Date: 9th May 2013 at 1:14pm
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speculation Thursday

Just thought I’d keep the plates spinning by bringing you another insert while you twiddle your thumbs waiting for the new season.

As I have said, this is my favourite time of year. Not only in the Gregorian Calender-year but also in the football calender-year, too.
I know, I know, there’s little-to-no football. And I call myself a football fan? It’s weird, I understand that, but the summertime is when the promise of the next season starts to happen. Plus, transfers happen. Lots of transfers. Transfers all over the country, in every division. I follow them all. I look on in envy at Premier League transfers. I get jealous when one of our Championship rivals lands a coup. I even keep an eye on the European market moves. I love it! For me, it’s the equivalent of sitting in the airport with your new footy-shirt on, waiting to board your flight for that lads holiday. Does the holiday ever live up to what’s running through your mind at that moment? Sometimes, I guess. But the excitement as you look out on that big bird, sipping on a San Miguel is the feeling that’s building in me now. My hands are shaking just writing this… OK, maybe not but you get my point.

My head is spinning at the moment, imagining the possible incomings which may materialise. Of course, my shopping list is realistic, taking into account the club’s current position, financial clout and prospects for the future. The clear-out has already started at ground-zero with 7 of our development squad cut from the club. But were those players cut because they couldn’t make an impact in the Championship? Or, were they cut because with the Premier League our target, they didn’t stand a chance? It may have been neither. In all probability, the boys’ progress may have been slower than advertised so they can become someone else’s hobby. But if you were Dougie Freedam, would you be shopping for Premier League standard products to fill our shelves or would you buy Championship at wholesale to get us out of this league?
As I write, Dougie has revealed 2 new signings will be announced within the next 24 hours- a striker and a defender. There’s a lot of people speculating Jermaine Beckford is the mystery marksman. I for one hope it’s not. But Jermaine Beckford is the personification of what I’m wondering. Should our manager be looking for Championship players to blast us out of the Championship? Jermaine has already had a shot at the big-time. Was he successful? I honestly don’t know. He’s not there now and he’s this side of 30, so I would have to say, no. If Dougie has gone after the Leicester striker, you would have to assume he’s going for Championship standard who know the terrain of this league and can lead the way to the exit door.

Of course this is still all speculation, but very soon the incomings will be reality. Would you be happy with Beckford? I personally would prefer his team-mate at Huddersfield, James Vaughan, who is younger, hungrier and would bring the ‘lightening’ to Craig Davies’ ‘thunder’. What do you think? Who would you target? What type of player would you covert? Fringe, untested Premiership players, or tried and tested Championship thoroughbreds? David, it’s over to you…


26 Replies to “BWFC: Twiddling Thumbs…”

  • In response to Aussie Mike’s question yesterday, this is since the start of the 2010/11 season until the present day, notwithstanding the two forthcoming arrivals. Arrivals: Medo, Cian Bolger, Craig Davies, Andy Lonergan, Matthew Mills, Keith Andrews, Joe McKee, Josh Vela, Jay Lynch, Ben Dennis, Adam Blakeman, Gregg Wylde, Marvin Sordell, Tim Ream, David N’Gog, Chris Eagles, Tyrone Mears, Nigel Reo-Coker, Darren Pratley, Jack Sampson, Alex McQuade, David Wheater, Tom Eaves, Marcos Alonso, Martin Petrov, Robbie Blake, Ivan Klasnic, Joe Riley and Tom Eckersley. Departures: Alex McQuade, Martin Petrov, Sean Davis, Grétar Steinsson, Fabrice Muamba, Tom Eckersley, Mark Connolly, Tope Obadeyi, Jussi Jääskeläinen, Robbie Blake, Rhys Bennett, Nigel Reo-Coker, Ricardo Gardner, Paul Robinson, Ivan Klasnic, Gary Cahill, Tamir Cohen, Joey O’Brien, Matthew Taylor, Danny Ward, Ali Al Habsi, Sam Sheridan, Johan Elmander, Jlloyd Samuel, Riga Mustapha, Andrew O’Brien, Danny *Shittu, Chris Basham, Nicky Hunt, Ricardo Vaz Tê, Chris Stokes and Gavin McCann. According to, which is the most reliable source I know of, the total market value of the arrivals is £10,604,000 less than the total market value of the departures. So we’re apparently that much short of a top half (until the last few games of the 2009/10 season) Premiership side. Personally I find that quite remarkable, as I think replacing the defence with players capable of playing at that level would cost more than that, but who am I to argue – I don’t know the value of every decent defender out there. Finally, I don’t want Beckford (I’d rather have Ariza Makukula back) and I don’t particularly want Vaughan either. Just spend every penny we have on Dawson thanks.

  • Me neither!…I want Dawson AND a striker. Don’t Chelsea still owe us a big favour after getting Cahill for next to nowt! They must have someone who can score goals but can’t get in their team. How about they give us Romelu Lukaku for next season. He might fit the bill!

  • Beckford could be in the Prem next season with Leicster in the play offs. Would be a bad idea to announce it before they even possibly go up.

