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birchfest

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  1. I think we all have to put our hands up and say that at the time we thought it was a cracking signing. Its just sort of funny that every time we attempt a big 'marquee' signing it ends in tears, see RVW and Naismith for the last two times we went in on a player that was 'already established'. Hard to know exactly what went wrong, perhaps the mixture of changing country and a leagues to move to a team who were always up against it was going to be a big ask. Perhaps one could also argue that Norwich would have an easier time of it against most of the German sides in the top league outside of their top 6. Was given a chance to impress, and I thought perhaps he would look a class above in the Championship, but frankly Ive been more impressed by Sinani on the ball and Hernandez with the direct runs that anything we've seen from Raschia. Such a shame, fun song too,
  2. Watching on MOTD i couldn't help but feel it was like watching us last season, so so out of their depth and no answer to a Liverpool that actually I think were going through the motions but were just allowed so much time on the ball and space to rack up an outrageous scoreline. Parker is a media darling though, young and British so don't expect talk sport etc to go in hard on them yet.
  3. To be honest, whilst it frustrating they are chucking around the cash, I've no great issue with them staying up.. especially if it could be at the expense of an Everton or West Ham. Always amusing to see a side who think they are untouchable to relegation take the plunge!
  4. Ah thanks, I tried to see and thought it likely it had come up.
  5. Sorry if this has been covered, I’v had a quick look and couldn’t see it’s own thread. With what’s been going on I’ve been spending more time on news sites to be honest, football seems a little less important. So this issue I’m unsure about is what would happen with regards to Normann and him returning to Russia. If, by chance we stay up would we as a club want to pay or for that matter even legally be allowed to buy from a Russian club? Seems quite unlikely. As for the player himself, I’m seeing clubs in Russia are suspending or terminating the contracts of international players, would that be something he might now be pushing for? Just to clarify guys, I’m certainly not viewing this as some sort of benefit. I’m disgusted by what is going on, and if Normann became a free agent I’d imagine he would have plenty of other suitors. It’s just a situation we have literally never seen with regards a loan player at our club.
  6. ahh thats whats been missing. A pinkun poll will like be it, its what the billionaires in the wings have been waiting for, the smoking gun!
  7. No, I have to be honest with myself as a large part of me keeps saying 'this will be the match to turn it around'. Frankly I don't think there is a side worse than us in the league, let alone 3. It is what it is, Im excited for the summer and hopefully an interesting transfer window... sell Max and Todd and then buy some of the best Champ and League one attacking players and then a side with Omo, McCullum, Mumba etc starting to push in. Might add, that line up would see probably a down turn in already poor form... I have no idea why we would want Byram and Dimi in the midfield when we already struggle with actual midfielders.. imagine them against West ham, we'd be smashed.
  8. No. The argument put forward will be that our dip in form is due to injury and covid and that we cant afford it and don't need it. I completely disagree as I believe we STILL need a CDM to play next to Normann and a Striker to challenge Pukki. But I'm resigned to the fact they will stick to their line.
  9. So far my analysis is this on the current summer transfers: Sargent: a good player if he had come through your own academy, puts himself about and adds work rate. However, Norwich were in the market for a striker capable of taking the work load off Pukki and add goals, he has so far threatened to do neither. Again, not a problem if he's 1 million from league 2 and we just want to hedge our bets. But its a serious transfer fee for a club our size and so far, you have to ask, would our season be different if he wasn't here? So far, no. Tzolis: you can see there is a lot of potential there, no doubt we felt we had to act fast to get the jump on other clubs doing so. Yet that sort of answers the question; other 'top sides' who were linked with him appeared to see it as too soon and too big a transition for the lad. I feel for him, I really do, a new climate, league and language isn't easy and then the weight of expectation when he really is a medium to long term prospect for us. So fine, he will come good. Come good in time for us already being in the championship im afraid. That is a luxury a club outside cant afford to take and was something I thought we said we wouldn't be doing. Rashica: The best of the bunch or tied with Normann, but such a slow start to the season. We could see that he had gone off the boil last season and it was going to be a risk, would we get last years Milot or the one from the season before that was linked with Villa and Inter? Jury is out, but it could end up being too little too late. I have no idea if he would be willing to get stuck into a Championship season, I expect him have some sort of release clause to allow for an easier exit. Normann: Equal best along with Rashica, but signed after the season had already started (I understand that was how the chips fell) and so was playing catch up, also his injury record appears true unfortunately. I think there is a quality CM there, but personally I think he needs to be next to a CDM as part of the 2 in a 4-2-3-1. He can do the defensive work to an extent, but I think he really should have been the upgrade on Kenny, rather than our attempt to replace Skipp. PLM: On paper and reputation, sounded logical. What i've seen so far, not good enough to be a premier league player. Not an upgrade on Vrancic or to be honest Rupp. Was expecting much more in terms of forward drive and shots from outside the box, so far nothing stands out, beyond that horrific miss against Newcastle. Kabak: A good player in 2 or 3 years time. Can see why Liverpool didn't get him, too raw and no better than some of their own younger CBs. Right now for us, too much of a liability in many games and showed a lack of maturity that at least Smith appears to have stamped out partially. Not a first choice at the moment. Gilmour: good player but the wrong fit for Norwich; filled a hole we didn't have and now our attempt to make it work is exposing the failings of the whole squad. Isnt a CDM and isn't a number 10. Feel for the lad but then again, he will go back to Chelsea and this will just be an uncomfortable memory for him. Gunn; seems a sentimental luxury, if its 2 million.. thats 2 million too much when we should hung on to Nyland or whatever he was called for free. Who would I have got? Chair from QPR as the like for like of Buendia, we could have got him I think for the same price as Tzolis and as part of the McCullum loan deal there. Ajer: I know he's injured now, but I think he would have been an upgrade and one ready to go in the top flight, big, strong and progressive in the pass. We want him, but decided we'd rather use the extra 4 million on PLM and get relegated I guess. Billing: there is the goal and forward thrust from midfield. He's now having a blinder and would cost more than the 15 million Michael Bailey seems to think we could have gotten him for. A massive 'what if' Im afraid, I'd trade the signing of Rashica, PLM and Gilmour to be honest. Armstrong or Roofe; Legitmate competition for Pukki, both can score and both could take Pukki's place. Would have cost a fair old whack, but its exactly what we needed to do. Pukki is getting older and we still haven't solved the problem we have had since 2018. Hammer- CDM, an actual CDM. 5 Players: each between 8-20 million. It would have required a gamble or potentially selling max too, but not beyond the realms of possibility. Unfortunately we did the playing it safer gamble and its blowing up in our face.
