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Slade's Shopping!
Slade's Shopping!

Panic Buys

By: Kevin Dolan
Date: 03/03/2006

AFTER the win at Wrexham on New Year’s Eve, the Mariners seemed to be ominously pulling away from the chasing pack.

Since then, though the results haven't been terrible, performances have become very unconvincing and there seems to be a lot of panicking even with a quarter of the season left.

It led me into thinking what affect the injuries and subsequent transfer window comings and goings had had on Town.

In January we signed Ben Futcher, Curtis Woodhouse and Marc Goodfellow, loaned in Junior Mendes and Matthew Bloomer, and confirmed the long term service of Gary Cohen. Meanwhile we lost the first team services of Tony Crane, Simon Ramsden and Martin Gritton. My view of the individuals concerned is:

Players In

Ben FutcherFree transfer from Boston
Pros As expected with his height, Futcher is very good in the air; and alongside Rob Jones makes Town virtually unbeatable when defending in the air. He’s also a focal point at set pieces and often double marked.
Cons Poor control and very wayward passing; even 10-yard passes are massively misplaced. Uncomfortable in possession and, under the influence of Slade, responsible for whacking aimless, long balls up field. Clumsy and slow at times, Futcher does not make a complementary centre back pairing with Jones. Bizarrely given 3 year contract.
Verdict Looks like a poor version of Rob Jones, and would've not been a necessary addition if we'd kept/played other centre backs

Curtis WoodhouseFree transfer from Hull
Pros Neat and tidy in midfield. Keeps Town in possession generally well and doesn't panic into aimless balls. Good delivery of set pieces. Scored with good finish at Mansfield, but skied a penalty against Chester.
Cons Too defensive, barely gets out of 2nd gear and does not give the team enough drive. Caught in possession sometimes by being too casual.
Verdict Solid, but unremarkable. Slightly unnecessary purchase considering other midfielders at the club

Marc GoodfellowFree transfer from Swansea
 Only one appearance so far. Injured in training straight away doesn't bode well, however we desperately needed another proper winger to compete for places.
Verdict Unknown

Junior MendesEnd of season loan from Huddersfield
Pros Struggling to think of any qualities. His best asset is his pace, but the best thing about him is that he’s only on loan.
Cons Bringing in a loan reject from one of your promotion rivals (Northampton) hardly fills anyone with confidence. Very poor control and first touch. Barely gets involved, loses possession far too easily, weak in the challenge, easy to shrug off the ball etc. Could easily be the Mickael Antoine Curier or Mark Nicholls of this season.
Verdict Mistake. Ineffective, wasteful, weak.

Gary Cohen On loan from Gretna, signed permanently
Pros Very, very fit. Hard working and skilful. A threat on the wing or up front and capable in a number of positions, Cohen has played a vital part in the promotion push.
Cons Can struggle to make an impact when the team plays direct.
Verdict Signing him permanently was an obvious and sensible decision.

The article continues in Part Two.

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