Thursday, January 11, 2007

That's Traore

(with apologies to Dean Martin)

"When the ball hits the net, it’s Djimi’s fault you can bet
That’s Traore
When a red card is shown, and an opening win blown
That’s Traore
Two million was spent, the same as for Darren Bent
That’s Traore
When you’ve international caps, but you can’t overlap

That’s Traore!"

(repeat until hoarse, then go for a nice Italian meal)

It's painful to see a million quid written-off in the space of just five months, but then again I can't help thinking 'Arry has confused 'relative value' with 'absolute value.' Djimi Traore may appear to be a bargain relative to what Charlton paid for him, but we were done up like a kipper with some fans already asking, "Was he the worst player ever to play for Charlton?"

Obviously he wasn't the worst, not even close. But in the context of Charlton's Premiership status and the fee paid, he must surely represent one of the worst pieces of business the club has ever undertaken. As a fan, I expect full-backs to be able achieve three things: 1. keep the opposition winger in check, 2. provide cover when centre-backs are pulled out of position, and 3. provide overlapping support going forward. Djimi Traore achieved none of these things, and my none-too-fond memory of him will be of a gormless one-footed player with an uncanny ability to pass the ball long directly to the opposition.

At any other public company, if an investment was made and a 50% loss subsequently realised (equivalent to 5-10% of the entire company's market capitalisation) within months, then someone's head would roll. In the eyes of Richard Murray I would assume, someone's head has already rolled but I'm too cynical to believe we've been told the full story about Traore and some of our other diabolical summer signings. And all the while, the mysterious Andrew Mills continues on his merry way, his role as opaque as it has ever been despite the embarrassing catalogue of transfer market errors.

Traore has been swiftly replaced for £500,000 by Ben Thatcher, so looked at another way we've made a net outlay of £1.5m and ended up with only a 31-year-old with a controversial history. It still doesn't get any better. Anyhow, I'd rather have Thatcher than Traore any day and his disciplinary record doesn't concern me (so long as the 15-match ban suspended for two years never comes into fruition).

Of more concern is the fact that at 31, he's only made 272 career appearances suggesting a combination of injury proneness, patchy form and fall-outs with managers. Anyhow, I'm keen that all our transfer activity has one eye on likely Championship football next season and Thatcher fits the bill for that reason alone, and thus I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and anyhow, the reasonable fee reflects these concerns. Meanwhile, Portsmouth away next weekend could be tasty (though strangely I suspect Charlton didn't insist Traore couldn't play against us when negotiating the transfer).


At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Ali said...

"though strangely I suspect Charlton didn't insist Traore couldn't play against us when negotiating the transfer"

Knowing our luck, if he does he'll put in his only blinder of the season

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Eaststander said...

I agree that he probably wasn't quite the worst player ever to play for us, but he may have been the most overpriced (close thing with Diawara and M Bent), and certainly was the most disinterested.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Chicago Addick said...

To be fair I don't think he deserves the label disinterested. I personally thought he tried but his whole transfer was a disaster starting with his debut.

How he stayed at Liverpool for all those years I will never know.

Talking of Andrew Mills NYA, how is it that Man C signed Thatcher from Leicester for 100k and then 3 years later his price goes up 5 times?

At 2:15 PM, Blogger New York Addick said...

It's a bit like Marcus Bent's valuation going from £450,000 (when he joined Everton) to £2.3m when he joined Charlton. Pretty impressive for a guy that scored seven goals for the Toffeemen (not that we can blame Mills for that one to be fair).

I guess the amount of time left on their contracts makes a difference, but we do seem to get shafted more often than not in the transfer market whether buying or selling.


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