Steve Bruce insisted during the whole of January that he didn’t want to sign another striker for the sake of it – but a few days on and he’s bemoaning his lack of options up top.
Bruce says ‘it would be lovely to be in a position to rotate them’ and wishes he ‘had the luxury of changing things’ in attack. Is he forgetting the fact he had the chance to do this just a few days ago?
Here’s his concerning comments about Joelinton and Almiron’s energy levels:
“Look, with the problems that we’ve had – and I don’t want to highlight it – you can see with Joe in particular and with Almiron over the last two or three weeks, it would be lovely to be in a position where I could rotate them a little bit.”
“They’ve played every minute, practically, of every game and I haven’t got the luxury now of changing anything at that end of the pitch to give us a little bit of a spark.”
I know he set the bar high – which is good to hear to an extent – but it was never going to take much to improve our options up top when Joelinton is struggling badly, Carroll can’t stay fit, Gayle ditto (and he doesn’t fit the system) and Muto – well, he just hasn’t look up to it at this level so far, so can he REALLY be considered an option to lead the line?
Bruce is bemoaning his lack of options up top, but he also rejected the chance to sign Cenk Tosun – who might’ve struggled at Everton but would’ve automatically become one of our best strikers had he signed.
Giroud was clearly targeted and AC Milan’s Piatek heavily linked, but were we ever in with a real chance of getting either?
He’s clearly gambling on the fact Carroll, Gayle and Muto could all be fit for our next Premier League match at Arsenal a week on Sunday, but that trio are injury prone, unreliable and have managed 1 goal between them all season. Let’s be honest, it’s not like we needed to sign a world beater last month to improve our current options – not forgetting the fact a mew arrival may have lifted some of the heavy weight resting on Joelinton’s young shoulders.
Signing a few talented wing-backs and Nabil Bentaleb certainly helps – but it’s not going to solve what’s been our biggest issue all season (scoring goals!) if we continue to set up as we did on Saturday.
Working hard, getting men behind the ball, hoofing it long or passing it to Saint-Maximin and hoping for the best may have worked up until now, but our inability to improve our options up top could be a costly one – especially for a physically and mentally drained Joelinton.