Registered On: January 3, 2014
So it’s official. There are some players in our squad who are not good enough for League Two and others who do not put in the required effort both on and off the pitch.
In which case the question must be asked “who brought them to the club in the first place?” And perhaps more to the point “why?”
A year ago many of us were wondering if there was hidden talent lurking in the deep recesses of the National League. The next Jamie Vardy must be out there somewhere. What we got was Myles Hippolyte!
Of course every punt on a non-league hopeful will be just that, in which case would it not make more sense for the club to offer a one year contract with an option to extend? Getting stuck with dead wood on a two or two and a half year deal cannot be cost effective. Consider one Andrew Dales, signed from Mickleover Sports he scores on his debut and then disappears back into Scottish/non-league oblivion. Although to be fair a loan spell at Altrincham does equate to a step up from Mickleover!
There have been several of this ilk of course. The legendary Dom Vose, and who could forget Jonny Margetts? Well all of us probably. The lesson here must surely be “if you’re not sure the goods are fit for purpose, make sure they come with a money back guarantee!”
Then there are the wandering nomads from other EFL clubs. They’ve most likely spent one or two loans per season in the basement divisions without troubling the goals/assists statisticians and not really persuading anyone to offer them full time employment. They most likely started at a “Big Club” which probably explains why they have a savvy agent who can talk them a good game. How often have we as fans checked the stats of a new striker only to find out his most prolific spell was scoring three goals in eighteen games on loan at Spennymoor Town?
Now I don’t want to tar all football agents with the same brush, but this bigging-up of poor to average players is not doing anyone any good. It is of course in their interest to get their clients the best deal, but their blatant misinformation (aka bullshit) is making life miserable for managers, coaches, fans and ultimately the players themselves. The more a club relies on football agents and scouting agencies the more often this will happen.
So at Scunthorpe United we find ourselves with a rich cornucopia of non talent. The players who are up FOR it but sadly not up TO it. Those whose ability does not live up to their agent’s hyperbole. The ones whose agents promised them that a stint at lowly Scunny would be a stepping stone to Championship/Premiership football and expect such clubs to be fighting over their signature. Young guys desperately in need of an on-field leader to develop them, who find themselves on board a rudderless Titanic.
Why is this? It can only be down to the club’s recruitment policy. Why so many Dom Voses? Why so many players who throw a strop? Why so many home grown youngsters thrown into a struggling team in their wrong position? Why are our best players not tied to a contract but the poor ones are?
It’s not all doom and gloom though, because we do have success stories. Manny Onariase has seamlessly stepped up from non-league. Journeyman Alex Gilliead has been Mr Consistency, and home grown Mason O’Malley has not only walked straight into this team but also the ROI U21 squad!
The problem is that we need 12-15 such players, not 4-5.
Recruitment HAS to be better this summer. We can’t rely on agents or agencies to deliver, we need to be proactive.
Mr Swann said it had already started. I hope his priorities match our own.