Here’s my column from last week’s Leader. It forms part of the paper’s comprehensive pre-match coverage every Friday, featuring interviews, an in-depth look at the opposition and lots of statistical analysis. All content in the column (c) www.leaderlive.co.uk.
Last Monday Jamie Redknapp, showing the level of analysis we’ve come to expect from him, hailed Danny Welbeck as the signing of the century after he’d scored two against Switzerland. It was as obvious a case as you could imagine of one England win stirring up a knee-jerk reaction. But if Welbeck is signing of the century, what”s Louis Moult?
Football fans rarely agree on anything. One man’s Messi is another man’s donkey, there are people out there who rate Marouaine Fellaini while others consider him a blunt instrument and Paris Saint Germain paid £50 million for David Luiz despite the rest of the world telling them not to. Yet there’s one thing uniting Wrexham fans at the moment: Moult is a class act.
If I had a pound for the number of times someone had approached me during or after a match this season and immediately told me how good Moult is then I’d be able to buy back the hideout and rocket launch pad I had built in the heart of the slag heap in Rhostyllen from that Bond villain.
Moult has made a superb start at The Racecourse. I was impressed by him on his debut at Dartford, but my abiding Moult memory of that day came afterwards during Kevin WIlkin’s post-match press conference. The manager singled Moult out as a player who he thought could do better. He hadn’t troubled the centre backs enough when the ball was played long to him the gaffer explained, hadn’t held the ball up well enough.
At the time I thought Wilkin was being harsh as I it seemed to me that Moult had battled manfully against unfriendly odds as long balls were tossed towards him to battle for with a pair of huge defenders. However, a voice in the back of my head told me that Wilkin knew Moult and what he was capable of, so if he thought there was more to come then perhaps I ought to wait and see.
I didn’t have to wait too long. Soon I saw why Wilkin wanted more from the striker, as his ability to hold the ball up, even when the service is hopeful rather than accurate and there’s no support within shouting distance, was impressive. Throw in a genuine sharpness in and around the box, exemplified by the striker’s goal he grabbed against Woking and the technique to do the extraordinary as he showed when scoring against Nuneaton and Forest Green Rovers, and you’ve the best all-round striker we’ve had since Matt Derbyshire.
Wilkin has recruited well in general, his overhaul of the squad having been achieved judiciously. You get the feeling that not only could our new men form the basis of a successful side, but that the future could be even brighter if Wilkin can keep the unit together and add a couple more players of similar calibre in coming transfer windows. But it’s Moult who has really united the fans in their appreciation of a crafty signing.