It’s guest blog time again, and today it’s the turn of one of MFW’s regular commenters, Alex B, also known as Alex Bain. Here are his thoughts on what could happen and what needs to happen in January. Take it away…
Sitting there on New Year’s Eve and listening to Madness seemed a good time to reflect on what has happened and what the next instalment is likely to be…
As it’s now January 2019 and the transfer window has opened, rumours will, of course, be rife of comings and goings, so let’s start with possible outs:
- Max Aarons – Tottenham or Arsenal both reported to be interested at around £15million. In my opinion, that’s not enough and also the lad needs a couple more seasons here to develop before moving on, which he inevitably will.
- Nelson Oliveria has been linked with moves to either Turkish side Besiktas or Swansea. Personally, I would prefer him to head east in order to prevent any possibility of him coming back to bite us.
- Yanic Wildshut since, signing for £4 million to £7 million, he has been a complete failure. He hasn’t been able to get a chance, so if the Sheffield United rumours are right, then let’s take the hit of losing some money and give him to them.
- Ivo Pinto proved his worth in the early part of his City career but now there appears no way back in this Farke Team. So, let’s wish him well and thank him for his service.
- The latest Naismith rumour is that Rangers want him. If so, whatever we get for him will be most welcome, but the savings on wages would be the big win.
- Remi Mathews hasn’t set the world on fire during his loan move to Bolton although it was view to a permanent move. They do however have real financial problems, so it just could be that he is on his way back to us.
- Michael McGovern will be gone by the end of the summer. He appears happy to sit and take the money with an occasional cup game. Possibly to Preston next summer?
- Felix Passlack has not proved – maybe hasn’t had the chance to prove – that he has what it takes to make the grade in the Championship.
Will there be anyone one else set to leave? Possibly a summer signing who hasn’t lived up to potential that someone else can use? Or maybe an injured player looking to restart his career?
So, where do we need to strengthen? No names… just positions:
- Striker (maybe get Jordan Rhodes permanently)
- Another keeper to push Tim Krul at present, who has no competition.
- New owners with deeper pockets? ?
How about those we need to re-sign (not resign!)
- Timm Klose – simple as that
- Stuart Webber – a long-term deal
- Team Farke, the whole lot – all on long-term deals
If City don’t get promoted, however, they will become the sweet shop for the Premier League and, as mentioned earlier, there are already several clubs looking at our home-grown contingent. Unless the City board really hold their combined nerve, City could be sold down the swanny. Obviously, the names in the frame are Ben Godfrey, Jamal Lewis, Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell.
Amongst some of those mentioned earlier, there are some who will be free agents in the summer and who, in fact, can legitimately talk to other clubs in this window, namely: Klose, Pinto, Naismith, McGovern
So, we now enter a defining period in the Webber/Farke project. Being self-financing is all well and good if as a club we’re content to remain a Championship club with little ambition, but promotion this season or next simply has to be the aim.
Finishing in the playoffs this season would represent a vast improvement but going up would show City to be forward thinking and ambitious club and would also keep the good players here.
The big question is, do the Board’s ambitions match those of the supporters, Stuart Webber and Team Farke?
Cheers Alex. I’m sure we’ll hear from him again before the dust settles on season 2018/19.
martin penney says
Good stuff Alex.
I had no idea this article would appear but I’m glad it did.
Ambition is the key word as far as NCFC is concerned. I would reiterate that we don’t possess too much of that at Board level, but I’m sure Webber and Farke think differently.
It’s that horrible waiting game for us now – we as supporters can only sit back and see what happens from now until season’s end, for good or ill.
New owners with deeper pockets are not on the horizon. Especially as our current “custodians” have effectively blocked any approach at the gatehouse.
We’ve just got to roll with it whether we like it or not.
Time to get the Night Boat to Cairo!
I do sort of believe the board or Delia and hubby’s ambitions do match that of supporters.in being a premier League outfit.
The difference being time scale and cost. we want it now or soon after, they are prepared to wait and wait, making more money from the sales along the way, strengthening the club. their investment etc.
Alex B says
Listening to Madness for me was the right thing to do while penning the article as so far the season has been full of Madness.
Well one transfer has been reported Jarvis to Walsall I would presume R M would have helped that along, but city will still be paying the majority of his wages so not much of a saving.
Thanks for the comment and HNY
Alex B says
Seems I made a boob reply to Martins comments came here as well
In some respects I agree that the owners would want premiership but also the their time scale could up set the apple cart Webber and Farke will want to test themselves at the top level and may not want to wait plus the players with ambition will want the same.
Stability and sustainability are all well and good in business but football supporters don’t have the patience for a long drawn out timescale when they can see other clubs with small crowds, Stadiums getting it now.
