Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The end of the road?

Just when I thought this season couldn't get any worse, Wigan 1-0 Liverpool, proved me wrong. We were desperate. The team had a collective shocker. Kuyt, Insua, Torres had terrible games but Gerrard pissed me off more than the rest of them. It was a gutless display with Wigan the first to every ball and they looked the more committed team too. I would have withdrawn three of them at half time if I were in charge. Rafa didn't try to defend them post match. They let themselves, the fans, the shirt and club down with that display.

I was in work late on Thursday night so I didn't get to see the 1-0 defeat to Lille. The goal was a poor one to concede and I don't think Pepe will be happy with himself for not going for it. Again, we should have had a defender heading it clear. On current form, Kyrgiakos more than deserves his place in the team for his aerial dominance. We can turn this around in the second leg but if we continue to play like we are now, then it's unlikely.

Another Monday night game and another banana skin on the cards this week. I really can't see us winning this given the attitude that the players have been showing. Portsmouth should be dead and buried but yet their players are fighting for everything and getting some results. If our pack of wasters showed their attitude then we're be far better off in the league.

Which brings me onto the subject of the manager. I'm a big fan of Rafa and have been since before he came to the club. But it has to be said that he's made some bad mistakes this year. His gamble on Aquilani's fitness has backfired and left us creatively bereft in midfield. He's also been too cautious in playing the Italian since he's returned to fitness. But besides all of that, I still think he's the right man for the job and would give him another season. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the players or the fans agree with me. They played like they couldn't care less on Monday. I think they've given up on this season and on the boss. If that's true and they won't respond to him anymore then he'll have to go, probably this summer. I fear we'll regret it in the long run and I shudder to think who the Americans will appoint in his stead, considering they've approached Klinsman before. It's a shit job given the owners, the debt, no transfer funds, no new stadium and a squad that needs serious investment. We've made a profit the last three transfer windows and while that's the case we won't remain competitive in the league. Anyone who thinks we'll attract a big European name like Mourinho, Hiddink or Capello is dreaming. Why would they sign up for this mess? With our current owners and investment scenario, we'll remain a poisoned chalice and any top manager will steer well clear of us. I'm surprised Rafa's put up with them for as long as he has. One of the few silver linings in this nightmare of a season is the prospect the bank forcing the Americans to sell up at a reasonable price this summer. Missing out on the top four places and the champions league money might force their hands. They are a cancer that slowly killing the club we love.

Pepe Reina has signed a new deal with the club which is a massive boost. He's the best keeper in England and one of the best in Europe.

This season has made it clear that we need some new blood in defence. If I were in Rafa's shoes I would break the bank for Kjaer of Palermo. He's Agger's international colleague and a Red by all accounts. He's done well in Italy and it sounds like he'd be interested in a move to L4. I fear he will go elsewhere as he'll be out of price range. That's no big surprise considering our transfer budget will be £0. If we had some cash we could spend it on Arda Turan who is a red and would love to join us. I would happily sell Babel and Riera if we could get him in to replace them.

Swindon youth Goalie Jamie Stephens is to spend a week on trial at the Academy. We've a number of young prospects between the sticks so I wonder how he'll fit into that set up if we sign him.

Aurelio injured himself again in last weeks match with Blackburn and will be out for 2-3 weeks. I like Fabio as a player and he seems a decent chap but I do question whether he will be offered a new contract this summer given how injury prone he is. Maybe he will stay on if he accepts a pay cut.

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