Johnson: Millwall will struggle to find another Kane or Wood

© Edmund Boyden
© Edmund Boyden

CHIEF scout Jamie Johnson believes Millwall will struggle to find another striker in the mould of Harry Kane or Chris Wood in the near future.

The Lions' talent-spotter has been scouring the fringes of Premier League squads for a replacement for Wood since the West Brom loanee joined Leicester City at the start of January.

Johnson went through the same process in the aftermath of Kane's return to Tottenham at the end of last season and consequently recommenced Wood to manager Kenny Jackett.

Millwall moved quickly to replace Darius Henderson earlier this week by bringing in Rob Hulse, but the void left by Wood's departure remains clear for all to see.

But while Johnson says a dearth of like-for-like replacements could force a shift in the club's transfer strategy in the short term, he insists it is not impossible to replace the New Zealand international.

He told NewsAtDen: "There are loads of very good technical footballers but if you're talking in terms of stature, there's not many Harry Kanes and Chris Woods around, certainly not of that certain type.

"We did pretty well to get them to start with – we put in a lot of hard work behind the scenes and made a lot of phone calls. It's a long process even after you've identified them.

"It's a tough one but you can't say it's impossible to replace Wood – because it's not. Sometimes you end up replacing a really good player with two or three others that make the team better.

"Sir Alex Ferguson is really good at that – he sells one and gets a couple in. That's what he did with Cristiano Ronaldo, so it can be done.

"You have to know what you're looking for and be ready for when players become available. Martyn Woolford is a prime example. That's how we're going approaching it at the moment."

Supporters have questioned why Millwall appear reluctant to take a gamble on a striker from the lower leagues, with Port Vale's Tom Pope a name that has been bandied about feverishly.

But Johnson says scoring goals is not the be all and end all of a striker. He explained: "There is no outstanding striker at the moment in League One or League Two, so we've got to aim higher up.

"There are one or two in the lower leagues that will come through eventually and we will keep an eye on those. I've watched everything – Championship, League One, League Two and Conference.

"There are lots of reasons why we don't sign a player. Just because someone is at the top of the goalscoring charts in League One that doesn't mean they are good enough for the Championship.

"If it was that easy, you could sit at home reading a newspaper and you would not have to go out scouting players."

And Johnson says that even when the Lions do want to sign a player, there are countless obstacles that could scupper a deal.

"Contracts are important," he said. "Do they want to come or not? If they're a northern lad, do they want to come to London? That type of stuff.

"Does the player's family want to move? Do they have young children? Are they settled in school? Even when you do sign a player, there are lots of things that go on in the background.

"It's the same in any walk of life. If there's something wrong at home it can translate into your work. You don't concentrate as much. Footballers aren't machines, unfortunately.

"Above all, players have got to want to come to Millwall to start with. That is the main thing. Once that's established, it's up to us to sell the club to them and offer them the right deal for them.

"That's not always possible. We're not Leicester, so we can't splash out and spends loads and loads of money. It can be frustrating at times but that's just how it is, you've got to get on with it.

"It's part of the job. If a club in League One or League Two takes a player on loan and he does well, we might be interested. Then it's frustrating for them.

"MK Dons had Mark Beevers last year and if they wanted him again – and I don't know whether they did or not – they can't get him, because we bought him. There's a knock-on effect.

"At least we're in the Championship and we've got more of a chance of signing the likes of Adam Smith, Wood and Kane.

"One day you're frustrated and the next day something else comes off. You move on."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

30 thoughts on “Johnson: Millwall will struggle to find another Kane or Wood

  • January 30, 2013 at 14:52
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    Nice insight but stop taking time to speak with Aldo and get on watching matches and prospects

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  • January 30, 2013 at 15:03
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    I can understand what Jamie is saying and his job must be very difficult taking into account all the problems he mentioned trying to get players that would fit in at Millwall to come. Surely we are at the stage where the club has to decide where it wants to be and where it wants to go. We can not carry on attempting to get that one Kane , Wood or Taylor on loan, in the mean time taking the likes of Hulse and Tyson, who nobody wanted. If the club are not prepared to spend on several players that will really help us push on, then we can only ever expect to be also rans. It is no good saying we are not Leicester so we can not spend, if that is the case then do not expect to get to their level. I think it is totally unrealistic for KJ to keep talking about us getting to the play off places after performances like last night. If he can not motivate the players we have then something has to change.

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    • January 30, 2013 at 15:13
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      Sorry that should read Kane, Wood or Smith,not Taylor.

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  • January 30, 2013 at 15:14
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    It's all very well saying we aren't Leicester etc but when the manager comes out giving it stacks about us being able to make the play offs and competing at this level then that gives the impression we will be doing just that - and that takes investment!! We dont need to go out and splash millions upon millions but we do need improvement and if we still had Wood and Henderson - Hulse and Tyson wouldnt improve our squad at all!!! Fact!!

