If ever I want to make myself laugh or simply while away a few moments of downtime I log onto the Football Rumours website – you all know the one I’m talking about – and don’t tell me you haven’t looked at it too.
Giving it my normal cursory glance – Oh OK I admit it, I read it religiously from top to tail every day – the following names are apparently on their way to join us:
Calvin Zola – sorry gone to Stevenage
Callum Wilson – hhhmmm surely we would never be in a position to spend the money needed to get him
Marvin Sordell – good shout as he would be well known to Mark Warburton, but again…. the wages
Sean Scannell – hope he is better than his brother who had an anonymous loan spell with us yonks ago
Emmanuel Frimpong – please noooooo
Korey Smith – another good shout
Dean Cox – a bit too much like Sam Saunders but a real player
Alan Judge – well they had to get one right
Billy Paynter and Julian Allsop – methinks it’s someone from the GPG playing games again
It is total fiction and rubbish but provides hours and hours of harmless fun for us fans that aren’t “in the know” about impending transfers to and from Brentford FC.
And, in passing, can I just make the point that under the new regime at the club, secrets no longer seep out as if by osmosis. In past years speculation would always be rife and there would always be someone who would be totally on the money with the name of the next new signing well in advance of his arrival.
Well those days have gone, new security systems and a policy of Omerta are in place, not before time, and the success of ongoing negotiations are no longer compromised by a series of embarrassing and costly leaks. More evidence indeed of the club’s professionalism in the way it conducts its business.
Matthew Benham’s tried and tested transfer blueprint has been to bring in a series of precociously talented youngsters ideally on an initial try before you buy basis leavened with some experienced tried and tested professionals.
Adam Forshaw and Jake Bidwell would best sum up the first category with Jonathan Douglas and Alan McCormack the latter.
So what is in store for us as Mark Warburton and Frank McParland aim to finalise a squad ready and able to take on the unknown challenge of Championship football?
What really concerns me is that I am finding it hard to guage what the required standard is and whether the calibre of player we have signed or scouted in the past will be of the requisite standard.
There will certainly be several holes to fill given the departure of loanees Marcello Trotta and George Saville as well as squad players Shaleum Logan, Scott Barron and Farid El Alagui.
At the moment we are also waiting with bated breath for out of contract Clayton Donaldson to decide upon his future and the white puffs of smoke are expected any day now and ideally before the squad returns to training on Wednesday.
Should he go, and I am finding it hard to type with every part of my body contorted and crossed for good luck, then we will be left desperately short of numbers up front with Will Grigg the only contracted First Team forward.
His future seems in some doubt too – well at least in the minds of many supporters who felt rather short changed by his efforts last season.
Perhaps given a full preseason he will be fit and ready to play to his full potential and we will be treated to a player firing on all cylinders rather than the fits and starts of last season – or maybe we are already negotiating to cut our losses, a view that gains credence given the story that broke over the weekend of Bristol City’s reported interest in him.
We will certainly need two or maybe three strikers and given how difficult and expensive it is to find them I am totally in the dark as to where we will be prospecting. Will we splash the cash in a totally un-Brentford manner and spent serious money on a proven goalscorer? Highly unlikely in my mind given the likely cost and impact upon our existing wage structure. My money is on a high quality but unproven loanee and perhaps a signing from abroad.
Maybe we will be able to make our money go further in Eastern Europe or even Spain. I also suspect we will sign one very experienced striker who knows the ropes at this level.
Elsewhere we are in pretty good shape with Messrs. Dallas, Judge and the fit again Sam Saunders available on the flanks together with the emerging pace and promise of Josh Clarke and Charlie Adams.
We will probably sign another loanee in midfield to cover the loss of George Saville and perhaps a left sided utility defender who can cover left back and centre-half.
Nico Yennaris will also have to prove that he can make the right back berth his own.
Otherwise the squad seems primed and ready to go.
I am deliberately writing this before the players return to training and before any signings, with the exception of the exciting Alan Judge have been made.
I fully expect to have egg all over my face when every prediction of mine is proved incorrect – but that is what being a fan is all about!