They are only friendlies. As the old optimistic football saying goes. Also odd to play 3 games in as many days, the middle one a 6-hour round trip away, and the players all forced to go home for the weekend in between a week of intensive training in Ireland and 3 pre-season games in, er, Ireland. Katrien involved in that planning by chance?
We beat the amateur team, lost after being 2-0 up against the Premier League side and were thrashed by the University students that play in Irish 2nd tier. It is worth noting that the Irish teams are all mid-season and goes without saying, far more match fit than our lot.
Three games in three days, with the U23’s also in action on the mainland, meant that the squad was horribly stretched, although Robinson tried to play two different XI’s in all three games.
It is easy to say that the squad is not deep or strong enough, but in terms of numbers Robinson has plenty of options, other than in a couple of areas such as left back and ‘keeper.
6 forwards, 12 midfielders, 6 centre-half’s. Robinson is still stuck with hideous mis-management before him. Meire throwing around long contracts, Tex on obscene League One money, network players still in the building and the club forced to contribute towards salaries of players out on loan who we haven’t seen hide nor hair of for yonks.
Please don’t forget what damage Roland Duchatelet and his harebrained CEO have done to our football club. Not only in the past but to the future stability of it. They have decimated support and season ticket holders and now like a hamster who can’t get of his wheel they never give a manager a chance to build his own team.
The squad needs a complete rebuild Powell-style. For me Tex, Lennon, Sarr, Ceballos, Watt, Novak, KAG, and Ajose all need moving on. We have an abundance of strikers, most of whom don’t fit into Robinson’s system, and they are all at best worth max 10-goals a season. Lee Novak, who had an unfortunate first season (I’m being polite) does fit the system but word is he maybe off. Bury are in for him.
Who’s in then for Tex, Sarr, Ajose, Ceballos? Exactly. Nobody.
I would persevere with Kashi. He could save us a few quid, and a Kashi of the last time around could be like a new signing for Robinson. But despite what I calculate as a 28-man squad we are still desperately short of quality, and in fact in some positions, bodies. A no. 10, a goalkeeper, a left back, perhaps two, a must. A striker that can set the division alight would be nice, but we tried that last year. The centre midfield ball winner who can grab goals still a forlorn dream.
Despite the above I’m not feeling negative following the results tonight and yesterday. They are only friendlies, but again, like Groundhog Day, the squad looks horribly unbalanced with three and a bit weeks to go to the opening league game.
I am starting to wonder why the next round of transfer targets are taking a while to convert? Reeves, Dasilva, Martin all in the works supposedly. Has Robinson been told to sell before he can buy? It would not surprise me.
Duchatelet firmly strangling Robinson’s ambitions and plans, just as the Belgian did with everyone before him.