre-season tour in Belgium previous man in charge Guy Luzon said:
“We also wait for another four or five players, so it was not a fair game, but it’s okay, today will not be in our first-team squad, it was the young players from the academy. 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.”
Of course Lennon, Charles-Cook, Kennedy and Ahearne-Grant all featured heavily in the first phase of last season. As I expect will Muldoon, Konsa, Hanlon and possibly Phillips will this season. Dillon Phillips loan move to Cheltenham has been put on hold why we await a senior goalkeeper replacement.
Ironically Slade, whose body language, and apparent private opinions, are already asking pertinent questions of the owner and his puppet CEO, called the Austria tour a great opportunity for team building. A fair enough determination but since flying out there on July 13th Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Jordan Cousins, Nick Pope, Tony Watt and Stephen Henderson have all left the team bonding love in.
Only trialist Andrew Crofts has joined, but by all accounts that took all of Slade’s power of persuasion to convince Meire that he was necessary. By my assessment 15 senior first players available for the last game of the season have left and 4 have joined. We were pretty much relegated by early April. It took until the first week of June to appoint a new manager, mid July to appoint an assistant, and with 12 days until kick off our squad has more holes in it than an aero bar.
Huh, but don’t worry I expect our expert owner is as knowledgable about aero bars as he is football.
Two of those 5 or 6 new players could be Cardiff City’s Isle of Wight born ‘keeper Simon Moore and Wigan defender Jason Pearce. Both would be welcomed, well especially Moore, as we could be asking Steve Brown to play in goal at Bury. In all seriousness Pearce would be a great acquisition but he will not come cheap and I would think need some convincing.
One new face is 25-year old journeyman trialist midfielder Oscar Gobern, who should play in tomorrow night’s friendly at home to Ipswich. Bring your kit, you might all get a game.