Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Another keeper?

A few rumours in today's papers about us looking to sign Antti Niemi from Southampton for £1.5m. Whilst he is (or at least was) an outstanding keeper, I would have thought there were far better ways to spend money in the transfer window. The goalkeeping department is probably our strongest, with gaping holes existing in the areas marked 'left-back', 'striking options' and 'defensive wide midfielder.'

The Guardian suggested that Stefan Andersen refused to travel with the reserves to Leicester which, if true, is the type of behaviour to ensure he disappears from the scene for several months given Curbishley's record on these matters. I would have thought a quick dressing-down and a fine would suffice, particularly when it involves a key young talented player, but Curbs doesn't seem to work this way (remember Jason Euell anyone? Or Greg Shields? Or Franny Jeffers?).

Talking of Jeffers, it seems odd that we'd pay £2m for him yet he has never been given a decent run in the side - either way, serious questions need to be asked either about our transfer policy in this case (what checks were done on his lifestyle if this is an issue?). Whenever I've seen him play, he looks like he has plenty to offer - surely the real test of a manager's skill is the ability to motivate and get the best out of difficult players, particularly when you've gone to the trouble of spending a lot of money on them. I was hoping he would score loads of goals at Rangers and come back in January brimming with confidence but it hasn't happened. Either way, it would be nice to think the Jeffers option could save us a couple of million in the transfer window.


At 3:24 PM, Blogger Chicago Addick said...

NYA, I think Jeffers was a rush buy. Curbishley is renowned to take his time over deciding on players (too long some people would say - Remember the Kinsella saga?) but with Franny time was running out, he had lost Cole & Di Canio and I think Curbs panicked.

Also Wegner refused to allow him to go on loan and sold us a dummy by making us fork out $2m for him.

So Curbs now goes back to his methodical and slow way of signing players - Ashton, Dawson, Reid are all recent examples of this as were him signing 3 players on loan in the summer and not outright.


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