A Cold Draft Through an Open Window


A quote I read this morning got me thinking about the January transfer window, and our current predicament. Apologies it is from the Mail on Sunday.

You find players who have not been playing at their clubs, so decide they will leave in January,’ he said. ‘They are already less committed to the cause. We have gone from a period when even if you didn’t play, you had to be committed to your club and had no other option than to fight. Now you have a quick and easy way out. I would either leave the window open, or close it completely. This is just in between when everyone gets nervous around November.

‘Sometimes, if a player hasn’t played, by the time they are fit, you have your own injured players back. Or you find a young player somewhere who can take three or four months to adjust to the Premier League. If we can get Thomas Vermaelen back next week, we have enough players available.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2086808/Arsene-Wenger-Signing-frustrated-cast-offs-solve-injury-crisis.html#ixzz1jW6oT7Nj

We all hoped that with the transfer window Pearson could add to the squad in the areas that were lacking and reinforce a team low on morale, and we could start moving from stagnation and declination. We might start building up a head of steam and move forward positively and with pace on and off the pitch.

What some people have forgotten is that what Pearson already knew. If the team is not performing, and after the Christmas period we don’t look to be a playoff prospect, then we were going to struggle to be pull for the players we desperately need.

Delusions of Grandeur

I’m afraid that people got up in arms over this quote yesterday. Who was it aimed at? Was it the owners? Have they built an expectation for the fans, with over ambitious plans, hasty ascension, built on injections of millions? Would prudence be a better bedfellow rather than self-indulgence? Have some of the fans aligned themselves with this demand for instant success? Have the players grown or brought with them a over-inflated picture of their ability or worth?

I agree with Pearson to a certain extent, but I think he was angry over the match performance, the fans were angry, some of the players would have been angry, and sometimes a press conference is not the place to air grievances. Whilst it does show his passion, I’m not sure it will help the situation, but inflame it. Everyone will assume it was referring to them, and take umbrage against it.

Through the Square Window?

I’ve felt that our chances of bringing players to the club will always be difficult under the weight of finance backing our manager. Other clubs were rubbing their hands in CCC when we got taken over. None of them were going to miss an opportunity to try get inflated valuations of their in demand player(s). It was inevitable, and I don’t hold it against any of them, as if we were in their shoes, we’d be doing the exact same.

As Arsene says above, the unsettling factor of the window shows itself in November and then more so into December as it looms beyond a heavy, and tiring fixture list ahead. It’s worse for a team low on morale, motivation, and for us, a new manager with different ideas of how to play, and the players who can bring that vision to life.

We seem to be have a team man-flu that won’t be freed until summer with a window where we’ll actually be able to freely operate without the pressure of points and expectation hanging over every discussion, fee, and contract to be signed.

The malaise won’t be shook easily, and I truly think we’ll be seeing an entirely different team in 6-7 months time, as even the core of the team seems to understand that this season will be another potential write-off.

You’ll never hear that from Pearson or the board for obvious reasons, but as I’ve listened to Pearson’s conference over and over when editing ‘Nigel Um Pearson’, and of course he did try to level expectation regarding promotion this season.

I think that his assessment of ‘collecting players’ was obviously a dig at Sven, an action he was keen not to repeat. That we are actually very light on players regardless of what might be on paper.

So is he saying that there are more players ready to go than we could imagine? That’s what leads me to think that the overhaul will be deeper and expensive than maybe the owners will want or might expect to afford.

So can a team be overhauled in a January transfer window? No, simply.

Those who are worried that Pearson hasn’t moved publicly for players or we haven’t seen any action yet, may well be disappointed by the close of that drafty window. Then again, he always liked to keep his cards to his chest and approach his transfers with professional decorum. We’ll bring players in, but we won’t spend enough to bring together a playoff/promotion contending side.

Positively Glum.

I did say that I was going to be positive in this New Year. It’s already been made nearly impossible, from my own personal circumstances and of course watching LCFC moving like a ‘Dad at a wedding’ in a dance competition, staggering very close to toppling over to and wiping completely out the appointed ‘children’s table’.

But I know changes have to be made for our benefit. We’ll have to accept that we’ll be taking a fair few more stumbles backwards off the floor, perhaps avoiding a lady’s handbag or two, before we can get the momentum to stagger drunkenly forward again. We won’t get sweating until we can find our feet again, lose the transfer tie, it’s constricting us. We’ll know we’re back on it, when we’ve untucked our shirt and are knocking out 360 back spins, and pulling blinding robot moves out of our locker.

So do I, or any one who’s reading this give up and accept defeat? No, but there are ways any means of helping the situation rather than enflaming it.

There was a fair bit of over-reaction yesterday from the fans and from Nigel. He could have just stated he was going to sort it, and plans were underway. Giving an angry ambiguous quote that will be read in every way was not the way to go about it.

Change is Coming

I won’t speculate about transfers on my blog this January, I’ve learned that this is the best way to have egg on your face, or for you to come across as a ‘I told you so’. I don’t have any more insider information than any of you reading this. So I’ll avoid it, that and putting my hope eggs in any one basket is detrimental to my attempt to be more positive. Disappointment is a like trying to swallow a handful of chestnuts.

I’ve Sunk Your Battleship

It’s clear from the bench to the squad on the pitch yesterday that we need to bring in players with attacking mindset but the ability to provide defensive cover from the forwards to the midfield. Our balance is truly woeful. Our shots on target have shown not only are we not converting these opportunities but asking players who have limited attacking capabilities in the midfield. It’s is forcing some our defenders to have to have their eyes on being providers instead of being prepared or ready to protect against counter-attacks.

Pearson didn’t bring players on just to try and see if they would bring something different to the table bar Beckford. Should Abe been given the chance to try? I think he should, but maybe there is a reason for him not playing. And the possibility saddens me if rumours are true.

Well whatever comes of this January transfer window, I will remain positive, though it’s my fear that it will be a painful journey and there are going to be more disappointments to overcome yet.

But what I will say is that whether I came across as negative about Pearson’s return, I am still willing to give him the opportunity to fix the team, but I won’t judge him against this window. If operating in it was difficult before, it’ll be even harder this time. I’m not giving up that it might happen, but in real terms it will not be possible at this stage, but if we can start to bring in a few faces, and lose those who don’t want to be a part of our future then we can try to start to build a team that with a true summer of additions we will have the momentum needed to reach our lofty aspirations.

Keep the Faith fellow Foxes!

Keep the Faith!

Check out yesterday’s Only One Schlupp article (approved…I think via RT by the man himself!)

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