Thursday, 27 August 2009

The long game

Hughes talked quite openly about long term transfer strategy yesterday:

"We are very comfortable with what we've been able to do. I outlined my plans to the board in December 2008, told them the players and the quality of players that we needed.

"Obviously at that point there was a budget allocated, but that budget was accelerated and we've done a lot of work in a short space of time - probably three years' work in nine months."

And

“In the future we won’t be going into the market to this extent again. We have gone very quickly into the market and brought in big numbers of players."

The point seems to be that this summer's spending: six players for £12m or more, three of whom cost over £22m - plus two free transfers - will not be repeated. Which is good. If I have one criticism of this summer's spending it is this: that too many of my favourite players (Onuoha, Dunne, de Jong, Kompany, Bellamy) have been marginalised by the spending. Of course, those favourites will be swiftly replaced by whichever players I take to this season. But a key part of being a football fan is the forming of emotional bonds with specific players, and we can't just keep on turning over the player squad every summer - the last few years have been chaotic enough.

So the squad we now have is going to be here, for the most part, for the next few years. The strategy is going to revert to a more conventional two or three players per window. I imagine that this will coincide with a real attempt to bring, after a year of trying, a genuinely world class player to City. A big money move for Maicon next summer? Don't bet against it.

4 comments:

Simon said...

I agree with the point about forming bonds with certain players... Bellamy for example, came with a horrible reputation, but his scoring record in the games he played for us speaks for itself, and I genuinely grew to like him as a player. And now, with the striking talent we've got available, he is likely to miss out quite a lot. I find this a shame. However, if Adebeyor keeps up this performance until he goes to the Africa Nations cup, and Tevez & Robinho can really click together, the pain of Bellamy's (and others) missing out will be eased for me!
Here's hoping we avoid a 'nana skin tonight!

Ian said...

I agree with you that it will be good on a number of fronts to not be indulging in the kind of dspending that has taken place this summer. It will also have a positve effect on the team image with the press etc. I am sure the Man Utd, Chelsea and L/pool knockers will not stop but it ought to prpvike a more intelligent criticism.

jackblue said...

"too many of my favourite players (Onuoha, Dunne, de Jong, Kompany, Bellamy) have been marginalised by the spending"

I understand completely the point you are making but I do not think they have been marginalised at all. They will improve by playing and training with better quality players. Then with improvement will come opportunity. Exactly what is needed. I'm sure MH will pick strictly on merit, on what he sees every day in training.

btw keep up the work Jack, I always enjoy reading your views :-)

Shropshire Blue said...

Wise words! Best City blog for me. Mind you, why does your poll go on for 6 days after tonight!