This morning, a bit rough – Azera coffee, full-fat Pepsi, Frazzles, hangover fans – and listless, I’ve done what we all must and collated my list of who we should keep, sell and those I’m not bothered about. What do you think? My anger over Boro’s plight must be abating because I’m willing to retain a lot more players than I thought I might, but that’s still half the squad to go in a ‘rip it up and start again’ policy that ought to take place in the summer.
I feel a bit bad for Dimi. The dude works selflessly for years to provide solid goalkeeping service only to be entirely overlooked when he’s played his part in guiding us up. No doubt with Valdes leaving for top flight football, and no one really caring what happens to Guzan it’ll be a case of sidling up to the old Greek, paying him some attention, flattering him, telling him we were young and trying other things out, you understand don’t you, you’ll come back won’t you, you love us don’t you, etc. I’ve added Gibbo to the list just because I would like to hang on to him, even though the queue for his services appears to include the best of the Premiership. Of the forwards, I’d hang on to Bamford following his work with us previously in the second tier. As for Traore, well you never really know, do you? There’s something there, definitely, but who can turn that headless chicken runmanship into actual attacking intent? One for the X-Files, or y’know, a decent attacking coach.
Speaks for itself really. A relegated goalkeeper who’s provided exactly the same for us. Two defenders who at times have been utter liabilities, Barragan jaw-droppingly so. The Algerian midfielder signed on deadline day who we didn’t know anything about and still don’t. Gaston Ramirez – twat.
I’ve added Valdes to this list because surely he’s off at the end of the season, right? Either way, I don’t care that much about a keeper who’s won pretty much everything there is to win in the game, but it turns out to have helped that he used to play behind the most potent attacking force there is and probably got to spend his matches reading comics while leaning against a post. I’m preparing myself for De Roon’s exit, but I won’t be too upset when that happens. He’s fine, but £12 million worth of fine. Did he bring anything to the side we didn’t already have? Stuani is too mercurial – top one week, dreadful the next. You can’t build a team around that. I didn’t think a great deal of Stewie when he rejoined us in our promotion year. It was clear AK never wanted him and the performances bore that out. The lad’s got heart and tries his best, which is always commendable and more than you can say for some of them, but surely it’s time to look forward rather than step back into a misty eyed past when Downing was an exciting talent streaming down the left wing i.e. a long time ago. Fischer – see Stuani, only more so. Forshaw started the season like a bullet but his form nosedived over its course, perfectly mirroring the side’s. And finally the Rude Man, who was always a bit of a leftfield signing and turned out to add very little. I don’t know how easy he would be to get shot of – for sale, one beanstalk striker, useful for long-ball tactics, good at standing tall and stuff.
Here’s some advice from Edwyn about what we should do in the summer…
It seems we are anticipating the departure of Alvaro Negredo by casting our net for another high and mighty striker – Tammy Abraham, the Chelsea forward with the girl’s name and a fair old strike rate for Bristol City, with whom he’s currently on loan. The kid’s only 19 and has scored 26 in 46 matches for the Robins, which sounds formidably decent for the likes of us.
And with that, I’m off to clear my head in time for Arsenal-Man City in the cup. Personally I can’t see this going any way other than for the Blues, given what we saw of Arsenal recently and then what Bournemouth did to us. So that means a victory for the Gunners and Boro’s hierarchy being able to boast that we lost to the FA Cup finalists, which kind of puts a positive spin on it, no?