Tuesday 1st January 2006
It’s a January 1st. We’re still sitting third in the table, with only Arsenal and Manchester United above us.
Disheartening losses at home to Liverpool (4-2) and Chelsea (3-1) make me wonder if our bubble has burst. I don’t think it has, but we have to be realistic and take the shite with the not so shite.
Playing the way we do – disruptive, aggressive, pressing in packs, running after players, getting nasty, sitting deep, protecting our goal, and launching it forward – is not a cutting edge and progressive way to play, giving the opposition more time on the ball and more space to work with. But it is effective. And with the spine of our team coming together, it’s becoming more difficult to play through us, and thus making it difficult to score.
In the long term, Rotherham’s ability to grind out results and keep clean sheets is what I would like this team to be known for. None of this tippy tippy bullshit, none of this 5-4 scoreline horse crap. Give me a bunch of 1-0 and 2-0 victories. Let’s resurrect the art of the defense and take things back to the good old days of football of when I graced the muddy pitches of lower league football.
The board have done us an absolute massive solid by increasing our transfer budget, but we’ll still need to get creative and move some personnel around to keep everyone happy.
Trying to strengthen a team that already has depth, coupled with blooding the younger talent we have whilst also looking at ways we can bring in some experienced players – all the whilst attentions to continue our march into the latter stages of the season without dropping too many points – is going to be a challenge as we enter the second half of the season.
This is easily going to be the most important transfer window in the history of the club to date.
Shortlist wise, we’re looking at multiple different players and options, although there are a few players who we’d like to hone in on because of what we think they can offer the club both now and in the long run.
An absolute engine of a footballer, Michael Essien is our top target, but also could be quite an expensive acquisition, both from a transfer fee and weekly wage situation.. Technically astute, mentally unwavering and super physical, this lad could be an absolute monster in the middle of the park with Carrick. His ball winning abilities, tenacity and ability to pick out a pass could be what we need to take out counter attacking Shithousery to a whole new level.
Like a diet version of Essien, but who has the ability and an eye for a Hollywood pass, Sully Muntari looks like a football who could feel really at home in South Yorkshire. We think this lad could also do the business, but his impact on the team might not be so immediate.
Definitely a player who can play a role now, but his importance to the team may not be realized for some time. Carrick’s hold over one of two positions in midfield, coupled with competition from Huddlestone and Sidwell, means that there could be an overload of competition in the middle of the park, even if we do like the cut of his jib.
Built like a brick shithouse and almost as tall as Peter Crouch, Andy Carroll is a future England international in the making. If we manage to get this lad, we think he could be better than Crouchy. That being said, it could provide great competition for Peter and allow him to reach a higher level, and Rotherham will have two of the nastiest beanpole strikers in the British Isles.
Strong, physical, industrious and resilient, Carroll has the world at his feet. He just needs to make sure that he fills his potential.
Getting him now could prove challenging. Depending on how the squad shapes up over the next six to 12 months, there could be a route to the first team. As such, his allegiance to Newcastle and young age means this is more of a long term project.
Another one for the future. Recently capped by Wales and able to operate out wide, Gareth Bale follows a line of Welsh Wizards who are able to operate on the wing, and to great effect.
Southampton have stayed their price for him – it was around £7.5m at the start of the season – but his unwillingness to move in order to secure the playing time he craves means he could be unobtainable for a while. Him and Andy Carroll are two players who I think have a long term future at Rotherham, but are probably going to be project transfers that will need some real work in securing.
A defender we’ve wanted for a while, but seem to keep missing the boat on
A player we wanted to buy when he was at Walsall, his transfer to Bradford meant that it was always going to be a difficult signing for us to pull off.
We almost got him at the send time of asking; instead he signed a new contract.
An absolute man mountain of a player who can defend the ball both in the air and on the ground, Danny boy could also provide long term assurance in defense both now and for seasons to come. The question is whether go for him now, or if we hope that Bradford get relegated and thus triggers a release clause, meaning we can snap him up for less than £10m.
The club have some real work to do. Even we only get one of these targe,s I would consider it a success.
Focusing on youth development and bolstering the U21 and U18 ranks is always something we’ll do at the club, but now we need players who can come in and do a job and hit the ground running.
Finding the right players who can continue to drive the club forward, especially in this season when there are murmurings of Europe on the horizon, is imperative.
Time to go forward and shithouse.