Magic ingredients '“ one Allen has added and one he still needs
In re-signing Drew Talbot, Martin Allen has reintroduced a magic ingredient to the Spireites squad.
The Chesterfield boss had added plenty of admirable traits in his initial summer signing spree.
In Shwan Jalal, a 2017/18 title winner, he got a goalkeeper who knows how to rise to the top of the National League and stay there.
Michael Nelson is a centre-half who knows how to win things.
Will Evans knows how to compete at the right end of the division Town now find themselves in.
Curtis Weston knows how to score important goals, Sam Wedgbury knows how to protect a back four and keep clean sheets.
But Drew Talbot knows something that no one else in the squad knows, be they new boy or a player remaining from last season.
The 31-year-old knows what it means to be a Spireite.
Talbot is the only player at the club who can say he’s won something worth winning in Chesterfield blue.
He lifted the League Two trophy, twice, as a Spireite.
The Football League Trophy was also hoisted high above his head in one of Chesterfield’s memorable Wembley visits.
That taste of the club’s glory days is something no other Spireite can boast.
Talbot also knows what it’s like to suffer as a Spireite, an experience that will spur him on this season.
He gets the club, the supporters and what they expect.
His status as a fan favourite is a bridge between the team and the fans.
His popularity was as evident in the anguished outcry that met his release just days before Allen took over, as it was in the outpouring of joy that met his return.
Fans like him because he gives his all and he cares about the club.
It’s not fair to expect players with just a handful of appearances at the Proact to be as passionate about this club as those in the stands.
But in Talbot you might just find a man who takes each result and its consequences as seriously as the punters.
That photo of him, sat on the Forest Green pitch, head bowed after the most bitter and significant of defeats, said it all.
His versatility gives Allen options, he will battle manfully in a league that requires full blooded effort and his presence will be invaluable for any young players who have a desire to learn from a veteran.
His arrival also gives Town’s defensive line a look of completion.
It now contains three central defenders, a right back in Brad Barry, a left-back in Jerome Binnom-Williams or George Smith if he impresses in pre-season and Talbot who can play on either flank of a back four.
Brad Nicholson and Ify Ofoegbu, two young men hoping to break into senior football, provide further competition.
Just in front of the defence, Wedgbury will be the man to spoil opposition attacks.
Where Allen’s squad looks unfinished is at the other end of the pitch.
At the time of writing the Derbyshire Times understands a new signing is close.
It’s likely to be an attacker, or at least a player who can create or score goals, given the positions already filled at the Proact.
Barry, Smith and or Binnom-Williams might provide width and could be asked to supply service, but the side needs flair, creativity and a bit of pace.
Allen has already signed Weston, who can find the net, and put on record his excitement at working with Gozie Ugwu, a man who bagged 19 goals for National League Woking in the 2016/17 season.
Even if he breaks his Town duck and goes on to match that tally, he’ll need a partner up top and someone to push the front pair for a place.
It’s often said that defence wins championships and in that regard, Town look solid.
Goals win games, however, and Spireites supporters won’t want a repeat of last season when only one man hit the net with any kind of regularity, making it very difficult to win matches or maintain any sort of form.
That ingredient will have a big say on how sweet the Allen era will taste for fans.