International Bhoys bring opportunity
It’s fully understandable most didn’t comment on how Stevie Clarkes selection would hit us hard, given he has 6 of the team out there as the spine of this historic Euro squad.
Of course we all understand why this wasn’t automatically filed under Problem, as almost all will enjoy their craft on that esteemed stage, but there can be no denying it just isn’t good for the team.
Ok, six is pushing it as Jack hadn’t been home for a while, but would anyone bet heavily against the player coming home given his form and our immediate needs? Six may not be that far fetched, a second chance once viewed through fresh eyes isn’t that uncommon.
Next year was looking bad enough, it’s truly Murphy’s Law that just when all could do with plenty relaxing beach time before a rigorous pre-season fitness camp getting to know the new gaffer and inevitable fresh recruits, the nations needs will (rightly) come first and hurt club plans.
Those players will need a proper break after their national exerts, and of course we can’t plan for that exactly.
Plenty fancy the nation to escape the group which brings us into July proper, and if not last week of June, then holidays for the half dozen plus Ajeti. Something tells me it’s three weeks post competition as a rule but I could well be wrong on that,,I certainly wouldn’t rush jaded players back, recipe for disaster.
Yet look at the calendar. Rumoured friendly fixture against West Ham on the 24th July, with season 21/22 SPL matches beginning a mere week later. Round 2 of the Champions League qualifiers takes place on the 25/26th of August.
Our loan deals tend to take place late in windows once we determine which gaps need plugged.
Our buys will very much depend on the season ticket take up which is anyone’s guess at this stage. I would cautiously bet 40k based on the fact I expect to get papped out of the Euro qualifiers meaning we will approach the transfer market cautiously aka be frugal because the club realize they ain’t getting full take up. I doubt they get expected income for the wantaways and if Odsonne stands his ground for a free transfer that would really throw a spanner in the works.
Signs point towards drafting the youth in for early preseason, using them to bulk out the numbers, giving plenty of minutes whilst accessing them and the remainers, alongside easing the jaded International spine slowly to full fitness.
Connell and Hjelde may get the big chance they crave, another is young Dembele who has one year left. I don’t think Hazard getting the early preseason nod would surprise anyone.
Oko-Flex, Mikey Johnson, Montgomery, and the long forgotten Anthony Ralston are there to be called upon for the early teams while those who might be back again include Ewan Henderson, Shved, Bayo, and Bolingoli.
I don’t know who the next guy will be, but I know we will see more of the kids. I for one will be very happy when it happens, no point having them if they aren’t going to get a chance and I’m absolutely of the mentality if they are good enough they are old enough. If we get a guy who specializes in bringing them through all the better. The loss of the Internationals should become their gain, therefore our gain.
I’m delighted for the half dozen Tims called to go represent Scotland, but won’t shed any tears if they lose their team place to a youngster who grabbed their chance when presented with it.
Them’s the breaks.