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Summer Transfer Window 2018.

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Terrific and well thought out posts from Tom and Duckand, well done!

 

Let us all hope that come January we are in such a good position that the "final pieces" of this particular jigsaw will be found and added to.

 

Someone mentioned the feeling of our Karanka promotion season I too am beginning to feel that this could very well be a good season...….if!

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Does anyone have confidence in the club bringing in the right players in January?

 

I certainly don't.

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Does anyone have confidence in the club bringing in the right players in January?

 

I certainly don't.

 

It won't be an issue, we'll be 20 points clear at the top. Confidence.

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To be honest Duvel based on what went on before you would think not especially for what we have all been crying out for, however Boro could be seen to be a very attractive place to be come January and I am totally sure that SG will sanction anything that will make us stronger and more productive in the final third because like us he too will want promotion

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Does anyone have confidence in the club bringing in the right players in January?

 

I certainly don't.

 

It won't be an issue, we'll be 20 points clear at the top. Confidence.

 

I think the club has shown it will try to bring in the players needed but wont offer deals that are not in the long term interest of the club. There is a dearth of pacy wingers which probably skews their value. We may have to try and do a Brentford and bring in raw talent and coach them over time. We cant be saddled with overpaid players though after this season.

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Also, just in case anyone missed it, Pulis said we missed out on two attackers that he desperately wanted.

 

Just watched that post-match video. I imagine that's Puncheon and Adomah who we missed out on. Pretty much confirms that the reason Batth is here is because of playing 3 at the back.

 

Is it just me or did he also say something along the lines of Wolves saying they'd look after us in terms of that signing which I thought was a bit strange given that as far as we know, we didn't do them any favours, we forced them to pay the full whack for Adama. Unless we actually didn't and we did them a favour with it somewhere along the line? Surely given how long it was drawn out for (in my eyes anyway) that them being forced to pay the big money all up front is the absolute opposite of us doing them a favour. If they paid the release clause in the manner they had to to sign the player, we've actually been quite stubborn with them and not met them anywhere in the middle.

 

I thought we kind of did move on the release clause thing in the end? I thought it ended up being more money for Traore (£22M), but in staged payments.

 

I could have misunderstood all that though.

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I thought we kind of did move on the release clause thing in the end? I thought it ended up being more money for Traore (£22M), but in staged payments.

 

I could have misunderstood all that though.

 

think we agreed a deal above the release clause but they then decided to pay the release clause in full.

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Well I said I would wait until the end of the window to express my thoughts, so here we go.

 

It's not ideal. It's not the disaster some are making it out to be, but it's not ideal. The important thing is that we have bodies in, because going into Millwall and having a bench full of kids and players the manager doesn't want was a bit ridiculous (and I know the kids have done alright, before anyone says anything, but I'm talking about reliability over the season).

How much those bodies improve the squad remains to be seen. It's unfair to ask the club to be able to replace special talents like Gibson and Adama, but Flint's done okay, and the wing-back system has been a bit of a surprise success.

 

For me, there's a feeling of the promotion season under Karanka about this, when we lost more exciting players (Bamford, Tomlin, Vossen), but replaced them with more solid and consistent ones (Nugent, Stuani, Downing). But of course, we did need that mercurial influence in Gastón when it came to January, so I hope the club are going to get to work even at this early stage, to identify who that man could be this year, if needed.

 

Besic and Flint are first team players, no issues with either of them. McNair is a utility player who I think will see 20+ starts this season in various positions, and seems like a decent player. Lonergan is a squad GK, probably on low wages, fine. McQueen could be a canny signing, in a position where we needed competition, but I hope he actually gets the games and it's not a Jack Harrison situation.

Hugill is a player I know we all want to do well,with his hometown hero story. In relation to the above discussion CT posed, I don't think he's as good a player as Bamford, but I see the logic in signing him. Now that Braithwaite is sticking around, I'm pretty intrigued by the idea of the two of them up top together. Saville & Batth are strange ones, especially given the effort and money we've put into Saville. I suppose we have to wait that one out an see what Tony's master plan is before we make too many judgements on that one. Batth is the definition of 'just getting an extra body in', and is Exhibit A in the case of 'How We Know We're Definitely Playing 3-5-2 Til January'. Which makes sense from the perspective that when Ayala inevitably breaks into pieces again, we're not forced to change formations.

