Pace to burn

Although it was thoroughly disappointing to see the Black Country derby called off yesterday, the postponement could very well be a blessing.

Our injury situation surely can’t be any worse when rearranged fixture rolls around, so in all likelihood we’ll be able to field a much stronger side.

Robbie Findley - Wolves target?

Perhaps of equal importance, the January transfer window should also have swung wide open by then, allowing us to strengthen, beat the Albion and mount an escape from the dropzone.

Easy peasy.

And one thing we require in January, along with defensive reinforcements, is a striker.

I feel confident that in SEB, Doyle and Fletcher, we have a trio of forwards more than capable of digging us out, but with Marcus Bent almost certain to be politely sent packing in the new year, we’ll need a fourth frontman to fill the void.

Bent was unquestionably brought in out of desperation because nobody better was available, but even I’ve been surprised at the lack of opportunities he’s been afforded. Still, this proves a point to me that we just don’t need a target man.

So when Mick draws up his shopping list, I hope it includes a forward with some serious pace to burn.

I think we’re crying out for that, just to provide another option and give opposition defenders something else to worry about.

This thought has occurred to me a few times, particularly when we’re clinging onto a narrow lead late on in a game. We sit ridiculously deep and very rarely look like springing a counter-attack to kill the game off. A fleet-footed forward could remedy this situation.

And low and behold, this morning I came across a story linking us with pacey MLS Striker, Robbie Findley. Hardly speculation to set pulses racing but nonetheless, someone of this ilk could be a useful addition to the squad.

Like it or not, we’re never going to attract a marquee signing with three established first team strikers already on the books, so it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if this rumour had legs.

Another quick attacker, who we’ve been linked with in the past, is Derby’s Kris Commons. I think he’d be a cracking signing. With 12 goals in the Championship already this season and the ability to play out wide and off a front man, he could certainly be of some use. Whether or not we could get him is another question entirely.

I’d be interested to know if I’m alone in thinking we should be shopping for a player in this mould.

What do we all think?


  1. Stourbridge wolf says:

    Thomas – you mean you are not expecting to see the return of Robbie Keane and Lescott like predicted by the Daily Mirror? ha,ha,ha!

    I agree that it would be great to see some real pace up front for us (I always hoped we might sign Dindane in the summer to provide this). Would also be great to have a striker not affraid to take a shot from long range as only Milijas (and Adlene) seem to want to pull the trigger from the edge of the area.

    Just look at Jarvis, no matter how good the defenders are in the Prem, they all hate people running at them at pace. (This is also why I never thought Kightly would be particularly effective)


  2. I’m a rising journo in America covering the MLS, so I can provide some details about Findley: he is an extremely pacey player who thus is best at getting in behind opposition defenses on long balls over the top or tricky interplay on the carpet.

    However, though he is blazing-fast, (though not as fast as Aaron Lennon or Theo Walcott) he lacks a solid skill set on a top-class level and thus isn’t a Fernando Torres-type player who can take someone on 1v1 and skin them.

    McCarthy obviously spotted the lad during the World Cup, which he was controversially selected for, as US head coach Bob Bradley threw him on in multiple matches, only to see him run wild and provide little in terms of any sort of final ball of an assist or dagger strike of a shot. Thus, I’m a tad surprised McCarthy is still interested, but perhaps he feels they can polish his skills but you can’t just teach his pace.

    If that’s the line of thinking, I’d be inclined to disagree; I’m not sure Findley has what it takes to be a world class striker even in the MLS, which still pales in comparison to the near peerless Premier League. However, there’d be nothing that would make me happier if McCarthy and Findley prove me wrong.


    • Stourbridge wolf says:

      Sounds about right for another MM ‘not good enough’ signing!!!!

      Hope he proves us all wrong and is as good as Adlene – if he is good maybe MM can leave him warming the bench too? (Or bring keogh back from Cardiffs bench and throw him in ahead of him?)


  3. Tafkag says:

    Adam – The premier league certainly isn’t ‘peerless’ in terms of final ball, first touch and finesse. There are plenty of players in the league with a lot of pace but no final ball (Lennon, Wright-Philips for example). Indeed you only have to look at the reaction to Gareth Bale’s emergence as a pacey player witha final ball to realise this league, and 90% of the players in it, are nowhere near as good as the Sky Sports team would have us believe


  4. Normally I agree with Thomas but not here I’m afraid. Why do we need a 4th striker? When/Where/How would they get a game? I’d rather have Vokes back if we need cover. Sod it, even Keogh, as he wouldn’t be getting a game anyway.
    Also I wouldn’t say Commons is pacy, if anything he’s pretty slow. Technically he’s excellent but will never make a top flight player due to his lack of speed. In that respect he’s quite similar to Robbie Blake, someone who’ll shine in the champ but be left behind in the Prem.
    We need defenders of real quality, nothing else imo.


