Scotty's View #5
Another week come and gone and Luton seem destined for mid-table security or mediocrity, whichever way you choose to look at it.
The ‘big news' that fans have been waiting for did not arrive as promised at the end of February, although the term ‘big news' was rather coined by The Luton News than the club chairman.
I am of the opinion that, if there is no significant development, then it is pointless making a big statement.
The developments reported in the local press are that the club is deciding between four developers in discussions for the junction 12 project. The club are still viewing designs of the proposed development of a stadium with accompanying leisure facilities, (the enabling development), which are intended to be built on the land near Harlington, owned by Cliff Bassett.
Level with me
Mr Tomlins told The Herald and Post that talks with developers and Cliff Bassett are ongoing and they are working with Luton Borough Council to secure their backing. This seems strange as the development currently falls outside Luton Borough Council's area, although Mr Tomlins believes that boundary reunifications will take place before the development would be complete that may bring it within the official boundary of Luton. Currently it lies within the jurisdiction of Mid Beds Council.
It is said that a working party of councils has been set up at the request of central government to oversee the development, which also has planning powers.
Nadine Dorries, of Mid Beds Council requested that Bill Tomlins ‘level with her' over the club's plans to relocate. It is believed that she also wants to know why junction 10 is no longer an option, and she wants a meeting with the club on the matter.
Mr Tomlins stated that he has tried to comply, contacting her office to set up the meeting, but has received no reply from her.
It appears that the NIMBYs are getting restless again and Mr Tomlins has said that he believes he can alleviate the concerns of local residents.
The reserves achieved a second successive 6-1 victory, this time at the expense of Stevenage Borough, with Enoch netting a hat trick, (although two came from the penalty mark!) and trialist James Walker, an England Youth International from Charlton Athletic, scored two very composed goals and looked a great prospect.
Mike Newell requested a personal hearing over his transgressions at Preston, while Marlon Beresford's case, postponed due to the unavailability of the referee, will now be heard tomorrow, Tuesday 7 March.
Sol Davis served his one match ban on Saturday after being sent off at Leeds.
Calvin Andrew extended his loan at Bristol City for an extra month, and Danny Stevens has signed an extension to the end of next season. The diminutive midfielder has shown great promise in the reserves and has been knocking on the door of a first team debut.
Mike Newell was reported as saying that he is looking to strengthen the team in the summer and that he believes we are not too far off a squad which can challenge for promotion next year. This followed hot on the heels of a statement that he has not given up on the play-offs this year, but that was just rhetoric, and yet another mugging on Saturday at Millwall must have put paid to any remotest lingering hope of that happening.
What we need!
We all support our team and the players are generally well liked, but something is not right when the team are leaking goals as they are, at one end, and not burying teams when they are on top, at the other.
There seems a fine line between adequate and above average and I believe we are short of quality in all areas. When all first choice players are fit and available, we play some good football and are a match for any team in the division, but, as I have said before, a moment of quality from opponents can swing the game against you if you have spurned your opportunities to put a game to bed. There is also a case for preserving what you have instead of going all out to score more goals, and getting caught on the break.
However well Luton are playing, other teams seem to defend well at this level and some seem as though they are unlikely to concede a goal. Luton, particularly since the turn of the year, look likely to concede even when they have a good lead.
On Saturday, at Millwall, Luton were controlling the match and at 1-1 looked capable of patience and guile to win the match. Once Edwards and Foley changed places they were a different force. However, the all out attack bit them in the butt when they conceded a sloppy goal in injury time in the mode of a few seasons ago.
The good news is that the problem was addressed then, and promotion followed soon afterwards, and it can be addressed again.
I realise that Newell's budget is not enormous, but I feel it is time for a clear out of players who do not feature in his long term plans and cover at right and left back, central defence, and up front, is essential.
It seems that Newell has made his mind up that Warren Feeney will not cut it at this level and I would not be surprised to see him sold in the summer.
Carlos to Palace?
Rumours about Crystal Palace tracking Carlos Edwards appeared in the News of the World, who also stated that Luton would sell if the price was right.
Well, I am sure Luton would sell any player in the squad if the price was right, but Newell is astute enough to know that the price would have to be silly money for any of his squad that he would prefer to keep.
Have a good one!