I wasn’t sure which thread to post this on, but since most of them lately seem to veer off into exactly the same territory, this is probably as good as any.
For 4 seasons Fernando Torres was banging them in for fun at Liverpool - his strike rate was better than 1 goal every 2 games (81 in 142). That tempted Chelsea to shell out what was the record fee for a Premiership player at that time in order to take him to Stamford Bridge - where he scored just 1 goal in 18 over the reminder of that season. He did improve a bit after that, but he never quite recaptured the goalscoring form he’d enjoyed at Anfield.
Liverpool spent part of the money they received from Chelsea on luring Toon hero Andy Carroll from Newcastle where he was in a similar vein of form to Torres (better than 1 in 3) - but he also suffered the same crash (11 from 58 was his total over his 1 1/2 seasons with the Reds).
MORAL: Buying “proven” goal scorers doesn’t mean they will score goals for you. To put that into a Walsall context - Dale Banton and Andreas Makris!
Another Saddlers example (as he’s been mentioned in another thread) is Colin Taylor. Relatively prolific (especially for a winger) in 3 separate spells with us but didn’t make the grade wen he chanced his arm with Newcastle or Crystal Palace in between. Oh, and we originally picked him up as an unproven youngster from non-league Stourbridge.
Another unproven player we picked up in that era had failed to make an impact at Birmingham City as a youth player - but we took a punt on him and he became our record league goalscorer. Step forward Tony Richards.
A few years later Alan Buckley was failing to set the world on fire at Forest who were glad to offload him to us - where he quickly gained the legend status which remains to this day. More recently Tom Bradshaw had shown some promise at Shrewsbury but wasn’t exactly prolific and was struggling to even get into their team when he accepted Dean Smith’s invitation to move to us - and then scored 20+ in 2 consecutive seasons for us.
MORAL: Previous form is no indication of future form - it’s all a question of fitting into a team/system that plays to your strengths. Why do you need to sign a big tent if an awning will do just as good, if not better, a job?
I’ve seen on another thread about comparing our squad to others in League 2 “on paper”. Was it Clough or Shankly who said “Football isn’t played on paper”?
I’m not glossing over the start we’ve made, but we all knew DC was a tinkerer between and even within games. It looks to me that he is still experimenting with personnel and formations, testing who plays better with who and which ones he can’t play together, and will need that full 10 games he asked for before he knows what his preferred starting XI and system will be for the next block of games. There are signs that the players who missed the full pre-season are getting a bit more match fit, and overall the squad is starting to gel.
Not being a millennial “I want it now if not sooner!”, I am prepared to give him that breathing space. Some things are slow burners and chopping and changing managers every 5 minutes is more likely to get you relegated than promoted. And we are more likely to do well if we’re all on the same side rather than fighting with each other like a pack of politicians.