P̶u̶s̶h̶ Shove the boat out !
Our triple signing news was the perfect start to the new year and just what the doctor ordered. As soon as possible, we sprang out of the blocks and have further tooled up for the task at hand, a dream debut title.
Strengthening should not stop with them, not at all.
As things stand I would have the green half of Glasgow as favourites for next year’s title, even though we aren’t favourites for the current one.
I base this upon direction of travel, momentum, and likely resources.
Our direction of travel is upwards having assembled a hungry bunch and the contract status plus general age of the squad promises to keep the group together medium term at least, some shall surely be long term employees.
It’s been stated many times that staying on top is much harder than getting there, defending a title is mentally tough because you’ve put so much into getting there but realize it does t get easier only harder. That’s because everyone wants to beat the champions, they (usually) play that little bit better, and try to gauge themselves against the best, and enjoy their experience at the nation’s premier stadium.
Keano once wrote if you played like that every week you wouldn’t be playing for Crystal Palace or wherever, the bigger the name the more the opposition try.
I would much rather be in our shoes than any others, all focused, all aiming for success, willing to work hard for silverware and not expect it.
That’s not the impression I get across the city, where a few names are now free to sign pre contracts which has unfocused players before. That teams direction of travel is not upwards in my humble opinion. Should they claim this seasons massive Champions League bounty the majority shall be swallowed by debts, should they fail it’s trim rather than strengthen. That collection of players doesn’t have another level or two of progression, they’ve given all they’ve got and are an aging outfit.
Their hope mostly rests upon the new manager keeping existing momentum going (in fairness he has) and finding cheap diamonds by using his connections.
It’s a gamble. They won’t be strengthening for next season as they will wait for the departing to get off the books, plus see what’s in the coffers which very much depends upon this seasons final league position.
We, only the other hand, are not in that sorry situation at all and can strengthen now,right now, with next season very much in mind but also with the added bonus of helping this seasons heroics.
Of the two giants, I believe most observers would agree our direction of travel is the more desirable.
Momentum is debatable I admit. Despite anything going on in the background, our title rivals have put together a very impressive string of results, and are still in Europe on a higher stage than ourselves.
Despite this, we have almost matched them stride for stride since our initial derby defeat. That defeat never halted us on our tracks, didn’t stagger us nor rock our morale,,,we instantly recovered and showed great character in doing so.
Given we slipped up twice, perhaps they do have a little bit of edge regarding onfield momentum, but the same can’t be stated regards off the park momentum.
As mentioned they tread water off the park with a wait and see attitude, while we build. The recent trio of signings were never supposed to impact the second top of the table clash, that’s now out the window. The break only helps Boy Wonder get ready for the biggest game of the season so far, terrible news for his opponents. And now we have a new striker we can rest our talisman Kyogo until the big match, more bad news for those in blue.
That’s the here and now, but buying now also means we approach the next campaign with a settled squad that knows each other and how the manager trains and likes his players to play.
Given this, it’s the team in hoops who have momentum on the park AND off it. I just can’t say the same for elsewhere, an uncertain future with a squad needing attention is my prognosis.
And then there’s the larger than life Ange, winner on his first attempt, and a man on a mission, successful entertaining football.
We edge it for overall momentum in my book, and I see the foundation being laid for success.
Likely resources,,,Covid aside, the huge ST and merchandise sales offers a reliable income stream which affords planning if wishes for. 15 players so far in two windows is quite something, many of them decent quality.
The loan with option to buy is very satisfactory, try out first then make the decision is just irresistible common sense in a sport where it’s as rare as hens teeth.
Yet somehow we seem to have become very adept at this rather new practice which can help keep the successful buys percentage high, and save a lot of wasted time and wages.
We have learnt to manage our resources well, and with no bombshells hanging around can focus not on clearing debt but enhancing football operations.
Our rivals can only dream of our resources, we are self funding with no need for debt, a healthy position I’m sure you would agree.
Looking towards the short, medium, and long term we have the opportunity to front load our transfers, right now in this very window actually. Another two, maybe three would bring us up to around 25 trusted souls between arrivals and those wanted from the last regime. There’s the core of your squad for the next two seasons already in place, with detailed knowledge of how we play under Ange and the expectations at this giant club.
As the article title suggests, I’m in favour of completely shoving the boat out, not just pushing, when it comes to immediate player acquisitions. Another few bodies in this window no problem safe in the knowledge that,,,
It’s not excessive splurging when it’s being paid for down the line via less spend needed in later windows.
This managers buys tend to come from cheaper more affordable leagues meaning the misses don’t really hurt and the hits are financial as well as onfield successes.
It raises the chances of title success which has become very lucrative itself so new players can pay for themselves in a manner of speaking.
It keeps this fantastic manager interested and happy as he’s being well backed.
It keeps the supporters happy as they can read the positive signs of squad planning and agree with the approach taken.
It hopefully continues the trend of raising the quality across the board and bringing real competition for each starting berth.
Keep adding I say.
After years of frugality, a bit of boldness please.