Posted this analysis in another thread but wanted to get some more feedback and hence the column.
It's obviously great to see the amount of funds that have been invested in the first team. However, having being a fan since 91, I can't help but try to evaluate what the potential down side of all this activity could be. They are,in my humble opinion, as follows
- settling in period: even the best need time to settle in the league. What helps them do so are players who have been through it, or have have grown up with it, and minutes in the pitch. We have sold pretty much all the players who have the experience and the mentality (if not the quality) to cope with the adjustment. Is this too much of an overhaul?
- the net spend : we are spending like Man City or Chelsea. We do not have the scale of operations to cope with that financially. (I.e. no champions league, no stadium capacity). We have bought soldado, capoue, paulinho and chadli for about 60 million. Sold Hudd, Parker, Dempsey and caulker for about 25 million. So a net spend of 35 million. The news is another potential 50 million for willian and lamela with Ade and bae on their way out. So a total net spend of about 80 to 90 million? This back of envelope calculation indicates that this total squad overhaul can only be financed by one thing - the sale of gareth bale. The bbc coverage lottery is helpful no doubt. But if bale is not sold, the money is either coming from
- joe lewis sniffing blood with arsenal weakness and man united potentially slipping up and therefore financing or
- us saying screw the conservative financial management and lets blow it all up.
All things considered I just hope we are not Leeds United part 2 - unlikely with Dan Levy at the helm but still.
- the recruitment policy : we are a chadli and capoue club - max a paulinho club - buy for 5 to 15 million and sell for 25 to 30 million. This astute financial management policy has led to brilliant world class training facilities, a good youth development structure and a steadily growing club in terms of performance. While I'm sure baldini is a brilliant recruiter, it is a little concerning that we are not identifying the michus or the modrics but splashing the cash - concerning simply because we are not used to it!
Just hope it all works out ok.
Also I still say we need a VdV for our final third play. Forget all the athletic run a million miles crap - we need a guy who can play 60-70 minutes and change the result of the big games (remember arsenal at the emirates - score 1 set up 2 in a 3-2 win). And all for 8 million - Dan levy sold him for 12. Brilliant management all around from Harry and Mr Levy.