When you club signs a new player you do (if you’ve got the time and sufficient internet access at work/school) one or more of the following – Search his name on Wikipedia, look at his stats, ask your Twitter friends that are fans of his pervious club(s) what they think and generally create a mental dossier on the player that’s going to save your season.
But one thing that I look for is the first couple of interviews and in Clarke Carlisle’s press conferences since joining up with Aidy Boothroyd once again we’ve seen not just a man who could be a solid piece of the survival jigsaw but a man who is 100% clear and committed to the cause. He’s spoke of the relegation battle that we’re in, of working every single day to get out of trouble and of being up for the fight under his former Watford boss.
Compare that to the ‘norm’ these days i.e. the generalised ‘I’m happy to be here’ or ‘it’s good to feel wanted’ and you get a very different feeling about a player who could well become an instant favourite with the home support. Carlisle is likely to be thrown in at the deep end at home to Macclesfield Town this weekend but listening to him speak, very articulately I might add, you would trust him any day of the week to be up for the battle. His words don’t feel as empty as say, a Gary Johnson, interview was. He has no airs or graces about him which is exactly what we need right now and if he can help to shut up shop at one end it’ll go a long way to seeing us towards that target of safety.
I don’t want to make out that Carlisle will be the messiah – there’s been far too many of those in recent years – but we must take our hats off to Aidy for pulling of what could be a major signing for this most tense of run ins.