I have to admit that, all in all, I’m quite satisfied with our transfer window dealings and our start to the season.
It was a shame to lose Pilks, but from the rumours that circulated around that time, it appeared that his heart really wasn’t in it. If it is true that he had been angling for a move for over a season, then cashing in when he has just one year left on his contract is a good bit of business. With Redmond and Murphy also challenging for his favoured position I think his opportunities would have been rather limited this season even if he was able to stay injury fit.
Snodgrass and Fer were always going to leave. Always. Snodgrass will be a big loss down that right hand side, and with only Elliot Bennet for cover I wonder if we will find ourselves short on that side later in the season. There has been a lot of criticism towards Snodgrass for slowing down play, or failing to convert some good chances, but I suspect a lot of that was due to Hughtons cautious approach to attacking. That and Snodgrass’ lack of pace! Regardless, he will be a loss for us. And sadly he will also be a big loss for Hull after that horror tackle from Joey Barton on his return to the big boys league. It was good to see so many Norwich fans wishing him well.
As for Fer, at least we had a world cup goal scorer, eh! One for the record books. I wonder whether he would have had the heart for Rotherham (A) on a cold Tuesday night? I think he could have done a bit better than QPR too. I would have preferred to see him go to a slightly more progressive club like Southampton.
Surman had a very good pre-season and there was serious talk of fresh terms on the table so I was a bit disappointed when he moved on. I can fully understand why he has though. Our midfield is our strongest position, and he really would have struggled to push his way in on a regular basis I feel. Then, If we found ourselves playing the elite again next season, I think he would have been in the same situation he was under Hughton, shipped out on loan to a mid table championship team. I’m sure Eddie Howe will get the best out of Surman at Bournemouth and there he will thrive as one of their bigger fish. Best of luck to him.
Ricky. Where to start! For a moment or two there I really thought he was going to stay and stick it out. His record last year was bad. Really bad. But he IS a quality player. I hope that shows through on his year at St Etienne, although I’m calling it now, I doubt we’ll see him in a yellow shirt again. It’s a shame, I had such high hopes for that boy! We all did, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. I think perhaps again, Mr Hughton has to take a bit of the responsibility for that one. He played him through the pain barrier at the start of last season, which let to his mid term layoff towards christmas after which he seemed like a lost child in a crowd of very strange grownups. Then he persisted with him even though he was bang out of form, only draining his confidence further. I also think that perhaps the club put a bit too much pressure on the lad but milking the ‘highest transfer fee ever’ and ‘beware of the wolf’ campaigns. That all said, it shouldn’t have mattered. He should have buried some of his chances. He should have been provided with more chances but his team mates. Nothing we can do about it now.
Becchio is a curious case. But I always thought he looked sloppy when he was on the pitch for us. Living in Leeds I have heard a lot of stories about Becchio being woeful with his feet, but being fantastic in the air. The biggest criticsm leeds fans have of becchio though, is that he was only ever any good when the defender was tight to him. When he was given that extra half yard, like in the premier league, he was too sloppy to use it and the defender invariably mopped up the mess and cleared the danger. I hope he finds his scoring boots at Rotherham.
If Seb really did say ‘are we supposed to know who you are?!’ after the squad were introduced to Adams for the first time, then a huge credit should go to Neeyul for being string enough to relegate him to the reserves. Now is not the time for people with egos and bad attitudes. He hasn’t gone because clearly no one wants him. If he can sort his head out then he would be an asset in this league, but I suspect that he will stick it out in the b team and leave on loan or in january
We’ve signed well. I think we have been astute and it looks as though we have paid out less that we received. That’s good business anytime, but particularly after relegation, providing the new recruits perform.
Cuellar has had a sloppy start, but he lacks match practise. He will be a solid backup. He wont be the last defender in the world to score an own goal on his debut! I thin Miguel could go either way, he could be a goliath, or he could be an Ayala. We need to see him play to judge that one. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping it’s the former.
Jos Hoovield will be a very good player at this level I suspect alongside turner and Miguel, Ryan bennet will have his work cut out after his return from injury to force his way back into the team. I suspect his signing signals the return of martin in RB, which may be no bad thing.
O’Neill will provide some experience and a calm head to our midfield when called upon. I think that is essential, and he has looked good during his brief cameos so far.
Thompson and McGrandles I had never heard of, but appear to be ones for the future. I hope they develop well and can force their way into the team like Murphy, rather than stagnate and leave like Butterfield.
Lafferty looks good, and has good presence. I’m not sure he would cope too well a division further up the ladder though. But he is definitely a good option to have around the place. I wonder whether he really is the ‘uncontrollable womaniser’ he was portrayed to be, or if tat was just a line to appease the fans of his former employers. Either way, warn your daughter if she off out to riverside!
Grabban. 5 in 5. Don’t really need to say any more than that. Great to have him with us, I hope his form continues.
I think keeping the likes of hooper, redmond, ruddy, olsson, tettey and howson have also been crucial. We have a very solid squad at the moment, and let hope our current form continues.
And what has happened to johnson! He was a bit of a liability at the top table, but the championship he seems to glide through. Good on him. I think he will be up there for player of the season again if he continues in this rich vein of form.
So far Adams is proving the critics wrong. He has got the points on the board from a tough start to the season and we are one of the early pace setters. Cardiff (a) will be a real test and I hope that we are able to get at least a point out of that game. We owe them one for last season! I’ve been impressed with his substitutions, the return of last minute foals and his willingness to experiment when things aren’t going to well. (3 at the back at wolves, anyone? That was a Lambert move!) I really hope he can be successful for us!
Anyway, works almost finished, so I’m off to the pub. Happy Friday everyone!