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  • January 30, 2013 at 15:24
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    I agree that we should be ambitious, Premier League should be our goal, but right now, the club is not geared up for the Prem and we are not generating enough revenue to support a deluge of high priced signings and the all the associated risks that come with them. I will be hapy if in the next ten years we never reach the Prem but instead become financially stable in the Championship. I support the current transfer policy as it ensures our future at the cost of an unsustainable Premiership dream. In KJ, and his very deep pockets, we trust!

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  • January 30, 2013 at 15:55
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    Thanks for that it really helps

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  • January 30, 2013 at 15:55
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    Thanks for that it really helps

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    • January 30, 2013 at 16:02
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      So we're s#*t then, no ambition and we should be grateful to be in champship
      Ipswich Bristol city and even Peterborough take a chance.
      I'm sure AA can afford a washing machine with the money he's on

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  • January 30, 2013 at 16:02
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    So we're s#*t then, no ambition and we should be grateful to be in champship
    Ipswich Bristol city and even Peterborough take a chance.
    I'm sure AA can afford a washing machine with the money he's on

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  • January 30, 2013 at 16:19
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    I think it sums up the reality of what we are facing

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  • January 30, 2013 at 16:25
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    Is this the same chief scout who is responsible for recommending McQuoid, Feeney and Malone to the club? His eye for talent seems about as good as Bobby Backache's ability in the physio room.

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    • January 30, 2013 at 17:08
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      I dont think Johnsons got a clue mate! He's been with us for ages and a few dodgy players have come in during his time - he harps on about all the hard work but I personally would love to be paid to go and watch football matches and scout players!

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      • January 30, 2013 at 18:36
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        aint that right berm, i still cant believe the club have let the scout talk to the press what a cop out
        and all the talk about not being geared up and cant afford it and not enough bums on seats is a load of old tosh, tell that to blackpool fans who had a pony little ground with only 8000 fans every week, yeah it didnt last long but they took a risk and it paid off and now theyve got a better ground more support turning up and as bad as theyve been this season they can still compete in the transfer market. i'm over the moon ive seen the clubs best yrs, playing at both wembleys the fa cup final and europe but even more so topping the old 1st division twice, and playing the MAN Us and LIVERPOOLS and ARSENALS in the league instead of hoping for them in the cup.
        take a risk and you know what it will more than likely happen. as for punching above weight i thought we were in the championship not league 1

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  • January 30, 2013 at 17:04
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    Y not try to nick dj campbell from hulls grasp?

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    • January 30, 2013 at 17:06
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      Said the exact same thing 2 days ago on here and was told to "dream on" - I think given the fire power and financial status of QPR we could defnitely come to a deal for him!!

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  • January 30, 2013 at 17:49
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    It's all good saying this but what will Tyson and horse bring to the squad except a higher wage bill and more work for the physio!! What about George Boyd stand out player for Peterborough even though they are rubbish, palace get him for 500,000 he is worth more than that but he's contract is up!! I would rather George Boyd and dj cambell than Tyson and horse I'm sure the wages won't be much more than the crocks!! And you would get much more from these 2 as well. After 2 minutes of reading this I've made 2 good possible examples!! So he is talking rubbish !! All we will eat at the end of the season is we were punching above our weight we did well this year!! We don't want to hear that we want ambition and until you bring in the players the attendances won't go up because no one wants to watch over paid s*** each week!!

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    • January 31, 2013 at 08:24
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      How about supporting the club you love, that is surely enough to want to go to games!!
      All I ever hear in the terraces are our own fans slagging off OUR players, why not try backing them for a change?? If Feeney makes a mistake (which he quite often does) then tell him to keep going and pick his head up rather than having a go at him... he most probably gets that enough from the away supporters!!
      If he played that bad KJ would take him off, so he doesn't need you to tell him to make a sub or not and I don't care you pay £26 for a ticket, you support Millwall that should be enough to go to games!!!

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  • January 30, 2013 at 18:55
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    dj campbell would never sign for us, doesnt like the club or the fans. Heard this earlier this year when we were looking at him. People need to give tyson and hulse half a chance. Both have played about 20 mins of football ?!! and yet some on here want to write them off already. Must have forgot how s*** kane was when he 1st came, morison couldnt hit a cows a*** and even wood took a few games to really get going. Why be so negative, if you think this is a bad situation and season then you really havent a clue about our history and havent followed us long enough!

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  • January 30, 2013 at 19:28
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    I don't want hulse or Tyson because both are in the latter years of their careers and rejected millwall a few years back!! Now they come here when no one wants them! And neither record is any decent!! I have been a millwall supporter my whole life dad was a millwall supporter and so on so don't question my knowledge or anyone else's!! Everyone wants what's best for the club and if taking a small risk say 2 million on a few players we are not going to go bankrupt if the right players come in and we are competing top 6 every year the supporters will follow!! Why do people want to watch Liam trotter on 12k a week do f*** all 90 percent of the time and fork out 50 quid plus I watch it!!

