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    Blakey
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    Post  Blakey on Fri 10 May 2019, 5:55 am

    Just my own thoughts ahead of the transfer window. 




    Noble is an enigma. He can have games like Southampton where he does everything right and then next game he can revert to Mr Sideways pass. I really don't know what the answer is with him. It's obvious he cannot play every game and needs to be rested every 3 or 4. Like Southampton, he can start to fade in the second half and will need to be substituted. If, and it's a big if, we can keep Wheelchair fit, then I don't think we need to worry too much. Wheelchair will be a good addition for the attacking side of the game, he has such a footballing brain he has become less reliant on pace. It was good to see Carlos Sanchez get a run out yesterday and I thought he played well. There's your DM cover. I'm not sure if either Wheelchair or Sanchez will be able to play every game but they are certainly nice options to have. 

    I think Obiang will go back to Italy this summer, he expressed a desire to move in January and was persuaded to stay, (besides no bids reaching our valuation were received). So at present, either Wheelchair or Sanchez will need to step up and fill that gap. 

    As for the forward line, Carroll has gone, his time with us is over, as posted on Instagram by his missus. Perez will go, although his stats, goals / games, is good, he really hasn't done anything to make a good case for keeping him. Hernandez does not and never will fit our style of football. Yes, he's scored goals but when he's on his own up front, a position he cannot play, we are effectively down to 10 men. I think the only member of the forward line that will remain is Arnautovic, and he's a midfielder! Antonio has come on in leaps and bounds but also blows hot and cold. That Spurs goal was amazing, such composure in the build up and precision in the finish. He cannot do that week in week out though. I like the lad and hope he stays, he is a natural powerhouse that creates problems for the defence. 

    As I've seen written elsewhere, I think RB is well covered. Fredericks first choice with Zabaletta and Johnson backing him up. I think Byram will be let go if there is any interest. LB is another matter. Cresswell, not consistent enough for me and Masuaku, who isn't a LB but has shown he can play there, I do worry when he does though. That area needs addressing, yes, Johnson can play there but it's not his natural or favoured position. I think if a decent offer comes in for Masuaku, he will go. Especially if it's to play left mid rather than left back. 

    Centre backs we have Balbuena and Diop who have been superb. Balbuena, in my opinion, was the find of the summer. Quality, quality player that brings a calmness to the backline and allows Diop to flourish. Ogbonna, you never know what your going to get with him. He can be, as he has recently, very good. But, he can also be very bad. I believe if an offer is received near our valuation, he will go. 

    Reid. Winston Reid. What to do about Winston Reid. He is still contracted to us until 2023, his agent must be laughing all the way to the bank. He has not kicked a ball since March 2018, rumoured to be able to return to the first team in June 2019. If it was me, I'd get rid of him sharpish. I'd even consider paying him off! He's 31 in July, not played competitive football of any sort for 14 months, has had a back injury that has affected other areas of his body, like his knees. It's affected his knees as his body has sort to compensate for the back injury and he's moved and put undue pressure & strain on the knees and hips. I don't think he will be in the squad next season, a further injury in pre season will keep him out. He has to seriously look at either retirement or doing a Winston Bogarde. I hope it's the former.

    Yarmalenko I really can't say much about. I don't think he'd fully hit his stride before the season ending injury. He was starting to show just what he is capable of and I liked what I saw. However, it'll be back to square one for him in pre season. 

    Grady Diangana. I'm not sure about him. He has the tricks, he does like to demonstrate his close ball control. He is far too lightweight though and easily knocked off the ball. When using his pace he can be electric but has, so far as I've seen, no real end product. The precision cross, defence splitting pass etc are all missing. He needs to be more aware of where his team mates are and how they are likely to react to his runs. At the moment I'd put him in the same stable as Toni Martinez, showing promise but not quite there yet. Perhaps another season in the first team will do him good and bring him up to where he should be. He does need to bulk up though, if he stays as lightweight as he is, he's not going to be able to cut it. He will also have the pressure of Nathan Holland and Connor Coventry breathing down his neck for their oportunity. If they get it, I'm sure they'll grab it with both hands. 