    • Stourbridge wolf says:

      Noooooooooooooooo – not Keogh back!!! MM wanted £2m for him and now he just warms the bench at Cardiff.

      IMO I think we do need a forth striker (either pacey or a target man – just to give us options). Totally agree that we need a quality centre half and a left back though.


  5. A good mate of mine who has come good in the past is convinced Stephen Taylor will be signed on loan till the end of the season after agreeing to a pre contract with us, apparently it is already agreed…. Wishful thinking and I can’t see it happening. The other contender for centre back is David Wheater but again I just can’t see him coming when teams like Villa and Everton are reportedly interested. Personally I agree that sorting the defence out should be the main priority i January and that the strikers are fine as they are.


  6. Ad Mant says:

    Kwolf… you speak the gospel ! Lescot.. come return the favour ‘o savour !!!



    • Stourbridge wolf says:

      £90k per week, and now linked with Arsenal – there’s more chance of us signing Bully and Robbie Keane again!

      A lescott return would be great though!

      We could always try and get Brian Law out of retirement (he can drive the bus too)


  7. Stourbridge wolf says:

    If reports are true that Robbie Keane is to join West Ham on loan until the end of the season – I will never forgive him.

    Just got to hope it is as much b*llocks as the Mirror reporting Everton and Liverpoool are in a £4m battle to sign Jarvis. £4million ha, ha, ha!!!! He’s just signed a five year contract and is our best player, as if!


    • Daniel Heathcote says:

      why are you so desperate for Keane? He is a shadow of the player he was. I really think people need to move on. We need players for our first team and not for our subs bench surely.


      • Keane’s still a good player and would go straight into our first team, or at least he should. He’s better than what we have. If we had the chance to take him, we definitely should


  8. Kowloon Wolf says:

    I agree entirely with this blog. A striker with pace would be a blessing for the reasons given. Variety is good, and pace is always handy. So: Findley – why not? If, in addition to his pace, he has the wherewithal to stop his runs short of the 6-yard box to pick up the crosses which always seem to evade Doyle, then I say let’s play him every week!


  9. Findley signs for Forest.


  10. Clive from Houston says:

    Why not bring back The Hoff??????????????


  11. I wouldn’t say we are crying out for pace. Both Doyle and Ebanks-Blake ar every quick, and we have Jarvis on the wing.


  12. Daniel Heathcote says:

    Surely the fact the fourth choice striker hasn’t got a look in is proof this is not a priority area, I find it all the stranger that people are still banging on about strikers after Ebanks held the ball up so well against Birmingham. We need central defenders and a left back urgently.


    • Stourbridge wolf says:

      Doyle is out injured for the festive programme, so I guess we need a fourth striker to warm the bench if we ever dare play 4-4-2!!!


    • Thomas says:

      Just to be clear, I agree that a fourth striker isn’t ‘a priority’. I never suggested it was.

      But the fact is, if Bent goes back to Blues, which you’d imagine he would, we’ll need a replacement. You can’t name just three strikers in a 25-man squad. That would be lunacy.

      So my point is, that fourth striker, in my opinion should be someone with pace, rather than a target man.

      You said:

      “Surely the fact the fourth choice striker hasn’t got a look in is proof this is not a priority area”

      Where as I think more:

      The fact the fourth striker hasn’t got a look in is because the fourth striker wasn’t the type of player we needed in the first place.


  13. These are the days says:

    Yeah lets sign him, he looks a good striker….

    ….then maybe a decent winger…..

    ….pop him at left back….

    …Centre Mid?

    I know!!! Maybe he could be a decent link up player!!


  14. Martin says:

    Personally, i think up front is the last area we need to strengthen.My priority is as ever a quality left back with genuine pace. A centre back with similar attributes would be nice too. But i maintain midfield is a prolem too. We simply can’t compete at this level playing 4-4-2. We don’t have enough possession so we cant create chances or protect the back four. So we play five in midfield which means are natural goalscorers(Seb, Fletcher) can’t normally get a game and they won’t stay for ever if they aren’t playing. IMO they’re paying for weaknesses elsewhere. Depressingly though this is all hypothetical cos Mick loves ’em all to bits and certain players are shoe-ins whoever he signs.


  15. Stourbridge wolf says:

    I’ll throw a name in for a January signing/loan – Richard Dunne from Villa!

    Clearly fallen out with the new management, must know Mick from his ROI days and looked great for Villa last season.

    I’d have taken Curtis Davies too, don’t know if he’s playing but Leicester seem to be doing well!


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