Sunday, 26 July 2009

Hughes talks defensive options

Here he is saying that if we can't get our targets we won't buy for the sake of buying at centre half. Which is fair enough.

Given how clear and consistent Hughes has been in identifying the necessary attribute of any transfer target this summer - top six Premier League experience - we are necessarily drawing from a limited pool. If we don't get John Terry, Joleon Lescott or Kolo Touré (Matthew Upson is the fourth and probably final choice) there aren't many other top six experienced centre halves that we could realistically go for. Ricardo Carvalho, maybe. Daniel Agger had he not signed his new contract. I'd take William Gallas (ahead of Touré actually) but I'm not sure that Hughes would agree.

The point is, though, that given Hughes' insistence on Premier League experience at the top level, it doesn't take too many moves to fall through until we wouldn't really be improving on Richard Dunne and Nedum Onuoha. Or at least, not improving enough to justify paying out £10m+ in fees and £100k+/week in wages. So if we don't land Terry, Lescott, Touré or Upson, I'm not sure there's a 'B List'. Fortunately, though, for Hughes at least, Duncan Castles claims in The Sunday Times today that we should sign Terry, Lescott and Touré during August, and that we have already agreed personal terms with Kolo.

I can say quite firmly that I hope that this is not true. One of the great unknowns this summer has been whether Hughes would pursue one or two centre halves. I'd always preferred one - because I think that Onuoha's performances since Christmas justified his maintaining his position, even it may cost us a few points over the course of the season. I don't mind us selling Ched Evans, but I don't want us to abandon all the Academy players. So if we bought not two but three new centre halves, Onuoha might as well get on the phone to David Moyes or Martin O'Neill now.

1 comment:

Meanderer said...

What does this tell us about City?
I felt, when we signed Adebayor, that it was something of a departure from the reasons that we said we'd be buying players for. I don't think he gives us an awful lot more tha what we had wit the acquisition of Santa Cruz and I, for one, would still like to give Bojinov a chance to prove himself.
Having dealt with that, I now read this and it's startig to grate on me. In this case, I would argue that Nedum is as good as any of these players being mentioned. I think there is an argument to bring in one of Terry or Lescott. Terry has an undoubted reputatin as a leader and motivator - above and beyond his talent as a footballer - and I think this is something we can use. Lescott has proved that he can add a lot to a defense, both with Everton and England. But to say to our second best academy performer of last season - who was generating talk of an England call up in March - 'Thanks but despite your achievements, we're going to replace you anyway' implies that everything that's been said about the academy being key, and that we're not just going to set about a Chelsea style 'buy a winning team' philosophy is a lie.
If this is how we're going to operate, I'm really not sure I want glory.