Monday, July 24, 2006

A winger and a prayer

The winger: Damien Duff, who - following a medical on Saturday - signed a five year deal. Genuinely exciting if also slightly injury-prone, he's the sort of player we were sceptical we were still capable of attracting, particularly with the likes of Liverpool and Spurs bidding for his services. So, good work Freddie and Glenn, but Duff's Republic of Ireland teammate Shay Given was also keen to claim some credit - and rightly so. "The manager and the chairman have done a fantastic job persuading a player of Damien's calibre to sign. But I also spoke to Damien a few times myself, so I musn't have done a bad selling job either". And I thought Shearer was supposed to be the club's ambassador? Good news all around - unless you're Charles N'Zogbia, that is...

The prayer: That we now sign a striker. Duff's arrival leaves us plentifully stocked in one position but just highlights the deficiencies in others. Who's he going to be crossing to and creating goals for? Of course, as Roeder acknowledged, UEFA Cup qualification (see below) "is certainly going to help in terms of finance and transfers". He's confirmed his interest in Germany's Golden Boot winner Miroslav Klose, but as yet no bid has been lodged. Watch this space. Hopefully.


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