and Paddy Wharton has gone back to Stalybridge on loan for the rest of the season who seem delighted to have him back. I suspect Wharton may well be the long term better bet over Pilling so we will have the benefit of seeing how he does in senior football rather than warming the bench. Good luck to him - when I last saw him play against Northwich he looked very solid in the air and made some great saves but on the other hand gifted a goal with a poor clearance...
I think we've probably got the best set of keepers for a long time. Davies always gives me confidence while Pilling, Wharton and Passant all seem real prospects. It will be interesting to see how they develop, although inevitably I expect one or two may be on their way at the end of the season.
I think the jury is still out on the keepers to be honest. Wharton seems to be the most promising, but both of them have had setbacks in the last few months, although that is probably to be expected with youngsters. If Davies got injured we would actually be in a bit of short term bother.
Indeed and TBH I am a bit confused by this. Manny has done well this season yes but Steve is not getting any younger and Ellis is doing ok at moment but not sure he is better than Sutton. I assume that MM thinks he can get better in the summer and wasn't planning to extend his contract... we shall see but wish him well for sure!
From Ritchie’s point of view can understand the move, near guaranteed game time if he stays fit.From a Rovers perspective it’s harder to call. As a defender, he does the basics well and contributes the odd goal, not checked but can’t recall any of the current central trio scoring this season? Weakness is his distribution. Unless Gumbs or Long are under consideration, the only other player who looks comfortable in central defence is Buxton. If we’re continuing playing 3 central defenders, would think might be looking at bringing someone else in.
Bit mixed on this one. I liked Sutton, always gave 100% but in terms of quality, probably not one for the future as we look to improve.
We have also apparently been in contact with Spurs over the loan signing of Shilow Tracey. Think he's a winger but not sure what his natural position is.
I'm confused too. We now have hardly any cover at centre-back, except Gumbs or Buxton. If Buxton, we have no cover at right back! He has been given away on a free transfer, so the only reason seems to be to save his wages, unless we are hoping to sign someone better, which I doubt. Our monthly wage bill must now be below what it was earlier in the season, even if we sign one more player. Is all the cup revenue going to reduce our debt and fund repairs and maintenance? I thought Micky was getting an increased playing budget not a smaller one.
Good luck to Ritchie. I always liked him. He always gave his all in defence and scored some valuable goals.
I think this is probably the right decision. If we are trying to build a squad that will be at top-end League Two / League One standard in the next couple of years, Ritchie is not quite good enough. He has generally been at Conference or low-end League Two sides, and I think Ellis has a slightly better CV. Neither player is good on the ball, but Ellis is more mobile and has looked good this season. As has been mentioned, we will miss Sutton's goals from set plays. No other defender has scored this season, as far as I am aware.
I don't think you can assume that because more players have departed than arrived, that our wage bill has gone down or even stayed the same. A player like Perkins, who has been in The Championship most of his career, while be on better wages than those we picked up in non-league. Palios has said extra money was made available, and I think you have to trust him.
I see the moves in this window as part of the longer term process of moving on players who are not quite up to the standard we need now, and I would guess Stockton, Harris and probably Tollitt will all go in the summer, possibly along with one or two others.
I think it is one area of the squad where we have good cover. We have got four senior centre backs competing for two or three positions (McNulty, Monthe, Ellis, Buxton) with Gumbs as cover if needed. Even if we play three at the back, that is sufficient.
If Buxton can't play at right back, then Caprice will.
A good, honest professional who served the club well ,but with the success that Monthe has been having all season combined with the improvement of late of Ellis this move was perhaps inevitable, Thanks for your service to TRFC Ritchie and good luck for the future.