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Sadly Leicester were always going to snap up Wood ahead of Millwall
3:04pm Tuesday 8th January 2013 in Sport
MILLWALL columnist MATT LITTLE is in philosophical mood after the Lions missed out on number one target Chris Wood to Championship rivals Leicester City.
SO, did we all get what we wanted from Father Christmas?
Millwall experienced the kind of Christmas we all do once we leave our twenties behind and start the descent into middle age.
We got a lousy voucher for WH Smiths, whilst Leicester City unwrapped a shiny new games console.
Jealous? Just a bit.
But that's life and who knows, we might get lucky in the January sales and cheer ourselves up a bit.
It’s not as if we weren't prepared for this kick in the teeth though, it was as inevitable as getting a shower gel and deodorant pack from grandparents, but that doesn't stop either eventualities being a bit depressing.
Good luck to Chris Wood, however.
No one can blame him for looking after himself and chasing the big money.
I don't believe we did, or could, match Leicester City's wage offer.
They are, after all, a club that get double our gates and have a sugar daddy.
If they really want a player then they'll get them, they’re like a 13-year-old playing that game Football Manager with an edited and exaggerated bank account.
No, Wood has probably done the right thing.
This was brought home by the fact Frank Lampard is being treated with utter contempt by Chelsea.
It just proves even players who have done so much for their clubs can be thrown out onto the scrap heap once they stop being deemed useful.
It’s a cut-throat business and players have six to eight good earning years IF they stay fit.
We feel deflated now, but if Wood suffered a bad injury, or was 10 years older and looking for a last pay day, we’d tell him to get lost.
Just look at one time Millwall target Dean Ashton.
We’d have done anything to sign him not that long ago before he was forced to retire at the age of 26.
He would probably struggle to get a job in our club shop now.
Players need to make hay while the sun shines, we'd all do the same.
The harsh lesson we have learnt here is a small club such as ourselves needs to have a lot more belief in our convictions.
If we think we've spotted a raw talent then we need to snap them up.
We knew within a month this kid had something but after displaying his talents for all to see for a few months, there was no way we could beat off competition from the big clubs in this division when they came knocking.
The one thing I thought might happen to our benefit is West Bromwich Albion would want to think about keeping him and therefore loan him to us for the rest of the season to see how he developed.
They obviously don't see him as potentially a top half Premier League striker, which I think they are probably right about.
I think the future for Wood is bouncing between lower Premier League and promotion-hunting Championship clubs, which makes his decision to take the bigger contract all the more logical.
It's not been all doom and gloom, though.
The new year has brought more league success as we sit just outside the play-off positions after seeing off Bristol City and we are in the fourth round of the FA Cup with an exciting game against one of the grand old names of English football in Aston Villa to look forward to.
Next up, however, is Marvin Sordell’s club, Bolton Wanderers.
I won't be holding my breath to see an apology from him to the young boy he verbally assaulted in their match day programme, though.
I just hope we get a win and avoid another ill-informed media witch hunt.
Happy new year!
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