In life, there are many lessons that we need to learn multiple times.
“The easy road ends up being more difficult”, “Don’t bother what other people think”, “Don’t make assumptions”, “Be patient and persistent”, and “Don’t be afraid to take risks”.
Last week, we discussed another life lesson, “Never fall for a loan player”, again This was in sharp focus as both Dan Kemp and Jake Young took their goal tallies to four and seven, respectively.
As they both put Crawley Town to the sword in a superb display, as Young scored a thirteen-minute hat trick and added a fourth eleven minutes later, Kemp opened the scoring with another well-taken goal in the first half, with Tyreece Shade adding a sixth in added time.
It’s rare in the football league to loan players from a team in the same league as you, especially in League Two, Town has done great work in picking up these players who fell out of favour with their parent clubs.
After playing Young on the left wing more than as a striker, the 22-year-old fell out of favour with Bradford City manager Mark Hughes, as he didn’t travel with the squad on their pre-season tour. We need to hope Hughes is still in place come January.
The main objective is now doing everything in their power to sign both players on permanent deals, Kemp would be more straightforward with him being out of contract, and Young would sadly require some fee with his deal going to 2025.
Signing these two players will make the difference between promotion and being stuck in this awful division for another year.
Before Dan Kemp had opened the scoring just past the half-hour mark, the game was one of the most open contests I can remember witnessing at the County Ground, looking more like a basketball game where both sides kept missing the basket.
Both sides could have scored a couple, with both sets of defenders looking lost at sea, in and out of possession.
With Frazer Blake-Tracey and Udoka Godwin-Malife pushing high up the pitch in possession, it left Tom Brewitt exposed on the counter-attack, when we play better sides, this will be different I’m sure, but that led to the away side coming close to adding to the scoresheet.
If Michael Flynn’s side had been playing any half-decent side, there is no question Town would’ve been behind, and despite having some of the most in-form players in the Football League up top, if we don’t improve defensively, then we’ll make no progress this season.
As I mentioned last week, this issue isn’t going away without reinforcements, and with the transfer window closing this week, adding another centre-back with Football League experience is imperative.
With both the transfer and wage budgets being tight this season, I can’t see any other new arrivals on permanent deals, another player who can fit into central midfield and bring the ball forward would be a welcome addition, with Saidou Khan, the only player in that mould at the club. As Jake Cain, George McEachran, and Liam Kinsella are more defensive in mindset.
Despite work needed in a couple of areas in the squad, Saturday’s game reminded me of watching Richie Wellens’ Town side from 2019.
Not down to the particular style of football, but the fact there was any style at all, we finally have an identity again, which has been lost for a few years.