It’s only just into December however, reports are already beginning to drip feed regarding our targets in next month’s transfer window. It is no surprise that they all attackers.
We’ve already read about Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Darren Bent, Theo Walcott and now, in the space of just one day, I’m reading that Demba Ba and Daniel Sturridge are also top of our list! Ba has a £7-£8m release clause in his contract which we, even with our apparent meager resources and desire to balance the books, could easily release. Of course it’s not a simple as that as the question is surely how much more than £8m will be offered which is where we will presumably come up short?
The Sturridge issue has more mileage given that we have discussed this with Chelsea and reports suggest the player is also keen to move? Price? I saw one figure yesterday of £15m which, if Chelsea stick to this, means that we will probably need to offload some players to make this up – the list is reasonably long so no problem assuming we can convince some poor gullible s*ds to take them!
Re Huntelaar and Walcott one can’t rule out that there are other reasons for moving however one assumes that Schalke’s and Arsenal progress to the knock out stages of the Champions League the other night make their moves to us less likely. As for Darren Bent one has to ask why he is sitting on the bench when his team is struggling, a fall out with the manager or something to do with form or fitness, best avoid whilst if there is the remotest uncertainty?
On to players who already play in red and what goes around comes around? To paraphrase Mark Twain reports of Jose Enrique’s death are greatly exaggerated. From appearing to be well down BR’s Christmas card list we’ve seen a dramatic turnaround and BR would have us believe it’s all down to his cunning plan!
The trick appears to be challenging Jose to fight for his future and then shoving him up the pitch into a more advanced role to give him an idea that, as a full back, he can attack! Said BR.
“That was always the idea. I felt that he was someone with tremendous ability, but I think its massive credit to him how he’s taken on board the chats that we’ve had and the messages we’ve given him. He’s listened and taken it on board, and that’s to his enormous credit. I think the spell on the left side has made him feel that he can actually get into the box and be a threat in that way. Because when I came here, I wanted my full-backs to do that, to get up there and join in up there. That’s vital. Jose never really did that at first, to be honest, but now you see he’s had that spell on the side.”
I’m pretty sure Enrique was aware of this in the first place he only had to look across the field to see to the gap where Glen Johnson should be and then further up the touchline to see him lolloping off into the distance. Enrique has plenty of experience I don’t think it needs to be spelt out to him in big capital letters of crayon that he can attack particularly when he is moved into a more advanced role? Nonetheless Enrique has done really well in midfield, and in a way, it would be a pity to move him back to full back, which BR seems to imply he might do, now that he, apparently, has “educated” Jose in the ways of attacking! Hopefully now BR will consider turning his immense transformation skills to Stuart Downing?
I don’t know if Jose will start tonight against Udinese in our final group game of the Europa League. I guess BR will need to field a strong side if we are to secure qualification to the knock out stages after wastefully fluffing our lines against Young Boys a few weeks ago? Presumably Luis Suarez will start as he is suspended for Sunday’s visit to West Ham however as regards the rest of team I suppose this is make your mind up time. Do we want to go further in the competition or bow out and concentrate on the league where many feel we are on the cusp of improving? I suppose BR has nothing to lose, elimination will be greeted with a “every cloud has a silver lining” attitude just as further progress will be well received?
Prediction? For the record a draw will secure qualification if the other group game, between Young Boys and Anzhi, is also a draw. It is perhaps to our advantage that Udinese cannot progress which is surprising given their performance at Anfield. I’ll take us to get a draw which will mean us being dependent on the outcome of the other game I’ll leave it to you to decide how you want that to end up!.