We’re nearly at the end of June already, the players have returned to training and the season is creeping up on me. It wasn’t until someone asked which pre-season friendlies I would be watching that I realised Town are to travel to Supermarine and Banbury next week, already!
I can’t be the only one who gets a little lost at this point in the football calendar as essential the rhythm of watching Town and checking the tables doesn’t start until August. Players come and go too quickly for me to notice; goodness knows who will be in the starting XI on the 3rd August against Peterborough United.
Finally the squad is taking some shape. Paul Caddis has returned, Gary Roberts and Alan McCormack have departed, Wes signed a contract extension and finally we have some new signings as we welcome Alex Smith and Jack Barthram.
These two newbies are big sign of the new transfer strategy and budgetary constraints. Here come two players released without making a mark at their Premier League parent clubs, but hopefully hungry and talented enough to impress in League One.
I must admit I know little about either player. All I can tell you is that one is a defender and the other is a midfielder, also Alex Smith was once signed by my virtual self in Football Manager, but I couldn’t tell you whether he lived up to my scout’s recommendation or not. Seriously, that little information is all I have at my disposal…
In previous years I’ve filled pre-season with various views from supporters of the clubs from whom we’ve signed players. Instead this summer I’m making a conscious effort to avoid all articles outlining the strengths and weaknesses of our new signings and will be watching them in the flesh, letting it all unravel and hopefully I’ll be impressed, or not as the case may be.
I appreciate this isn’t an excellent strategy to inform readers here, particularly those overseas, but I’m approaching this season with an open mind and less expectations on all players. Perhaps a sign of the changing and challenging times at the County Ground.
See you at Supermarine next week…
Supermarine vs Swindon Town 7.30KO – Admission prices Adults £10 | Concessions (OAPS & Children 12-16) £5 | Children U11 FREE* (*must be accompanied by an adult) ALL PAY ON THE NIGHT (NO PRE-MATCH TICKETS ON SALE)
It seems a good idea! “Prediction, as Niels Bohr said, ‘is very difficult, especially about the future.” And at the moment there are certainly too many unknowns.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been asked which formation and how we might play – the answer is the same – no idea. The only thing that seems fairly certain is that we won’t see the same fixed system seen under Paolo Di Canio – and that isn’t a bad thing if the team is less imposing.
As Italy manager Cesare Prandelli said “Teams that change formations aren’t necessarily weak. It just means that they have ideas.
It will be exiting to see how KMac is planning to use the new players as it looks like several of the young lads have been used all over the pitch in their former clubs. I guess it their former coaches have tried to find out where they could make the most impact, but as the bigger clubs have lots of promising players, there aren’t enough time for those who don’t shine as first. It’s not a bad thing to be a “potato” (Norwegian expression for a player who can be used everywhere), but the player will not be able to be secure on his place on the field and in relation to his teammates.
I hope that the manager and coaches will find out where the new players can get the most out of their potential during the preseason matches, and thereby get a good start of the season. There was enough moaners at the end of the season when the new manager took over a team drilled in an other formation and style than the one he preferred.