COLUMN: A Rocks gamble? I'm glad I don't have to decide
What you can say after last Saturday's game v Concord Rangers? (writes Ian Guppy, chairman of the BRTFC Supporters' Club)
A game we dominated from start to finish in possession, a game where chance after chance went by – but where Concord took their two early chances and we ended up pointless.
Again this shows the cruel nature of the league we are in. Last season this would have been an easy victory in the Ryman League butresolute defending by Concord and just not getting that right ball in at the right time led to a frustrating afternoon.
I’d argue Saturday was one of the best displays I’ve seen this season in terms of the style of play and possession football, but there was no end product and you could argue we got what we deserved, as the Concord keeper could say he didn’t really have a meaningful save to make.
Social media is still hounding us to find a striker and at a Rocks fans’ Christmas meal on Saturday this was a big discussion point.
It is obvious we are missing that bustling, experienced striker and if we had him, Saturday’s result would have been different.
We’ve been in the market for a striker all season but for many reasons it just hasn’t happened – but the main reason is the wages these players command that could cause conflict in the squad.
Some say if we could play the way we did on Saturday but had that player, surely the rest of the team would be happy, even if that player was the biggest earner – or do we need to have a very attractive bonus scheme?
Spurs are, it is claimed, one of the lower wage payers at the top end of the Premier League but are one of the best bonus payers which does incentivise things.
We know players at this level are commanding and being paid thousands a week and we all know that is way out of our price range, but would a player getting a few hundred a week plus a very healthy goal bonus perform better? Possibly.
We were in for Matt Patterson after his release from Havant at the start of the season, but it didn’t happen and he fired Oxford City into the FA Cup second round, where they lost narrowly to Notts County live on BT Sport. Oxford gambled on him and it paid off.
We took gambles on Ferdinand Takyi and Chinedu McKenzie but this didn’t work and I see Chinedu scored at weekend for Greenwich Borough in the Isthmian South – two divisions below us.
Ex-Whitehawk striker Danny Mills was offered to us from Ebbsfleet but has signed for title-chasing Dartford instead and he has helped to fire them to the top of the table.
I fully believe that getting that one player proven at this level would be totally worth a gamble, but the success of this club has been built on cohesion and team spirit and to risk that for one player is a huge gamble. I for one am happy not to be in charge of that decision!
I fully believe if we can play the way we did on Saturday for the rest of the season we have a very strong chance of remaining in this division. It could be another exciting end to the season – this time at the bottom, not the top. It’s never boring being a Rocks fan – so buckle up and hold tight!