Welcome To The Annual Baggie Transfer Meltdown.
It's that time again. Gnashing of teeth via keyboard keystrokes can be heard all over Baggie Land. Fans are getting restless. Cries of "where's the money gone Tom" are all the rage again. We arrive at this place every single summer. Are they justified this year or are we all suffering from our annual pilgrimage to planet hysteria unnecessarily.
One thing is for certain. The squad is thin, wafer thin. Without doubt, a major reason for the post Christmas slump was down to the size of the squad. As soon as injuries, suspensions and twitter rant meltdowns kicked in, we were stretched and we just could not cope.
At the point of writing this, that squad is now in an even more serious state with obvious deficiencies across the board. The first 16 remains pretty strong and capable of starting the season well. But beyond that and we look threadbare and reliant on previous under performers coming good or kids finally showing that they have what it takes.
This is where we all agree. How we go about plugging the gaps is where emotion kicks in and the meltdownometer is now at critical level for many.
Personally, I am still relaxed at the moment. We will plug the gaps. One thing that I have learned under Peace is patience during the summer. We get the job done. January windows, we will save for another blog.The club has earned the right to some patience during the summer though.
Some people feel that it is important to get players in early, to enable the manager to bed players in and adjust to tactics. I can understand this, in an ideal world this would be great. But how often does this happen anywhere? We have always done the bulk of our business late.
I would imagine it has saved us tens of millions overall over the last 10 years.
This is us. We watch every penny. We drive a hard bargain. That is not going to change under Peace. So why do we jump up and down every year when things don't change and we use the same tactics?
People will argue that the new TV deal should mean we can do a lot more but it is all relative isn't it? Do you not think agents haven't twigged on to this?
Much is being said about our inability to sign Kalou. However, who, apart from those directly involved, know what the players demands are and how realistic they are. Even West Ham, a club able to pay upwards of 100k a week for Andy Carroll, are struggling to sign him.
What isn't helping is the Peter Odemwingie situation. Him being stuck here on 40k a week makes Peace nervous. The sooner he goes the better as this will make the accountant in our chairman a little more open to people incoming on big wages. That is how it works at the Albion. We like the one in one out type of deal. The chairman will not allow a situation where the squad size will go beyond the set quota and budget.
So, all in all, I am not in the meltdown camp just yet. That is not to say that a little pressure from fans and the management isn't a bad thing. I just feel that some of the hysteria and talk of relegation or going backwards is premature. Let us see where the squad is by the end of August. Then let us make our predictions.