The Fleetwood Mac partnership returns

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

More than just rumours, Fleetwood Mac are reunited up front for City


1st September 2009, am: Paul Tisdale tells the Express and Echo he's not making any more signings.

1st September 2009, pm: Exeter City sign Stuart Fleetwood and Oscar Jansson at the very end of the transfer window.

Tempting as it would be to have a chuckle at the Echo's expense, Tis is reasonably straight talking and he probably wasn't expecting to sign anybody when he spoke to Matt Bamsey.

But then the transfer deadline day has a habit of throwing up strange movements, and when Charlton signed another striker, Tis probably went back in for a sneaky inquiry about Fleetwood's availability and, hey presto, he's back at the park.

Considering we bid £50,000 for him at the start of the summer, to get him on loan for the season - albeit with a recall clause in January - is a smart piece of business.

If he settles, there's a chance we could get him permanently at the end of the season. If he doesn't, we won't have spunked 50 grand at a player who still isn't yet proven at this level.

The Welsh striker certainly gives us another option up front. I remember watching him take us apart during the 3-3 draw with Forest Green during our last season in the Conference.

He had pace and power and almost single-handedly dragged his team back into it from 2-0 down. It was the most complete performance I've ever seen from an opposition striker at the park.

But although his 28 goals at Forest Green secured him a move to then Championship-side Charlton, he's yet to cut it at League level.

Charlton didn't give him a chance and loan spells with Brighton and Cheltenham failed to yield a goal. Cardiff, where the came through the ranks, didn't consider him good enough and neither did Hereford (although Hereford were mostly using loan players then and are insane, so we'll discount that one).

During his brief loan spell with City at the end of last season he showed glimpses of pure quality, with a couple of cracking strikes, plus one goal at Brentford that owed a lot to his persistence and patience.

But he was a bit off-colour at Rotherham and it's difficult to say who his best strike partner would be. He never really gelled with Big Mac (sadly, for all the pun anticipation) and was largely working as a lone striker.

But now we have approximately 53 strikers on our books, so there's enough time to get an understanding with one of our lot. He'd probably work best with a Basham-type player but now Steve B's gone, I could see him linking well with Stansfield - another pacy frontman. If nothing else it would knacker out defences.

In theory, he should work well with Corr or Big Mac (I've no idea about Logan), but he didn't seem to be that great with a big man. Even if he has Marcus Stewarrrrrt just behind him, that could work well. Stewart specialises in creating space for other players and dropping off little cunning balls that Fleetwood would thrive on.

Fleetwood is a decent, if unproven, signing who carries little risk and if he plays as well as he did for Forest Green he'll be the bargain of the season. Reasonably happy with that one.

Jansson is one of Spurs' many reserve keepers and comes with a good reputation. There's not really much more you can say about him other than he'll be cover while Paul Jones recovers from his operation, and it'll be interesting to see if who gets the nod out of him and Marriott for Saturday against Gillingham.

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Happy As Larry

This is an Exeter City fan blog by Gary Andrews, covering news, views and action from the real St. James' Park.

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