    Manuel Lanzini. I'll go out on a limb here, I've never really seen what all the fuss was about. To quote Eric Idle, he's not the messiah. He can, on a good day, be totally unplayable, everything he does, works. Those days are not often enough for me. LIke Grady, he is too lightweight and easily shrugged off the ball. He regularly gives the ball away, far too often for my liking, by trying to play a pass that just isn't on or over hits it. He has the skill set, he can score goals, he is an assett to the team. However, if he's having one of his regular off days, MP needs to recognise that early and make the change at half time. We have Anderson now who has all the tricks that Lanzini does. He's had is bedding in season in the Premier League and from what I've seen, he is now, (over the last 4 or 5 games), starting to play like a premiership player. I think we will see much more of him next season than we have this. A full pre season with the squad and perhaps some one to one coaching will really bring him to the fore. Lanzini probably needs the pre season to get back some of his lost form. His injury has certainly affected him and he was back much sooner than I expected. Next season will be make or break for Lanzini. Can he step his consistency up? Will he be able to raise his game to partner Anderson in a really effective manner? These are the questions that will be answered next season. 

    It is also no secret that Adrian will leave in the summer so a backup for Fabianski is a must.

    Looking forward, I think we all know that the transfer budget will have to be boosted heavily by player sales and trimming the wage bill. I think that with MP and Mr Husillios we have a good recruitment team. I would think that they have already identified the area's for prime improvement and submitted a list of targets to DS. I think Mr Husillios's knowledge of the European and South American leagues will be of benefit to us. I expect a lot of "Who?" when we sign players. But look at Balbuena, he cost peanuts and has proved to be instrumental in making the defensive line work.

    So, that's at least one Goalkeeper, CB and LB, a DM and AM plus at least 2 strikers of good quality required. I would like to think that MP and his recruitment team have submitted a list of targets to the board. We won't have a big budget and player sales and trimming the wage bill will be priority to add to the base line. If, big if, the club stick to the policy of younger players on lower wages we could be ok for the next few seasons. I know the Meedja will link us to every player that MP has managed over the years that are being released & looking for a last pay day. I'd like to think those days are gone and we've learned from Carroll and Wheelchair to properly look at injury history before signing players.

    I won't say I'm looking forward to the transfer window, I never do. It will still be full of 2 + 2 = 7 journalism, linking players with the most tenuous of threads. Season 2019/20 though, I am thoroughly looking forward to. Fresh faces to brighten the place up. Less players on the treatment table, that would be a huge bonus, something that in my opinion has cost us dearly this season. Onwards and upwards. 
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    Arran
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    Post  Arran on Sat 11 May 2019, 7:05 am

    Pretty much agree with everything you have mentioned. The only thing I don`t agree with is what you have said about Reid-hopefully he gets given a chance to prove himself in pre-season.

    The other player I really hope we offer a new deal to is Nasri - He has looked class when he has played and lets be honest he`s shown that he can still play at the highest level....yeah he has had injuries but thats to be expected considering how long out the game he was. Give him a full proper pre-season under his belt and he`ll be ready for the new season and he`ll get more chance to really settle down and form partnerships with our squad.

    Adrian is another one I hope doesn`t go in the summer as we wont get a better back keeperpersonally as good as Adrian and not just that but he understands the passion us fans have for the club which is why he`s a fan favourate and would be a big disappointed to see him leave especially on a free.
    Blakey
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    Post  Blakey on Sun 12 May 2019, 9:43 am

    Arran wrote:Pretty much agree with everything you have mentioned. The only thing I don`t agree with is what you have said about Reid-hopefully he gets given a chance to prove himself in pre-season.

    The other player I really hope we offer a new deal to is Nasri - He has looked class when he has played and lets be honest he`s shown that he can still play at the highest level....yeah he has had injuries but thats to be expected considering how long out the game he was. Give him a full proper pre-season under his belt and he`ll be ready for the new season and he`ll get more chance to really settle down and form partnerships with our squad.

