Cod Almighty | Article
by Pete Green
16 January 2006
Slade adds height to backline with capture of Kong
AFTER recruiting giant centre-half Ben Futcher last week, Russell Slade has further strengthened the aerial power of his defence by capturing the signature of fictional Hollywood monster King Kong.
Slade moved quickly to sign up the veteran 50-foot beast on a three-year contract after learning of his general release last month. "Tony Crane's departure left a big gap in the squad," explained the Mariners boss, "and Kongie is just the man to fill it. He's strong, he's experienced, and he's good in the air - as long as you don't fly a biplane at him!"
With Futcher and Rob Jones already offering a threat at set pieces, the arrival of Kong (72) has led some supporters to accuse Slade of relying too much on a physical approach to the game - but the Town manager makes no apologies for what he sees as a unavoidable part of life in the basement division.
"Sometimes in this league you can't always be pretty, you need to be a little bit direct," said Slade, "and if that means King Kong having to eat the other team's goalkeeper, so be it."
Asked whether devouring his opponents might lead to his new signing picking up more than his fair share of yellow and red cards, Slade said: "Maybe. But his disciplinary record would still be better than Tony Crane's."
With a fortnight remaining before the transfer window closes, supporters are desperate to know whether any further surprise signings will follow Kong to Blundell Park - and Slade has been linked with a number of names.
The Town boss is understood to have enquired over the availability of Robert Pershing Wadlow of Alton, Illinois, USA - at eight feet 11.1 inches, the tallest known human being in the history of our species - only to discover that the player had passed away in 1940.
"We had Wadlow watched one or twice," admitted Slade. "But a faulty leg brace irritated his ankle, abrading the skin and causing an infection which ultimately proved fatal." The player's untimely demise is unlikely to deter local rivals Hull City from making a move, however, as Tigers boss Peter Taylor is understood to be on the lookout for reinforcements up front.
Slade has also disclosed an interest in another US-based transfer target in gigantic global landmark the Statue of Liberty. "It's fair to say that we've got a list of players we're interested in bringing to the football club," he said, "and it's fair to say that, yes, the Statue of Liberty is on that list.
"Her flame of freedom symbolises hope and salvation for the whole world, and has brought inspiration to billions of people across the globe since her unveiling by President Grover Cleveland on 28 October, 1886. And there might be question marks over her mobility but defences in this league would really struggle against her from Tom Newey's penetrating free kicks."
But for now attention will turn to Kong, who is in line for a debut against Torquay this Saturday. After completing his medical this morning, Town's beast of a new centre-half declared himself delighted to have signed up for a side firmly in the hunt for promotion to League One. "Rrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaa-AAAAAAAA-AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGHHH!" he commented to reporters gathered at Blundell Park, shortly before picking up David Burns and climbing the Dock Tower.