 

Speaking of formations, I think there's an unfair current running through this forum that Pulis has somehow 'stumbled' upon this formation and 'got lucky'. I think that does him a huge disservice (I don't ever want to think of Pulis getting lucky, incidentally). As I've said before, I'm still not sold on the Pulis project, but he's earned a season to do what he needs to do, and he's a pragmatist who uses the tools he has. Shotton being a decent wing-back isn't some surprise that he's found by accident, he's known Shotton since his youth days at Stoke, and has presumably seen the attributes that he can play there. We know that it's not what Pulis wants to do in an ideal world, but for one reason or another, this is how we're probably going to play, and you have to credit the manager if it's going well.

 

In terms of outgoings, Traore was impossible to hang onto, and Gibson very difficult to do so. I liked Fabio, but he seemed pretty desperate to go, was never going to get into the team. The rest will hardly be missed, except Bamford. I think that one will end up biting us on the ***, but I hope that's just a side note to the story of Hugill's 20+ goal season.

 

As for the 'maybes', it's here that my real gripe lies. Why were we not trying to replace Adama before he was sold? If he had a release clause, surely there was always a high chance he was going to go? We should have had a list there and then. The only wingers we've signed in the last 2 years are Marvin Johnson and Jack Harrison. There is a huge blind spot with the recruitment team there, and it's a concern that the fact that we 'nearly' got Adomah and/or Bolasie doesn't really arrest. However, the light in that tunnel is the fact that we have two very promising young wingers on the books, who may now be required in the campaign. So if we end up getting some use out of them this year, it may yet be a blessing in disguise.

 

Speaking of people still here, Braithwaite. He's got a decision to make now. Sit and sulk, or knuckle down. His form this season suggests he's not really one to do the former, so fingers crossed we still get the player who's turned up so far this season. Hanging onto him might end up being more important than any new signing we did or didn't make this season.

 

Finally, Gill and Bauser have to go. Rubbish.

 

I understand why gill and bauser get the grief cos thier names are top of the scouting /signing jobs list. But does anyone know for sure the reasons why we didn’t sign certain players If they do please say. Not rumours but actually know.

Because we seem to be targeting the right players so I’m not sure they can be blamed for anything in the targeting area.

As for not actually signing these players how much is thier fault. If the club have set a fee limit or a wage limit or put a particular value on someone is it then the guys fault if the deal is over our limit. Do they set the limits ?

Pullis spoke to bolasie so do we blame bauser for that ?

I realise a lot of people blame them but if Gibson hasn’t sacked them they can’t be doing too much wrong

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I thought we kind of did move on the release clause thing in the end? I thought it ended up being more money for Traore (£22M), but in staged payments.

 

I could have misunderstood all that though.

 

think we agreed a deal above the release clause but they then decided to pay the release clause in full.

 

Just a guess but I’d think if they payed money up front they didn’t have to give us a sell on fee

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Glad the window is closed. No more getting our hopes up because of leaks/rumours. We have what we have. We now back the team as we always do.

 

Assessment of the window. It's a tricky one without incurring the wrath of other members. The grades I've seen vary from A to C-. I can't be that generous. If we had got TP's targets that allow him to play the way he likes to, this would means we had backed him properly, for better or worse and a high grade would be arguable. However, I don't feel the club has done this. This may be down to players not wanting to come here (We keep hearing you can't force a players to sign), valuations of the players or the club wanting to make a big profit for this transfer window.

 

I'm going to grade it on how I would have prior to the window, so here goes.....

 

If prior to the window I had been told that we would lose Gibson, Adama and Bamford, even though I expected two of them to leave anyway I would still be a little upset. I would hope we replace them with top quality for this division, and flint is one of the better defenders in this league so we have done a good job replacing one of them. However, we haven't replaced Adama and bamford has gone, replaced by Hugill who seems decent but probably suits a system that we aren't going to be playing!

 

Taking every deal into account, we have lost Gibson, Bamford, Adama and Fabio from the playing squad (yes others have left, some permanent and some on loan) and we have replaced them with Flint, Hugill, mcqueen, mcnair, Saville and Baath (again there are others but not that will play league games).

 

For me that's a step down in quality for the starting 11 but we are probably a little stronger in the squad as a whole, especially in the midfield area.

 

All that taken into account I am going to give 2 grades. A+ financially. The club must now be on a better footing than before the window and I would assume the wage bill is certainly no larger than it was previously. C- for the fans and TP. Both Pulis and the fans probably deserve a little bit more, and would have been, at least, a little dissapointed if we were told prior to the window opening that this would be our squad when the window closed.

