Perhaps a good time to list the unknown unknowns, which may help us understand some of what is to come.
What do I mean by that?
Ross Wilson heads a team who scout players. Unknowns are
“What are they looking for in those players they scout?”
“Who determines what we are looking for?”
“Who chooses to list candidates to senior staff?”
“How many candidates are given to the manager as a choice?”
“Does the Manager have a choice?”
If all we’ve done is punish someone for poor performance, and it wasn’t the manager that was punished, and there was no succession plan but it was all about showing who the boss is, then that is how a large number of foreign owned teams still languishing in the Championship started to unravel. Not good.
Extrapolating from Phil’s post did Reed not want Hughes? If that was the case then it means I have more respect for Reed and not less.
Watching many of our summer signings not making Hughes’ first team might also point to the reason for this departure.
Has Hughes made the point that Reed’s signings were shit and that’s why we are where we are?
If that’s the case then this might have strengthened Hughes’ hand and not weakened it.
The problem still lies at the top. Our current owners are bereft of interest, money and intent. Reed undoubtedly saw this and his going is symptomatic of the toxicity running through the club. It will not end it. This will be another Eric Black scenario and will likely change nothing.
He would be a fool if he believed that Pellegrino was going to keep us up. He was hapless and we were hopeless. Whether people like him or not, Hughes did his job and kept us up. It was said at the time that it was a no-brainer to keep Hughes on this season and beyond. The club couldn’t really be criticised for rewarding and keeping faith with the guy that instilled a bit of passion and kept us up so if it went tits up nobody would really be pointing fingers at THAT particular decision.
For me I am conflicted because I feel that our problems are not straightforward and no one person is accountable for all of them. That said, as Chairman of Football (or whatever), Les came closest to ultimate responsibility.
A lot needs to be said for the recruitment of players. The owners and club have simply not moved with the times and are still intent on spending less than £20m on players. Which would appear to be insufficient for the desired and necessary quality in this day and age. A crazy statement to make but that is the reality. We have the Sky and oil money of City and Chelsea; the US investments and global reach of Liverpool and Man Utd to thank for that.
The strategy of buy cheap, develop and sell high has also been well and truly found out as well. It was a strategy dependent on success, or at the very least the success and development of the individual player. But the last year or so has shown that when no fucker wants your shit players then you are stuck with what you have because the only investment in players has been through reinvestment of transfer fees. We are potentially looking at a situation in January where we cannot bring in players because we have no money in the pot and need to sell to buy. But which of our players would command a meaningful transfer fee to make a difference? Lemina? Too inconsistent. Bertrand? Getting on a bit.
Whether this failure is borne out of arrogance or genuine financial restrictions, or both, I do not know. Either way it does make a mockery of the nature of the takeover and the hollow words of Kat about us needing additional investment, hence the sale. You could argue that was a comment aimed at a more longer term investment from raising the profile of the club in China etc but ultimately our profile will only be raised on foreign shores with success on the pitch. In our current predicament, if I were a Chinese or Indian lad, I suspect I wouldn’t be rushing past the City and Utd shirts to get hold of a Saints one.
Anyway, see ya later Les. Thanks for Rickie Lambert.
It needs to swing some more and REPLACEMENTS need to be sufficient, if this is a cost cutting exercise disguised as being affirmative it’ll show very prominently.
I’m waiting, this is a start not an end.