Rumours. Don’t you just love ’em?
In the past week, they’ve revolved around two leading men, as in Ben Gibson and Jordan Hugill and I must be honest enough to say that one I’d embrace at the Carra and one, erm, I wouldn’t.
Gibson has had a torrid time with Burnley and is on record as saying he wants to play regular football which to my mind has always meant: Get me outta here. But the media being what it is we’re told tales that Gibson is desperate to get back to Boro to play under the auspices of Uncle Steve and that Burnley want to trade him off to Forest in order to land Joe Worrall in a kind of part-ex.
Norwich City are apparently caught in the middle of all this, supposedly waiting in the wings for the deal to go wrong and swoop.
I would love to see Ben Gibson here but my hopes are diminishing daily.
Quickly on to Hugill. Yes, he scored 15 goals for QPR in the Championship last season and that’s no mean feat in itself. But he’s 28 and no Grant Holt as some folks suggest.
Every rumour-monger on the planet has suggested that we offered £3million for him plus £2m in add-ons. Maybe we did. But, equally, maybe we didn’t.
Either way, Paddy Davitt’s late Sunday night tweet suggests, whether I like it or not, it’s a done deal.
David Moyes [okay not him really, Karren Brady and her pals] had originally come back to say: we want £8m. A couple of social media types have also suggested that Moyes’ brother or bro-in-law is Hugill’s agent.
True? I don’t know and I don’t care.
These numbers would have put us back into Naismith territory and I’m fairly sure Mr Webber wouldn’t go there.
Let’s assume some middle ground was eventually found.
Meanwhile it’s all quiet on the Eastern front in terms of departures and I was most pleasantly surprised to see Emi Buendia feature late on with a tap-in against Cafu’s MK Dons and the sight of Onel’s rumba hips ending up with the ball lodging between the back of the net and the stanchion.
I guess one issue is becoming clearer in that if you look at the NCFC Official squad photographs three players are conspicuously pictured in last season’s shirts as in Moritz Leitner, Tom Trybull and Josip Drmic.
Everybody else is in the new Errea kit which I was singing the praises of this time last week. Well, I came down to the blue planet with a very large bump when I watched the goal clips from the MK match.
You can’t blame Errea but the squad numbers on the back of the shirts are hideous. They look like a cross between gender-specific signs for toilets and a barcode. And a Minion.
No mudslinging on this one from me because I’m not sure but if this is anything to do with our recent sponsorship deal with Badu Sports I am very much less than impressed.
Anyway, it’s all aboard for the German tour – as brief as it will be. While I’ll freely admit I will miss the chance to nip down the road to Dereham or Gorleston or wherever for myself to have a look at the new boys, I’ll just have to do the same as the rest of us and miss out.
In this scenario, the people I really feel for are the ultras such as Andy, Sharon and Jacob Bowles of On the Stall City fame. It was always a joy to read their collective tour reports and a couple of pics on MFW but it’s not to be this close-season I’m afraid.
Personally I always like to take in a couple of pre-season games if I can so this time around it will be a little bit of a grey area for me in terms of: how will we shape up?
But I do like the way young Josh Martin is ploughing his furrow. Physically he looks like a typical NCFC attacking midfielder as in he is as slightly built as he is skilful, but that never held James Maddison or Todd Cantwell back. High hopes? Yep.
MFW rarely deals in exclusives but I thought I’d conclude with one for you.
Despite dressing room bust ups, travails and saying a few words too many to the ex-Barca management, Lionel Messi is most unlikely to join us. Well, not until January anway.
See: rumours are that easy to create.
In the words of the inimitable and much-missed Thin Lizzy:
Thin Lizzy – Don’t Believe A Word (unless it’s Paddy. #nocircus).