We’ve gone three PL games without any forward scoring so it looks like the front line failings we’ve experienced for at least two seasons are destined to continue. Jozy will score one day but Fletch looks like he’s playing the wrong system and Wickham’s playing the wrong position.
Even so, I’m not too bothered that Borini didn’t come. I’d have been happy if he had arrived but I believe he’d have been here early in the window had his heart been in it, despite what Gus said a while ago, and a reputed £14 million is a lot to pay if it isn’t.
So it’s not Borini’s failure to move that disappoints me, it’s that with that amount available we didn’t manage to sign any out-and-out goalscorer who can fit into the Gus style. Was Gus naive in not moving on earlier? Maybe we’ll get someone in January? Who knows? If all else fails we’ve still got Danny Graham.
I’m also disappointed Alfie didn’t stay; I thought he was raw but had potential. However, what do I know about football? I have to trust in Gus, accept he knows what he’s doing and that he’s bought well (and big) in the midfield department. He’s also brought in a couple of defenders, so the signs so far aren’t all bad, are they?
Does that mean we’ve strengthened the squad? Including Alfie, Roberge and Moberg-Karlsson, who hardly featured since signing for us, we’ve shipped out fourteen players while we’ve shipped in only eight, plus one promotion from the ranks, so, even ignoring our non-scoring front line, it’s a moot point.
Have a look at the list below, which doesn’t include Alfie or Moberg-Karlsson (chuck them in if you want) or Vergini of the revolving door, and let us know what you think. I’ve not included any names, so all you have to go on are my idiosyncratic descriptions of their records. That should be enough for anyone to go on, it’s not rocket science to work out who is who:
|A not-bad keeper who represented his country, but lost his club place due to injuries. Once out he was never able to regain the first-team slot. Helped us to avoid relegation in 2013||A 27 year old big bloke who has played for his country, in European competition and at Wembley. He has not had to worry about relegation|
|And a temporary replacement for him (as stand-in) who did OK on the few chances he had.||And a home-grown youngster who has represented his country at junior levels and who has been sent out on loan to aid his development|
|A 29 yr old whole-hearted, no nonsense defender with a couple of caps for Scotland and some crucial goals who helped us avoid relegation in 2013 and 2014.||A 27 year old no-nonsense defender who rarely scores (but did so against NUFC) and who made 10 appearances for a club that managed to avoid relegation in 2014.|
|A 32 year old on-loan defender who never made it back after being sent off last season||A 23 year old defender who played abroad while on Chelsea’s books and just missed out on a World Cup place with his country.|
|A 27 year old defender who played 10 premiership games as we avoided relegation last season but hasn’t looked up to it recently and has gone out on loan.||An on-loan, nearly-as-big-as-Pantilimon, 24 year old defender from Uruguay who made 24 appearances and scored twice for Liverpool but never really got a grip on the Premier League, despite being good enough to play for his country.|
|A 27 year old whole-hearted, cup final substitute, no nonsense midfielder with a great penalty record and a couple of other goals who helped us to avoid relegation in 2013 and 2014.||A 29 year old cup-winning (but substituted) midfielder with a few goals to his name who didn’t manage to avoid relegation in 2013|
|A locally-grown 25 year old whole-hearted player who steadily gained confidence as a midfielder without ever being really inspiring and who eventually scored a few goals as we narrowly avoided relegation in 2013 and 2014.||A 23 year old possibly injury-prone midfielder who made his debut for Everton at the age of 16. He has since played about 100 PL games for them and Man City, where he didn’t quite make it, as well as representing his country, and scored for us on his debut|
|A 25 year old on-loan midfielder who played in two world cups and two Wembley finals and who helped us to avoid relegation in 2014||An on-loan, 26 year old Argentinian midfielder who was in the World cup squad and who has over 90 games for inter Milan under his belt|
|A hard-working 33 year old midfield utility player signed as a free agent and allowed to leave as his contract expired. He played a part in helping us avoid relegation in 2013 and also in 2014, albeit in a lesser role|
|A hard-working 31 year old midfield player signed as a free agent. He played a part in helping us avoid relegation in 2013 and scored a cracker against the Mags but spent a lot of this season out on loan|
|A South American forward who came late and left early without anyone being bothered either way||A 24 year old winger who has made a success of playing in the lower leagues and who was signed by Gus while at Brighton|
A 23 year old Italian forward who has represented his country and scored at Wembley, and whose goals helped us avoid relegation in 2014.
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