New Faces, Old Faces

BILLY'S CONTRACT on Pools players

Lot of talk in December regarding bringing in several new faces to 'Pools either on a loan or a cash basis to freshen up the squad. Due to the numerous postponements this has given the management team the opportunity to take in several games and run the rule over any possible new signings.

When I heard the chimes of big Ben heralding in 2016 I was immediately on my mobile, not sending text messages and wishing all and sundry New Year felicitations, but at one minute past twelve I was checking on the internet which players Ronnie had signed. As I write this it is now the twelfth day of Christmas and apart from extending the loan periods of Jake Gray and Adam Jackson, we still have the same old faces at The Vic.

I would have thought that Wolves would have took Brad Walker off our hands by now, or are they waiting until the end of the season when he possibly becomes a free agent or is given a free, as a result of which no monies come into 'Pools coffers.

I am sure that Ronnie and his team are working hard behind the scenes to bring in fresh faces, and when I say fresh faces, please - no more inexperienced kids. Rumours abound he has run the rule over two non league strikers, one, apparently, is the leading goalscorer in all the British leagues ...and I include Scotland in that. Another player currently on the radar is another forward who was with Ronnie at Tranmere.

Personally I disagree with the the January transfer window and I prefer the good old days when we all had rickets and when half a crown was a king's ransom, and a club could go out and buy a player at any time of the year. If nothing else, reading the back pages of the newspapers in the past was far more interesting than it is these days, seeing on a daily basis which players were being sought after by which club, and where they were rumoured to be going.

We all know that we need a mobile box to box midfielder, not necessarily one who will score goals but someone who is at least prepared to have a shot at goal now and again. Another forward of the Jordan Hugill mould would not go amiss, plus another left back.

The clock's ticking and there are only three weeks left before the transfer deadline closes, so we need to get a move on and not end up with the dross the other clubs do not want. The crop of players that we currently have are no doubt a lot better than those that we he had on our books last season but several of them are lacking confidence on a massive scale. Could be a case that several new signings could allow some of the squad to be rested or that the new faces may raise morale in those who are doubting their ability, and get them out of the mental rut that they might be wallowing in.
"at one minute past twelve I was checking on the internet which players Ronnie had signed."

In one way I am pleased that we now have a backlog of matches to catch up on as in truth, with the current squad, I could not see us getting anything from the previously postponed games at Newport, Carlisle and Accrington. However with some fresh blood they might give us a chance of gaining some extra points on the board, which is now a priority.

Let's not kid ourselves, Pools are again in a relegation dogfight, though I much prefer our current survival odds over those that we had this time last year. Come the New Year there is always one team that looks dead and buried, much like Pools last season, who suddenly come into a rich vein of form and go on a run as Dagenham and Redbridge seem to be doing of late, though hopefully it is just a flash in the pan. Again there is a team that thinks they are well out of the mire and treading water, much like Tranmere and Cheltenham did last season, and we all know what happened to them. Let's hope that Pools do not find themselves in a similar situation.

We need to get a portion of that Cup run money spent on some decent players otherwise The National Conference league beckons.


Most Saturday nights when either Strictly or Casualty are on the box I pass my time by studying all the results and stats of the day of the various clubs particularly to see how former 'Pools players are doing ...or not doing.

Jack Baldwin is back in Peterborough's side after a long injury lay off. YouTube his own goal against Sheff Utd. Pure class. Simon Walton is a regular for Crawley Town. Compton, now at Yeovil must be out injured or living in a cave in Wales as I have never seen his named mentioned anywhere, not even on the subs bench. Although I do not class them as true Poolies as they were only loanees Burgess (Pompey) and Dolan (Yeovil) are pretty much ever-present for their respective teams.

Ritchie has been out out the scene at Chesterfield but I think that was through injury. He recently appeared on the bench but now that Danny Wilson has taken over the management reins there he could be due to be loaned out to Port Vale. Luke James, currently on loan with Bradford from Peterborough, rarely makes it off the bench. Darren Holden was pretty much permanently on the bench at Ross County and came on as as sub a couple of times, and I am guessing he is out injured as he has disappeared off the scene. Ben Clark is pretty much a constant at Gateshead. I can't believe that he is only 32, seems to have been around for centuries.

Jonathan Franks is the player I enjoy searching out for most on the stat list. Not for the number of goals that he has scored (one), but to see what time he leaves the bench or is taken off the field of play. To the best of my limited knowledge I don't think that he has completed a full ninety minutes for Ross County since he signed for them. He either comes on as a sub or makes way for a sub, and it is always around the 63rd or 78th minute ...very much like he did at Pools. Mind, a few weeks ago he did come off in the 58th minute, which upset the bookies' odds.