Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Kuqi, Kuqi, who?!!

Loath as I am to be negative about any player before they've even kicked a ball for us, it's hard not to be bewildered by the news that we're apparently hoping to replace a £35m menace to world-class Premier League defenders with a 34-year-old journeyman lunk who couldn't cut in the Championship. "Plenty of experience"? Yes, not much of it any good, though. The very definition of the phrase "Beggars can't be choosers"?

There must be better options than the Finn. We've been linked with two other strikers seeking gainful employment, ex-Smog Jeremie Aliadiere and Brazilian Ewerthon, but surely if we had any nous we'd have had a punt on Bolton's Johan Elmander even before Rocky left, just to be on the safe side. The Swedish international doesn't sound that struck on staying in Lancashire - ungrateful, you could say, given that the Trotters paid £8m for him and stuck by him through a thin couple of seasons - and with his contract up in the summer we could potentially have got him at a knock-down price. Wouldn't it be nice to be glad of the club's foresight for once, rather than ruefully reflecting on events with hindsight?

Better news in the form of Saturday's match-winner (well, it felt like that...) Cheik Tiote telling the Ronny Gill that he's got no intention of going anywhere, despite rumours of interest from on high. That's only reassuring to a point, though - after all, Rocky said much the same thing repeatedly (as did his manager) only for the price to be right.

It's no surprise that clubs of the calibre of Man Utd and Chelsea might be sniffing around. He's been nothing short of a revelation this season, a tireless worker who shields our defence from getting too stressed and strained - and, as if he wasn't valuable enough, he's now added spectacular goalscoring to his repertoire. The best £3.5m spent in the summer? Hard to believe sometimes that he cost a tenth of the fee Liverpool paid for Rocky...

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Anonymous Rodzilla said...

Yes, there may well be better options in the free agent market. But unfortunately, when the organ grinder only pays in peanuts - he's only ever gona get monkeys.

I don't doubt for a second Ewerthon and the like will end up at the club willing to pay the highest wages.

Beggars can't be choosers, indeed!

11:16 pm  
Anonymous Alex said...

An absolute disgrace

12:09 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Heaven's sake man - S Kuqi is coming to the Toon as a temporary "fill in" to act as cover in the striking department for the balance of the season. He won't be starting, unless we get injuries. He is a body on the bench - who will no doubt try his best, if he gets on the pitch. If he manages one or two goals during his time at the toon, for what we will be paying him, it will be money well spent.

As you should surely know, the January transfer window is not the time for rational decisions. everybody wants "silly money" for their players. We got "silly money" for Carroll. We would have had to pay "silly money" for anyone signed in the last hours of the transfer window. Last Saturday showed that the current squad has the b*lls to get through the rest of the season. Better to keep the money and invest in the squad in the summer

2:01 am  
Blogger Ben said...

Anonymous: I'm well aware Kuqi's only a temporary "fill in". My point is that he's not good enough even to perform that role. A bid of £3-5m would probably have been enough to get Elmander in the transfer window - hardly "silly money", and light years better than Kuqi.

1:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstly, I have no confidence Kuqi will do anything this season but hopefully our existing strikeforce (i.e. Shola, Best and Ranger) can do enough that he won't be needed.

Secondly, if we wanted anyone better, and I'm not sure if Aliadiere or Ewerthon are, we probably would have been force to give a longer contract than 6 months. Like you said "beggars can't be choosers"

1:19 pm  

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