Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Through the black and white window?

With less than sixty hours to go until the summer transfer window slams shut, it seems like an opportune time to consider the prospect of our bringing in any further reinforcements.

Of the names being linked with us (and for that matter the glaring failings in our current crop of players) it is clear that we need to bolster our defence, or face several more months in which phrases like "hapless" and "comical" are trotted out with all too much regularity to describe our latest failure to keep a clean sheet.

With Boumsong and Robbie Elliott now gone, we also look somewhat short of numbers at the back, and our ability to withstand even a moderate number of injuries could leave us in major disarray. It's therefore hardly surprising that we are reported to be after a number of defenders.

Looking at each of the names in the frame in turn:

Jonathan Woodgate - as I mentioned earlier today, I'd love to see a fit Woodgate back playing for us. However, noises emanating from Teeside suggest he's favouring a move there, and in truth, if he's not going to be fit enough to play, he's bugger all use to us. However, the fact that he's available on loan would definitely find favour, given our seeming lack of transfer cash, and we know precisely what we'd be getting.

Robert Huth - with his dodgy ankle now apparently repaired, Huth seems destined to leave Chelsea this season in a bid to find first team football. Whilst physically imposing, I've not seen enough of him to be certain that he can command the defence (which is what we need). However, he's young, and doesn't seem prone to the sort of lapses which have prevented Titus from becoming the world beater he's physically equipped to be.

Wayne Bridge - unlike the Huth transfer, this one seems wholly dependent on what Chelsea and Arsenal manage to do with regard to Ashley Cole. If Cole joins Chelsea, then I suspect Bridge will be on his way up the M1 quicker than Craig Bellamy on his way out of a Cardiff night club. However, if Cole stays put, then there's absolutely no chance of any Tyne Bridge headlines being wheeled out. If this is going to happen, I expect it'll be at about five minutes to midnight on Thursday.

Thomas Gravesen - the other name continually linked to us. He now appears bound for Celtic, and despite our woeful performance on Sunday, midfield isn't our priority at the moment. If he were to come, he'd be welcome - but a resurgent Nicky Butt has probably done enough to allow Roeder to let this one go without too many worries.

A N Other - Despite the arrival of Obafemi Martins, we still look short of attacking options, and it wouldn't surprise me to see us pick up someone on loan, although quite who is available and fits the bill, I'm not really certain.

The clock is ticking.


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