Did Kelvin Thomas get Chris Wilder to close his eyes before he presented Tom Craddock to him? The striker’s signing, it was claimed before yesterday’s annihilation of Morecambe, was more significant than simple squad reinforcement. This was the man that Chris Wilder wanted, like, forever. Like the toy you always wanted for Christmas. Only better.
Wilder agreed, it was a sign that the club wants to develop as fast as he does. It’s true, 8 games on from Wembley and we started yesterday with six new faces.
The team and how it plays is changing in front of our eyes. Last season was all about the dominance of our personality over frankly inferior opposition. Two immovable objects at the back (Foster and Creighton), rabid terriors in midfield, and endless energy up front. We overwhelmed the opposition.
The 2010/11 vintage is more athletic, it’s about pace and movement. Is Worley better than Creighton? Not necessarily, but he fits with the strategy better. With Craddock in, Matt Green’s pace gives him preference over Midson and Josh Payne’s more efficient use of the ball works better in the system than Dannie Bulman’s all action tenacity.
This is not to write off Creighton, Midson, Bulman, or, for that matter, Clist. We may yet see them coming to the fore, particularly when pitches get stodgier or we need to grind out some points away from home.
The fact we have a manager with the foresight to develop an already successful squad, that we have a thrilling expansive A game and a reliable B game, and that it’s all being achieved against a backdrop of apparent financial stability and club/fan cohesion seems almost anti-Oxford.