I read an article in The Chronicle earlier which basically sounded like a PR exercise from the club.
The basic point behind it was sound enough, but I didn’t like the way Lee Ryder went about it. I’m sure he’s not bothered, after all he is paid to do what most of us bloggers do for free!
Anyway the whole point of the article was using stats to show how great our new signings have been and how they have overshadowed the previous stalwarts who helped us survive in the league and got us halfway to where we are now. A bit unfair I thought, almost like an “I told you so” kind of article.
The fact is that without the likes of Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Andy Carroll, we wouldn’t be in the Europa League now. Granted not many of them would get into our current starting line up right now, but at the time these were our best players who had gone within a whisker of getting us a top-half finish on our return to the Premier League. For that I will never slate them.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I’m sure that some of the departed players now wish they had the benefit of using it, but they’ve moved on, either by force or by want – whichever you believe, and so should everyone else rather than using it as a petty points scoring exercise.
When you look back there was a reason why people were so glum at the departure of these players, and that was because they were some of our best players at the time, and losing your best players is rarely a good thing. Whilst I never doubted the quality we brought in, I still can’t help but feel that we’ve been lucky in the way that they’ve gelled and performed. Nobody could have second guessed that at the time.
So would I have any of them back going by what I know now? Probably not, but I also won’t be slating them any more as they played a vital role in where we are today.
Others should do the same…