After the much reported Mike Ashley interview on Sky Sports at the end of last season, for many fans there was a glimmer of hope about this transfer window and the coming season. The possibility that lessons had been learnt and that real progress would be made.
We were promised that we would be targeting an 8th place finish in the league and attempting to win a trophy. Well how are things stacking up so far in that department?
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We’ve hired a new manager and nearly a month later have managed to bring together his coaching team. For some this is a sign of progress but ultimately we’ve put together a management team involving a head coach from the lower leagues, along with his backroom staff from said lower league side, as well as another coach, who before being linked to us, was largely unheard of in England.
What about signings? Some say the window only opened a few days ago but let’s be absolutely honest here, transfers have been coming in for the past month, with only the registration waiting to be transferred on or after July 1st. Every Premier League club has signed at least one player except Crystal Palace, Manchester City and Newcastle United.
If we are to challenge for the top eight then we need to catch up with the likes of Stoke City, Southampton, West Ham, Everton & Swansea. All of those sides have made excellent acquisitions so far this window, that improve their starting 11 and would likely improve ours.
Instead of signings we get talk of meetings to discuss transfers, discussions of possibly bidding, rumours of unrest in the board and news stories of only targeting players running out of contract.
That last point is key to me, it’s nothing new, but quite importantly … it’s nothing new.
It’s still all about the ‘value for money’ and not about signings the players we need. It’s why we have about six central midfielders but next to no wingers or strikers of any pedigree.
It’s a policy of signing so we can make money through sales and not to try and get success on the pitch.
You may think ‘it’s only the beginning of July’ but we’re a week away from leaving for the US and we will be unlikely to complete signings whilst over there. When we’re back we’ll have two weeks until the start of the season.
As usual, and as most of us suspected, it looks like we’re in for a long and uneventful transfer window and another difficult season.
Don’t worry though, Mike Ashley will probably give an interview on Sky to tell us it’ll be alright.