After a well deserved summer break, it’s time for pre-season again and a chance to catch up with all the transfer news.
Well, the big man finally signed for us, and it is a definite statement of intent by the chairmen that they pushed the boat out to land Andy Carroll. He didn’t come cheap (although a darned sight cheaper than Liverpool originally paid). I do have a couple of reservations about him though; He seems very prone to injury, and it is a lot of cash to pay for someone who could be crocked for half the season. Also with the new financial fair play rules now in place it remains to be seen if we can actually afford anyone else who is at least half decent.
Along with Mr Rat (a great signing in my opinion), we also have a new goalie to push Jussi for the number one jersey. It remains to seen how good Adrian actually is, but Henderson is obviously not deemed good enough and will probably be sold or shipped off on loan again.
I’m glad that the Jonjo Shelvey deal didn’t happen. He’s not quite good enough in my books, but it seems we are after another Liverpool cast-off in the shape of Stewart Downing. I expect the idea behind it is to get another winger who can get the crosses in to Carroll, but I would have thought that Downing would be best played on the left wing, where Jarvis currently holds sway. Downing did quite well for LIverpool at the end of last season, but he has been an inconsistent player. Maybe Big Sam can get more out of him than others have.
Talking of cast-offs, we have that veritable accident-waiting-to-happen Titus Bramble training with us at the moment. Let’s hope he is just getting fit, but worryingly he did play for us in the pre-season friendly against Cork the other day!
Another surprising bit of news is that Gary O’Neil turned down a new contract with us. I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps he thought he wouldn’t get as much first team action this year with us, or maybe he is concentrating on his golf, but I wish him luck. He did a good job for us at the back end of last season.
Apparently, Big Sam says that we need one more quality signing before the new season kicks off. My guess is that he after a striker, and after we lost out on Bony to Swansea (he will be immense this season, mark my words), it begs the question ‘who else is there’? In my opinion we should be doing everything we can to prise Loic Remy away from QPR. He was superb last season and is a natural finisher. The would be the perfect compliment to Andy Carroll. Go get him Sam!
Finally, we have the possibility of Wilfried Zaha and Demba Ba coming on loan. Can’t see it myself, but it would be good if either one came. Also, Ravel Morrison has finished his loan spell with Birmingham and will be with us this season. According to some reports he has grown up a lot since we last had him and is now a lot more professional. If he has, he could be the ace in the pack. I only hope he doesn’t revert to his old ways. This could be the last chance saloon for him to make it in the Premiership.