Last season, I made the point that relegation may not necessarily be a bad thing for the club in the longer term.
It would certainly have seen more of a ‘clear the decks’ policy as the wage bill would have to be cut, this would have meant the certain departure of Captain Sideshow Bob and the terminally bored looking Moussa Sissoko.
More than likely it would have seen the back of those who have given up being professional footballers such as Cisse and Tiote, that would not have been a bad thing, but there were more possible/ probable benefits we missed out on.
Obviously the spiteful side of me would take a certain pleasure from the owner missing out on the pocket busting TV contract money, not to mention seeing the advertising boards for his dreadful tat shop being associated with a level of football more befitting of the quality of his wares.
The old saying regarding reaping what you sow, would certainly come into play for the owner and may serve to finally convince him of the flaw in his business model for the club.
The transfer policy laid out by the owner and implemented by Graham Carr is to blame for the current condition of the squad, where we have an abundance of players for certain roles, and next to none in others, relegation would change this.
Last time we were relegated, those who did not want to be at the club were hounded out and solid, if unspectacular, players were bought in to replace them.
We also looked more to our youth and reserve teams, resulting in lots of football for Andy Carroll and his eventual mega transfer. A forced purge of the squad and realignment of the transfer policy would lead to a much more balanced squad.
The club found some restoration of confidence in the Championship, we actually won football matches which we hadn’t been doing for quite some time.
We all surely remember just how wretched we were in that last relegation season with players like Martins, Duff and Owen simply playing out their contracts, well it’s happening again with players like Cisse, Tiote and Sissoko. I woukd happily see them out of the door to be replaced with solid professionals willing to put the work in to win games, like Nolan, Ryan Taylor and Barton used to do.
There is no mistaking that history is repeating itself here and Mike Ashley is the common factor between then and now.
Last time around the club reinvented itself in the Championship and came back full of pride and fight again.
Now I’m not saying that this would automatically happen again as the club might go down and stay down…
However, I am certain that we won’t be finding any pride in the Premier League with this batch of mercenaries, kids, lower league players and confused international footballers who clearly didn’t realise what they were letting themselves in for.
Indeed, if you remember what halted the progress, which the club was making upon its return last time, it was the intervention of the owner once again. Callously sacking the manager for doing exactly what he had been tasked to do, and replaced him with someone more….compliant to his wishes.
The club needs a change of identity, a purge and a restoration of pride, maybe that can come after the inevitable pain which the next few months have in store.
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