Kevin Wilkin has got me flustered.
I’m getting confused what time of year it is, because he’s started making moves to sort out the squad for next year, and it feels far too early. This season I thought it was going to take until Christmas to get a settled side, due to our injury issues. It looks like Mr Wilkin plans to sort things out early. If he’s looking at players at this level and below then he’s got a chance.
In my view what is crucial to the rebuild is getting a fantastic spine to the team. We need three majestic players down the middle. We’ve got three people in the current squad in contention for these roles. Dave Artell has been underrated in my view. He’s very reliable, great in the air, and brings an air of calm to the defence. The argument against for me rests on his injury concerns, not his lack of pace. The stats show our defence is good with him in it.
Mark Carrington is a fascinating candidate for the midfield linchpin, he’s got aerial ability, good pace and ball skills. Sadly I have my doubts about his ability to command. My concerns are based on his good, but not stellar performances as a right-back, and the fact that an admittedly financially insecure Bury let him go. He doesn’t appear to be a big character and my judgement is that we need one.
Up front I’m convinced the player we’re after should complement Bishop. My internal candidate is Nick Rushton. I’m sad to say Anyinsah has flitted in and out of my favour, but who in their right mind would base the need for a reliable goalscorer on a player with his injury record. I think Wilkin might fancy Rushton to latch onto Bishop’s flick-ons and his season’s loan at Barrow has surprised me. My heart doesn’t hold out much hope for Rushton, and that’s because my heart has fallen for another, and that’s Scott Spencer of Hyde (currently Halifax).
We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, as I’ve intimated above. This squad has been vilified, but I see no major faults. I see a squad hit by injury, costing us about ten points at the start of the season, and some severe underperformance. I’m sorry he’s gone, but I thought Brett had a terrible season. Looking at those simple issues accounts for a failure to make the playoffs, not the false premise that the squad is bereft of talent.
I have two candidates for our star performer next season, both from the East Midlands (weakest link in the history of journalism there), Andy Bishop or Elliot Durrell. Bishop has performed exactly to expectations this year, contrary to the vilifiers amongst us. He’s won a lot of headers, scored when given good service (very rarely) and put in consistently controlled performances. With better service he really could hit 20-goals next year. Injuries and any other issues may well be behind him. Durrell does exactly what my previous article called for; he creates disruption. Almost his first touch for Wrexham was a superb instinctive and unexpected cross into the box. When fit we’ll see more running from him and Wilkin should already know him well enough from the Conference North to utilise him fully.
So with that I’ll wish you all a Merry Christmas. That’s Christmas 2014, when we will be eight points clear at the top!