Mark Griffiths has gone on his annual ‘Saga seal clubbing in the Scilly Isles’ trip, and the rest of our youthful media team have ; had a wash, taken some E’s and set off to follow McFly on their comeback tour of Kazakhstan. I’m left glowering in a darkened room, dreaming of peerless Scottish strikers, massive profligate spending and exquisite Racecourse catering. I can’t ‘expect’ any of that, but there must be a few things I can expect, as a miserly owner and an unreliable customer.
In the season just gone we had a half of high quality passing football. I don’t remember it as perfect, the defence looked from early on like they were capable of collapse. The weather changed and so did the football. Firstly to good football with defeats, and on to long-ball, sweetened by; an outside chance of the playoffs, the emergence of Kayden Jackson, and signing my new hero Simon Heslop (It’s all right Mr Shinton its only a dalliance)
Now we’ve unloaded most of the ‘ok’ squad, prepare the scattergun!! I expect we are going to end up with a really mixed bag of heroes and villains. Mills has cited inconsistency as the reason for the releases. I think there is a little more to it than that, but my first genuine expectation is more consistency from the team. That can be achieved by paying more for players, and paying for players who have demonstrated the trait. My careful definition of ‘consistency’ is that ; we should get less cringeworthy defeats to average teams (Guiseley away) and concede less goals through self destruction (Macclesfield at home).
Mark Carrington has pleased me by re-signing, and I think he exemplifies my consistency expectation, but also shows how difficult it is to sign that type of player. His career here could easily have been very short, after starting on non-contract terms and gradually gaining favour with a succession of managers. He didn’t start as the epitome of consistency, and he won’t be on many fans ‘favourite player’ list, but I think Mills would be happy to clone him about three times if he could.
My second expectation is that we have a more threatening attack. Last season again had two halves on that front. York/Vose/Gray/Jennings looked dangerous, Beck/Jackson/Fowler/Jennings looked like danger mouse. The fans and some of the players are calling for a 20, perhaps a 30 goal a season striker, we simply cannot expect that. At this level there is no-one that can be relied upon to deliver that for a team with a sustainable budget. (Amond 32 goals a shock, Dennis 23 couldn’t afford, Wright 22 can’t afford). What we can afford is strikers with potential and creators who can score a few. I expect Wrexham to provide a full season with more threat, and it is unlikely to come from one man.
My final expectation is for a ball playing defence. Last season Mills shored up the defence with an excellent keeper and tolerated Manny Smith’s lack of confidence on the ball with Blaine Hudson’s misplaced belief in his silky skills. Fyfield is perfectly adequate and Kai Edwards comes with a ball playing pedigree. Looking at the paper value of our defence we were severely let down. Far cheaper defences, looked far better.
I’ll return to my dreams until the pre-season friendlies, but come August I’ll be expecting a little bit better and hoping the media team come back unbloodied and ready to go.