Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Thomas Hobson

Thomas Hobson (left) was a stable owner who lived near Cambridge between 1544 and 1631. He was one of a large number of businessmen who made their living hiring out horses, the Ford Focus hire cars of their day back when owning a horse was beyond the reach of the average peasant.

Hobson is remembered today for always insisting that would-be Customers should take the horse in the first stall to his office and not to waste his time by looking at any others because the only choice they had was the first one. Presumably he kept a very decent stable with a consistent quality of animals and hence he was confident they were all equally roadworthy or else he used the rule to ensure his old nags were hired out as well. Either way, four hundred years later, we are still referring to a very limited choice as "Hobson's Choice."

News this week has, so far, centred around Charlton's ambitions in the January transfer window, something most astute observers would say has unusually high importance for us this season given we need to strengthen to ensure we avoid the spectre of relegation. Common wisdom suggests we need a proven goalscorer who is going to net us at least ten goals in the next four months.

Chris Powell (right) made some interesting comments following his first meeting with our new owner, to the effect that he wouldn't be throwing any money around in January but that he was supportive of strengthening the side as required. Since then we have seen midfielder Astrit Ajdarevic accept a loan move from Standard Liege stiffs and fellow Lieger Alpasan Osturk apparently reject a Charlton loan in favour of a move to Turkey. The other two names in the frame from Roland Duchatelet's Belgian stable appear to be David "Dudu" Biton and Reza Goochannejhad. Both are strikers who may or not not be an improvement on what we have but whether they are good enough to do the job we need is the 64,000 groat question. What's obvious is that it is looking like it could be Hobson's Choice.

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