Thursday, 3 January 2013

Who's up for the Cup?

Tuesday's excellent result at Vicarage Road meant a good start to the year for Addicks everywhere. Hopes of repeating the victory on Saturday at the Valley and progressing to the 4th round have taken a dip in the intervening couple of days as our squad has been depleted and I am reckoning on some fast movement in the newly opened window.

First, Leon Cort limped off on Tuesday at the death with a hamstring problem and I am guessing won't be ready for Saturday. Pretty boy Lawrie Wilson also sustained a broken nose which, depending on severity, may mean he also needs longer than four days recovery. If you add to that the ending of the loan signings of Seaborne, Frimpong and Hulse, we could be down to bare bones against Huddersfield Town.

The good news, if there is any, is that none of the loanees started at Watford and we have Dervite to come in for Cort and options for Wilson, although we won't be better off for it.

On the basis that we are going to need to strengthen our squad and first team options during the window, I think we will look for early moves to beat the market and to get maximum benefit. Re-signing loanees is the easiest option as we know them and they know us and they are still likely to be surplus to requirements at their home clubs. The prospects of a fourth round tie look decent and that might justify an early loan move on it's own.

With Rhoys Wiggins training again, Danny Seaborne looks unlikely to return and he has had mixed reviews. Personally, I thought he added something overall. Manny Frimpong didn't look entirely settled to me and I suspect he might be hankering after another go at Wolves. Again, I thought he did alright but I had hoped for a more creative contribution. That leaves Rob Hulse and he looks unlikely to be recalled into first team duty for QPR. Hulse was the most successful acquisition for me and I think the competition he provided for Kermogant, Haynes and Fuller was as valuable as his direct contribution. I would have him back and suspect he might be the most obvious returnee.

Outside of the loanees, our biggest risk is the loss of one or two of our better players to money moves. Money talks although it remains to be seen whether Jiminez has learnt the lesson with Stephens or if he is now desperate enough to sell. Hamer, Solly, Stephens and Pritchard are rumoured to be sparking interest. Stephens and Pritchard could be replaced relatively easily with as good if not better players but we will struggle to bring in as good a keeper as Hamer unless we go for an ageing Premier stopper (and that's short-sighted) and we won't be able to acquire as good a right-back as Solly for the fee he is likely to command. I think Pritchard has more improvement to come in his game and we should hang on if we can. Stephens can go now if we get a repeat £1.5m or higher offer. On the basis that this season is, realistically, now about consolidation, I would be happy only to see a couple of loanees join and us hang on to our existing squad. 

Sorry to hear that Andy Hughes may be forced to retire through injury although he was 35 yesterday and I suspect he is already looking at a back room role. He certainly has the experience and the personality.


Anonymous said...

What did Seabourne add?

Dave said...

When he arrived we had to settled left-back. We were rotating Evina, Solly and Kerkar and Wilson was having to play at right-back on occasions. We went unbeaten in the first six games Seaborne was here although he did only play four of those due to injury. He didn't play well against Wednesday or Ipswich more recently but then again, neither did the rest of the side, Chris Solly included.

Dave said...

That should read "no settled left-back."