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Old Boys Network 27/05/2007

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.

We have witnessed what is popularly referred to as a “flurry” of transfer activity over the last week, with three coming in and five going out, plus confirmation of Alec’s retirement.

None of the departures are enormously surprising albeit, as previously documented, it’s a bit of a shame to see Dom Blizzard moving to Franchise.

Of the guys coming in, the two “proper” new signings in particular will add some experience – as the euphemism goes – to the squad.  Matt Jackson seems set to fulfil the Mackay role of shouting at people when they need shouting at;  if Mackay’s playing days are genuinely behind him then this is probably a necessary signing.  It’s worth noting that Jackson is actually a few months older than Malky, but nobody at Wigan seems to have had a bad word to say about him, and Betty’s most successful signings have been those he has previous knowledge of.  Jackson, like Mackay, first met his new manager at Norwich.

Mart Poom meanwhile arrives from Arsenal to fill the goalkeeping vacancy;  of a similar age to Jackson, although being 35 is generally seen as less of a handicap between the sticks.  Perhaps the greatest concern with Poom is that he’s barely played a competitive, domestic game for two-and- a-half years, but he was a terrific keeper with Derby and Sunderland – again, both clubs’ fans speak very highly of him in messageboard conversations discussing this move.  Those of us who can be bothered to watch will catch an early glimpse of our new stopper as England travel to Estonia in a couple of weeks’ time.  You might have heard about it.

Finally, Douglas Rinaldi has signed a permanent deal;  as previously scribbled, this surprises me a little bit but hopefully he’ll start imposing himself a little more on games.  And there’s undeniably something cool about having a Brazilian in your squad, even one called Douglas…



1. Paul Wilson - 27/05/2007

You must be one of very few people to be ‘surprised’ by the signing of Rinaldi on a permanent basis. The majority of supporters, myself included, saw this as being one of the first things to get sorted this summer. Given the injuries to Francis and Williams, Rinaldi is a necessary acquisition and we may well see a lot more from him next season.

2. Matt Rowson - 27/05/2007

How do you know that the majority of supporters agree with you? Have you asked them? Disagree with me by all means, but try not to talk complete bollocks whilst doing so…

It’s not that I don’t rate Rinaldi… I just thought he hadn’t quite done enough, nor is it obvious how or where he fits. Even without Francis and Williams we have Mahon, Williamson, Bangura, Cavalli and at a push Diagouraga who can play centrally. That’s four or five players for two positions, with two to come back mid-season. Given that Rinaldi was OK but not astonishing, I’m a bit surprised we’ve taken him on. But good luck to him, obviously.

3. stephen hoffman - 28/05/2007

i agree with paul wilson above on rinaldi there is no harm to adding depth to your midfield rinaldi will provide this and also a creative element . he has done more than cavalli who in my opinion looks nice can cross but is to slow and easily pushed off the ball, also he’s a winger not a central midfielder as we saw at watford v charlton . rinaldi provides a creative element to our midfield , which we will needs while williams is injured. he can also score as he showed at blackburn ,and is prepared to get stuck in. he is one of our midfielders who can actually pass well , especially a through ball ,which we have needed since spring departed to luton , i mean just look at that ball to priskin in the man city game , you can’t deny that was a class pass . alos you’ve got to remember that was the premiership rinaldi may look even better in the championship

im not sure to be honest if diagouraga will be at watford next season .

4. Mark - 28/05/2007

I doubt Tiggy or Cavalli will be around for too long whilst the jury is still out on Willamson.

5. Alan Ambler - 28/05/2007

With regards to Poom, the new Espen Baardsen? admittidly older and much more proven..but I for one dont think we need a new number one, thats Richard Lee, we need a new number two.

6. EMC - 28/05/2007

I don’t doubt Richard Lee will be a great number one for the championship, but I am not convinced that if we return to the top flight that he willl be good enough.

7. Kris - 29/05/2007

Alan – Lee will never be no. 1 at the Vic whilst Aidy is in charge. All the bollocks about Poom fighting it out with Rich for the no. 1 jersey is just a facade. I’d have Lee as no. 1 but as I see it, he’d be better off moving elsewhere – where they’re playing a style of football not dependant on a kick that stretches the entire field.

