When Kevin Went Shopping


There was a buzz before the Nuneaton game: this was our chance to see what Kevin Wilkin’s Wrexham side would look like next season! Surely, the logic ran, he’d hightail it straight back to his old club and cherry-pick all their best players. After watching the weak performance the visitors put in there was an a slight air of disappointment: was that what we could look forward to next year? No, it isn’t.

I’m not convinced the idea that Wilkin would rush back to Nuneaton to strip the club of talent was ever really likely. I’m not saying he won’t return to cherry-pick one or two trusted lieutenants, but Wilkin knows that the requirements of the job in hand are different to what he had to do in his previous role. At Nuneaton he’d had to forge a tight unit from a small budget; you’d hope he’d have more room to manoeuvre when it comes to recruitment this Summer. So his old club was never really likely to lean on Nuneaton too heavily. Forest Green, however, are a different matter.

Surely one of the obvious truths of the Summer is that today’s opponents, like us, will have a clear-out. Bloated with investment, they scuppered this season before it even began with a wanton transfer policy. Like so many newly-wealthy clubs before them they spent wildly on impressive individuals rather than build a team. The consequence is a mid-table finish when they should have been challenging Luton. Surely they won’t make the same mistake again.

That means they’ll be off-loading men in the Summer, and the calibre of player in their squad is surely what Wilkin will have his eye on. There’s likely to be a few on display that Ady Pennock won’t want next season. That’s because they’ve suffered badly with injuries and therefore have had to cobble a side together. Indeed, I’ve struggled to work out what their formation will be as their line-up in the previous match looks to me like a satire of what went wrong this season: a right back, two centre backs and a whole lot of strikers. Pennock has responded to the crisis by recalling a player from loan. A striker, naturally.

He’s partly brought this situation on himself as he’s also refusing to select three players who he feels don’t come up to scratch. Anyway, there are plenty of interesting options to pick up from Rovers. I’m more likely to view this afternoon as a scouting trip than the Nuneaton game.

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