  • I shall remain utterly depressed and despondent until a good few weeks after the play off final, once all the dust has settled, only when we are within ear shot of the new season kick off will my enthusiasm begin to rekindle. At the moment I wish I could go into self induced hibernation – wake me up when its time and please let the pain and anger leave me. Good job I don’t have a cat as the wife won’t let me kick her ( metaphorically speaking)

  • And so, for what it’s worth, some analysis. Don’t know whether to work forwards or backwards. We finished with a season none of us could have envisaged a few months ago when we were in despair at the wrong end of the table, unable to even buy a point, under OC’s shambolic reign. Turns out Mike was right about getting rid of him last summer and starting afresh with a clean sheet and a few other cliches. The disastrous autumn led us to contemplate a Wolves-style meltdown and we all shared our woes on here. PG finally bit te bullet, sacked OC & brought in DF who, frankly, few of us really wanted; he has, however, done a superb job of turning the club around and proving that what he did at Palace previously was not beginners luck. As a result we all have a belief in a bright future. Which is more than can be said for either QPR or Wolves or, potentially, the Pies (or currently anyone from Stoke down). QPR tipped eye-watering sums of money into Tony Fernandes’ plaything both in terms of transfer fees and salaries resulting in salaries accounting for over 90% of turnover; and for what? To promote Air Asia after his F1 team has failed to secure a single point & had a best finish of 11th. They bought the most expensive and lacklustre squad ever assembled and if I was a fan i would be terrified for next season after the firesale that will have to happen there. Redknapp has a win percentage of 19%; ours is 38%. Wolves, the other object lesson in how not to run a club, could well be on course to match their own unique record of three successive relegations. And how the like of Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland will cope in the Championship, who knows? The Pies, like us I assume, will just scrap it out. I banged on all season about needing a prolific striker. Seems I was wrong as we already had one & that it was about goals conceded. Chris Eagles – most appearances & most goals scored – but best goals per game ratio goes to Marvellous Marvin Sordell. Ngog has failed to cut it at two clubs and seems incapable of hitting a halogen illuminated gentically enhanced cow’s arse with a laser-guided banjo; goodbye seems appropriate but he has no resale value unless some spendthrift Turks fancy a punt. That leaves us with Davies who has had a good season cow’s arse-wise and Eaves who has plenty of youthful potential. However, goals do win games and a striker would be good; Murray, Billy Davies, Gayle, Austin or Vaughan – one or other could do a job at very varying prices. We scored 69 goals, bettered only by 4 teams, but Palace apart they had a 3-times better goal difference suggesting that conceding goals is a greater priority next season; our keepers are not the problem but our dfefence is. Knight was almost ever-present and was much improved but 5 away wins (only 4 teams with worse record) let us down; 14 home wins was brilliant resulting in 48 points (2nd best in the league). We simply conceded too many goals and lost too many points (34) from winning positions – more than any other club even though we had 2nd best record of scoring 1st. I don’t think much change in personnel will happen over the summer; our best players are still recovering from long-term injury (Holden, Wheater, Mavies, Chungy) and so are less than attractive. Alonso may well go for whatever reason but I can’t see any other movement in or out from the current squad. We all know that the club has no dosh to splashon players either. We need to hope that a solid summer & pre-season will revivify our former stars to add to the squad that finished the last season strongly. A name to cheer added would be good as a rallying call a la Frank or Super John as would a commitment to defending higher up the pitch and defending from the front plus, as Fake said, a more scientific approach to management in an Allardyce style. In essence DF is going to be faced with a combination of old and new; old in working with a small budget & fixed squad using coaching nous to get the best from them; new in that the game has moved on science is avalaible to get the most out of the players physically, tactically and psychologically. Got to say I am way more positive than I was this time last year. Final thought – next year’s skipper – got to be a defender or midfielder every time so Wheater or, if we sign him, Spearing. The feeling in the Whites fold is anybody but Zat; this despite him putting in the most minutes for the season and playing above all our expectations but he is still Zat and has yet to win us over!

  • Perhaps we could swap Ngog for a young, hungry, lower-league striker whoknows wherethe onion bag is and would be a worthy wearer of the no.9 shirt? Damn…banging on about goals again!!

  • I think from what we know of DF that he would rather either work to bring through the likes of Eaves, bring in promising young players who he can mould or just work with what he has; especially given our financial circumstances. As I said, he is something of a thoroughly modern manager operating in a past situation and I think it will be the making of him as a manager. Much as Moyes has been schooled in 11 years at Everton. Can’t help thinking we could have been Everton if we had kept, and worked with, Big Sam. Maybe in a few years time if DF sticks around we could be. There are too many “Icarus” managers with ideas above their station; all of them crash and burn.

  • Whatever happens or doesn’t in the closed season I am excited by the thought of next season. Our squad will be what it is despite our speculations but we will have DF at the helm and I think we all agree that that is a good thing.

  • Heavy links with Beckford in the press. If he does come I have a feeling that he will do well. I am interested to see who the defender is too. I would like to see us go for some lower league lads who know where the net is.

  • Leicester have, didn’t we beat them here ? we beat Watford early in the season under OC ?. the point was anything is possible, you simply have to be in it to win it. Fred put a good piece in, keep it up.

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