Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Review of the summer - The Midfield

Midfield is the area that has so far seen least change. Fringe players Simon Elliott and Michael Timlin have been moved out permanently whilst both Lee Cook and Hameur Bouazza have been dispatched on season long loans. Two new players join, the versatile Zoltan Gera looking most likely to fill the left flank and Andranik Temouryian adding depth to the holding role. There's still a few question marks over which of these players will still be with us come the end of the transfer window. Steven Davis appeared very close to a move to Rangers but is currently back in the fold after the club stood firm on his valuation. This is good to hear and Roy has made some positive comments about Davis' ability to add to our squad. This could just be posturing but I'm sure if Steven remains come the end of August Roy will make use of him. Alexey Smertin seems more likely to move on as he's been pretty much invisible since he last played for the first team whilst the confusion over Jimmy Bullard's future continues to rumble. Danny Murphy, who may well be our new club captain, earns a much deserved contract extension after his season saving goal at Fratton park.

Position Season 2007-08 Season 2008-09

AM-01 R Simon Davies Simon Davies
AM-02 C Jimmy Bullard Jimmy Bullard
AM-03 C Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
AM-04 L Hammeur Bouazza Zoltan Gera
AM-05 C Steven Davis Steven Davis
AM-06 C Seol Ki-Hyeon Seol Ki-Hyeon
AM-07 L Lee Cook

DM-01 Danny Murphy Danny Murphy
DM-02 Leon Andreasen Leon Andreasen
DM-03 Alexey Smertin Andranik Teryouakin
DM-04 Simon Elliott Alexey Smertin

I'm finding it quite hard to work out where we stand with this group of players. If we lost Bullard, Davis and Smertin before the end of August would we have enough to cope with a full season? If they are allowed to go have we got other targets lined up to replace them? There were rumours of interest in Torino's Vincenzo Grella which are quite exciting but nothing concrete. If Bullard really is completely out of favour have we actually got enough creative alternatives. I'm reasonably happy with the likely starting four but feel concerned about the depth of quality beyond that.

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