Another signing then. A permanent starting left back, something we’ve not has in a while and very much needed. Another nationality to add to the Amex League of Nations. Welcome Gaetan Bong.
Here’s how much those transfer rumour sites know. One “new” one claiming to be a journalist called Peter Allen (@PeterAllen78) was actually set up in 2012 but did not tweet until a few days ago. “Peter” claimed to have excellent links to agents and to our club and tweeted that Zamora and Jonas Gutierrez were talking to us in those few days. Lots of tweets per day until someone did a Google image search and found that Peter’s profile pic was actually of a disgraced psychic from Wales who had once been in The Telegraph. When posted and challenged on North Stand Chat the account went amazingly quiet again. The one player that they had not mentioned in the tweet flurry was Gaetan Bong. Neither had anyone else.
I know very little about Bong, having not seen him play for Wigan or, as far as I know, anyone else. If I had he didn’t stick out. This contrasts with our first two signings. I’ve seen plenty of Rosenior over the years. I hadn’t seen Tomer Hemed live but the good thing about strikers is that they have highlight reels on Youtube where you can at least watch back what you think their finishing is like, so they are not a complete surprise. No one does highlight reels of left backs as far as I’m aware, but if they did they wouldn’t show the important stuff, covering, positioning, overlapping, blocking and closing down anyway. I’m just going to have to take the club’s word on this one. And do you know what? I think I will.
This summer’s recruitment feels different, like a continuation of January. Although the only addition of note was Kayal in that window he turned out to be head and shoulders above anything else we had in that team. Now we have added an ex Premier League defender and two internationals. Though we started big last summer with Stockdale, to say that player had a mixed season would be an understatement. It will certainly be interesting to see what sort of a season he has in front of a strengthened back four and with an initially impressed Ben Roberts coaching him. But then we moved on to Danny Holla, about who I knew even less than I do about Bong, before belatedly filling up with has-beens and loans.
Up to now we seem to be adding steadily, in areas of obvious weakness rather than necessarily replacing like for like, and with real thought. And we’re keeping it quiet rather than alerting the world and his wife to our targets (who DIDN’T know we were in for Ward and Clayton last season).
It’s very hard to justify a good feeling on recruitment when you admit that you are relying on Youtube highlights and past pedigree. I can only do so for the reasons above. But nevertheless I’m starting to hanker for the new season whereas, at the start of May, I’d have been happy to never see a ball kicked again.