I don’t think I can remember a worse couple of weeks for the club in recent memory and I would hope we have well and truly hit rock bottom and the only way is up. The one glimmer of the hope for the club is the return of Dunne. He is very much a Marmite player and I think you either love him or hate him. Regardless of your personal inclinations towards Dunne, he does have two things. That is bags of experience and a big personality – something we are missing from our team.
In the first instance I would be concerned that we are looking to a player who has been out for nearly 6 months as the saviour of the club. He is most definitely not. I think he is a short term measure to keep the club afloat but he is most definitely needed. If we get Vlaar back soon, then suddenly that is a better central defensive pairing. This does mask many problems we have at the club but looking at Sissoko I think he is a very realistic target for us and exactly the sort of player we need to be going for. However, I am concerned that our interest has been broadcast to the media from various ‘sources’ and we need to move sooner rather than later if we have any real ambition to sign the player.
After previously stating I thought we might try and sign three or four players, that now looks more likely to be two, which will be disappointing. A Petrov replacement was the most obvious missing part to the jigsaw but what are the other parts and their priority?
I find it interesting that Benteke is now in the middle of a goal drought and actually I find that remark quite unfair. Even when we had a poor game against Bradford, the attack were creating. We just need to get them fired up again and that means being able to link from defence to midfield and then from midfield to attack. That’s why if we could only get another player (assuming Sissoko is sorted) then it would be an attacking midfield. We definitely need to get rid of Ireland now. I believed that he could still bring something to the club but over the last 2 seasons I haven’t been convinced. Yes, I know he was our ‘player of the year’ but really that wasn’t saying much.
Maybe if we get rid of him in January then we might get that third player. Whatever happens, I think Lerner will spend. Maybe we do have 10 million, in which case it could be Sissoko and then 7 million on a decent attacking midfielder. Only time will tell with that one.
As per usual, we have to back the team, although it is currently not a rewarding experience, but I do believe that sacking Lambert would certainly not be in the interests of the club. It is tough at the minute but we will get there in the end. Let’s hope we can turn it around as it is a big couple of weeks for the club.