So we’ve been quiet for some time now. Sadly due to personal commitments and home turmoil. To be honest also a bit of apathy with the start of the season, lack of signings, or much to get excited about.
Whilst the win vs Swansea was very welcome as was the last-minute own goal winner against Forest which also put a spring in our step. We have to be cautious. A point drummed home to us this week by our chairman in the Steve Chicken interview (that can’t be his real name surely?)
We have seen very little in the way of headline signings, although Ronaldo Aarons did very well for us on FIFA and the magpies messed up his paperwork, we should see him in January which isn’t far away.
Instead, we’ve seen free signings, academy contracts, and very little from the board themselves, until the other night.
This interview seems very similar to one that he gave after the last transfer window with added COVID.
But it’s subtly different, it’s the first time we’ve heard the real ambition to “develop players” which essentially means we have become a selling club. An ambition seen in this transfer window and not least in the Karlan Grant saga. Thankfully we have kept Lewis O’Brien and his impact was very much seen on Saturday afternoon, we’re glad to see him still here.
There’s some vitriol on Social media about PH, some of it from this writer. We still feel Town lack a decent striker and we just sold 17+ goals to West Brom, how many millions is that worth for the club?
However, this was flagged to all of us some years ago when we were in the Premier League and we invested not in staying there but in the academy and training facilities. It was borne out by the appointment of Carlos Corberán and his reputation of bringing players along, improving them. As the astute Businessman Phil certainly is this makes logical sense. Does it make emotional sense? Maybe not, it’s a slow burner, it will see us develop new heroes, new stars and then sell them on at a profit. But we will get them in their breakthroughs when they actually make a name for themselves. It might not be all bad…
This is true, but it does smack of a little lack of ambition. It’s a decision that is validated by the current pandemic and all the implications of COVID-19. It is certainly no easy time to be in football with revenues slashes and fans not in attendance. As fans and long term fans, we’ve seen our club in financial difficulty, seen others go to the wall, and others run by madmen, cheats and worse.
Phil is at his heart a Terrier, as was Deano, this was a plan set in place long ago to secure the long term future of the club. If it comes with a better brand of football then we can get behind it. It’s going to take a while to kick in, to develop enough players to build a full team of players that can confidently do their roles.
If it works, and big “if” we will be singing his praises, be in the black, and be capable of a push in a few years’ time.
Is it enough to keep us in the Championship? Possibly, there are some green shoots seen in our play this season, but without Grant and Mounie our goals can’t come from Toffs alone! But there is a look to the team and the benefit of the training drills of CC. A desire to press, good link-up play and as Toff’s not one but two chances on Saturday shows, great wing-back play. Pipa has been just as good on the right as Harry has been on the left.
The team is certainly not the finished article for sure, but we’re currently twelfth (Written before the Derby game) and a long way off the bottom. How much easier would last season have been with a start like this?
There’s hope here, something is brewing, for it to come to fruition will take time and a reasonable collection of regular points. This season is very different to all those that came before, home advantage isn’t what it was which is good and bad news for us, our fans propel the team forward at home and away, but our away form has always been an Achilles heel for many years. Lockdowns and a lack of fans may just give the Town the time they need to make this work.
It’s bold, it’s economical, it’s very Yorkshire, let’s just hope it works.