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Friday, September 01, 2006

Feeding Frenzy Over

At long last, with the dawn of September, the frantic market of buying, selling and loaning has come to an abrupt end. Like a mad feeding frenzy of people desperate to fill their stomachs before an enforced fast, so the managers, and coaches, are anxious to get "bodies aboard" to ensure that they have enough to survive the hardships of the Premier ship season.

In our case, and no complaints directed towards Curbs, Monica had to instigate an urgent re-building program, not only to produce a team good enough for the new season but also to create a side that was his own. We told him to get himself a team because we were all having nightmares with the one we had and in 3 short months he would have appeared to have achieved both objectives.

The last day of transfer dealings always sees a large number of last minute transfers as fear and anxiety forces its way through and value for money is promptly thrown out of the window. But in the case of Pouso, Monica appears to have done his homework. He's seen him several times and our midfield is definitely an area of the team where we needed more "drive".

He's spent, by my reckoning, £11.5M which, even ignoring inflation, is a lot higher than Curbs ever spent. Some we're heard of and others are complete strangers to everyone. We can only begin to imagine how a football club sees and keeps tabs on all the players out there. There's obviously a lot of behind-the -scences activity that we never get to see. Perhaps its all in Curbs' book but maybe there's a real-life "Championship Manager" that we don't know about. But, although we're yet to see Gibbs, Diawara and Pouso in action, the other 6 newcomers have definitely, despite our shaky start to the season, brought an improvement to the team.

To remind everyone, the nine new boys are: Cory Gibbs, Simon Walton, Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, Amady Faye, Djimi Traore, Scott Carson, Andy Reid, Souleymane Diawara and Omar Pouso. Assuming Walton is best suited to midfield that's: one goalkeeper, 2 full-backs, a central defender, 4 midfielders and surprisingly for an ex-striker, only one forward. I guess you could argue its only 8 new bodies as Simon Walton has been packed off to Ipswich till Christmas.

Scanning the squad now we can only speculate at what Monica sees as his best team. But the influx of arrivals over the last week now makes the prospect of predicting our favoured 11 very mouth-watering. Roll on Chelski!

Sadly, we have to reflect that to compensate for the money spent and the lack of forthcoming opportunities, we have had to say goodbye to our biggest ever transfer purchase and leading goal-scorer for 3 of the last 5 seasons. Old favorite Jason Euell hasn't done it for a couple of seasons now and we can only wish him well at Middlesbrough. I bet he scores the winning goal in December at the Riverside. Also moving away is Stephan Andersen, who has joined Leeds on loan for the season.

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