We may not have achieved the miracle of luring Beckham away from Tinsletown but we’ve managed to get over a million quid for Jon Stead and that in itself is rather mindblowing. Anyway, could you have pictured Posh and Becks roaming The Bridges in search of the latest haute couture? We’ve paid for the signing of a quality striker and right winger in Stokes and Edwards by offloading a load of redundant players. In what may well prove to be the best move of all, we’ve got a class defender, Evans, on loan till the end of the season at least and reports of his performance in the Ipswich match were reminiscent of Stan Varga’s mighty debut against Arsenal. In addition we’ve won both of our league games this year without conceding a goal and are currently a point behind a play-off position. So, all in all things so far in 2007 are looking fairly rosy.
It seems unreal to have lost eleven matches already yet still be in a position where we could well finish in the top six. All the juggling that’s gone on since Keane took over will start to settle down soon, I suspect, as the players whom he inherited have been given a decent crack of the whip and those who’ve been found wanting have been shown the door. The long-term injuries to Cunning-ham and Wright will be resolved very soon and together with Caldwell’s imminent return this will give us a lot of additional cover at the back. The injury to Kavanagh was a major setback but he’ll be back in action when we need him for the final push in April and this is a chance for Yorke to shine, if he’s ever going to. Of the six players whom Keane brought in on that frantic last day of trading, Yorke’s the only one who hasn’t been up to scratch. I still have my doubts about Varga but he’s going to have to be on top form to keep his place with Evans, Cunningham and Caldwell all vying for position and this may give him the impetus to do better. With Elliott moving back into the centre we’ll surely see a few goals from him before long.
Like everyone else I was amazed at Neil Warnock’s praise for Stead while the lad himself must be over the moon at suddenly being back in the Premiership. He may get his confidence back, prove us all wrong and start finding the net regularly but I wouldn’t bet on it. He made a good debut on Saturday according to The Sun but I noticed that he only had one shot on target …hmm, that sounds familiar. I wish him well anyway and for purely selfish reasons I hope he gets plenty of games for the Blades so we can get the rest of his transfer fee. It was almost as good a deal as getting a million for Kelvin Davis.
Looking at the upcoming fixtures, I don’t think we have anything to fear and if we can’t beat Palace, Coventry and Southend at home, then we should forget any thoughts of going up this time round. There are still sixteen days left before the transfer window closes and there would seem to be further moves afoot so we can only await with keen interest.