Thursday, September 04, 2008

Taking Stock

The hours following the end of the transfer window felt very much like the calm after the storm. The arrival of the Abu Dhabi Group at Man City and their shock purchase of Robinho from Real Madrid, followed by the resignation of West Ham manager Alan Curbishley and potential departure of Kevin Keegan from Newcastle seem to point to shift in power in the Premier League.

Fulham, meanwhile, were quietly streamlining the squad. I like this. It makes things neat. There's not much point in retaining players at the club who would only ever play in the very worst of injury crises. That said, by my calculations, we're down to 25 first team players which might be leaving us a little threadbare should that injury crisis suddenly appear but also seems a respectable number of players to work with.

Players Out = 29 for approx £3.5 Million
Brian McBride, Kasey Keller, Tony Warner, Carlos Bocanegra, Philippe Christanval, Ian Pearce, Simon Elliott, Bjorn Runstrom, Jari Litmanen, Ismael Ehui, Bradley Hudson-Odoi, Corrin Brookes-Meade (all released). Dejan Stefanovic (Free transfer to Norwich), Michael Timlin (Free transfer to Swindon), Paul Stalteri (Loan return), Ricardo Batista (nominal fee to Sporting Lisbon), Nathan Ashton (undisclosed, but small, fee to Wycombe), Steven Davis (£3M to Rangers), David Healy (undisclosed fee to Sunderland), Alexey Smertin (contract cancelled by mutual consent), Antti Niemei (Retired). Plus the following players on loan; Elliott Omosuzi (Norwich), Lee Cook (QPR), Hameur Bouazza (Charlton), T.J. Moncur (Bradford), Eddie Johnson (Cardiff), Moritz Volz (Ipswich), Gabriel Zakuani (Peterborough) & Collins John (NEC Nijmegen).

Players In = 12 for approx £21.4 Million
Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough, Free), David Stockdale (Darlington, £600k), Zoltan Gera (West Brom, Free), Andranik (Bolton, Free), Chris Smalling (Middlesbrough, Free), Bobby Zamora & John Paintsil (West Ham, £6.3M), Frederick Stoor (Rosenberg, £2M), Pascal Zuberbuhler (free agent), Andy Johnson (Everton, £10.5M plus), Dickson Etuhu (Sunderland £2M), Julian Gray (Coventry, loan).

I wrote a piece in The Fulham Review about the players that left last season and called it "The Sanchez Cull". By comparison that was small fry. The big difference is Roy has generally cleared out players lower down the pecking order and found replacements for the key positions. One of the best bits of news not covered above is that we still have Jimmy Bullard in the squad. England International Jimmy Bullard, that is. I doubt we've heard the last of that particular story but for now we can revel in watching the first Fulham player to claim an England spot since ... err ... Zat Knight.


Anonymous said...

ha ha. I hope you'll do this year's "departures" section! McBride's worth a chapter on his own, but you should have some good fun with the litmanens of this world!


chopper said...

True. In theory I should start writing now but I know full well I'll be bashing away at the keyboard a day before you want it in!