I just wanted to sleep off my food coma (Mission Accomplished: I woke up at 11:15am) and take it easy until I return to Tanner Ba’ World Headquarters later this afternoon and instead I woke up to a Twitter explosion of Ross County F.C. news.
First, winger Ivan Sproule has departed the club with immediate effect. Since being signed by county in the January transfer window Sproule has done just about what should have been expected based on his track record. He brought speed and combativeness to the County line-up, but he also brought inconsistency and frequent injuries as well. Again, none of this is surprising given the arc of his career. Last season he was outstanding in County’s inaugural season in the top flight with 6 goals in 14 matches. Still, even then, his goals came in bunches rather than consistently. This season, facing increased competition- as well as additional injuries- he had managed only 2 goals in 10 matches in all competitions. He has also been, in this writer’s opinion, less than thrilled by the arrival of several young players who have often played ahead of him. Oh, and he and Derek Adams occasionally butted heads- and by “occasionally” I mean any time Adams substituted Sproule out of a match!
According to the Club’s website Sproule has left the club “due to personal and family reasons and his desire to return to Northern Ireland.” As always, take that statement with a grain of salt.
In happier news, County manager Derek Adams has finally commented on the possible return of County insta-legend Evangelos Oikonomu. You may remember that Oikonomou joined the club last January and in only half a season established himself as the best defender ever to play for the club. Unable to agree to terms at the end of the season he returned to Greece to play for Veria F.C.. Unfortunately, he was unable to get a regular game for his new, higher paying club, he negotiated his release from the club a few weeks ago.
This led to immediate speculation among County fans- speculation that was only magnified when Oikonomou sightings were reported in and around Dingwall and Inverness only a short time later. These sightings coupled with County’s struggles to find a competent left back have had club supporters waiting with bated breath for some sort of indication from the club that “this” was going to happen. While there is still nothing definite, Adams has now publicly addressed the situation. Sky News reports the following-
Ross County manager Derek Adams has revealed that he wants to re-sign Evangelos Ikonomou in January.
The 26-year-old defender is currently a free agent after negotiating his release from Greek Super League club Veria in November, less than three months after joining them on a free transfer.
Ikonomou played for County for the second half of last season, and Adams is ready to add the left-back to his squad if he can prove his fitness and for the right salary.
“It isn’t true he is here with us on trial, although he has terminated his contract with his club out there in Greece,” Adams is quoted as saying in the Daily Record.
“The rules deem that he would not be free to join us until the January transfer window. We would definitely look at him again but whether we can do the deal and things work out is another question.
“He has not really played this season so his match fitness would also have to be assessed. Eko wanted more money last summer than we could possibly afford.
“He liked being here but he was offered a contract back in Greece and, financially, he had to take a hit to come here.
“He wanted to try to get back to the wages he was on before. But if you are out of work, you are not on any wages.
“He was a good boy and a good player so we’ll see. I don’t know how things will progress. He is always in touch with me so you never say never.”
Sounds to me like if he’s willing to accept the money offered “Zeus” will be back at Victoria Park in January.