Saturday, August 20, 2011

Loose lips sink ships bids for League One goalkeepers

Oh the irony.

Here's Alan Pardew on ASBO's post-Gunners social media outpourings: "I think Joey regrets his tweets about the Arsenal incident. I think it's hurt him a little bit. Me and him have had a lot of conversations about Twitter and his profile and everything else and I think he now understands that the best answer he can give is with his performances on the pitch. He's been a lot quieter on Twitter this week and I think both he and us are better for that ... In today's society I can't tell Joey to shut up, just like I wouldn't tell anyone else to shut up in their private life. He is his own person. All I can give him is my advice and guidance and I have definitely given him that."

All fair enough, you might think - ASBO's silence would be a blessing. But when you consider that the man giving the benefit of his "advice and guidance" has just been reported to the Premier League authorities by Charlton for breaking a promise and making public comments about their 'keeper Rob Elliot, it all seems ridiculous rather than merely patronising. (Our insultingly low bid of £100,000 was dismissed out of hand, in case you were wondering.)

The immediate question, surely, has to be why on earth are we trying to sign Elliot in the first place? We've just sent a perfectly good 'keeper out to Celtic on loan, Fraser Forster instantly making his second Bhoys debut in a home shut-out against Sion. I simply don't understand why we would do that and then seek to bring in a replacement. It also suggests there's an alarming lack of faith in the understudies to Tim Krul and Steve Harper who remain at St James', namely Ole Soderberg and Jak Alnwick.

In the build-up to the derby Pardew was - inevitably - also asked about progress in securing a replacement for Jose Enrique. As well as throwing up the usual smokescreen about the quality of the existing summer signings, he said: "The left-back situation is a week down the line and the plan we had went straight into action." Hmm. Yes, it's "a week down the line" from when the Spaniard was sold, but his departure has been on the cards for months. How irritating that, once again, the left-back "plan" could only swing into action once the existing incumbent had been flogged off. As it is, Ryan Taylor will continue to deputise against 5under1and. Heaven help us.

Pardew's pre-match comments, meanwhile, had shades of Mourinho or Taggart or Wenger about them, putting pressure on the man in the middle, World Cup final ref Howard Webb, to be "astute": "The referee needs to make sure he referees the game from a completely neutral point of view because Joey has been in the press a fair bit this week". ASBO's a powder keg at the best of times - let's hope he can cling on to his self-control and help inspire us to another victory over the old enemy.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article, I'm scratching my head too with regard to the whole Elliot thing. I'm all for getting strength in depth, but why add to the one position we have already got some decent players in? :s Joey Barton going quiet is actually a concern, the lad with the most passion for the team has suddenly stopped his commentary of goings on at the club, finally disheartened maybe? We should have had a left back in 2 days after Enrique went, they've only had what...7 months to prepare for the inevitable? Ryan Taylor was okay against arsenal, though I'm sure he only made 2 tackles all game, but that's just typical of him. He'll have an okay game then he'll be horrific. Hopefully not today though! Ba looked terribly unfit last week, I think that's why he didn't last the whole game. And as for shola...oh dear. I can see us with this exact team on the 1st of September, apart from maybe Joey Barton going last minute. It's all well and good being linked with international left back's aplenty but I think it's all rubbish to fob off us fans, Pardew needs to shut up until someone has actually signed. The one saving grace today is that Sunderland have so many new players they probably will struggle, I think the team that is slightly less rubbish will win today....not gonna be a classic.

10:08 a.m.  

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