Monday, February 01, 2010

Strength in numbers

I can't even begin to recall the last time we looked back at the end of a January transfer window with anything other than frustration and disappointment - possibly when Bobby signed Jonathan Woodgate and the future looked bright?

Anyway, for the first time in years, when surveying our January business it's reasonable to suggest that squad-wise I think we've moved forward.

Firstly, we've managed to ditch an overpaid piece of deadwood in Geremi.

Secondly, we've held on to everyone else.

Thirdly, we've actually been able to add players who look to fit into our current squad. No egos, just a clutch of hardworking players - solid rather than spectacular maybe, but there's a lot to be said for signing hardworking pros.

The signing of Danny Simpson, which at one stage looked to have hit the skids, is a solid acquisition of a player who has already played his part in getting us to the top of the table.

The addition of Mike Williamson also looks a good move - with little depth to our defensive resources, a further centre-half is no bad thing and Williamson already reminds me of a smaller-conked version of Andy O'Brien.

With Fitz Hall and Patrick van Aanholt swelling the defensive ranks (for half a season and one month respectively) our squad looks better equipped to survive our current injury problems and keep going to the end of the season, and the fact that Zurab K didn't return is hardly a cause for lost sleep.

Further forward, the signing of Wayne Routledge gives us a further option in midfield, and whilst he's already done his best to pick up a "journeyman" label, he could prove to be a very astute signing both now and in the future.

Up front, Homer's injury ruled out the prospect of a return, which, given the seeming lack of alternatives and our frustrated pursuits of both Jermaine Beckford and Victor Moses, was a blow. However, our last-ditch acquisition Leon Best may prove an adequate replacement. His impact will have to be measured on the pitch (as they all will) and the jury is still out on what he will bring to the team. However, given our relatively thin squad, his presence should help us get through to May without the need for too many emergency loan signings.

What our side probably would benefit from is the return to midfield of a fully fit ASBO who, for all his many faults, would probably have more drive than the rapidly declining Nicky Butt and the relatively pedestrian Kevin Nolan we've seen in recent weeks.

With the option of further loans possible until March we could yet add more to the squad as the need arises, but what is certain is that we can't use lack of numbers as an excuse if our season implodes from here. The players look capable of taking us up - it's now up to them to prove they've got the mental and physical toughness to deliver.


Post a Comment

<< Home