Thanks and HNY
General Melchett says
Not sure I agree with you Canarylad. If the owners are after making money, they need promotion ASAP, the PL millions will fill the coffers if managed sensibly, selling players as we are at the moment only keeps the wolf from the door. A debt free PL club is vastly more valuable than a championship one.
Delia et al may hate the PL and the crazy finances of it, but they will know the sooner the better for the finances of this club. Will they stretch the clubs finances to do it? Very unlikely, but did Webber or Farke join thinking any different? I am optimistic that the current set up can get us there if not this season then in the next couple. I know we might sell some of our best, but I finally have faith that with Webber and Farke we have a set up that can deal with it and replace well and keep the squad moving forward. Look how we all felt when Madders and Murphy left in the summer. Trust in Webber and Farke and that they will stick with the project.
I think most fans are reasonably realistic and can accept that we are destined to be a yoyo club. John F suggests becoming a: Leicester, Wolves or Watford. Well are we so far behind any of those but Leicester? Wolves first PL season in 6 but 5th in 20 years may yet come crashing down with a debt mountain. Watford continue to defy all logic in staying up but their new manager every season model will likely fail soon enough. Leicester of course are the dream (For now, who knows whether the family will continue to bankroll them so well?) even if we got a great new owner like them (Odds are against) there are no guarantees of success and staying up. But these things move in cycles and today’s Ipsh#t could be tomorrows Wolves. We are in a decent place with our current set up and I am optimistic. If however we don’t make it to the PL again in the next 3-4 years, and/or Webber leaves or the academy conveyor belt runs dry, then I believe Delia and the board have rolled the dice for the last time and should go. But the DoF moderl at least deserves enough time to succeed.
Good read Alex and I concur with every point you make.
The most relevant comment is for new owners with deeper pockets as everything is reliant upon finance nowadays.
I think all fans wish for Norwich to become an established premier league side but this will never happen under the current owners limited resources. I hope they finally seek the light and realise they need to sell. I’d love us to become a Leicester, Wolves or Watford.
Alex B says
We can all dream that Delia will see the light but she is blinkered not only in sight but in her and the boards way of thinking in my opinion when you get to the stage of setting up a trust so that your heir apparent can’t sell then without their consent any legacy you might have left the club will be tarnished
Thanks again HNY
General Melchett says
I’m not sure I agree with all of your thoughts on the possible ins and outs and the wisdom there in.
We have Rhodes on loan for the season, why would we make that permanent until we know which division we are likely to be in next season? I don’t doubt his quality at Championship level and his attitude and commitment have seemed first rate. But if we go up, is he really a player we want on our wage bill? He is currently struggling to get a game and is clearly second choice to Pukki. In the PL we would need an upgrade on both, so in my opinion, Much better in my view to remain flexible and keep a permanent deal carrot dangled to the summer when we know where we’ll be.
I reckon like I assume you do, that Nelson is probably more of a threat than Yannick, but surely selling/giving Yannick to SU is more of a risk as they appear a more direct threat to our league position. I would certainly not be to keen to let him join them unless on a permanent deal. Like many other players, he may just be the right team/setup away from tearing up the league. He was a pretty good player for Wigan and I think it is chancy to gift him to SU.
I think whilst outwardly the squad seem to be very together, I do wonder how happy some of the players will be? Hanley must be frustrated, he now appears to be 4th choice in a defence that particularly recently has been rather Porous. Trybull who was regularly first choice last season, finds himself a bit part player and only near the team now due to the mounting injuries. Marshall, Srbeny and Morris when he returns are all on the fringes and surely must covet greater playing time.
Alex B says
Yes at present with the team not losing it is difficult for the fringe players to get a game to show what they can do to help the team.
Hanley will be frustrated at not getting back into the side but he will also realise after so long out he has to bide his time and prove his fitness.
Wildshut was a good youth player at Ajax never made it to the first team, also never made it at Middlesbrough, showed potential at Wigan and has done nothing at city or his 2 loans, yes it would ve a risk to sell to a promotion competitor but if it was a permanent deal it just might be worth a risk, Nelson is now a rumoured purchase for Swansea that would be a bigger risk.
General Melchett says
With Swansea, 7 points from the playoffs and 13 behind us I can only see it as a very small risk. SU only 2 points behind us and a manager who thinks he could add something = for me a significantly higher risk. Especially as Nelson being moved on is likely to have a bigger financial plus too.
Don’t forget, with Nelson’s attitude and lack of game time, he might as easily harm Swansea as help!
Alex B says
I think wherever Olivera turns up next will be a plus for City, as it will be a hefty wage off the books and he could upset the applecart where ever it is.
SU is my wife’s second team and she thinks Leeds will implode and SU to win the championship with City second.