The last few days have been immersed with talk of Shaun Harrad’s imminent departure from Sixfields dominating the Twitter accounts, blogs and pub talk on Planet Cobblers. What sort of blogger would I be if I didn’t throw my two cents in? Not much of one I guess, so here goes…
I’m of the same thought as every single other Town fan debating this to be honest and there’s not an awful lot I can add to what’s already been said. Harrad is the key striker at this football club and saying that he’s surplus to requirements is ludicrous. It’s appeared today that Harrad has been for sale for most of the summer and that only now he’s fit are people coming in for him.
How any manager of a club can say that they want their main striker out of the club and that he’s not in the plans is beyond me. If these new developments are true and Harrad was indeed set to leave all summer then does this mean that the replacements are already in place in the form of Bayo and Jake Robinson? Tadhg Purcell is meant to be off out on loan so he goes out of the picture so it still leaves us light weight.
We were all licking our lips at the prospect of a Robinson-Bayo-Harrad link up in some form or another before the season started and now we’re seemingly going to be left without the key goal scoring element of that trio. Robinson has worked hard and has been unlucky at times but isn’t going to be the 30 goal a season forward that Harrad arguably could be. That might be ambitious but I honestly believe that given a good run without injury and some decent service Harrad could be as impactful for us as the likes of Adam Le Fondre was for Rotherham.
Now he’s seemingly on his way and no signs of any replacement are being talked about. Johnson was a bit vague when saying Harrad “may have to seek pastures new” and could do with being as honest with us as he says he is with his players. What we’re left with is an uncertain few days when Harrad will likely be sold and we’ll be left with the loan market to bring in another of Johnson’s picks who could be unproven at this level in the mould of some of the poorer loanees from the end of last season.
I was all set to let this transfer window pass me by, relatively happy that Harrad would be returning soon to help out the ailing start to the season. If he’s off, then does Johnson believe that the players that have underperformed so far will be good enough to fight out of this? There’s undoubted quality in some parts of the squad but when we need to scrap for points we need battlers. When/if we start leading games 2 or 3-0 then we can start being flashy and showing quality.
Would Ian Sampson even have stood for these performances? It’s a tricky question but we were at least coming out of the later games under Sammo feeling unlucky to draw rather than win and the squad seems to be behind him. I have to ask whether the current crop of players are indeed behind their boss or whether more unrest that will undoubtedly be caused by Harrad’s sale affect the next month as well as the shaky first of the season.
More question than answers at the moment…if this is still the case by close of play on Wednesday then we’ll be in big trouble. And we also have the small case of a JPT First Round in between. Unfortunately I see a backlash against the Harrad decision during that one but we must somehow get behind the players that are on the pitch. We’re all desperate for this to turn around and want the manager to be successful but we also need some positive answers both on and off the pitch.
Fasten your seatbelts for this latest saga to unfold!