We all knew that this summer was going to be radically different but looking at some of the reaction on social media it seems that the reality of that is only just starting to sink in.
While the arrival of four new faces before the middle of June has been a breath of fresh air and generally well received it has been the issue of departures that has predictably started the feathers flying.
The suggestion that Graham Dorrans, Cameron Jerome and Johnny Howson could be sold has upset some fans, but a dispassionate assessment should result in a rather different viewpoint, and I say that as a big fan of all three.
Let’s start with Dorrans – on his day one of the best passers of a ball in the Championship, but who is now the wrong side of 30 and, as is so often the case for ageing players, has started to pick up increasingly regular niggles resulting in only 22 starts out of a possible 46 this season. His value will only fall going forwards so now is the time to cash in.
Howson has greater durability but is keen to return to the North with his young family and has made it clear that he will not extend his contract at City beyond its remaining two years. He is therefore a diminishing asset with questionable commitment, and while I would see him go with a heavy heart there is little room for sentiment in football.
And then there is big Cam, a man who has literally busted a gut for City since his arrival three years ago. However, with the best will in the world he has too many days when he couldn’t hit the proverbial cow’s arse with a banjo, which is why he has never been able to establish himself at a higher level than the Championship.
His work rate will be hard to replace, but if the money freed up allows Daniel Farke to bring in a replacement with pace AND goal scoring ability to provide a different option to Nelson Oliveira then it would be a good piece of business.
As James Finbow recently pointed out in these pages, radical change means that some familiar faces will depart to free up resources to refresh the squad and unfortunately, we will all have to accept the fact that some of our personal favourites will be gone.
However, while I have lots of sympathy for those who will rail against any of the above departures if they actually happen I find some of the reactions to the revamping of the goalkeeping unit a little harder to comprehend.
While Angus Gunn may not have had much first team experience at Manchester City, he is highly regarded by Pep Guardiola, has been involved in the England Under 21 set up for some time and, more importantly, has everything to prove. Yes, he’s unproven, but as calculated risks go he’s a pretty decent one.
Remi Matthews has also seen his stock rise after a stellar loan spell at Hamilton, including a pivotal role in their relegation play-off victory. He will, I suspect, be the number two, while Michael McGovern, who is a fantastic shot stopper but makes too many errors of judgement, may be sold off.
What I really can’t get my head around is the fuss about the sale of Declan Rudd to Preston. He’s been at the club since the age of 7 and has never taken the chance to establish himself under string of managers. He’s similar to McGovern in that his shot stopping ability is first class but he is all at sea when the ball is in the air, and ended up like a rabbit in headlights when he replaced John Ruddy in City’s last Premier League season.
Argue all you like that he played behind a poor defence but so did Ruddy and yet Rudd was shot to pieces after a handful of games. It could be argued that that was due to lack of experience, but that argument doesn’t wash either for a player who has had regular first team football on loan at Preston and Charlton.
I wish Rudd well, but if he had spent this long at the club without making an impact having been brought in from elsewhere I suspect that the same people bemoaning the fate of “one of our own” would be asking why the hell he was still on the wage bill.
It’s all opinions at the end of the day, of course, and no doubt we will be having plenty of these sorts of arguments as the summer progresses!
Finally, a warm welcome to Christoph Zimmermann – a 24-year-old, 6ft 4in German defender who joins City as a free agent having played under Varke last season for Borussia Dortmund’s Under-23 side. He arrives on a two-year deal and joins Messrs Watkins, Gunn and Vranic as the Farke/ Webber revolution gains momentum.
Thanks to our friends at Archant for permitting us the use of Robin’s services over the summer months on a short-term loan deal