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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Scott Golbourne: He's Coming Home - a Wolves view

The signing of Scott Golbourne (not Goldborne, Goldbourne or Golborne!) must have been as much a relief for those in the club’s hierarchy as it was for us supporters.

Constantly barracked and ridiculed over the past few months for the seemingly disastrous lack of transfer activity, Golbourne is only the second permanent signing for the senior squad in 18 months since we embarked on our hugely successful League One title-winning campaign.

Plenty of loans have been tried in the meantime, but only Jonathan Kodjia’s bolt-from-the-blue signing from Angers in the summer has caused the editors on Wikipedia to move a player's full time club to Bristol City in that time.

Any fan over the age of 17/18 or so will fleetingly remember Golbourne, of course, as he spent his formative years with us but his opportunities were limited at that stage so I knew little about him, other than he’s looked like a pretty solid looking traditional full-back in the games I’ve seen him in since.

His family are City fans, and he’s already talked about “us” in his interviews, and its great to have another local lad, albeit one that went away to pursue his dreams, back on board.

I spoke to Thomas, from WolvesBlog.com, who had these generous words about our new signing:

“First important thing to say is I'm gutted Scott Golbourne is leaving and I think the majority of Wolves supporters feel the same. That's always a pretty good sign you've secured a decent player.

His greatest strength is that he can actually play football. That sounds stupid but for a full-back operating in tight spaces and seeing a lot of the ball, you've got to have great touch, dribbling skills and the ability to thread passes.
Many don't but he does all of that stuff very well and can also put decent deliveries into the box. I wouldn't say he's rapid but you certainly don't see a lot of wingers skinning him and he's got enough pace to get up and down to good effect.
He's been a pretty consistent presence at left-back for Wolves over the last two and a half years, but fallen out of favour lately for some reason. There was talk of a contract dispute which might have hastened his exit and explains the ridiculously low price tag.
I also believe Kenny Jackett thinks he's not up to the physical demands of the Championship, which might have some merit. I think he's been targeted with those long diagonal balls a few times, but he's never been a weak link as far as I'm concerned.
I'm surprised you've got him being brutally honest (only because of your league position) but it looks like you'll pay the wages and it is his home town club so that may have held sway.
He's a very good, consistent player and he'll do a great job, so good luck to him. We wish him well.”
My thanks to Thomas, who can be followed on Twitter here.
Promising indeed. Let’s hope he can establish himself in the way the left-sided players of his youth did. If he can become half as big a favourite as Brian Tinnion or Mickey Bell at Ashton Gate, he’ll have done a decent job.
Welcome home, Scott. You're one of our own.


The Exiled Robin

Lee Tomlin: A Posh view on our controversial new signing!

Just when City’s attempted activities in this transfer window appeared to be heading towards a similarly disastrous outcome as the summer’s opportunity, then the signing on loan of ex-Peterborough forward Lee Tomlin from Bournemouth certainly ignited some excitement into proceedings.

Warmly welcomed almost universally, the temperamental character who tends to play just off a main striker, joins with a point to prove having been given little chance on the South Coast during the Cherries’ hugely impressive start to life in the big time.

He is somewhat notorious to the Ashton Gate faithful already, of course, having been sent off in the opening quarter of an hour in a game against ‘The Posh’ during Derek McInnes’ time in charge, for an elbow on Greg Cunningham. We went on to win 4-2 against a tiring ten-man side, and it’s not the first, and probably won’t be the last time that Tomlin’s fiery nature causes him problems on the pitch. 

However, despite a far from spotless disciplinary record – he received six red cards in four seasons whilst at London Road, but then went a whole season without one for the first time on Teesside – Tomlin has continued to rise through the leagues, ending up in the top flight with Bournemouth after a successful season with Middlesbrough last time out.

Posh fanatic Jamie Jones has written for this blog many times before and I’m grateful to him yet again for these thoughts on a player who is sure to be amongst the most-discussed player in the squad in the coming months!

"One thing is for sure – life with Lee Tomlin around isn’t dull!

One minute he can have you up on your feet singing his name, convinced that he is that special player that can put right all that is wrong with your team, and the next you can find yourself slumped in your seat as he trundles off the pitch, ranting, whilst the ref brandishes the red card and his team-mates shake their heads in a collective “why did he do that?!?!

On his day, Tomlin has the skill, spirit, will to win and goals to fire City to safety in the Championship. When he is on his game, he can take any match by the scruff of the neck. You know that scene in Teenwolf,  where Chubby and the gang sit around on the court eating and chatting whilst Michael J Fox scores all the points and wins the march, well that’s Tomlin and his team-mates on a good day. 

When it’s good it’s brilliant but when it’s bad, it’s bloody awful.  He has more vision than any player I’ve ever seen play at London Road, he can spot a pass or a run that other players simply can’t. His best times at Posh were with a really mobile, busy centre forward (CMS, Dwight Gayle) in front of him, with Tomlin dropping into space and roaming around looking for the ball and chances to create. When any City player gets the ball, he will be demanding they pass to him and usually that is the best option.

Don’t expect him to chase back or run after a loose ball because before it has even got out of play he will be turning around to scream abuse at the team-mate that failed to ping the ball into his feet. His temper was legendary at London Road with 6 red cards in just 135 appearances for the club. I note that he didn’t get sent off whilst at M’Boro and didn’t get the chance to at Bournemouth, but I suspect that inner anger at a misplaced pass or a poor refereeing decision still lurks within Lee.

You’ve got yourselves an outstanding talent, one that we know can score and create goals at this level and I sincerely hope he keeps City up (and thus send Franchise FC down!).

All the best for the rest of the season.”

My thanks to Jamie for his review – especially a fantastic Teenwolf reference!

Hopefully Tomlin can be exciting for mainly the right reasons. From what I’ve seen of him, he could help provide some power and intensity to the attack that perhaps the more subtle Luke Freeman doesn’t quite offer – neither approach is right or wrong, but it sure is good to have some options for those times games are drifting away.

If he can repeat his from for Boro at the tail end of last season, he’ll certainly be a valuable asset for us in our survival fight and could well be the catalyst required to get us out of trouble.

Welcome to Ashton Gate, Lee. Keep away from those red cards and become a hero!


PS For you music fans, teenagers of the 90’s or general cultural enthusiasts(!) Jamie has written a new book entitled, "I Blame Morrissey", which features tales of football and indie music in the 1990s and is available via Amazon. 

The Exiled Robin

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