With the sound of beeps shortly to emanate from the fields of Colney, as the players undergo the pre-season fitness tests, the shape of Neil Adams squad of 2014/15 should soon begin to form.
News that Kyle Lafferty is to officially put pen to paper on Tuesday has received a mixed reception at best but, along with the capture of Lewis Grabban, confirms that an overhaul in the striking department was the first task on Neil Adams’ to-do-list.
If messageboards and comments attributed to Palermo president Maurizo Zamparini are to believed Master Lafferty will, if nothing else, boost the economy of the city’s Prince of Wales Road.
Also, in response to a Metro piece I wrote on the pending arrival of the Northern Irishman, Rangers supporters were quick to remind me – in no uncertain terms – that while we may be acquiring a 6’4″ striker we should not expect anything resembling aerial dominance.
So not the most glowing of references but, given the flawed scouting reports that preceded last summer’s equally flawed striking arrivals, it’s inconceivable that David McNally would sanction one that appears certain to backfire before he even kicks a ball.
They will have done their research, and any alleged foibles in the make-up of City’s latest international will have been weighed up against what Neil Adams and co think he can bring to the Carrow Road party.
Lafferty, it seems, falls in the ‘good feet for a big man’ category and will add something that’s been missing since the departure of one Grant Holt: the ability to make the ball ‘stick’ when back-to-goal.
And the similarities don’t end there, if this YouTube clip is anything to go by.
For many however the die is already cast. Lafferty is a ‘wrong un’ who will not only fail to deliver on the pitch, but will be sure to cause a rumpus or two off it.
A ridiculous view in my opinion. As ever, the ex-Burnley and Rangers man needs to be judged on what occurs on the green stuff starting on 10 August. Until then, perhaps the cynics should reserve judgement.
In terms of departures, it appears certain that Robert Snodgrass will be departing for pastures northern in the next day or two; City’s 2013/14 Player of the Season seemingly won over by the bright lights and fat pay packets on offer in Hull.
With a reported fee of £7m rising to 8m with add-ons, the offer appears one that was simply too good to turn down, particularly with the Scot about to enter the final year of his City contract.
And while his appetite for the fight in the final throes of relegation set him apart from most of his team-mates, and played no small part in him being the latest recipient of the Barry Butler Trophy, there is no doubt he was a source of frustration for many City fans.
As a left-footer whose preference was to play on the right, Snodgrass was arguably one of the main contributors to City’s much-criticised slow build-up last season; the necessity to cut inside on to his left foot to deliver a cross often killing forward momentum.
His quality on the ball (most of the time) was not in doubt, and the fact he was the chosen one for virtually all set-pieces spoke volumes of his delivery in training, but minus that extra yard of pace he all too often flattered to deceive. With that extra yard he would be gracing bigger stages than Carrow Road and the KC stadium.
Clearly a good technician, Snodgrass is one who also wears his heart on his sleeve and his now-forgotten spat with the Snakepit was a perfect example of how much it does, or did, matter to him.
But, only time will tell quite how invaluable that good technique made him to the side.
Equally, only the passage of time will tell us if, as a unit, the side can function better without him. If pace and athleticism in wide areas is the way Team Adams wants to go we certainly have some exciting alternatives, with Elliott Bennett and both Murphys no doubt itching to call that wide-right berth their own.
Snoddy will hold his own at Hull City, I’ve no doubt about that, but Carrow Road will see new heroes emerge in the next twelve months
Who knows, one of them may be a gangly Irishman who likes a beer.