Headley: Never a dull moment...

Last updated : 09 August 2005 By Simon Head
Whoever said a week was a long time in football was a very wise man indeed as Gills experienced a rollercoaster of a week that went from high to low, then back to high again.

After such a great team performance against Charlton, we were cut down to size by the Blades of Sheffield United and everybody's favourite manager Neil Warnock. Then, just as the Gills fans were falling back into a state of depression following the 3-0 defeat, news of a new signing has lifted us again. Paul Shaw may have departed but we now have a new hero to cheer. Step forward "Wu Tang" Patrick Agyemang!

Agyemang: Highly-rated 'bargain'
The young striker is one of Division One's hottest young strikers and Messrs Hessenthaler and Scally have somehow managed to get him to Priestfield on a three and a half year deal. Well done indeed chaps. If press reports are to be believed, we've managed to land him on the cheap too. A fee of just £150,000 for a player of Agyemang's ability is a bargain in anyone's book and proves yet again the ability of the club's management to sniff out the shrewdest of deals.
To give the deal some perspective, on the same day Gillingham signed Agyemang, Wigan splashed out a whopping £2million on Jason Roberts, who is a very similar player to Agyemang in many respects. I think we have done a fantastic piece of business and credit must go to the chairman and the manager.

The arrival of Agyemang could see us return to the exciting, direct, goalscoring football we saw a few years ago under Tony Pulis. Back then, the front two of Ade Akinbiyi and Leo Fortune-West were firing the bullets, but now, for Akinbiyi read Agyemang and for Fortune-West read Sidibe. Add Darius Henderson to the mix and all of a sudden we have a young, hungry, aggressive-looking strikeforce to lead us through this season and beyond. I for one am very excited at the prospect.

Shaw: Farewell to a Gills favourite
As one man enters, another departs and I would just like to take the opportunity to say a big "thank you" to Paul Shaw, who for me has been one of GFC's most influential players over the last few seasons. He was, along with Hessenthaler, one of my favourite players in recent years and will be missed. I wish him well at Sheffield United, but can't help thinking that he won't be at Bramall Lane for very long. Neil Warnock is a very hard manager and is not averse to offloading players if they do not perform to his liking.

With so many strikers already at Bramall Lane, Shaw may find himself a bit-part player for the Blades and I fear he may well be looking for another club in 12-18 months time. I sincerely hope for his sake that he is a roaring success in Yorkshire and that he gets his chance at Premiership football in 2004/2005 with Sheffield United. Despite his tactics, which at times make for dull, cynical (but admittedly hugely effective) football, Neil Warnock is proving a hugely successful manager at Bramall Lane and I think his side will make it to the Premiership this time round, along with West Brom and possibly Sunderland.

The comings and goings at Priestfield may not be over just yet. With Vince Bartram retiring, Marlon King and Paul Shaw sold and the distinct possibility of Rodney Wallace and Tommy Johnson leaving the club in the summer, the club would effectively clear some of their top earners from the wage bill. Replacing these players with talented young players like Patrick Agyemang and Darius Henderson represents a hugely encouraging approach to the club's future in seasons to come. The club are planning for the future - and if they continue in this vein, the future will be bright indeed.