Millwall have announced their first deal of the winter transfer window agreeing an undisclosed fee with League Two leaders Wycombe Wanderers for Paris Cowan-Hall. A pacy winger exactly what I feel is missing from our side this season, the question as always is can the 24 year old manage the step up from League Two to the second tier of English Football. It’s great looking at a players track record and it’s clear to see in this case a player who had to drop into conference football with Woking and work his way backup the English football ladder, it shows great determination and prove that he is hungry to succeed. He has one of the best man managers in Ian Holloway who will undoubtedly be a great asset to the young winger as he takes on the transition from one team to another, one strong point of Holloway is his ability to look after his players when it comes to the media making sure that he is the vocal point when there is a bad performance from his side. As fans we want answers instead of the often one liners the manager comes out with after a defeat but this is an element which makes Holloway the manager he is today.
Upon hearing of this signing my mind immediately went back a few years when a newly promoted Blackpool in the Premier League completed the signing of now QPR player Matt Philips. Again, to most an unknown quantity however he was a player that not only had pace and power but an end product with a track record of goals in his position which is something which Holloway looks for when drawing his tactics and philosophy. He likes to have two powerful wingers who will be able to provide for the lone forward up front as well as providing support for the front man by chipping in with more than the average amount of goals expected of a winger. Again, looking back at Blackpool not only did they have Phillips but on the other flank was a similar mould of player in Tom Ince, who again has gone on to play for another Premier League club at Hull City. We can also compare this to Crystal Palace under Holloway who had both Zaha and Bolasie who not only helped Glen Murray by sharing the pressure of getting goals they also assisted Murray who went on to get 30 goals in Palace’s promotion season. It’s worth adding before this Glen Murray wasn’t as prolifically a forward however it proves with the right players and service around him he was able to score goals, something we have to hope will be emulated with our front man Lee Gregory.
Having been every game this season so far it’s clear we miss a few elements in our side and for me the vital position was bringing in a winger which we have now done. Holloway is fixated with his 4-2-3-1 formation when in reality our team was not shaped for this formation, credit a manager for sticking to his philosophy but mid November when we ain’t getting results with Holloway himself admitting the players don’t fit the formation he should then change it up especially when chasing results. Still, he stuck with it and we are where we are now, going into the new year in the bottom 3. We need at least 3 more players in that side, for me we need an attacking minded midfielder pushing McDonald, an addition perhaps at the back who is able to play the ball from the back and also defend his box. Finally another front man, it’s unfair relying on Gregory to provide the goals every week and when it isn’t working for him we need another option, the ideal for me is a player in the mould of Chris Wood, we all saw how well that worked for Millwall when he as leading the line.
First post of many to come I hope! If you’ve enjoyed this post it would be great to have feedback from you either through a comment below or on my Twitter @OmerMillwall.
Thanks for reading and have a good’un!