With three games in a week, Lambert decided to rotate the players a bit. It gave the fans the chance to see more of the new signings and the league cup should give us further clues.
What can we make of the new signings so far?
My thoughts are that Luna is good going forward but is he any better than Bennett, who is also better going forward than in defence? With Baker a more solid left back, how much value is there in Luna?
Jores Okore has had a disrupted pre-season but when he has played has looked rapid and has done very well for a player of his age.
I am expecting to see more of Nicklas Helenius in the cup game but he has some similarities to Peter Crouch perhaps – subtle touches and flicks and similar to look at. He is still a largely unknown quantity.
Aleksandar Tonev, I think, will add depth to the squad and cover for Agbonlahor and Weimann’s positions. He can be a substitute when they tire and take on N’Zogbia’s role, assuming he will not play again for us.
Jed Steer is a confident youngster but has only played pre-season. Shay Given is also expected to move on soon.
Finally, there is Leandro Bacuna. I always think these midfield types take the longest to adapt. He may need patience. Look at Delph and KEA. Westwood also got better in the second half of the season.
Overall, I was quite surprised: nearly all managers sign players to improve the team rather than add to the squad but it seems Lambert has signed some players who will not obviously nail down their starting role immediately. It’s another interesting facet of how Lambert works.
I am certainly going to enjoy the sub-plot of how the new players develop and bed-in to the manager’s side, especially as I am expecting a solid year without the threat of relegation.
Article by Alex Skerten.