Friday 12 January 2018

Bleak mid-winter

As Karl Robinson prepares his side for tomorrow's testing trip to bottom-club Bury, it would appear that the only thing we can be sure of, is more uncertainty as we creep through the transfer window and pray for a takeover that finally rids us of Duchatelet.

Ricky Holmes is apparently quoted as saying he wants away although Robinson has contradicted that by saying he is happy here and would like to stay despite obvious ambitions for Championship football. Unhelpfully, Robinson has also said on two occasions that we haven't had any offers, yet. At his age, we are unlikely to recoup millions but with Duchatelet desperate to offset losses, he could be sold on the cheap (a million or less). It would be a big mistake, in my view, to sell an exciting player like Holmes who has scored 19 goals from midfield in the last year. I also find myself staring in disbelief at some of the comments on social media that Holmes is too greedy, can't cross and is overrated etc. Really? Have you seen the technical quality of most of his goals and the number of assists he gets? He might look greedy because of his work-rate and enthusiasm for the ball but open your eyes and see the bigger picture.

Esra Konsa is again being linked with a £4m loose-change move to Everton. That one is not a surprise given the long-time linkage and Robinson's previous acknowledgement of the likelihood of a January move. Although if it's been a long time in the making, why is he still here mid-month? Perhaps we are struggling with the personnel to complete it without a Chief Exec and a Finance Director? I am guessing Chris Parkes would have to step-up to get any deals done because I couldn't see Murray or Duchatelet knowing what to do.

While the till remains shut and Robinson is stropping about it after every match, win or lose, I am firmly of the view that Duchatelet is likely to throw him a bone if he brings in several million in player sales. He won't be motivated by replacing the quality of the outgoing players or in strengthening the side but he has shown us over the last few years that he likes to have incoming players to justify selling, even if they are frees or loans and less expensive in wages than the outgoing individuals. In typical fashion, it will also likely be too little, too late. Laughably, there are even suggestions we may have to take Nicky Ajose back as a last resort. Whatever happens, any reduction in the overall strength of the side will be another glaring indication that Duchatelet has zero interest in promotion, as I have been saying for three years.

Meanwhile, the Donald Muir consortium rumour rumbles on as do rumours of Middle Eastern, Chinese and American interest. You have to wonder where all these potential buyers were when the Spivs were desperate to off-load the club and ended up taking Roland's £14m plus debt acquisition.

Good to hear from Peter Varney himself about his decision to step down at Ebbsfleet. Good, obviously, that he is not seriously ill as suspected following the vague announcement of his departure from Ebbsfleet themselves. It was pretty obvious that news of his departure would spark speculation in SE7 circles about involvement in a takeover and/or potentially about his health following cancer last year. I suppose he would say that stepping down from Ebbsfleet was the announcement and he shouldn't have to deny interest in a third party at the same time (especially if he has none) or that it was health-related (if it wasn't) although he has effectively had to do that now in any case.

So, to Bury tomorrow. They surprised us at Gigg Lane at the start of last season and a victory against us tomorrow would be less of a shock. They are bottom of the table though and Robinson will be hopeful of points. The big question is can we raise our game from the moribund dross of the last six weeks and manage two goals that we probably need to have any chance of winning?


  1. 7pm - Ricky Holmes in Sheffield and out of the side for Bury tomorrow. 1) Looks like he's gone 2) On the basis he won't be scoring at Bury, we may need to keep a clean sheet to win.

  2. This situation has little to do with Robinson more with the owner. Can’t even manage a full subs bench today. A win and top 6 now .. given all the crap going on not bad. Enough laying into Robinson, concentrate your ire more on where the real problem lies as there is no way he is happy to see end of Holmes and Konsa.

  3. Anon - thought I have been relatively easy on him so far. I know who is responsible for all this but Robinson has played in the band when it's suited him and is kicking-up predictably now that his job is at risk.


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