By Charlie Summerbell
June 13 2012
Opinions are divided amongst fans on whether Neale Cooper's admitted interest in Hartlepool United old boys Steve Howard and Tommy Miller is potentially good or bad for the club.
Neither of them is a kid any more and there is, after all, the old football saying – “never go back”.
But on the plus side, both have been good players for a number of clubs since leaving Pools and neither appear to be the type to return just to pick up their wages.
However, Pools have been the victims of such “one last club” transfers so often in the past that nobody can blame supporters for having reservations over signing anybody who is anywhere near his sell-by date.
It’s a tricky problem for Cooper – in their prime, Miller and Howard would be great signings. But are they close enough to their prime to be useful?
Howard is the sort of no-nonsense centre-forward who could give eager, pacy young players round him a lot of opportunities, while Miller’s direct midfield style could be a major asset in League One.
Howard admits he wants to live in the North east when he stops playing and already has business interests here, while Miller appears to regard a homecoming as a good idea.
There’s no doubt that pace is more important than anything else in the modern game at League One level .. what Cooper has to decide is how much experience is needed alongside it.