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  1. Interestingly Izzy Brown has just announced his retirment at the age of 26 after suffering from two ruptured achilles. Given Hanley's age, this has the potential to be much worse than simply 9 months out. Even if he recovers, he may never be the same as he was before. With Gibson out of contract next summer and also increasingly injury prone, the CB position is clearly going to be critical for us next season, whatever leage we are in.
  2. Some thoughts: 1. I am not sure he went for £15M as it appears that this was the net cash settlement with Obafemi (vlaued at £6M) going the other way. It looks like Obafemi is not thrilled by this prospect, which may force Southampton to cough up the extra cash. Certainly Blackburn were adamant that they would not sell for less than £20M given the 40% sell on clause to Newcastle. 2. He is completely unproven in the EPL. Many a highly valued EFL striker has struggled with the step up (Tammy Abraham, Che Adams, Neal Maupay, Ollie McBurnie, Jordan Rhodes, Karlan Grant). The main exception has been Ollie Watkins. Sargent is clearly a risk too, but perhaps less so given his Bundesliga experience and much lower fee. 3. He is only 5'8". He would need blistering pace to make it in the EPL. Put another way, I can think of very few short strikers that have made it at the top level in England (Michael Owen, Tony Cottee). 4. Perhaps most importantly, his game is very similar to Pukki who would still expect to play at least 70 minutes of very game if fit. Whilst this would make sense in terms of continuity, it would mean have £15M-£20M sitting on the bench. A club like Norwich simply cant afford for this as we need to maximise the quality of the starting 11.
  3. Bethnal, Oh dear - final qualifying game not until 26th August. Perhaps that explains the line being fed to MFW by the club about Tzolis taking time, although Sexy Bennett appeared to dispute this.
  4. Also, Thursday's tie for PAOK only potentially gets them through to the next round of qualifying and not the main competition. If they beat Bohemians they then have to play the winner of Hibs or Rijeka (featuring a certain Josip Drmic).
  5. In relation to PAOK, ECL is the Europa Conference League. This is the new competition which Spurs are in and is way less lucrative than the European Champions League, let alone the Europa League. The main prize for the winner of the Europa Conference League is automatic qualification for the Europa League - so not a huge draw for leading clubs who are aiming to qualify for these tournaments by right of their domestic league position. I would be surprised if this is the real reason for the hold up of Tzolis.
  6. [quote user="Branston Pickle"]There was mention of this on the pinkun commentary last night - Michael Bailey(?) seemed to think he was in the last year of his contract at WHU so it might not be an issue, would be up to us and him if he stayed; even if he was then going into the final year you''d think the fee would be small in comparison to many.[/quote]Branston,His contract expires June 2017. So, if we were interested come the summer and he wanted to come, we should be in a good position to secure him for a decent fee. However, as the Brady situation demonstrated, it is a seller''s market at the moment. The key is the player expressing to his host club that he will only play for us.
  7. Mrs M,Apparently, it was Koulibaly himself, who saw us as a backward step, rather than Napoli that was the problem. See the link below.http://www.football-italia.net/73046/koulibaly-talks-norwich
  8. An update - fills in some of the gaps in what we already know.http://www.football-italia.net/73046/koulibaly-talks-norwich
  9. Weston,I suggest you actually watch the goal on you tube rather than relying upon a journalist to get his facts right. It was quite clearly our Russ who failed to clear the header. In fact, he simply failed to jump whereas the player he was marking did! Addmittedly the scorer took his chance well. Don''t believe everything you read in the press!
  10. The logic of not splitting up an established partnership makes sense IF it is working. However, we are already averaging 2 goals against per game. All of the relegated teams last year conceded fewer than this (both Burnely and Hull less than 1.4 per game), so unless we are going to all out gung-ho for goals and try to outscore the opposition, we need to do some different at the back.
  11. Highland,I was there too on Sunday and completely agree. Whittaker looked like he had concrete in his boots and Tadic isn''t an out and out speed merchant. Wisdom looked good going forward, but does not convince me as a defender. As for Martin, he cant compete in the air, lacks any pace and lacks positional awareness. Bassong is good enough and I think it is time for Bennett to be given his chance. After all, AN keeps saying that he picks the team on form and if players keep making mistakes, they wont play. Martin hasn''t played well for ages, and that includes the run in at the end of the season.Nigel,We are shipping too many goals. Southampton were off key until they scored and they made us look completely wooden. We are conceding two goals a game at present and we haven''t yet played any of the top teams. We cant afford to need to score 3 goals per game on average to survive. Something has to change, although I appreciate that our rotation options are limited after yesterday. We look OK on the left hand side when Olsson returns, but we are wide open exposed on our right flank, especially when Redmond plays. Opposition teams will quickly work this out and exploit our weakness, particularly when they can deploy pace.
  12. Highland,I think you are probably in the minority of fans who think this. He is a average RB, which is a much less critical position than CB in terms of conceding goals. If he is undropable as seems, I would pragmatically like to see him shifted back to RB rather than endure him at CB. I still can understand why Bennett is not preferred, especially as he is more commanding in the air which is where Martin looks really exposed (Pelle terrorised him).
  13. Yes, but undergoing a long rehabilitation from surgery and probably wont come to us as he left Villa seeking a bigger club. He is first choice CB for one of the best international teams in the world.
  14. I am no Martin fan either, but surely the success of our team is not dependent upon keeping Gordon Strachan happy. At some point AN is going to realise that he has to make a change - it may just take a few more 0-3 results or worse. Bournemouth provides AN with the opportunity to have the RB or nothing ''wee chat'' with him.
  15. First steps,Then your only alternative is to drop Martin completely, play Bennett at CB and Wisdom at RB. This was pretty much the team against Rotherham (Olsson''s absence excepted). I cant see AN dropping Martin, no matter how bad he plays, but by moving him to RB it is at least diplomatic.
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