The January transfer window didn’t so much as slam shut but creak excruciatingly to a close at 11pm on Thursday night. Fans were left on tenterhooks as a new signing was announced after 11 o’clock had came and gone with everypassing minute feeling like an hour.
Rumours that strapping Luton Striker Danny Hylton was winging his way to Sixfields to sign a permanent deal were put to bed with the official club tweet that signalled Burton Albion’s Marvin Sordell had put pen to paper in a loan deal.
The former Watford striker has been missing for the Brewers for the past two and a half months with a knee injury and his signature was seen as an anticlimax by some in a transfer window with an all too temporary feel.
Earlier,centre-back Charlie Goode had joined on loan from Scunthorpe till May in about an unglamorous an unveiling as it gets. Real Madrid revealing the Galacticos it most certainly wasn’t.
Sordell and Goode join Timi Elsnik, Joe Powell and George Cox in Keith Curle’s army of loan signings brought in to shore up the Cobblers squad for what is a battle against relegation.
Cox, borrowed from Brighton looked a handy addition before damaging ankle ligaments in his second game for the club. Meanwhile Slovenian Elsnik sent from Derby County till May appears the best of the bunch with good technique and vision.
West Ham youngster Joe Powell should grow into his midfield role but whether he has the time to do that with the business end of the season approaching is open to question.
Moreover, is a relegation scrap the best place to blood a player more familiar with the niceties of Premier League academy football?
But, that old chestnut, we are where we are and the Cobblers board have presented sensible short-term solutions for a club up for sale.
If the club changes hands would it have been right for Kelvin Thomas and David Bowerto burden any new owners with players that might not fit their vision for the club nor their finances?
The answer is probably no and loans have provided the Cobblers with the sort of quality that may have evaded them otherwise.
Keith Curle joins the long line of Cobblers bosses getting stuck in to a yearly rebuilding job with the club having no coherent medium term transfer policy or philosophy
In fairness, Curle bought in a player in defence, midfield and attack covering most bases. However, the squad strength is weak with too few players signed on for next season and too many players struggling with niggling injuries.
It’s not the ideal scenario for a club just 7 points off the drop-zone to non-league but a situation that Curle will have to get to grips with sharpish.
The wing-back position, the cornerstone of Curle’s tactics looks particularly frail with few standout specialists available to do the back breaking job.
Quite simply, opposition managers will be looking to exploit space in behind our wing-backs and expose uncertainty in the centre of defence.
Town didn’t lose any more players on transfer deadline night and that can be seen as a victory in itself but had previously waved goodbye to Billy Waters and Hakeen Odoffin, two players who could have made an impact with a stretched squad.
Losing Matt Crooks and Kevin Van Veen has undoubtedly ripped quality and experience from the side but the pair were signed under a completely different regime at the club and on League 1 wages.
The realities of the aborted 5USPORTS takeover of the club are now in plain sight. So too, a club operating on the market and dealing with drawn-out land deal negotiations surrounding the stadium redevelopment.
Most fans can’t wait for the day when the club can begin to drive forwards on the pitch but for now, sensible, short-term solutions from a club up for sale and a 6 out of 10 transfer window is the best we can hope for.