… Wrexham’s number nine.
So, in news you didn’t quite want to hear, our main striker has gone to further his
bank balance career in north Wales.
The rumour mill never went away with him going there, and when somebody in Cymru tweeted this earlier this afternoon, it was only a matter of when.
And “when” is this Monday evening when I type this.
I think my initial thoughts are much the same as anyone else’s right now : the money is decent, but what do we do about a replacement?
Especially when OP has effectively been the goalscoring threat recently.
More on the latter in due course. It’s unusual for the club to announce the transfer fee so publicly, and it’s clear we didn’t want him to go.
Wrexham are splashing the cash to get out of non-league though, and as we know from our time down there – needs must.
In isolation, this move wouldn’t be the worst from AFCW’s point of view. He’s 30 years old, and nobody bar a select few seem to know when his contract with us was up.
If it was this summer, then at least we’ve learnt something. Remember, we’ve lost Piggot for nothing, and Lyle Taylor too.
And Akinfenwa. And Tom Elliott. And I’m sure Danny Kedwell went for £0 too.
That said though, all of those were in the close season, and we’ve let our main striker go in January, with all that entails.
From OP’s point of view, whether he did want to go or not, it’s one last big payday for him.
He’s been quite injury prone with us, and lest we forget we lost him for a good time at the back end of 2021.
Dropping from L1 to the Conference is a big step, and if Wrexham don’t go up then he might be wondering if he made the right choice.
Ordinarily, we would consider this a good deal. But needless to say – and as alluded to earlier – it’s a huge gamble.
A very huge gamble.
When it comes to players leaving Plough Lane (or KM, or even back in the Selhurst days), my attitude has always been who comes in is most important.
Nobody in an AFCW shirt is irreplacable after all. We’ve lost players before, and we’ll lose them again.
But from now until the transfer window closes a week today (if you’re reading this Monday) – we have the most important seven days for some time.
We have to replace Ollie Palmer sufficiently enough before the transfer window shuts, or we’re effectively playing League Two football next season.
As said on Sunday, Pressley isn’t good enough and Terry Ablade is untested.
Robbo isn’t under that much pressure over this, his hands are tied. But this is now a major test of the club’s ambition.
Waving the white flag and preparing for relegation is seriously going to stick in the throat, especially as they’re after yet more money for the PLB 2.
Not to mention the football side of things, where another game without a goal dampens your enthusiasm.
And if there’s one thing AFCW doesn’t need, it’s a fanbase who have stopped caring.
The biggest test of all this next week will be for the transfer committee. I quote from the OS:
Discussions on finding a replacement for Ollie are now ongoing. We only recently welcomed the arrival of striker Terry Ablade from Fulham – but the transfer windows remains open.
“The football panel are working through potential targets at the moment and we will look to provide Robbo with another option as soon as we can,” added Joe (Palmer)
Doesn’t sound like we’ve got somebody coming in straight away after all.
I’ll only be confident we’ve got a replacement in when the OS announces that we have actually got somebody in.
Anything before we do is just talk, and unfortunately we’re very good at doing that without backing it up.
This is a massive test for the very concept of the football panel, or whatever it’s called. It has to get it right, and it has to do it quickly.
Otherwise, it’s just going to be a gimmick, an “innovation” that looks good on paper but does fuck all in the real world of football.
After all, we have finishers instead of substitutes, which doesn’t seem to have made any tangible difference.
Your editor is back at work tomorrow, at QPR, so I’m going to miss tomorrow against Ipswich.
The reaction to OP departing will be interesting, especially if we’re 2-0 down and looking as likely to find the net as Michael Folivi did.
I do believe AFCW knows it has to do something by this time next week. If it doesn’t, it will get a sharp reminder.
And should we go down now, the supporters aren’t going to be that forgiving. Especially now we’re back home and people are spending their hard earned more than ever.
This is football though, and things can and do change quickly. Get somebody relatively decent in, and most of the current angst goes.
Start scoring goals, and then winning games, and it becomes a case of “Ollie who?” very quickly.
But if we don’t…