Date: 4th June 2013 at 1:51pm
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What’s a ‘Hot Spot’ not

Do you remember the game-show? Back in the day when Michael Barrymore had appeal and credibility not only to host a prime-time game-show, but also trigger audience hysterics at the expenses of bewildered octogenarians. Thank God we’ve moved on from such exploitation on TV today, eh?

One man I’m sure doesn’t watch trash-tele is our own, Dougie Freedman. While most of the nation is glued to their oversized LCD’s, I’m positive our manager is scouring Loot, Amazon and Ebay for a footballing bargain. Two player ‘Buy-It-Now’ have already been accepted. One which has been paid for, delivered but yet to be given feedback is our replacement starting left-back, Marc Tierney. One former player who has given the ‘defending’ defender feedback is ex-full-back, Simon Charlton. The no-nonsense Charlton claims Tierney is more suited to the Championship than our now departed Marcos Alonso. I don’t know much about Tierney to form an opinion, but I trust Charlton, so that’s good enough for me. Welcome to the club, Marc Tierney
Another accepted ‘Buy-It-Now’, wages-only player yet to be delivered is Alex Baptiste. The centre-back from Blackpool, if confirmed, will no doubt start for the Whites next season. The Seasiders’ stand-out was hot property for all of 5 minutes after declaring his playing days were over next to the Pleasure Beach. Several clubs showed an interest, including Premiership outfits, but where they played it cool, giving him the glances, our manager strolled straight over with a drink and an offer, which obviously flattered the newly available stopper. When Baptiste is confirmed officially, is that it this summer defence-wise? It would look something like: Bogdan, Tierney, Wheater, Baptiste, Mears. Looks good to me…

With the Robert Hall deal currently in the balance, the midfield next season will look very similar to what it was this season. Jay Spearing has gone home and will be a big loss, but we have adequate replacements already on the books. Without going too much into the whose, the why and do you mind if I don’t, the midfield will look something like, hopefully: Eagles, Medo, Holden, Chungy. Again, this ain’t too shabby, is it?

On paper, to look at our striking corps, you wonder what the problem is. A problem, however, Dougie deems it to be. Whether he wants to stamp his mark on the team, whether he’s lost faith in the current ‘goalscorers’ or he just wants a new toy to play with, Dougie is after a new marksman.
Last month, Dougie’s new plaything looked like becoming Jermaine Beckford. More recently the name, Marvin Emnes has been mentioned and cooled almost simultaneously. If these two names of Beckford and Emnes are to be believed, Dougie’s youth philosophy isn’t being experimented on a goalscorer. A wise move, I’m sure a lot of people are thinking, but if someone offered me Dwight Gayle from Peterborough to lead our promotion push, I would chew their hand off. Whoever Dougie’s new marksman will be come the start of the season, it will no doubt be the most important signing for the Whites over summer. Cardiff and Hull proved last term a prolific goal getter wasn’t imperative to gain promotion, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to re-shuffle what has seemed to become a stale faction of our team.

In the game-show Strike It Lucky, the contestants tried desperately to avoid the ‘Hot Spots’… The exact thing Dougie hopes his new front man finds in next season’s promotion campaign..


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