Often Partisan

New Beginnings: A Squad Update

It’s nearly a week since we finally got relegated at White Hart Lane, but there has already been quite a few changes at St Andrews player-wise. I thought it would be a good idea to take a look now at who has gone and who has stayed, and the gaps this has left in the team. As the close season progresses, I will revisit this topic periodically with new updates.

The club have confirmed the departures of Sebastian Larsson, Kevin Phillips, Lee Bowyer, Maik Taylor, Martin Jiranek and Stuart Parnaby to add to the returning loanees Matt Derbyshire, Obafemi Martins, Aliaksandr Hleb and David Bentley. This means our first team is reduced by ten players already – echoing the comments made by Kevin Phillips this week – and as such Blues are going to have to make signings and promote youth players to plug the gaps.

Currently, our first team squad (and I use that term loosely as I’ve added a few of the kids) looks like this:

Goalkeepers:

Ben Foster, Colin Doyle, Jack Butland

Defenders:

Stephen Carr, Alpaslan Ozturk, David Murphy, Liam Ridgewell, Scott Dann, Roger Johnson, Curtis Davies, Fraser Kerr

Midfielders:

Nathan Redmond, Barry Ferguson, Craig Gardner, Keith Fahey, Jordon Mutch, Enric Valles, Michel, Ashley Sammons, Jean Beausejour, James McFadden, Luke Hubbins

Strikers:

Cameron Jerome, Nikola Zigic, Akwasi Asante

This gives us a total of 26 players, of whom eight are youngsters with none or very few games under their belt. You also have to take into account that it is more than likely we will lose a few more of these players – no doubt Blues will be forced to sell one of Johnson and Dann if not both; Zigic is more than likely to move on and I can’t see Michel appearing in a Blues shirt again.

The squad is also lopsided; Ozturk is very rookie cover for right back; Redmond and Hubbins are the only two right midfielders now in the team and we have three strikers of whom one will in all probability leave, one as I said the other day needs to leave for his own good and the third is yet to make his debut for the club.

There is also the issue of how much money Alex McLeish will get to spend – I do not believe it will be that much, and as such I think we’re going to be looking at borrowing some talented kids from the Premiership, taking on Bosmans with something to prove and maybe snapping up a couple of rough diamonds from the lower divisions. In short, this is going to be a tricky summer.

Having said that, I’m more excited because of it. As much as players like Lee Bowyer and Kevin Phillips gave their all to the club, it’s going to be good to see younger players getting given a go – especially if McLeish has to go with youngsters that have come up through the ranks. I want to see a more youthful Blues; I’d like people to look at us and say how well we’ve brought out kids through. I believe staying in the Premiership may have led to us stultifying some more – maybe this way we can rebuild and come back stronger?

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12 Responses to “New Beginnings: A Squad Update”

  • Jonny says:

    I thought this last time we went down, a chance to rebuild and freshen the squad up with youth. Its great to be positive and I feel a lot better than last week, young fresh legs with pace and we could be exciting to watch and score goals.

    I fear the reality is going to be the same as what happened last time – The gaps in the squad were plugged with, wait for it… Nigel Quashie, Ulises De La Cruz, Marcus Bent, Carlos Costly, Nicky Hunt, Lee Bowyer (although that one turned out well), Djimi Traore and Lee Carsley.

    Quincy and Scott Sinclair were young fresh and vibrant but didnt really get any game time for whatever reason, Sinclair has ripped up the Championship this season for Swansea. Hameur Bouzza, Kemy Augustien and Robin Shroot well what can you say? Bouzza was OK, Augustien didnt make a lasting impression and Shroot, well another bizarre signing ultimately.

    I do fear the sort of players we have coming our way, but I hope i”m wrong. I still trust Big Eck but some of the signings we made are more pragmatic and solid than young, fresh and vibrant. Plenty of 1-0s and 1-1s ahead…?

    • Dylan says:

      Theres nothing like a clean sheet! The next month actions will decide the future of the Blues, stick or twist time, getting so many high wages off the books will help in keeping and bringing in new players.

      I think we have to raise at least 15 million from player sales to begin with and any extra will help in strenghthening the squad for a good attempt for promotion the first time of asking,

      I do wonder is it all worth it? the premiership is dominated with the big clubs spending power we will never really be able to compete. The joy has been taken out for clubs such as ours. Rather look forward to cheering us on winning games in the championship rather than sweating on 1-0!

  • kevin says:

    i’m worried when i hear the name marlon harewood he has scored 19 goals in 5 years and again has a villa connection i think we will be looking in the bargain bins at frees and loans when we could stand to have 70-80m coming in from parachute money the possible sales of our top three players new sponser money season ticket sales europa league money and the carling cup money so there should be no excuse for not being able to spend a decent amout to ensure we go straight back up as champions i just think yeung should never have been able to buy us cause there are so many rumours about his finances they can’t all be wrong and hope he doesn’t finish us off and put us out of business kro sotv

  • almajir says:

    Kevin, I’m not sure if you’re aware but the parachute money is £48mil over four seasons; we would only get £16mil next season and that’s instead of £39.8mil we’d get from being in the Premiership – it’s quite a hole in the cashflow.