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Well I said I would wait until the end of the window to express my thoughts, so here we go.

 

It's not ideal. It's not the disaster some are making it out to be, but it's not ideal. The important thing is that we have bodies in, because going into Millwall and having a bench full of kids and players the manager doesn't want was a bit ridiculous (and I know the kids have done alright, before anyone says anything, but I'm talking about reliability over the season).

How much those bodies improve the squad remains to be seen. It's unfair to ask the club to be able to replace special talents like Gibson and Adama, but Flint's done okay, and the wing-back system has been a bit of a surprise success.

 

For me, there's a feeling of the promotion season under Karanka about this, when we lost more exciting players (Bamford, Tomlin, Vossen), but replaced them with more solid and consistent ones (Nugent, Stuani, Downing). But of course, we did need that mercurial influence in Gastón when it came to January, so I hope the club are going to get to work even at this early stage, to identify who that man could be this year, if needed.

 

Besic and Flint are first team players, no issues with either of them. McNair is a utility player who I think will see 20+ starts this season in various positions, and seems like a decent player. Lonergan is a squad GK, probably on low wages, fine. McQueen could be a canny signing, in a position where we needed competition, but I hope he actually gets the games and it's not a Jack Harrison situation.

Hugill is a player I know we all want to do well,with his hometown hero story. In relation to the above discussion CT posed, I don't think he's as good a player as Bamford, but I see the logic in signing him. Now that Braithwaite is sticking around, I'm pretty intrigued by the idea of the two of them up top together. Saville & Batth are strange ones, especially given the effort and money we've put into Saville. I suppose we have to wait that one out an see what Tony's master plan is before we make too many judgements on that one. Batth is the definition of 'just getting an extra body in', and is Exhibit A in the case of 'How We Know We're Definitely Playing 3-5-2 Til January'. Which makes sense from the perspective that when Ayala inevitably breaks into pieces again, we're not forced to change formations.

 

Speaking of formations, I think there's an unfair current running through this forum that Pulis has somehow 'stumbled' upon this formation and 'got lucky'. I think that does him a huge disservice (I don't ever want to think of Pulis getting lucky, incidentally). As I've said before, I'm still not sold on the Pulis project, but he's earned a season to do what he needs to do, and he's a pragmatist who uses the tools he has. Shotton being a decent wing-back isn't some surprise that he's found by accident, he's known Shotton since his youth days at Stoke, and has presumably seen the attributes that he can play there. We know that it's not what Pulis wants to do in an ideal world, but for one reason or another, this is how we're probably going to play, and you have to credit the manager if it's going well.

 

In terms of outgoings, Traore was impossible to hang onto, and Gibson very difficult to do so. I liked Fabio, but he seemed pretty desperate to go, was never going to get into the team. The rest will hardly be missed, except Bamford. I think that one will end up biting us on the ***, but I hope that's just a side note to the story of Hugill's 20+ goal season.

 

As for the 'maybes', it's here that my real gripe lies. Why were we not trying to replace Adama before he was sold? If he had a release clause, surely there was always a high chance he was going to go? We should have had a list there and then. The only wingers we've signed in the last 2 years are Marvin Johnson and Jack Harrison. There is a huge blind spot with the recruitment team there, and it's a concern that the fact that we 'nearly' got Adomah and/or Bolasie doesn't really arrest. However, the light in that tunnel is the fact that we have two very promising young wingers on the books, who may now be required in the campaign. So if we end up getting some use out of them this year, it may yet be a blessing in disguise.

 

Speaking of people still here, Braithwaite. He's got a decision to make now. Sit and sulk, or knuckle down. His form this season suggests he's not really one to do the former, so fingers crossed we still get the player who's turned up so far this season. Hanging onto him might end up being more important than any new signing we did or didn't make this season.

 

Finally, Gill and Bauser have to go. Rubbish.

 

I understand why gill and bauser get the grief cos thier names are top of the scouting /signing jobs list. But does anyone know for sure the reasons why we didn’t sign certain players If they do please say. Not rumours but actually know.

Because we seem to be targeting the right players so I’m not sure they can be blamed for anything in the targeting area.

As for not actually signing these players how much is thier fault. If the club have set a fee limit or a wage limit or put a particular value on someone is it then the guys fault if the deal is over our limit. Do they set the limits ?

