search your feelings
Remember school? I’ll make it easier for you… Remember secondary school?
School days for me, being short with blonde hair, was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I was bullied for my slight stature and natural hair colour, so blonde, the Milky Bars were always on me. On the other hand, the same look that made me prone to bruised arms was also the look that attracted a pretty girl named Caroline. Unfortunately- and cause for me to continuously kick myself to this day- girls were not the fore-front of my mind. Even then, my mind was taken up by football. After numerous attempts and constant knock-backs from yours truly, Caroline turned her attention to someone else. From the outside peering in, I’m sure I looked unfazed by how things had transpired. Inside, however, it was stinging. The architect of my own outcome and I felt sick? At the time it was confusing but as I grew older, the creases of discovery began to iron out perplexity.
What has this got to do with football, I hear you cry. Well, to be honest, not much.
Other than telling you folks how pathetic I was at school, the experience of the Caroline situation is similar to the feeling I get with possible incoming transfers. Not all incomings may I add and only a diluted version in similarity to the original Caroline feeling.
Even though Bolton Wanderers is our club, us fans have as much say in what goes on with team matters as we do with our tax money that bailed out the banks. So when there’s a possible incoming transfer, we’re quick to do our research on the player, calculating his possible impact on operations. Some new recruits need more Googling than others, but there are some players who’s sheer name-phonetic sends shivers down the spine of prospective suitors. I mean, if I said the words, ‘Marlon King linked with Bolton switch…’ What did your central-nervous system do to the muscles in your body? I know, just writing that triggered perspiration.
Several days ago, the words ‘Jermaine Beckford’ were used in the same sentence as the words ‘Bolton Wanderers’. With Jermaine currently on Leicester’s books, it could only mean Beckford was on Dougie’s radar. After trawling through the internet to validate the murmurs, I allowed my mind and body to react to the news.
It wasn’t good.
It was nowhere near a ‘Marlon King’ reaction, but I was surprised at how rappelled I was with the rumour of the striker joining Bolton. With the transfer imminent, I began to watch videos of the front man, along with the knowledge I already had of his career, I read more. As the days passed, I continued to refresh the pages regarding Bolton Wanderers transfers, expecting to see a picture of Beckford holding a Bolton shirt. I went on Twitter, where news always breaks first, to reluctantly welcome Jermaine to the club.
Were all those rumours bogus? They can’t have been all false, it was coming from both sides- Leicester and Bolton. I shouldn’t feel bothered, should I? I didn’t want the guy at the Reebok, my body had already rejected the sound of his name. So what was I feeling? Rejection? Jealousy? Had another club shown interest in our interested interest?
Like Luke Skywalker, I began to search my feelings. Why the sudden turnaround of wanting Beckford at Bolton? Had a Jedi Mind Trick been done on me? Maybe watching lots of goals scored by the player- some spectacular- had saturated my subconscious to alter my conscious impression of him. Maybe reading all about his prolific past had erased his more recent struggles from my opinion. Or maybe and more plausible is the notion of, ‘I don’t want him, but I don’t want anyone else to have him’. I obviously felt this way about Caroline, but with Beckford, it’s not through jealousy. It’s because, if he does move on from Leicester, the likely destination is another Championship rival and if he finds his feet, becomes a major threat to our promotion aspirations. At 29 and a failed spell in the Premiership already on his C.V, Jermaine Beckford, if signed, is not the long term answer to Wanderers uncertain future. He may, however, be the answer to the here-and-now and have one of those seasons that gifted players of his age often have. Jermaine Beckford maybe due a ‘Jason Roberts at Reading’ season and if he is, I want him to have it with us. After saying he prefers working with youth prospects, Dougie Freedman maybe thinking the exact same thing.
Of course, we want the best players possible at the Reebok, but Beckford is one of the most sought after strikers at this level. So if we land him, we should be happy, shouldn’t we?
Jermaine Beckford may shoot us into the Premier League… He may not. To find out, Dougie’s going to have to do what I didn’t with Caroline… trust his feelings, take the plunge and hope he’s ‘the one’.