Poch made it clear in his book that whilst we do have an acquisition and assessment team of analysts and scouts and we do have a head of recruitment, it is Poch that has the final yeah or nay and then these targets (expected to be within Budget) are handed over for Levy & Co to make them happen, or not.
As I recently pointed to, Poch’s bemoaning of our inability to sign players in a timely manner was a very sharp boot up Levy`s backside – but does he and his recruitment team deserve one too for the number of failures we`ve had and discarded?
Mind you, when you look at the current value of the those on the ‘Successful list’ if you made a judgement on that alone, we are miles ahead. The one arguable on the failure list is Sissoko, although to me it is now unquestionably a financial and playing failure.
Part of Levy`s juggling act is to make sure that the required squads earning ambitions can be met whilst staying within our performance based remuneration packages; it is well known this can temper our ability to get the targets that we have aimed at and it is said it is this that led to Paul Mitchell to leave.
Our squad depth is shallow and our back-up quality is questionable, you either take the view that Poch has done some remarkable things with the resources available to him, or you take the view that in some area`s of need, he just doesn`t see what fans see and we have far too many misses than hits, but is that fair?
Looking at other clubs hit and miss lists taken as a whole, I keep seeing a 50/50 assessment – except perhaps for the moneybags clubs where on the face if it they are buying such quality that failures are somewhat rarer.
The Successful signings list:
The Juries out List:
The Failure list:
So will we start addressing the weaknesses in our squad in January, and if so will Poch get it right this time?
Or will Levy once again refuse to pay a January Premium and are we in for yet another disappointing and mostly inactive January?
Our predominantly weakening less than convincing performances this season (apart from the highlight of the champions league) suggests we need to make some big investments in the right sort of players and we need to do it in January, but with a minus £5 million spend in the last five seasons and a stadium build in full swing will we all be bitterly (including Poch) disappointed with our January business yet again?