  10. I don't think I'm at the point where Im calling for his head, however I need to hear him answering some serious questions about this summer and how we went about identifying the targets we landed.
  11. To say your disappointed is to suggest you believe another manger could get a tune out of this lot? I just don’t believe it at the moment. He needs to be given some resources to try and get a side together in Jan, but if we are to believe what some in the local media have been said, that doesn’t seem likely. That’s us down I’m afraid.
  12. Give a top Chef bad ingredients and they will struggle to make a good meal. You have to feel a little for Farke to be honest, we know he's a good manager but really he's now had two goes at the top flight with teams not good enough. It's as simple as that, we don't have enough players that are top flight quality; Krul, Normann and Pukki (and in form Aarons) everyone else is either playing well under their potential, like Todd, or probably the maximum of their potential like Hanley but just aren't good enough to be a solid mid table Prem player which is what we need them to be. Hard to dig out Smith. Had no part in the transfer market that has built this squad, heck we can either say we know he likes Buendia! He's got a team that is currently 20th on merit. I hate to say it, I love the club and I want the players to succeed, but that is where we are.
  13. HAHAHAHAHAH Sorry. They will be linked with everyone and anyone, especially the journey men of the upper levels. Its not going to work out like that for them, and much like Man City they will have to build a foundation and show some upward mobility before they can convince big hitters to turn up. What any player arriving will know is, yes they will be on a huge wage but they won't be playing European football next season (or this) in the lead up to a world cup, and could potentially even end up spending a season in the Championship. You wait, they will be linked with many top top players, but the reality will be people like Barkley etc, those mid tier players who will fill the void of the next 2-3 years before they really lift off. Personally I hope they fall flat on their faces haha.
  14. I think Huckerby made some good points on the most recent Ontheball podcast about this issue. Ultimately we have a striker in Pukki who is capable at this level, and with the correct service could get us 10-15 goals at this level. Loosing Buendia, Vrancic and Stieperman has left us with just Dowel still in that central number 10 position and its becoming clear that Pukki isnt as effective with service from our current wingers. Ultimately we could raise a question mark against all of our signings so far, I don't think there has been a single one who has come in and nailed down a spot for us like Skipp did for example. If we are to get to the end of the season and thinks haven't improved its going to be a serious question over how we have gone about spending a record fee. Now don't get me wrong, I still desperately want them to come good, but a club of our size doesn't have the luxury of time and relegation is such a huge gamble, there are no promises of promotion and we will have to try again without Skipp, Buendia, maybe Todd and a Pukki who is only getting older. My biggest questions would be if I had an interview with Webber: 1. At the start of the summer we were told we would be getting less bodies in but looking to bring in those who would increase the overall quality of the squad, why did that change? We signed 11 players I believe and some are only making the bench? 2. Why didn't we sign a back up for Pukki and send Idah on loan? 3. If players such as Tzolis and Sargent are 'ones for the future', why are we spending a good part of 20 million on players who might have to be trying to dig us out of the Championship. If they are for the future then they aren't ready for the fight of a team in the bottom 4 of the Prem. What is the logic of that? They will be good enough just in time for it to be too late. 4. Why didn't we sign a CDM, a mobile defensive focused player who sole job is to protect the back four. Skipp did it brilliantly and Tetty was that no thrills player that could do that. Normann isnt that player, he's more progressive yes, but no where near as mobile as Skipp nor do the hard boring work of Tetty. Normann is the sort of player who should be next to Skipp, not replacing.... 5. Which leads me to Gilmour. A talented excellent footballer, who will no doubt have a great career in the game. BUT he isnt a CDM and he isn't a number 10. In my opinion he's a luxury player that a side in our position cant benefit from. He will be great for sides that have lots of possession but that isnt us. We needed a CDM, we could have even kept Mario if the right CDM had come in.
  15. Very very risky. They need a motivator and someone who commands respect from what appears a side massively underachieving. Just not so sure they will find that, but you never know.
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