Monday, January 16, 2006

Bent Over Double

It's not the first time I've used this headline for a post, but I couldn't resist myself this morning.

It seems that medical-permitting, we are set to have a pair of Bents up front for the remainder of the season. It's not clear what role the potential comedy value played in the transfer, but unusually for Charlton, this was a transfer that has been 'telegraphed' for many months. Admittedly he wouldn't have been my first choice but you can only sign players that are available, and at an affordable price, so it's probably not a bad piece of business. He is a real 'journeyman' and like others of a similar ilk (Hreidarsson for example), let's hope he also settles down and we get the best years of his career.

If Darren provides the guile, pace and finishing ability then Marcus is clearly from the school of hard knocks, and a big lad at that (6ft 2in). His scoring record has that air of familiarity about it (only 96 goals in 419 games) but Curbs has clearly seen something that others have not. A big question mark for me would be the fact that this is his third million-pound plus transfer (Blackburn and Ipswich also paid big money) but he failed to succeed at either club, and we will be his ninth club. Let's hope it's not an attitudinal issue as we have had enough of those recently with £2.5m strikers. Indeed, given that Everton only spent £450,000 eighteen months ago, they've achieved a remarkable mark-up on the back of just eight goals. If I'm ever selling a house, let's hope Curbs comes to view it.

The Ipswich connections in our team are now verging on the ridiculous, and it's a credit to that similarly well-run club and well-liked club that so many of their ex-players are attractive to us. I would imagine it can't be easy for their fans, now required to watch midtable Championship football, whilst some of their best recent homegrown (and purchased) players ply their trade at Charlton. Given that they might reasonably be described as a 'bigger club' than us, all things considered, there's probably some valuable perspective to be gained there whilst we wallow in boredom at our midtable Premiership 'plight.' Whilst they're not a true 'local' rival, a mini-rivalry did build up during the late-1990s, so you can imagine how we would feel in a few year's time if we saw our best young players like Thomas, Bent and Ambrose all end up at say West Ham or Spurs.

Footnote: It also seems that Jason Euell is off to Birmingham for a fee of £1.5m, a material reduction in his value since we paid top-of-the-market money for him in 2001. In my view, he has been treated poorly by Curbs, and whilst he never had the greatest technique, he always gave 100% and his goalscoring record is second-to-none in recent seasons.


Post a Comment

<< Home