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Are You Disappointed So Far ?

It looks increasingly like we coukld soon hear those now famous words of Nigel Worthington, uttered   during a transfer window a few years ago;  "I'll Go With What I have got".   Back then those words were perhaps a little more easy to understand as City's  budget was small, probably the smallest in the Premier League. Failure to add better quaility to the squad was the main reason we were relegated.

Today with the years of hard work by the new regime things have changed considerably, debt has been reduced dramtically, support for the playing side of the club has been increased, as stressed by Alan Bowkett when speaking of this years budget;  "the biggest in the club's history" .
I am sure that when supporters read that they could easily have burst into a round of applause while looking forward to an exciting transfer window,  sadly that second part hasn't materialised.   

I am not knocking  the players that have been signed by the club I am sure they will bring something extra to the squad,  what does cause me reason for concern is the amount of players purchased.   

With Whitbread being released, Naughton returning to Spurs, Drury moving onto Leeds and now Ayala being allowed to go on season long loan;  two new defenders added  in Turner and Whittaker (who is injured before we kick off)   we are still two down on what was in the squad last season.  Where is the cover for left back,  I expect many would say Lappin, but the guy has said himself he doesn't like playing in that  position, plus  is he blessed with the pace needed.

I don't want to single out or pick on Ward or Barnett,  as they are reasonable players but I have to ask are they good enough for the Premiership ?   We will all have our own opinions, but the facts do remain that they made several mistakes last season that lead to goals and points lost.

The Liverpool home game sticks in my mind as the classic example of this.

In attack Wilbraham was allowed to depart and hasn't been replaced, he wasn't a high scoring player but was used quite a bit.... OK  Chris Martin has returned but it was clear that he wasn't quite what we need last season as he was allowed to go on loan.  Vaughan is back to being fit but how long for ?   It seems as if he couldn't complete 90 minutes last season, but has a lot to prove if he can stay on the pitch long enough.

Yet it looks like we are going to have to rely on these two make up the squad, one who was deemed not  good enough and one who could not complete a whole game; hardly inspires confidence in front of goal does it ?  

Holt shouldered most of the responsibility for goals last season out of the strikers, but he will need more help this season as he is another year older and defences will know what to expect from him.  No other player reached double figures, Morison came second with 9 goals and Jackson with 3, improvement will be needed by both these especially Jackson; if the goals for column is to be bettered and some of the weight shouldered. 

Goals are hard enough to come by in this league against some of the World's best defenders, teams with stronger squads have proved this season after season. Yet we seem to be going to continue with what is already in house, that is far too much trusting to lady luck that misfiring players will actually fire and players stay injury free. 

It is going to be a hard season with goals being scarce, the attack looks weaker and the defence has not got enough cover, however the midfield  does look stronger this season.

To be perfectly honest I am a little disappointed so far with this transfer window, before anyone shouts.. what did you expect .... I didn't expect to see big mega buck signings who demand obnoxious wages and signing fees. I realise and thankfully support that City will never be in a position to do that.  But I did expect to see a little more activity than what has happened, given that the manager has the largest budget ever, plus the carrot dangling on the end of the stick is the richest ever prize, surviving in the premier league for next season for a club like City is imperative.

For those reasons I expected to see areas strengthened and not weakened, a slightly better quaility of player brought in, replacing the fringe players,  therefore strengthening the squad.  I expected to see a little more money being spent, we have to if we are to compete and attract the players we need.  Perhaps I could put this way;  a move away from the Poundlands to the M&S levels. 

Unless my memory fails me  (as it does sometimes)  three point something million pounds remains our transfer record,  for Dean Ashton and that was from the time period, where I started this article.

We know only too well the problems that relegation brings that many clubs cannot recover from, the Championship and League One  is littered with teams who found out the hard way. Then I ask,   how many of our squad would want to leave, after having two seasons of top flight football  ? 

I don't propose to go through all the financial implications of relegation, I think we all know how disastrous it can be.

Hang on minute there;  are you saying City will be relegated ?   Hell fire  I don't know, I couldn't predict that and  who can ?  But I certainly feel it could well happen , perhaps more than I thought it last season. 

Unless you are blessed with a bottomless money pit and a blank cheque book, clubs have to grow and progress each and every season to survive in this league, take a brief look at Stoke as a prime example.

OK we may not like their style but you can't argue that is doesn't work for them.

They have gone from strength to strength each season, being able to attract a better quaility of player and pay them the highier wages needed. The benchmark for me  of their growth is buying  Peter Crouch, an England International, having played for some of the top clubs in the Country.  How many of us would like Peter Crouch or someone from the same class in our squad. 

  I have said before that teams who don't progress but who appear to stand still and not grow within their selves get relegated,  last seasons relegated teams highlight this point.

To be honest, I cannot say I feel City  are progressing so far and face a very long hard season, the second season is always harder than the first,  that is the very reason why I feel  more should be being added to the squad.  I hope above all hope that we do manage to survive, but I feel we could be making things harder on ourselves than need be. 

Chris Hughton has gone on record saying   "there is a lot of good here and you don't want to remove too much of that."

But is that an excuse and another way of saying  "I'll Go With What I have got" ?   While it looks to me and many other supporters that defenders and a striker are still needed.

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