Saturday 17th August 2007
Not really too sure where to start with this one.
I can’t tell if I should continue the make the most my role at rotherham – building a squad bringing together some the best British talent coming through various youth systems, and sticking them into a fluid yet conservative 4-4-2 tactic – or look at other opportunities which seem to continue landing on my doorstep.
Already this summer I’ve turned down opportunities to manage both the Holland and Ajax.
Obviously not at the same time. But the offers came in around the same time. But it’s not like I could manager them at the same time. Although technically I could.
You know what I mean.
Anyway… the way our squad is shaping up for an attack on four fronts, including our maiden European campaign in the UEFA Cup, is looking like one of the most exciting teams the Premier League has seen.
A decent amount of money has been parent this summer, although undoubtably it’s been the most satisfying from a squad building perspective.
With many of our players able to operate in multiple positions, both our depth and quality have been given a major upgrade, coupled with the sell in potential further down the line.
A fleet footed wide player capable of playing with both feet, Lennon is able to operate on either flank and even in the middle of the park.
Primarily a winger and with pace to burn, Lennon’s physical capabilities makes up for his lack of maturity on the pitch, although I see these two aspects – as well as his technical side – only getting better with age.
Why Leeds sold him to Ipswich is beyond me; he’s a gem of a player that could easily be worth at least ten times the £675,000 Ipswich paid for him. On the upside, at least he’s been getting some minutes in the Championship under his belt.
A Rottweiler of a midfielder who definitely looks like he came from the West Ham youth academy, Noble is also own to keep an eye out for the future, although his dogged tenacity and endless industriousness looks like it could play a part this season, even if only from a rotational standpoint.
A model citizen of an individual who will only get better with age, Noble definitely looks like a player who can fill in some gaps in a season which sees Rotherham fighting on all four fronts.
A two-footed midfielder who can also operate on the left wing – and with some strong feelings about being able to operate on other parts of the pitch because of his adaptability and versatility – James Milner is another solid capture and, like some of the other business that we’ve done this summer, could turn out top be a real bargain at just £6.5m.
Yet another product of the Leeds youth academy, Milner’s capture is especially satisfying, considering Leeds’ relegation to the first division and their need to sell and rebuild in one of the most competitive divisions in Europe, a situation that plays right into our hands.
A workhorse of a player who can also operate out wide, Snodgrass took a lot of convincing in the Rotherham Revolution project, and is an excellent addition to the team, although I feel his opportunities may be limited.
Like some of the other players brought in, his versatility looks like it could be a boon to the club, although my feeling is that his ability is only second to the likes of Lennon and Milner.
:We’ll try and get him out on loan to get some first team minutes; otherwise he could be on the outside looking for the foreseeatble.
One of the best defenders to come out of Scotland since Alan Hansen and Colin Hendry, Alan Hutton has the culture oif the former and the physicality of the latter.
A talented right back who can also play central defense, Hutton’s £5.5million (plus add ons) was anything cheap – especially when you bring his contract into contention – but has the ability to become a stalwart of our horrid defense for years to come.
Despite my initial excitement about the way the squad is shaping up and the way its taking shape, I can’t help but wrestle with my conscious over the fact that some players are going to have to be thrown out the door.
And despite my affinity for these players, their inconsistency is hampering the aggressive growth of the club.
Fan favorite Michael Branch has already been sold to Sunderland. Kris Commons’ second spell at the club is coming to an end.
The Premier Leagues best ever ginger player – after Paul Scholes, of course – Steve Sidwell is out the door. Stephen McPhail’s lack of consistency has lead to his departure to QPR. And promising youngster Dean Ashton, who did wonders for us in the First Division, is heading to Bolton.
Essentially, this is an absolute squad overhaul not seen since John Major took over from Margaret Thatcher. And hopefully, our squad can play football that’s not only as dull as Major himself, but as boring as his grinding policies, and as average as his premiership tenure.
This revolution will be the most British thing ever; even more British than if the Queen was wearing a Union Jack, standing in a queue for some fish and chip whilst drinking tea and watching the BBC in her iPhone.
The Rotherham Revolution will not be televised. But it probably would stand in a queue, without knowing what it’s lining up for.