    Europa league is also not seen as a moneyspinner by many until reaching the semi-final stage

  • anthony hawkins says:

    I CANT STRESS ENOUGH THAT CAN WE REALLY TRUST THE JUDGEMENT OF MR MCCLEISH WHEN IT COMES TO THE PLAYERS THAT HE SIGNED LAST TIME. WHEN I SAW THE LIKES OF PLAYERS OF THE CALIBRE OF HLEB,BENTLEY ETC,I WAS EXCITED AT THE POTENTIAL BUT TURNED OUT TO BE A HUGE DISAPOINTMENT. I HOPE THAT NOW HE WILL CHANGE HIS VIEW NOW AND LOOK AT PROVEN CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYERS AND ALSO LOOK TO CHANGE HIS TACTICS AND BE WILLING TO ATTACK MORE. JAY BOOTHROYD IS NOW A FREE AGENT WHO IS GOOD ON THE BALL AND ALSO KNOWS WHERE THE GOAL IS WOULD MAKE A DECENT SIGNING FOR US.

    • Carl says:

      Anthony, why are you shouting at us all?

      I agree, Boothroyd would be decent. Also hopes Eck send out team to attacks more.

      Unlike you, I do trust Eck with signings. Some signings don’t work out, it’s the same with EVERY manager (just one shouted word there ).

  • Carl says:

    To build a good, young side to get you promoted requires more than 2 months of building work – that’s why Eck turns to older players at such times and I support him for that.

    Remember how Bruce brought in young Jerome and young loanees like Larsson but supplemented it with the likes of Any Cole? I still think it was the likes of Andy Cole that got us over the line because Bendtner respected him and played better with him, as did Jerome.

    I see a reference to Quincy and Scott Sinclair above but they didn’t play because their final balls were rubbish. That’s nothing to do with Eck’s tactics, the players did not perform.

    A team full of Nathan Redmonds isn’t going to get us promoted. A team full of 20-25 yr old good Championship players can do but we don’t have time to nurture that – or maybe buy it.

    We need to get promoted this season and if that means a sprinkling of old heads so be it.

  • Alan Richards says:

    AH was as excited as most of us (& presumably AM was also) at the signings of Hleb & Bentley,but they didn’t perform for us. Sinclair was often “chicken” for us. Carsley & Bowyer turned out to be great signings. The point I’m trying to make is that every signing is a risk; on paper some players look good but in reality turn out the opposite.The most goals Jerome has scored in the Premiership is under AM; in the Championship,under our 2 managers,he hasn’t achieved what he did at Cardiff. Tony Adams told Roger Johnson that he wouldn’t make it. I only hope we can hold onto either Johnson or Dann, & that Curtis Davies plays like he did at Spurs. Mutch,Gardner,Ferguson, Ridgewell ,Foster I hope stay,which leaves us needing cover at right-back,plus fast wingers & at least 3 strikers. I can’t see us getting all these so it’s going to be a tough season.

  • Clive Kent says:

    I trust the judgement of big Eck and it is hoped that the board do not do anything foolish. Before Scott Dan was injured the defense was pretty solid. So it is really important to hold on to Dann and Roger Johnson. The same applies to McFadden hopefuly if he regains fitness. Of the younger players Nathan Redmond looked very promising – but a solid goal scorer?

  • mark gold says:

    i see us selling one or 2 players probably Dann and foster could raise 20 million plus agree Boothroyd would be a good signing Mackail-Smith would be another good shout and so would Kieren
    Westwood, all going for free

  • BluenoseArchie says:

    There’s too much presuming going on here at the moment, every forum i go to has the same old shite……….. carson aint got no money, were fucked, its all doom and gloom from here on in etc…. etc….etc ……

    For christ sake, were in europe for the 1st time in 50 years, we’ve won a trophy for the first time since the ‘auto windscreens’ victory and we’ve done what we always do, got relegated…….. it aint that bad peeps, we’ve been relegated more times than i can remember, we’re still here, we’re still a good side and we still have a good manager, lets stop presuming what will happen and lets see what transpires, you might be very surprised!

    I think we will fall at the first hurdle in Europe and won’t make the group stage, but i also think we will sign a few good players and win the championship next year, get back into the prem and kick on from there.

    I’ve been glad to see the dead wood shipped out from the Blues over the last week or so, we needed it! It will take a decent investment to replace them with young players of any quality, but this is the point at which we see if Carson Yeung is in it for the long haul, will he back the manager in this time of need or will he make him sell our most valued assets in Dann, Johnson, Fergie, Foster, Zigic etc…..

    With a nucleus of Foster, Dann, Johnson, Fergie, Gardner, Beau, Ridge, McFadden, Carr, Zigic, Jerome, we have a team easily capable of destroying the championship next season. Add to that the likes of Valles, Mutch, Redmond, & Butland coming through, we only need a few decent signings and we should be fine.

    Right midfield, right back, attacking midfielder, 2 strikers and maybe one more centre back or left back (ridge could slot into the centre) and we will be better off than most.

    I’d like to see us permanently sign young players of a good standard for the positions mentioned and supplement that with loan signings for cover and to give the players a rest in what is going to be a very tiring season.

    The futures bright, the futures Blue & White!!!

    KRO SOTV

  • Lee says:

    Have to agree with bluenose archie if we can keep the defence and the board have to be strong on this ! With the addition of only 3 or 4 attacking players blues should be in a good position. Fergusons creativity and gardeners tenacity can build us a platform to attack attack attack. Coupled with blooding the youngsters we are in a better position than most in the championship. I just hope AM remembers it was 442 that built our last promotion and how our form dipped when he reverted back to type. I think financially the club can survive without selling dann foster johnson etc but if we fail to get promotion 1st time around things may get perilous and blues will not get out for a number of years. However looking at the clubs in the championship theres no one of the quality of blackpool or west ham and we beat them both it may be gloomy but its not goodnight quite yet KRO SOTV


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