As has been rumoured all weekend, defender David Artell has signed for the Cobblers this afternoon having left Port Vale despite the fact that he only joined them a few weeks ago. With the club still in administration, they had reissued contracts to all of the new faces that had arrived in the summer plus all of those who had been offered new terms. But Artell, who led Crewe to Wembley and a playoff final victory at the end of last season, declined the new terms and walked away to join the Cobblers who had previously been interested in him earlier in the summer.
It’s not the nicest way to solve the central defensive problem that has been plaguing the Cobblers since the departure of Clarke Carlisle at the end of last season but it’s one that gives us a proven leader and some genuine experience at this level. I’m sure Vale fans will be chomping at the bit to give him a nice ‘welcome’ when we meet in late October at Sixfields and that’s something he’ll have to deal with. Putting myself in Vale fan’s shoes I would be just as angry as they are if someone walked out on us so it’s fair enough but it’s something we have to live with and someone who I’m sure we’ll get behind once the season kicks off with the League Cup game at home to Cardiff tomorrow evening.
Artell’s past includes spells at Rotherham United, where he began his career, Shrewsbury Town, Mansfield Town, Chester and Morecambe before he joined Crewe in 2010 and helped them to promotion last season. Whilst at Crewe there’s been the odd bust up with Dario Gradi and an on the pitch bust up with his own keeper, Steve Phillips, so that’s going to need to be channelled by Aidy Boothroyd into positive energy.
It’s a tough one but finally we do have that defender we’ve been craving for a fair few weeks and is pretty much the final piece of the puzzle for Boothroyd ahead of tomorrow night.
All that’s left to do now is to get this season rocking and rolling!