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BigEars

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Everything posted by BigEars

  1. Lets get serious, our annual wage bill is about £20m more than we can afford and our debts are probably still about £50m. I doubt we will be spending that much on any player this summer regardless of who we sell. MA might invest a bit of course, but I’m not expecting us to spend more than last summer while also avoiding high earners at the end of their career. Last year was a very poor window from Webber.
  2. Strangely, and contrary to some comments above, I thought it almost more likely for Leeds to come after Josh if they didn’t go up. Mainly because of his success at champs level versus prem and because they are unlikely to hold that front line together if they stay down.
  3. Barnes and Duffy were the result of lack of governance at the Club (which S&J dont recognise). Holding short term contracts with the Sporting Director and the Manager pushed them to look at short term options without enough sight on longer term. We now 2 older players, past their best, probably high wages and contracts running for another 1.5 years for Barnes and 2.5 years for Duffy. No other club will take them so their wages will tie us up and hinder the overhaul. What a mess.
  4. I agree we would be delighted to sell the players we dont want, particularly those out of contract soon, but i doubt there will be a list of Clubs willing to offer money for them. I expect virtually all the out of contract players to be released in the summer.
  5. I agree. I always think Gibbs has a neat and tidy style which gives the impression of control but I think he has lost his way and perhaps he was thrown in too early. He needs a new start.
  6. Rob, ignoring your style, you raise an interesting point. How much of the decision making at the Club is purely driven by on the pitch needs of the current season and how much is driven by unrelated things - like finance. Listening to Knapper describing the players as assets and the need to utilise players who will increase in value, makes me think that quite a lot of what happens is with at least one eye on finance, and Sara is our biggest “asset”. Unfortunately its what football has become, but I for one would prefer a return to the more pure approach to the game.
  7. I was confident that Sara and Rowe would both at least stay until the summer until the rumour resurfaced about the £15m offer for Rowe last window. That rumour makes no sense given his stage of development at that time and smells to me of the Club or agent trying to gather a bit of interest in him, at a high price. Its very like the tactics on Omo last summer. All that said, I still think he will stay, at least to the end of this season. Sara seems more straightforward - if we were looking to sell our most valuable asset (in Knappers words) we would surely be playing him in a position where he catches the eye most.
  8. Unless we hear big news from Knapper on the manager front, I’m expecting a quiet one, both in and out, and wouldn’t be surprised if we just go again with the same group while adding and or two youth players. The players coming back from injury will feel like new signing anyway and could yet make a big difference. But has anyone heard any private jets overhead or sighted any possibles over at Sprowston?
  9. Well, here is what the supercomputer has after 24 games. In fact its pretty tight for sixth place but also quite a low total needed for the play offs compared to some other years. Ive said elsewhere that i think we are top half but not play offs, so I can’t really argue with this, despite its obvious shortcomings. 1st: Leicester City – 101.7 average points2nd: Ipswich Town – 89.43rd: Southampton – 84.04th: Leeds United – 83.95th: West Brom – 73.86th: Sunderland – 68.47th: Coventry City – 67.98th: Middlesbrough – 67.69th: Hull City – 67.610th: Watford – 66.011th: Norwich City – 64.812th: Bristol City – 64.6
  10. Thanks Branston, probably a bit of (pinkun) beginners luck. Predicting the next 7 feels like a real head vs heart moment. Its probably the toughest run of 7 games all season with 5 games against teams above us. If this 7 were spread among some easier games i would probably be pessimistic around most if them, but our form is better. Ive tried to stay with my head, which coldly tells me that we are a top half team but not quite a play off one. I think double digits would be an excellent return but we could end up with only a couple of points if things don’t go our way. I’m going to go in the middle. Home - Soton, WBA, Cov - this looks tough, even Cov are improving and i think Soton and WBA will finish top 6. 4 pts Away - WBA, Millwall, Hull, Leeds - again very tough. I”m going 4 point. So 8 in total, it will seem bad but actually we will still be in touch with the play offs and easier games will follow. If I’m right, we will need to hold our nerve as fans. Despite the criticism, I feel Wagner is doing ok, and has been helped by some of the toxicity around Webber being taken away. Sorry I didn’t go with heart, but predicting 21 pts for every set of 7 games would get a bit dull!
  11. More yoyo teams i suspect. How can any team compete going up to the prem from such a standing start, and even those clubs in the champs with money behind them cannot match the tv money. If only the prem clubs could see the destructive impact and share the money around more it could make a real difference to the leagues, but self interest rarely gives way to supporting the system.
  12. It really cant be easy to arrive at your new job and report to the wife of the guy that youve replaced because he was forced out. Not to mention how the owners still seem to pine for old guy, and the ageing squad, huge debts and wage overspend. But, 2 wins from 3, and perhaps a bit more mental toughness in the team. We need to give him time and trust him rather than trying to force his hand. Too much negativity toward Knapper at this point could see his project stumble before it begins. Its going to take time - please let him have it.
  13. So far, so good. 6 points from the first three and with 3 home games in the next 4, 2 of them comparatively easy, I think we should get around the 14 I suggested. Probably not quite play offs but not far off come Christmas day. Unfortunately looking post christmas and January looks much harder so I predict points will dry up, and we will slip back to mid table.
  14. Today i feel like Ive moved into the 20%, where do you stand? And if in the 80%, is Delia right to read your acceptance as contentment?
  15. The truth is we are stuck with most of the older players, we offered longish deals despite their age, its how we landed them (forget the stuff about how good our swimming pool is). We didnt rebuild in the summer and to do it now is near impossible, unless we sell Sara for very big money. I dont see MA investing that much more, he already has huge debts from thr Club.
  16. I think we will have Wagner till mid January. The fixture list is reasonably favourable till Christmas and I think we will get enough points to limp along and he will keep the job. After Christmas it looks tough and that could be the end
  17. It did hit me that with the 2 year concert party, MA will be 68 by the time he has a true say, but only as a minority. Probably sharing with Nephew Tom by then. I just wonder what he really wants given that age and the agreement to give his votes to Delia. He’s impressive but whether he is for the long term, im not so sure
  18. That would put all hope in knapper to bed (groan)
  19. So there are 7 games to the half way point in the league. Even though our form isn’t great, I am fairly optimistic looking at the fixtures. Home - QPR, Preston, Sheff Wed, Huddesfield. That should be 10 points Away - Watford, Bristol C, Bin. More difficult but maybe 4 points. so 14 in total taking us to 34 over the first half of the season. We would still be behind the rate needed for the play offs, but not much. Whats your prediction?
  20. I doubt knapper will see him as a long term answer but it is vital to get the next appointment right. With the win in the bag, i think knapper will take his time and give him a few games. Hopefully knapper can bring a younger manager who wants to build for the future. We have had too much short term thinking these last few years.
  21. I could also see the debt falling by that amount and would assume that all of it would be to MA. But the huge assumption is that we can get wages under control, which is probably a bigger challenge than the debt. Without parachute payments the income will be £35-40m and with unspecified operating costs of £18m (presumably to run the Club) plus interest of £6m, the total available for wages is £11-16m. Last year wages were £56m. We probably saved some with the transfers over the summer, although the incomings would also have quite high wages. There will need to be a lot of player sales as we transition to a much different looking squad to get anywhere close to break even. Is it even possible to run a squad at that level? Am i missing something?
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