Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A hive of inactivity

With the transfer window swinging shut next Wednesday, in just over a week's time, time to take stock of the comings and goings at St James' Park.

It won't take long.

In a nutshell: Pav's staying on until the end of the season; Giuseppe Rossi has been recalled to Old Trafford by Taggart only to be immediately sent out on loan again, this time to Parma; PSV showed an interest in Albert Luque and then decided they didn't want him after all; reserve defender Liam Atkin has left for Cumbria; and today it was announced that young striker Carl Finnigan has agreed to join Falkirk.

And that's it.

We've been linked with numerous players, but as yet we don't even seem to have lodged any firm bids, let alone held talks. Whither the signings we were hoping for? More specifically, where are the desperately needed defensive reinforcements?

I appreciate the desire not to get sucked into paying ludicrously inflated prices(exhibit A: Ashley Young costing Villa the best part of £10m - surely he's not worth that much?), but when Spurs can pick up a seasoned Portuguese international central defender for £3.3m surely we could have found one or two players who fit the bill and who wouldn't cost the earth?

What amazes me is that we never seem to have any kind of masterplan. I can't stand Neil Warnock, but fair play to him - his board decided how much they were prepared to spend, he identified the players he wanted and then acted decisively to get them as soon as the window opened. Whether the likes of Matthew Kilgallon, Luton Sheldon and Michael Mifsud ultimately prove to be good enough to keep Sheffield Utd up is neither here nor there - the point is that Warnock, with the backing of his board, went out and got in players he felt could do the job. Is it too much to ask that we work at our strategy?

Of course, this may be doing Fat Fred and Glenn Roeder a disservice - they may still have a couple of talented players lined up. But somehow I doubt it. And the longer the eerie quietness around St James' continues, the more likely last-minute panic buys are.


Post a Comment

<< Home