The worst fears of Wycombe Wanderers fans have been realised with the sale of Josh Scowen, arguably the clubs best player, to Barnsley. January was always going to be a defining month for the club and the news from chairman Andrew Howard that the money received for the tigerish midfielder will “more than cover the losses” from the departure of Wasps (£229k), will certainly make next season a smoother prospect. Unless you have been in a coma since June, you will be more than aware that the club’s aim this season was League Two survival whilst steps were made to sort the finances out. Wasps have gone and the crowds are beginning to creep up at Adams Park. Not even the most optimistic fan would have predicted that the Chairboys would be top of the table in January and playing some of their best football for a good few years. It’s this situation that will no doubt make the sale of Scowen a contentious topic amongst the Chairboys’ faithful. On paper it looks a strange move for the player, with Barnsley delicately positioned in a congested League One mid table. From Wycombe’s perspective it is a bit more understandable, with Scowen being out of contract in the Summer. Having rebuffed offers to extend his contract at Wycombe, selling now avoids the need for the lottery of a tribunal and the income can be put to work behind the scenes. The player will have needed to agree this move though and will now be plying his trade at a higher level. No doubt that there will be fans who would have liked to see Scowen stay and potentially be in League One with Wycombe Wanderers next season. On the other hand, there will also be those that agree with the stance of sticking to the two year plan and paving the way to a full recovery.
After the impressive win over York, many were sharing the belief of former player Keith Scott that Wycombe could go on and win the title. Losing Scowen is a huge blow to this endeavour as I think he has been the heart beat of the Chairboys so far this season. His ability to read the game and protect the back four has allowed Gareth Ainsworth to commit to a more attacking style of play which has produced great results. In fact, it was in Ainsworth’s first game in charge, a dismal three nil defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge, that Scowen first shone after being recalled early from a Gary Waddock inspired loan spell at Eastbourne Borough. Encouragingly, it appears that Ainsworth was expecting the news as Marcus Bean looks a more than likely candidate to replace Scowen in the midfield holding role. Again credit must be extended to Ainsworth and especially to Richard Dobson for assisting Josh Scowen in becoming an excellent footballer. A quiet lad, never one for interviews, but a player I enjoyed watching develop and play enormously. All the best Josh. Football remains a team game though and Wycombe fans can travel to Bury safe in the knowledge that the back five remains intact whilst the likes of Hayes, Murphy and Onyedinma et al are still present. Here are the thoughts of Gareth Ainsworth ahead of the trip to Bury (pre Scowen departure) For mobile & tablet version click here