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Who did you actually want to us to sign last May, and have we done so?


James
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What or who did people actually want us to sign at the start of the summer?

 

My priorities in order of most important were:

 

1. A long term viable defensive midfielder (ie a Butt replacement)

 

Guthrie is fitter than Butt, faster than Butt, a better passer than Butt, and a bigger goal threat than Butt. He isn't as good defensively as Butt, but that will come with experience. Maybe Guthrie wasn't the ideal player we all had in mind, but I don't think a different player would bring us to a significantly higher level. It is now down to KK's tactics whether Guthrie is a success.

 

2. A pacy wide player

 

We've yet to see what Gutierrez can offer in a creative sense, but there is no doubt that he is a quality player. I've always thought that recent creativity problems haven't been down to lack of passing ability, but more due to the lack of any explosive players who can tear an opposing team apart, creating spaces for our own players to exploit, making that offensive pass easier to make. Gutierrez is a huge fucking bomb in that sense, and will devastate the organisation of many teams, allowing us to exploit it. Any good pass he might make on top of that is a bonus.

 

3. A young target man.

 

We already had three very good strikers. Owen, Martins, Viduka. Realistically, we were never going to sign a player who could beat those in terms of quality. The question marks over our forwards though was the fitness records of Owen and Viduka. Martins is an extremely good option/deputy, and is rarely injured, but is inconsistent and doesn't hold the line very well, meaning that we could potentially struggle if Owen and Viduka were injured simultaneously. We needed an understudy for Viduka, albeit someone good enough to be used when needed, someone young enough and with the potential to gain the experience that could make him a first teamer, and someone who wouldn't complain at spending spells on the sidelines. Many of us looked at Derdiyok, admiring his physical attributes and his goal per minute record. Xisco is a similar player attributionally, plus (although I haven't checked this claim) he had the best goal per minute ratio in La Liga last season. On paper Xisco is the exact striker we needed.

 

4. A defensive lynchpin.

 

Although I was happy with the individuals in the defence, I felt that if we could find one quality centre back, it would give a little more confidence and composure within the whole team. On paper, Coloccini is that player, and so far his performances would suggest so too.

 

5. A creative midfielder.

 

This one was way down on my list of priorities. I thought that the DM and explosive winger could help us get better from other players such as Barton and Geremi. As I saw it, there are very few players out there who could actually do what the majority of fans seemed to be looking for in this player. I think I would have wished to see the creative player be out wide on the opposite flank to the more explosive winger. The fact that we looked at Modric and Nasri seemed to suggest that the management was in agreement. Once the likes of those and others slipped away, it was a case of finding a technical player who might make the odd impact when things got tight. Again, on paper, Gonzalez is that player.

 

6. Full back backup/competition.

 

Let's face it, it would be very difficult to find players who would come here for a reasonable fee and be happy not to be guaranteed a starting place. I think we have found one in Bassong who reminds me of Distin when he came here. Quite frankly, I also felt this area wasn't worth much investment, and that we'd be better blooding youngsters.

 

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So in short, of the six things I felt we needed stuff done, we've done very well with my top four priorities, and we haven't failed to completely address the other two areas. The only other two things that occurred during the window that might have perhaps shifted priorities were the departures of Faye and Milner. Bassong counteracts Faye's departure. We didn't replace Milner, but were only given 11 days to do so, and I'm not sure he'll be missed with the over personnel we already had anyway.

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Guest Heneage

Why is a AM down your list ? We really need someone who can create for the likes of Owen, he isn't Martins you can't just pump it over the top and chase.

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Guest Harry-Norway

I wrote that we should have sign. Jimmy Bullard buth everybody was laughing,see now lads,he is in the England squad but wasent good enogh for Toon.

 

Who is laughing now? you all better start crying,i still mean he is a exellent midfielder

 

 

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