    Adrian is another one I hope doesn`t go in the summer as we wont get a better back keeperpersonally as good as Adrian and not just that but he understands the passion us fans have for the club which is why he`s a fan favourate and would be a big disappointed to see him leave especially on a free.


    Reid, will not play for the first team again. If he does, he'll just get injured again. His agent should be commended on negotiating such a good deal for him. With his back problem, further injury to his knees, ankles and hips are only a jog, turn, slip away. If we could sell him, I'd be amazed. He's not likely to retire before his contract expires unless a a payoff is offered. If he was a horse, they'd have shot him months ago.

    Nasri has played in 6 games since January. 6 games. He has shown touches of skill and that he hasn't lost his footballing brain. However, 6 appearances of less than 90 minutes in 4 1/2 months does not show that he can still cut it in the Premiership. He had the equivalent of a pre season in the 6 weeks he was training with us before his ban expired & we could sign him. I really think his best options are either Italy or Spain. It was a nice try but it hasn't really worked out. 

    Adrian has expressed a desire to move on to pastures new. His contract expires in June and he's been not been offered a new deal. Quite rightly in my opinion. It is time he went, I think we've seen the best of him. Although last season he was an improvement on Hart, that really isn't a recommendation. We have Nathan Trott coming through, he is the future and will understudy Fabianski. I believe the club feel he needs another season with the U23's before joining the First XI permanently. He may make bench appearances from time to time. There are a plethora of goalkeepers available that will happily be a No2 to fabianski. Both Tom Heaton and Nick Pope of Burnley will be available this summer. I think it was only injuries that let Hart keep the No1 jersey there as he has shown just how average he is. 

    Adrian has been a magnificent club servent and I would thank him and wish him well for his future, where ever that lies.
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    Arran
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    Post  Arran on Mon 13 May 2019, 8:05 pm

    Blakey wrote:
    Arran wrote:Pretty much agree with everything you have mentioned. The only thing I don`t agree with is what you have said about Reid-hopefully he gets given a chance to prove himself in pre-season.

    The other player I really hope we offer a new deal to is Nasri - He has looked class when he has played and lets be honest he`s shown that he can still play at the highest level....yeah he has had injuries but thats to be expected considering how long out the game he was. Give him a full proper pre-season under his belt and he`ll be ready for the new season and he`ll get more chance to really settle down and form partnerships with our squad.

    Adrian is another one I hope doesn`t go in the summer as we wont get a better back keeperpersonally as good as Adrian and not just that but he understands the passion us fans have for the club which is why he`s a fan favourate and would be a big disappointed to see him leave especially on a free.


    Reid, will not play for the first team again. If he does, he'll just get injured again. His agent should be commended on negotiating such a good deal for him. With his back problem, further injury to his knees, ankles and hips are only a jog, turn, slip away. If we could sell him, I'd be amazed. He's not likely to retire before his contract expires unless a a payoff is offered. If he was a horse, they'd have shot him months ago.

    Nasri has played in 6 games since January. 6 games. He has shown touches of skill and that he hasn't lost his footballing brain. However, 6 appearances of less than 90 minutes in 4 1/2 months does not show that he can still cut it in the Premiership. He had the equivalent of a pre season in the 6 weeks he was training with us before his ban expired & we could sign him. I really think his best options are either Italy or Spain. It was a nice try but it hasn't really worked out. 

    Adrian has expressed a desire to move on to pastures new. His contract expires in June and he's been not been offered a new deal. Quite rightly in my opinion. It is time he went, I think we've seen the best of him. Although last season he was an improvement on Hart, that really isn't a recommendation. We have Nathan Trott coming through, he is the future and will understudy Fabianski. I believe the club feel he needs another season with the U23's before joining the First XI permanently. He may make bench appearances from time to time. There are a plethora of goalkeepers available that will happily be a No2 to fabianski. Both Tom Heaton and Nick Pope of Burnley will be available this summer. I think it was only injuries that let Hart keep the No1 jersey there as he has shown just how average he is. 