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    • January 30, 2013 at 19:53
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      I'm 37 and went first game against gillingham away on my 3rd birthday - I remember it well. Lol. But seriously 34 yrs wall and me dad before me and stated a little history previously, I'm relatively new to this site and p***** a few off a couple times but the one thing I didn't want to happen was this, "I know more than you". "I'm more wall than you". "Your not real wall". It's muggy. It ain't big and it ain't clever.
      I can't go every week cause of work and I've got 3 kids to wory about, I can't always afford to go but go as much as I can especially away - love it more than anything in the world mate - it's an opinion site and there's been some really good debates, pls don't lose sight of the boys frustration the club can't say one thing and then do another it won't wash with a club like ours it's 2013 FFS
      Back in 80s and 90s we didn't have sites like this so they need to remember what they say. There's no need to make it personel as previously said above we all want what's best. No offence intended cheers.

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    • January 30, 2013 at 20:13
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      £2 million is no big risk!!!!!! We are losing £5 million a year!!!! £2 million is a massive risk to Millwall. £2 million players have wages to match - if he's on £20 grand a week that's another million pound investment per year, he's going to want at least a two year contract; with bonuses etc your probably looking at a £5 million pound investment. On top of the losses we are already suffering it's a massive risk. It's what happened at Portsmouth, Bradford, Birmingham. Credit our Chairman for coming up with the money to try and get Wood; a great prospect who proved he could do it for us and would have had a great re-sale value eventually; don't s*** him off now for not wanting to spunk his money up the wall on mediocre players (£2m doesn't get you much these days!). Credit him for keeping this club alive and meeting our debts, thank him for being willing to spend HIS money on the right player!!!!!!! Get real some of you and get behind the Chairman, the club, the manager and the players who DO want to play for Millwall - with us behind them we can still punch above our weight and keep 'Wall moving forward! COYL

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      • January 31, 2013 at 11:32
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        I think it's very refreshing that our chief scout has given us an insiders view. What's wrong with that ? We're not living in a communist state. He's identified some very good players and we've mad some well needed money once they've moved on. We've had some lemons too, but then even Ferguson makes mistakes.

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  • January 30, 2013 at 19:41
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    If we were all that fickle we'd be in a bad way. Was you at Birmingham last season when wood got a hat trick against us? He took the p*** out the fans giving it after every goal and him and marlon were muggin us off. If you'd have offerd him to me then, I'd have said stick him up your a***. My point is that times change, look a shittu, he s*** on us(no pun intended) and now he's everyones favourite player and the fans love him. You have to look at the future and benefit to our club, we have had worse squads over the Years and much worse strikers. To be fair Aswell I seriously doubt we could have afforded Hulse or tysons wages anyway when we was after them before, Hulse is on about 20k a week and I bet Tyson isn't on much less.

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  • January 30, 2013 at 19:48
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    Yeah I was at Birmingham I'd have taken him he scored 3 against us you can see the potential then!! Didn't like the walk to the station much tho!! Don't like bricks at my head and a line of police vans as a barrier

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  • January 30, 2013 at 19:56
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    Potential was there , but my point was about you not wanting them because they rejected us in the past, if we were to be like that to every player who ever mugged us off or took the p*** we wouldn't have Ever got shittu back or Chris wood, long story short if Hulse and Tyson are still s*** come April time then I'll agree but until they're proved s*** I'll give them a chance.

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  • January 30, 2013 at 21:53
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    Lads, I'm not in a position to comment on what goes on game to game as living abroad I don't get to games these days. However, with due thought for our fairly recent history, surely the most important thing for our club is to ESTABLISH ourselves as a Championship club and continue to follow the Berylson/Jackett plan of year on year improvement whilst keeping the club financially sound. Anyone who has read Michael Calvin's book 'Family' will know the problems our club faced in our promotion season from League One and I can only imagine that these problems are amplified at Championship level. We would all like the club to be more ambitious but this has to be tempered with a realistic expectation. KJ is becoming a victim of his own success, did anybody honestly expect us to be in the top six at any stage this season?

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  • January 31, 2013 at 08:26
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    Do we really need articles like this? It's just depressing and tbh it's too much information which has become the norm nowadays. Do I really need a ten ft clock counting down to deadline day on Sky Sports...... No it's pathetic. I think there should still be an element of mystery about our football clubs and how they are run.

    I liken it to the death of music, when we got albums on vinyl or even cd there was just a release date given and then the excitement of going to buy you bands new LP. We did not need to know every detail of the creative process for 2 years before buying it.

    Let me know when we are signing somebody, don't tell me there's little hope ffs!!!!

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