Tom Reed takes a look at the state of the Cobblers nation…
Maybe it’s two wins on the bounce for the mighty Cobblers that has got me a bit giddy but hear me out: The current Northampton squad may be the best ever. Yes, of course, a team sitting in the relegation zone wouldn’t normally be considered for such a title but when we look at Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s players, pound for pound, on a technical level they stack up against any other top sides wearing the claret and white.
Matt Grimes is a beautifully gifted and well-balanced midfielder with the Swansea loanee moving to South Wales for a reported £1.75 million. When have we had a player worth £1.75 million!?
Likewise, Shaun McWilliams, the Kings Heath Rottweiler has finesse to go with his bite and the 19 year-old could prove to be Town’s first £1 million outgoing transfer if he continues at this rate. Take that Christian Lee. Matt Crooks, meanwhile is the sort of languid creative midfielder who is the stuff of cult player status while also being a complete unit.
Then we have the tall, assured centre-back Ash Taylor, the midfield maestro with the caravan fondness John-Joe O’Toole and the short, quick Sam Hoskins, three players that are a cut above the majority of Town personnel over the years. Chris Long up front ain’t bad too and comes with rave reports from Premier League club Burnley who we have borrowed him from.
Of course, Sixfields regulars will look at the ageing strike combo of Richards and Revell as a sign of weakness in the Cobblers’ ranks. But, no squad is ever perfect, bar a couple of Brazil 11’s and with a few more wins, Town could find themselves at the heights Stuart Gray’s talented bunch did in the 2010’s. ‘What about Wilder’s Wonder’s’ I hear you cry? What about the 1st division team of the 60’s? Graham Carr’s Champagne Cobblers must be up there surely?
Well Wilder’s outfit, bar Ricky Holmes (aka god), had a fair few who’s level was League 2 while Jimmy’s outfit have a smattering of Championship quality. As for the 60’s lot, the game has moved on so much that our youth side would be running rings around them with their passing ability. For me, Graham Carr’s legendary team would be the one to push this lot the closest, but unfortunately they were never given the chance to prove it at League One level whereas the current team have and will do.
So keep an eye on this Northampton side, if it isn’t the best ever team to grace the teyn then it could well be after the January transfer window.
Cobblers have gone to the dogs
Well we’ve been hearing that for years but this time it’s true. The club are now proud owners of a 2 year-old greyhound in association with Towcester Racecourse called Claret Cobbler. The dog will run at the Northants venue and there will be various linkups between NTFC and the racecourse which hosted the prestigious greyhound Derby last year. Time will tell if fans will be feeling ‘ruff’ after too many beers at the ‘Fans Night’ pencilled in for March 17th at the track.
Is this a library? Sixfields atmosphere suffering
Obviously a relegation battle never helps the mood of fans but it was noticeable that there was virtually no chanting done by either sets of fans till twenty minutes into the match between Town and Blackpool last weekend. The club are looking at safe standing and a standing area behind the goal would no doubt provide an area for the more vocally inclined to congregate. All-seater stadia have drained the atmosphere out of grounds, see the hi-jinks in many away-day concourses for the noise that can be created by good-natured fans standing together.
This atmosphere issue might well be something that the Sixfields ‘singers’ can get together with the club on and work out ways to better roar the lads on. Certainly, the Sixfields atmosphere is quiet compared to many clubs across the land, especially where ultras groups have cropped up to deal with exactly this problem.
Northampton rocking to Sixfields Sounds
Cobblers regulars making the long walk down the Sixfields hill might have heard some classic ska pumping out of the Sheinman Stand fans village behind what was formally known as the North Stand. There is now a live DJ on match days playing some top Ska, Punk, Reggae, Soul & 90’s dance tunes. The club have made huge strides in improving the match day experience recently and now fans can enjoy, music, food and an outside bar from turnstile opening till kick-off. You can also bring your Cobblers flags to display in the area. Fans with tickets from all home areas of the ground are allowed access. Follow @sixfieldssounds on Twitter.