Monday, September 03, 2012

Don't panic

To panic buy, or not to panic buy, that is the question.

With apologies to Shakespeare (and Douglas Adams for the headline), the close of the transfer window saw us steadfastly refuse to adjust our approach to player recruitment, and thankfully avoid a repeat of the Rocky scenario and keep all of our remaining first-team players (ironically unlike Liverpool who now look very light in terms of striking options in my opinion).

Raylor's long-term injury arguably leaves us a bit thin on the ground, and similar concerns exist that if Senegal make the African Cup of Nations we've not got much in reserve up front (unless we convince Big Lad we're playing 5under1and every week). There was a hope that we might bring in one or two more players as the deadline moved closer.

However, if we were pursuing any deals they didn't come to fruition, with Rocky having gone to West Ham the day before and Lille reaching the group stages of the Champions League presumably the final nail in any move for Mathieu Debuchy (on that note, I must confess a bit of Schadenfreude that Luuk de Jong's Borussia Mochengladbach side failed to get through to the group stages).

Looking at the squad critically, with Davide Santon, Danny Simpson, James Tavernier and Perchinho as well as options provided by Spidermag and Vurnon Anita, I think we're probably right not to panic-buy a full-back (albeit I think Debuchy would have represented an upgrade on Danny Simpson).

Up front is perhaps a bigger worry, with Big Lad the only proven deputy to our Senagalese pairing, and then Adam Campbell presumably fourth choice we're then left to consider playing Haris Vuckic, HBA, Little Big Lad, Obertan Kenobi or Sylvain Marveaux as emergency cover.

However, while many clubs seem to be judged on what they accompish only on deadline day, the reality is that this whole transfer window looks to have been a good one. We've picked up Anita, Gael Bigirimana, Romain Amalfitano and Curtis Good and (with perhaps the exception of Leon O'Best) none of the players who have moved on added a great deal to the squad.

The worry remains that if we have a bad run with injuries, the squad could start to look threadbare pretty quickly, but the same could be said of most of the squads around us (albeit not necessarily the ones who we're arguably competing with if we're targeting scraping in to the Champions League placings).

Hopefully, and with the current administration I have more faith that this is actually likely to happen, the planning now starts for the January transfer window, when we'll know whether Senegal or the Ivory Coast are in the final of the African Cup of Nations, and therefore which of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse or Mr T we'll need to cover in the new year.




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