« on: Today at 12:24:29 PM »
The club's situation is very simple.
JP is never going to agree to spend what it will cost to put us in a position where relegation will never be a threat.
The Premiership is really a top 6 or 7 (arguably 9 this year as Southampon and Newcastle have done so well, although last year we were where they are at this stage of the season). Everybody else is and will be 3 or 4 straight defeats away from being in trouble.
This club is run prudently on a shoestring. We have done well on that basis. Based on income, our rightful place in the Premiership is around 13th or 14th. For the past two seasons we outperformed. Expectation levels have risen. We are now in or around "par", and as a result of successive defeats and failing to convert some draws into wins (plus some bad luck with penalties awards), all of a sudden everybody is panicking.
It is a fickle approach. Two wins, just two wins, and everything is rosy. Chopping and changing managers is not always the answer. There are some awful managers out there. We have one of the better ones. We could end up with somebody far worse. Indeed the probability is that would be the case based on who is out there. (One possible exception - Glenn Hoddle).
Our transfer policy has historically served us well but the transition from Ashworth to Garlick has been as awkward as Man United's transition from David Gill.
It resulted in some panic buys in the transfer window after a poor start. Sessignon is a good player but couldn't finish a sandwich. Anelka has all but disappeared. Sinclair has hardly yet been fit to play. Anichebe doesn't seem to be what we needed. We nearly got rid of Long and the one natural finisher we have, Berahino, is now benched every week. Amalfitano has been excellent and Lugano is merely filling a place in the squad.
So - is our current squad really what Steve Clarke wanted, or it simply the hand he was dealt once JP caved in 48 hours before the end of the transfer window and we ended up with a lop-sided, forward-heavy, defence-light squad? I am sure this is one reason for Clarke's constant tinkering with the starting XI which must surely be a factor in our inconsistency and slowness out of the blocks every week.
I think we are about 5 or 6 points better than our current points tally states. In that respect we are under performing. Our 2013 form has been relegation form. But should we really be panicking?
JP will now be in a quandry. Does he sack Clarke, and bring in someone like Hoddle (or Jol?!), assuming that they would be willing to work within our Director of Football/Head Coach structure? Or does he agree now with Clarke what he really wants and needs in the January window and decide who to ship out in order to fund it?
Whoever is the manager in January needs to oversee a sizeable (by our standards) change of personnel. I think that is obvious. But I think we can all see opportunities to sell-loan out some obvious players to create the necessary room.
It will be an interesting next few weeks.