“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein.
Well that quote now feels rather apt. I’ve kept my powder deliberately dry over the re-start, but having watched the same smorgasbord being served up game after game I decided on the theme for this article:
When it feels stale…it’s time to go.
Moi? You may ask… no chance. City till I die.
Farke? No chance. He worked miracles and for me, that buys him at least another two seasons.
Webber? Ditto. One bad transfer window aside, the club is in very fine fettle indeed.
So who’s left? The squad.
Since we began to look like genuine championship contenders, I have dreaded the prospect of relegation, not because of the financial implications, not because we will no longer adorn the final slot on MOTD and not because we will now be reduced to columns spanning two inches in whichever rag you choose to read on a Sunday. But because I didn’t want the team to be broken up. Disassembled. Sold off. Sent to the knackers yard.
I loved the unity. Big Timmy Krul at the back, our delightful young fullbacks, each of our four centre backs offering something unique yet similar. Our plethora of midfielders – whichever combination was put on the field, I loved; ‘Tetbull’, Leitner, McLean. A tricky, weaving interchanging front three that were all crowd-pleasers and the GOAT up top, swiftly followed by an emerging Idah (I think he’ll be a superstar).
I knew relegation would mean the breaking up of this squad and I would be gutted. The last time I felt like this was when I saw Fox, Sutton and Culverhouse depart within months of each other.
Yet, when a relationship starts to feel stale, it’s time to move on. And that’s exactly how I’ve felt since ‘project re-start’. Or whichever name you choose to give it. I just don’t have the love for them anymore. It’s a group that are stale. It’s a relationship that has soured. It’s time for change.
The incomings have been swift, wide and varied in their nature, but the outgoings (at the time of penning this) have been noticeable by their absence. But leave they will.
Or, peut etre
So here are my thoughts on who we should retain. Feel free to blow these out of the water or indeed proffer your own thoughts.
Krul – All costs. We haven’t had so commanding a goalkeeper since Bryan Gunn broke his leg.
Hanley – Good leader and gritty.Zimbo – see above Aaron’s – retain if possible, I think he’s a good fit and I don’t think he’s quite ready to go.
Tettey – Retain, but I’m wondering what’s left in the tank to offer us.
Trybull – A Classy deep-lying playmaker and will excel again at Championship level.
McLean – Offers a good threat, physical, energetic and has an eye for goal. We will need that.
Onel – Not good enough for Prem yet but will offer a lot next season. His end product is slowly starting to improve and Argos could do with the sales.
Stiepermann – As above. Never really rated him, but in the Championship he can cut a dashing thrust and offers a physical presence, his height makes him ‘look big’ defensively.
Pukki – Retain if possible. He looked jaded, but then it must require monumental mental concentration to keep making runs with perhaps one in 10 of those coming to anything. The ratio will be in his favour next season and I expect the goals to flow.
Lewis – I think McCallum will do as well if not better.
Klose – needs to go. Injury-prone and expensive. Also not that good.
Godfrey – if the figures being purported are correct, then we can get mega money for him now. He is still prone to mistakes, there is still a lot of debate as to his best position and I think we can find a replacement with buckets of cash left over.
Buendia – a classy little player. Yet his goals for column and temperament, for me, always leave a question mark. Another who could command a big fee and Dowell already looks a great fit for the Championship.
Leitner – hurts me to say it as I think he’s such a good player. Yet I think his personality is perhaps that of the Ravel Morrison type. Shame.
Cantwell – in his head he’s outgrown the club. Watching him over the last few weeks he looks like he is playing for himself or a bigger move. I think it’s in everyone’s best interests if a mutual departing takes place. Will always have a tougher time from the crowd for being a local lad and I get the sense he thinks he’s too good for us.
Rupp – he won’t leave. But I’ve seen precious little yet to suggest there’s a spot for him.
I’ll ignore the juniors here as needless to say I think Idah will have a big part to play.
I’ve probably forgotten someone but these are my thoughts. Will be interesting to see how close or wide of the mark this ends up being.