Pullis spoke to bolasie so do we blame bauser for that ?

I realise a lot of people blame them but if Gibson hasn’t sacked them they can’t be doing too much wrong

 

Exactly. We’ve set limits and we are sticking to them. Some people seem to think we should just give the clubs and players what they ask for but that’s not how it works. Adomah as an example; we couldn’t agree terms and we apparently offered him less than his current terms at villa which I fully support. I wouldn’t want to give him a 3-4 year contract on his reported 40k. We have a structure and we are sticking by it. It’ll obviously make a few transfers fall through but you’ve got to keep a close eye on the budget. Stuff goes on behind the scenes that we don’t know about and I don’t believe that it’s down to the club having poor negotiators. A poor negotiator accepts a bad deal and we really don’t want that.

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“Some people seem to think we should just give the clubs and players what they ask“

Don’t go saying that. Will will want names and addresses :)

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Gary Gill's really our European scout from Mogga's days who got a promotion last year I rate Gary Gill I think he identified some very good European players over the Karanka years whether it was Meunier/Rupp/De Roon/Kebano/Vossen/Lindelof he had a few duds like Fischer/De Sart but it's not like Gary Gill's some dinosaur holding us back he's put in place state of the art software used by maybe 60% of Prem clubs. From afar it seems his new role in the past year is not so much find us some European gems but research people the manager wants can I really blame Gary Gill for Gary Monk trying to sign Kent/Ojo and paying the money for Fletcher in my opinion they were all Monk's calls.

 

Interesting in Mitrovic's write up in the Mail today he said after his move fell through to Anderlecht we were his backup option and then he got a phone call from Jokanovic which changed his mind. It's not a mystery what the fault of our strategy is Bauser proudly owned it in the Karanka era it's the 'patience' of waiting for first choice targets over the course of weeks/months, we didn't get a winger because Pulis wanted Ritchie and Bolasie for the wings Bolasie didn't move until late in the loan window and Ritchie didn't move because Mike Ashley didn't want to fork out 15 million on a new untested winger we let other clubs/players dictate our transfer policy which is poor strategy it's cost us in almost every window but nothing's changed and it's not entirely clear the club see fault in doing business this way. If I want anyone gone it's Bauser I think he's the constant in a lot of the failed strategy but again to them it's not a failed strategy to them it's 'patiently waiting for primary targets' the problem in recent years is too often those primary targets we spend weeks waiting on go elsewhere and we end up with a Marvin Johnson or a Guedioura.

 

This is similar to the 2016 summer situation to me we leave ourselves clearly short in one area through missing out on primary targets which were strikers back then and then in the following January we overpaid for Rudy Gestede and bought Bamford who'd barely kicked a ball in a year to save us from relegation so again I'm really not sure it's because we're too tight with money when we panicked in that January window we must have blew nearly 20m million if we throw in Guedioura I don't want a repeat of that in January but how about we try our European scouting system out that's where we'll get the talent at a reasonable price going domestic is killing us with the competition we're up against constantly.

 

Having said all of that the signing's we've made have strengthened the squad massively for me we complain about wingers but other teams fans will point to our ridiculous midfield options, our massive defensive unit and our 30 million pound strikeforce and say give over...

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The window closed without us signing Robson Kanu or selling Martin Braithwaite.

 

That’s a better end to the window than I expected. ;)

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To have Clayton, Howson, McNair, Saville, Besic, Leadbitter and Wing for 3 spots could seem a bit excessive, but I think the signing of Saville is made with a view of it being able to give us the flexibility of McNair being able to play RWB as back up to Shotton. We failed to sign another RWB since Martina fell through so I think McNair's flexibility to play RWB is within Pulis' thinking. He done well when he played there on Tuesday against Oldham also. That's the only way I can explain the number of central midfielders. Our midfielders have to use a lot of energy pressing the ball so we'll need the depth, especially when we have three games a week.

 

The signings of McQueen and Batth seems to hint that, baring an injury crisis, Downing won't be used at a LWB and Friend won't be used as a CB. So players in far more natural positions, which is a big positive.

 

Whilst it's disappointing that we lack a top quality creative player, not for the want of trying, the way Pulis has cut and rebuilt the squad in his mould is very encouraging. He has got the vast majority of the big decisions right and it's quite clear that we have a manager who knows what he's doing.

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