    Adrian has been a magnificent club servent and I would thank him and wish him well for his future, where ever that lies.

    Disagree with that - Yeah he had a few weeks of training with us before being offered a deal But to compared it to pre-season is wrong really as you can do all the training in the world but you don`t get fitness up unless you play games and that`s what he couldn`t do ...not even for our reserves etc. That`s why he has had the injuries he`s had is because he went 18months without playing competive football to then playing two/three games in a row. Sign him up - give him a year and half deal ... let him have a full proper pre-season under his belt and he`ll be fine.
    Blakey
    Blakey
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    Post  Blakey on Tue 14 May 2019, 5:12 am

    Arran wrote:
    Blakey wrote:
    Arran wrote:Pretty much agree with everything you have mentioned. The only thing I don`t agree with is what you have said about Reid-hopefully he gets given a chance to prove himself in pre-season.

    The other player I really hope we offer a new deal to is Nasri - He has looked class when he has played and lets be honest he`s shown that he can still play at the highest level....yeah he has had injuries but thats to be expected considering how long out the game he was. Give him a full proper pre-season under his belt and he`ll be ready for the new season and he`ll get more chance to really settle down and form partnerships with our squad.

    Adrian is another one I hope doesn`t go in the summer as we wont get a better back keeperpersonally as good as Adrian and not just that but he understands the passion us fans have for the club which is why he`s a fan favourate and would be a big disappointed to see him leave especially on a free.


    Reid, will not play for the first team again. If he does, he'll just get injured again. His agent should be commended on negotiating such a good deal for him. With his back problem, further injury to his knees, ankles and hips are only a jog, turn, slip away. If we could sell him, I'd be amazed. He's not likely to retire before his contract expires unless a a payoff is offered. If he was a horse, they'd have shot him months ago.

    Nasri has played in 6 games since January. 6 games. He has shown touches of skill and that he hasn't lost his footballing brain. However, 6 appearances of less than 90 minutes in 4 1/2 months does not show that he can still cut it in the Premiership. He had the equivalent of a pre season in the 6 weeks he was training with us before his ban expired & we could sign him. I really think his best options are either Italy or Spain. It was a nice try but it hasn't really worked out. 

    Adrian has expressed a desire to move on to pastures new. His contract expires in June and he's been not been offered a new deal. Quite rightly in my opinion. It is time he went, I think we've seen the best of him. Although last season he was an improvement on Hart, that really isn't a recommendation. We have Nathan Trott coming through, he is the future and will understudy Fabianski. I believe the club feel he needs another season with the U23's before joining the First XI permanently. He may make bench appearances from time to time. There are a plethora of goalkeepers available that will happily be a No2 to fabianski. Both Tom Heaton and Nick Pope of Burnley will be available this summer. I think it was only injuries that let Hart keep the No1 jersey there as he has shown just how average he is. 

    Adrian has been a magnificent club servent and I would thank him and wish him well for his future, where ever that lies.

    Disagree with that - Yeah he had a few weeks of training with us before being offered a deal But to compared it to pre-season is wrong really as you can do all the training in the world but you don`t get fitness up unless you play games and that`s what he couldn`t do ...not even for our reserves etc. That`s why he has had the injuries he`s had is because he went 18months without playing competive football to then playing two/three games in a row. Sign him up - give him a year and half deal ... let him have a full proper pre-season under his belt and he`ll be fine.

    A pre season is more than just playing a few friendlies. He had 6 weeks of intensive fitness training and training games. He really isn't worth the risk, especially at a reported £70K a week basic plus add ons. That money can be better spent elsewhere. 

    You have to remember we only took a punt on Nasri due to injuries to Wheelchair, Yarmolenko and Sanchez. We now have those three back from the treatment room, working towards next season. Wheelchair has looked good when he's come on in the last couple of games. Still has the vision and skill, I see no need for Nasri.

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