8. Paul Wilson - 29/05/2007

Matt, yes I have sought the opinion of others on the messageboards and the answer was a resounding ‘yes’ to Rinaldi. It’s not a big issue, I just found your description of his signing as ‘surprising’ to be a bit odd that’s all, when it seemed inevitable to me.

9. Apperley 'Orn - 30/05/2007

Paul – canvassing the opinions of a handful of people on the messageboards is not that comprehensive a way of gauging the views of the “majority” of supporters. I think that was Matt’s point – don’t make a sweeping statement like that when in reality you can’t possibly know.

FWIW I didn’t see Rinaldi as a dead cert, by any stretch of the imagination, although I do think it would be interesting to see what he can do when he steps down a level.

10. Depressed :( - 30/05/2007

The thing is, if Aidy was ever serious about Lee being a contender for being the first keeper, surely he would have played him more in the dying games of the prem so he could get as much experience as he can? Instead, Foster got the experience and as much as I appreciate how much he’s done for us, we should have been giving the experience to somebody who would help us next season

11. Matt Rowson - 30/05/2007

Apperley – don’t disagree about Rinaldi. A little surprised, not astonished… didn’t think he’d quite done enough is all, but of course it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on.

Depressed (cheer up mate, we could be Leeds?) – I don’t think there was ever any prospect of Lee being first choice next season, this was evident before Foster was retained for the final fixtures. Betty couldn’t win there really – he’d have gotten stick for dropping the Player of the Season too.

12. hornetboy84 - 31/05/2007

I personally agree that Rinaldi is a good signing, as do most (if not all – not heard a dissention till now – of the horns I know or sit with).

He offers something a bit different especially when we want to play a non 4-4-2 line up. 4-1-2-1-2 for example … probably useful in a 1-8-1- also. 🙂

I think we need players like him who can hold and distribute the ball and “spot the pass” … still dont know what Springy did to upset Aidy.

I think we need to try and hold onto a “reluctant” Shittu. He will sulk until the transfer window is closed then dominate Divvy 1 trying to get a deal in Jan. If all going well he will stay.

We need to buy a goalscorer. We have lots of forward options but no goals. Maybe Hoskins might come good. I would get Sharp or even the bloke from Truro who scored 75 goals this season. We create chances just need to slot them away. Guess Phillips is a no-go.

13. Matt Rowson - 31/05/2007

“We have no goals”? Where were you during the play-off season? I agree that another forward would be useful, particularly if Kabba moves on, but no goals? Really?

14. Doug - 31/07/2007

“even one called Douglas…”

No Christmas card for you Rowson 😉

15. Tom Bodell - 15/08/2007

How can the jury still be out on Williamson. As far as I’m concerned he was probably our best player toward the back end of 0607. I’m not saying everyone agrees with me like Mr Wilson, but from the people I speak to, most were v.impressed when he eventually got to play.

We need Rinaldi, Mahon will go at the end of 0708, Francis is shit, Bangura, Williamson and Williams I like, but two of those are injured. Cavalli is to leave on a free this week which is a shame, I liked him at West Ham last season in the league.

16. Matt Rowson - 15/08/2007

Nobody mentioned Williamson Tom, do pay attention.

Cavalli looked tidy at West Ham but showed little afterwards, and needed to be consistently impressive to overcome his obvious deficiencies (pace, stature). Not a big surprise.

Francis – disappointing, rather than shit. I’d like to see him behind King; with the amount of disruption Marlon causes a midfielder whose game has been based on attacking space ought to do well. It’s not as if he had much mobility in front of him for much of last season.

17. Tom Bodell - 21/08/2007

‘Mark’ mentioned Williamson-thats why I’m bringing them up to contradict whoever said we need more in the midfield.

I agree Cavalli showed little after West Ham, but in fairness he was only given one start, Vs Ipswich. He didn’t look like a wideman, yet he was played there. A shame, I think he had some potential.

Francis, shit, yep, probably a bit harsh, he looked good versus Charlton and I believe we played a different system then?

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