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Come in, number nine…

Hooray, we’ve finally got the coveted player for the, er, coveted #9 shirt that we’ve spent so long in trying to get.

Welcome (at least until January 1st, anyway) Michael Smith from Charlton.

So, what do we know about him? He’s a big fucker at 6 ft 4, he’s 21 and he used to go to the same Boys Club as a certain Mr A Shearer. I’m sure we could make something out of him teaming up with Teddy’s kid, but that would be a bit too laboured to make.

According to NA, he’s a bit on the aggressive side too. So if that’s true, we can expect him and Fuller (or Sweeney) to be winning the race for most red cards in one season.

Is he what we’ve been after? By the sound of it, most probably. Unless you’ve been lucky enough to have a gem on your hands, unless you’re a big budget side in this division you tend to sign these sort of youngsters. Or the more risky Byron Harrison types.

It’s interesting that Smith has been on loan a fair few times and has never played for the Addicks first team. That he’s here until January suggests one of two things : either Charlton still think he’s an uncut diamond who still needs game time, or he’s more likely to be surplus to requirements when his contract expires.

And with what happened with Sully jnr and Mambo at the Valley, you suspect the latter.

From our point of view though, if he shows the promise our boss clearly has in him, that’s all that matters. We will obviously have to look at what happens come January, but if he’s shit then by then it doesn’t matter.

If he isn’t shit, then for the next five months we’ve got the player we’ve needed. And to be honest, I’m glad he’s here rather than Akefenwa or Rene Howe – at least Smith should be hungry and willing to learn, and shouldn’t be another Banjo-esque waster.

And judging by this interview after his first game for Colchester, he certainly has that mentality of, I-want-to-do-well.

Most importantly of all, can he score goals? Well, nine goals at three different outfits (and at different levels) last season suggests he does at least know where the goal is. But then he didn’t seem to get a run of games into double figures at any of the clubs he was at – 23 games in total last season. And no obvious sign of injury.

Many may liken him to a certain Mr C Leaburn, though hopefully not somebody who was as shit as he was. Although Leaburn somehow still attains legend status by having one good game against Palace, so if Smith does the same at the Den this time next week…

At least it appears the summer rebuilding is now complete, the status of Rhys Weston notwithstanding. I would hope the budget can extend to him as I think he’ll be a good addition.

Our boss seems happy with what he’s done, and if it is true that out of the ten targets we went for, we got all bar one or two of them, that’s a very productive summer for us. Though it was good that he qualified the comment about Charlie Sheringham being like his dad by mentioning his ability on the pitch rather than in nightclubs 😉

Also, note he’s described Strutton as a “project”? And it seems it isn’t just fans who have noticed how ineffective he’s been during pre-season.

Anyway, the sessions in Monza are over, and the weather today is a real reminder for the squad that Torquay is only days away. Yet despite the rebuilding almost complete for now, and despite all the buildup elsewhere, it doesn’t feel real that it all starts properly again on Saturday…