I’ve noticed a few comments recently suggesting that we have a “one in-one out” transfer policy. Is it folly to expect anything else?
Over the course of the summer there have been a number of articles detailing just how close we are to having a full squad. People bemoan our “thin” squad and our “lack of numbers”, but once again I will go through it and show that it is anything but thin on numbers.
I maintain that our problem isn’t a lack of numbers – our squad is bigger than Chelsea’s squad for example. Our problem is that there is a lack of balance in some areas and a lack of quality in others. With our 25-man squad already full it leaves our hands tied until players are moved on.
So far, players who have to be registered this season include:
Tim Krul, Steve Harper, Fraser Forster, Danny Simpson, Ryan Taylor, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, James Perch, Wayne Routledge, Joey Barton, Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith, Jonas Gutierrez, Sylvain Marveaux, Hatem Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi, Leon Best, Demba Ba, Peter Lovenkrands, Xisco.
I make that 24 so far, which leaves us just one empty space in the squad. People will point towards a goalkeeper leaving and maybe Wayne Routledge, but aren’t those the kind of players we want replaced anyway? Are they not deadwood now? Jose Enrique is a different matter of course, but he might not go yet. Put it this way, clubs aren’t beating down the door for him at the moment are they?
Others like Alan Smith and Xisco are naturally going to sit out their lucrative contracts. Wouldn’t you? They are showing just how hard it is to force someone out the door when they don’t want to go and if anyone thinks that Ashley likes having them around and paying them a fortune for essentially doing nothing (that includes being left out of the 25-man squad) then I’d also guess that they are a sandwich short of a picnic.
There is still a lot of moves that can be made to our squad to make it better, but it’s going to take time. We aren’t going to get a full compliment of 25 starters, much like any team doesn’t have a full 25-man squad of players who could start every week, even Manchester United are included in that! Be realistic.
So one in and one out? Maybe, but it also has to be that way. I’m sure we could all think of many ways to improve the squad but the fact is that players have to go before they can be replaced.
See what I mean?