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  1. birchfest

    Are we any stronger?

    I still think we might see another CB in, but perhaps not till January. In terms of strength, we've added serious competition to the Goal keeping position, whilst adding options up front as well as Roberts adding a rival to Hernandez. For me its competition for that DCM role, we have Tetty only on a year left and not likely to feature much as back up, there surely is a plan for someone to come in to push Trybull to start and be a back up.
  2. birchfest

    A couple of transfer rumours...

    I half wonder if the Club are held waiting to confirm Oliveira is off before they make concrete move for our version of a marque signing, no doubt if we get Bowen the money would be up there for our summer buys. Perhaps they need to get possibly one of our highest earners off the wage bill first? This is pure speculation motivated more by boredom than anything I know!
  3. birchfest

    Non-Football threads

    Id agree mid season, just when you stop an think about it, unless we have a transfer Saga playing out or we have actually started pre-season matched, there isn't really a whole lot to talk about that hasn't been gone over in the last month.
  4. birchfest

    Mario's contract?

    Crossing the 'T's and dotting the 'i's hopefully. I can't think why he would want to move away, barring offers from a bundesliga or top 10 premier league side I can't see why he would want to move away from a club thats heading in the right places.
  5. birchfest

    The Surprise Relegation Team

    I think they will do the Man Utd and drop out of the top 6!
  6. birchfest

    The Surprise Relegation Team

    Ah yes completely forgot Southampton and Watford. Id put Watford into a similar grouping as Wolves and Leicester. Southampton would also be in the less of a surprise category, but i think they just had a stinker of a season with a terrible manager kicking it off. I can't see them repeating it. To answer one of the posts above, I'm optimistic we won't, I think we will have a better crack at it than the Alex Neil season but it is looking a tougher league this season and could see us just being pipped to the post if any of the above just never blow up and we don't beat the rivals around us. Personally if i was a betting man and wanted to make some money with ok but not great odds id go for Brighton, Newcastle and Sheffield... though its not out of my thoughts we could replace any one of those 3.
  7. birchfest


    I think it was the biggest mistake to move him on, he was a key player that season and we ended up with nowhere near as an effective midfield the following season. This might sound harsh, but if that rumour is true (and with the hindsight of Grabban went on to do by way of disruption) we picked the wrong person to send away. I think Blackburn could be playoff challengers for next year!
  8. So who do we think? As a rule of thumb its normally 1-2 of the teams that come up, with 1-2 struggling sides from the previous season taking up the 3 spots, but every few seasons or so you get the 'surprise' blow up of a slightly more established side. Could it happen this year? Just looking at some of the bigger clubs and various news articles about various issues got me thinking: Newcastle: The Benitez issue appears to have completely imploded their pre-season and fan base, doesn't seem to be much money being unlocked whilst they look to sell the club. West Ham: About to lose Arnautovic to China, they had that really poisonous season with the fans turning on the board, probably one of the most inconsistent sides in the sense they win games you expect them lose and have a nack to stay just ahead of the proper pressure cooker of the bottom 4 spots for most of the season. Palace: Could lose Zaha, already lost a good right back (won't be getting ours!), wasn't that long ago they were in a spot of bother and Roy managed to turn it around, just a feeling they could get off to a rocky start if the Zaha move does come to be. Everton: Always look just that little too good to do an 'Aston Villa' but last season seemed such a mixed bag of results, went on a horrible losing run last season. Bournemouth: Id sit them in a similar bracket to Everton and West ham where they seem to always be able to get the results they need but you just feel if they went on a sustained losing spell, could they handle the pressure? Id be tempted to put Leicester, Wolves and Villa into this bracket but they seem to have the resources to get to mid table and then id say there is a shoot out between ourselves, Sheffield, Brighton and Burnley. Anyway, more a list of ramblings and whims, but you guys know what i mean? You think it could be a surprise team making up one of the 3 or is it 2 of the promoted sides and Brighton as most pundits seem to believe!
  9. birchfest


    That would be how you'd kill all momentum. He seems a smart guy, unless it was retire after 1 season crazy money, the exposure and the chance to write yourself into football history for both himself and finland is here in the biggest league in the world.
  10. birchfest

    New Academy and Gym

    Very impressive, it also likely frees up space in the older buildings and allows those to be reshaped and used better. It sticks with me, and this might seem obvious, the comment from a few seasons or so ago that when players come to look around and sign, the training ground is one of the most important factors; More so than Carrow road, 3 hours a week as opposed to 5 days a week, the facilities need to scream high level and an opportunity to develop. If we are especially looking to start attracting the brightest and best prospects, this is a huge factor, along side being a club to actually give contracts and opportunities to academy players.
  11. birchfest

    Ralf Fahrmann Medical

    Hmmm for that price in wages they won't be just getting him in to warm the bench, they obviously want serious competition for the number 1 spot, perhaps that will bring the best out of Krul. Personally Freeing up Oxbrough to be able to go out on loan is a master stroke, say Krul gets a Red at Anfield we have Fahrmann to come in and Mcgovern on the bench. Thats a logical set up, whilst someone as young as the Ox needs to be getting games and experience, perhaps ready to become next seasons number 2 or competition for 1. He will progress more playing and making mistake and learning in league 1 or 2 than sat on the bench.
  12. birchfest

    Mario's contract?

    I have no doubt the club view this as a priority, especially now Ben has signed a new contract that means our 3 'wonder kids' as tied to new deals. Vrancic is a classy operator and largely got unlucky with injuries and then the good form of others to keep him out of the side. That spell when he came in for Lietner was probably the best football he played for us, no doubt he would have kept his place for the rest of the season but for injury!
  13. birchfest

    A couple of transfer rumours...

    Well, going off the interest from bigger clubs and a decent record in the SPL 3 million seems probably about right. All signings are a gamble, for every Pukki there is a Wolf, for every Mclean there is a Naismith. 3 million isn't a 10 or 12 million sized gamble and so far we have spent 300,000 and given out some larger contracts? I think the biggest thing, especially after the last two seasons which saw the arrival of Vrancic, Steiperman, Lietner, Buendia, Mclean, Pukki, Hernandez, Krul etc... I just trust them so much more to get it right. Not every time, but more times than not.
  14. birchfest

    Ben Godfrey

    Webber said in that interview recently that they were willing to revisit players contracts regularly and reward performance; Ben being a clear example of having a new contract that probably wasn't anything incredible and then the promise being kept of a new one with the next step up, its also locks him in and adds Value if the big clubs do come calling next year. It frustrates me that Cantwells people seem to be trying to hold out for a bigger contract when it seems like Webber is sticking to the principle that if you sign a small improvement offer, play well the following season, they arnt going to wait till a year left to go before you get a new offer, its going to come well within your contract time. Ive got a lot of time for Todd, he broke into the squad, but simply put he didn't have the same impact as Godfrey, Arrons or Lewis who all made the position theirs. Hope they can work it out, but wouldn't be the first time in football something like this saw a player move on.
  15. birchfest

    Saido Berahino

    Yes... nah, just kidding. Nope and thankfully never going to happen!