NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Kris Boyd of Nottingham Forest avoids a challenge from Garry Monk of Swansea City during the npower Championship Play Off Semi Final First Leg in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
I spent my senior year at a north Houston high school taking AP English despite no interest whatsoever in the collegiate study of the language. However, I struggled through the course thanks to a Scottish professor I still feel is one of the most memorable I have learned from. Did he make the course come alive like a Glaswegian Jaime Escalante or Tom Schulman (Captain, my Captain!) ? In a way, yes, but I still detest Jane Austen and all of her smarmy dialogue. In reality, my fondness for 1st period, 8:00 am AP English was due to my teachers intense, burning devotion for Rangers F.C. This passion was the crystal ball for his mood - and more importantly his leniency towards the interruptions provided by myself and my fellow soccer teammates. When the Gers played well, soccer discussions and wise-cracking flowed freely. When they laid an egg in the SPL, I better have had Spark Notes on Pride and Prejudice locked-and-loaded for an early-morning quiz.
This pattern is why I am eternally grateful for Kris Boyd and the 07-08 Rangers squad. If it wasn't for his 25 goals across all competitions, two Cup victories, and a late season run towards the Europa League final, I might have fared poorly in AP English.
When I saw Zach's post on the potential of Boyd pulling on an orange kit, I was overjoyed. However, the story isn't all gin and kittens. Lets make like Kriss Kross and "Jump Jump" to an analysis of Boyd's potential of signing and shining stateside...
The first big question to ask of Boyd is if his coming to Houston is even a possibility. His stint with Eskisehirspor ended after 76 minutes of work, when Boyd left after the club allegedly failed to pay him. Ewan Walton at The Guardian explains this very well:
Within that contract, linked to Turkish clubs routinely being late in paying their players, was a clause which stated if a certain salary figure became owed to Boyd then he could demand that was settled within 15 days.
If the monies did not appear - as was the case - then Boyd could walk away from the club under breach of contract.
So Boyd should be availble on a free transfer. But will he even want to come to Houston? Making the (probably naive) assumption that the only real offers made to him are the ones that have been reported, then we are at this time the only club to have approached him. A two year contract with DP money should be a big draw for an aging player. We wont pay him Beckham money, but should be in the ballpark of his value. Now, in reality, Boyd appears to be linked to three unnamed English sides. Walton notes that:
A move back to England, then, seems Boyd's most likely option and an attractive prospect to any manager seeking a relatively cheap, quick attacking fix. Boyd will not feature in any list of Britain's richest footballers but has already earned at a sufficient level for him not to be overly difficult to deal with.
This seems interesting to me, as Walton's assumption is that Boyd will turn down a handsome paycheck to return to England. But (without being too harsh on the Turkish League) his recent moves have certainly been influenced by money. Still, time will tell which of his options he prefers. Dynamo reps have been on recent trips across the pond and our Scottish influence is fairly strong (Kinnear, Moffat, etc.) so he is not without allies within the squad.
So lets pretend that Boyd loves the color orange, 100 degree summers, and hypothetical circumstances provided by yours truly: lets say he wants to come to H-Town. Will he add anything to our current squad? Certainly. First, his strength is his obvious nose for the goal. Zach posted a video earlier this week of Boyd's 102 goals at Rangers FC. A closer, cursory look reveals a bit of a pattern, though. Of those 102 goals, 16 were PKs, 14 were headers, and #88 provided a delicious bicycle kick. That leaves 72 coming off of his foot, with the vast majority coming off one-on-ones and tap-ins.
This tells me, in short, that he is dependent off of those placed around him. This is confirmed by his struggling performance at M'boro (6 goals in 27 appearances) compared to his transfer to the successful Nottingham Forest (6 goals in 10 appearances). On an optimistic note, one could say that his movement is his strong suit that allows him to find space in the box. Either way, with the creative midfield we possess (and hopefully bolster in coming months) he should find a lion's share of chances.
From another perspective, we might lose some firepower in the air. That's like complaining that the US has to deactivate 100 of its stockpiled warheads. We'll still be just fine in the air (fun fact fitting the circuitous metaphor: we would still have 5,013 left). We can let the big guys do the heavy lifting, picking Davis' crosses out of the air to safely deposit them in the back of the net.
The last, and final, knock on Boyd is his lack of mobility. I would again suggest that this wont be too sorely missed. With the proper workhorses around him, Boyd will be free to make the smart, well-timed runs needed to find the net. Any presentation of him as a "Scottish Koke" (cough-JdJO-cough) ignores his class. Pair him up top with Bruin and I think you'll see an impressive front line. The pairing will also allow Will to learn from another proven professional after losing Chingy in the offseason.
For now, we can only wait and see what moves the Dynamo make. These will shape the size of offers we are able to make for Boyd. What I can say, as of now, is that we absolutely should pursue these offers. After all, he did help me graduate high school.