Fenestration talk now

Here at CCN we haven’t got too involved with the whole transfer window nonsense.  Perhaps the recent good performances have dulled our hunger; perhaps the return of various players just make things look a bit better.

Before the window we’d have identified the following needs:

a defender of some sort.  Some wanted a right-back; others left.

a central midfielder.  We’re not short of these, of course, but the idea was to get a better player than the current cadre, ideally someone young enough to succeed the Murph when his legs do finally “go”.

a centre forward.  Because of Zamora’s injury.

What have we got?   Steve Sidwell for one, and in his one and a bit games he’s looked handy.  I’m not convinced yet that he’s doing anything that Jon Greening can’t do, but he does look like he has something about him.

Gael Kakutacould be anything, although I’m inclined to assume that the player he most closely resembles in our side is Moussa Dembele.  Kakuta’s looked phenomenal whenever I’ve seen him play (on Match of the Day), but it’s been so long since we had a young, dynamic flair player that I really can’t picture him in a Fulham shirt.  It could be Wayne Routledge all over again, or Giles Barnes, or something altogether new.   We shall see.  What it isn’t is Shaun Wright Phillips, which is a shame because SWP is a good player and very nippy to boot; we distinctly lack nippiness, AJ’s return to relevance notwithstanding.

And then what?   The centre-forward of our dreams is still not in our car, and it seems increasingly likely that we’ll be back on the phone to Millwall and asking for ‘insurance choice’ Steve Morison (whose Millwall form has gone to pot since the window opened) after all.   He’d be a Kuqi type signing, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing (Kuqi being an interesting example of perception perhaps overtaking reality: for one thing he really never was that fat, and for all his myriad limitations, he made some quite important contributions to a desperately poor side, without which, etc, etc).

Do we still need a centre forward?  Yes, but AJ is better than we could have dared hope, and with Dembele dovetailing nicely behind him I’m less inclined to panic.  Sure we missed chances at Anfield, but that’s what teams do; you can’t score them all.   Perhaps we’d be better off making do and mending, then signing a progressive player in the summer.

At full-back we seem likely to pick the roving left back that is Paul Konchesky.  I have no bone to pick with Konch, who, like his former manager, took a career choice that backfired badly.   We’ve all done it, and it seems ridiculous to suggest that we shouldn’t want him back because he once left us.  This strikes me as the worst kind of unthinking:  if we need a left back and the best available is Paul Konchesky, then certainly we should sign Paul Konchesky.  What are we worried about; that he’ll want to leave us again?   That he won’t be committed because he once dared presume to leave Fulham behind.   Give me strength.

I’m not sure that there’ll be anything else beyond the above, and I’m not sure there needs to be.  With AJ and Dembele fit and well we look a decent side, and the return of Zamora will only improve this.  Sidwell’s a good fit for the middle of the pitch, and Konchesky would certainly be useful while the promising but perhaps disorientated Salcido gets his head on straight.

12 thoughts on “Fenestration talk now

  1. If we could get in Konch it would be good, if we can add a striker to that I think we have had an excellent window.

    Agree about lots of forward options coming back – maybe the striker will be on loan only until a summer clearout?

  2. I think we desperately need someone who can do what Zamora does when Zamora’s not available. In my mind I’m thinking a big proper centre forward who can hold the ball up well and bring others into play. Even under Roy we suffered for not having a backup for Bobby.

    It’s difficult to find someone suitable though. Had we picked up Santa Cruz the law of sod would have ensured he’d have been injured at exactly the same time as Zamora. If we look for someone young and hungry then we’re going to take a bit of a gamble and if we’re going to gamble why not try Trotta?

    Haven’t really got any answers but I’m sure we need someone.

    1. I agree. As you say, Trotta’s here and you never know, but no action is required since he’s too young to need to be named in the squad. The prospect of someone really interesting arriving out the blue now seems more and more remote, as does (not a Zamora clone obviously) Robbie Keane, but you’d still have to wonder if the departure of Elm won’t signal a cheap replacement body who’s along the same lines but reckoned by Hughes to be (unlike Elm) just about good enough to occupy the bench against certain opposition. For the past window or two I’ve expected Jason Roberts to turn up on that basis. Last week there was talk of Jonathan Stead. Any player of that stature (pun intended) would be more useful to the 25 than EJ or Riise, who may be at least on the same level in their own ways, but don’t possess what Hughes calls `skill-sets’ we lack. His use of that line of argument is at least mild encouragement.

  3. I’m not too bothered right now really. Johnson, Dempsey and Dembele all have the ability to hold the ball in the final third very well, albeit differently than Zamora. So I think we’re pretty good there. It should be noted that Dempsey has scored more premiership goals so far this season than Zamora did all of last.

    Baird has been a revelation at left-back. Given that Hughes played a lot of his career with the right-footed Dennis Irwin, I’m not surprised that he’s giving Baird a chance there. Besides, Salcido could also end up being pretty good.

    I see Sidwell more as a direct competitor for Etuhu. So the Krajcar rumours have been exciting to me. Reckon he has the skills to take over from Murphy long-term, and I see Davies and, maybe, Duff fading pretty quickly, so he’s not a bad option out wide. He’d have to be comfortable being part of a squad, though.

  4. I think we’ve shown that we don’t need anyone in the sense of having to have someone. On that basis it’s right that we should be highly selective.

    What, of course will happen is that players, agents and selling clubs holding out for the best deals will start to be much more accomodating as Monday rolls on. Man City and Spurs will want RB and SWP out.

    For us the question may be whether we want guys like these who have demonstrated their reluctance to come. I hope we stay away and look to bring in talent in the summer when there’s a more genuine market.

    As it is we’re playing well and improving.

  5. Got to be honest I like seeing Baird in the team and if left back is the only place available for him, bearing in mind our packed midfield, then so be it. I can’t recall Konch being able to do anything Baird can’t…and I did rate Konch as it happens…so I say keep things as they are

  6. Lionel Ricthie would be proud my friend.

    If Senderos and Zamora come back to full strength we have coverage everywhere on the pitch. I think a utility defensive player would be all that is required…and they may already have the player in the form of Stephen Kelly!

    But like you said Rich, a little more zip on the wings couldn’t hurt!

  7. Prefer Kranjcar to SWP, but think we can wait till summer before replacing Duff. Salcido and Baird, and Briggs, are enough to cover left back.

  8. Coming from someone who has returned to work for their former employer, I think it would be great if we reacquired Konchesky. Considering that he and Liverpool don’t have really any other options at this point, we should be able to get him for a song and when you consider the money and players that we got for him in the original transfer, that would be a fantastic piece of business.

    I want no part of SWP. He strikes me as one of those players who once they’ve gotten the big payday, they’re not going to risk losing that for a move which would get them more time on the pitch.

    While I would like to bring in another striker, I think that our squad is fine as we start to get players back to full fitness.

    Speaking of which, I feel like I was writing AJ’s obit a few weeks ago and he seems positively rejuvenated the last couple of matches. I’m not sure whether he’s finally got fully fit or he got his confidence back after that late goal against Wigan. In any event, it’s great to see.

  9. I think now we’ve reached a point where we have enough players. I have confidence in our forward-minded players of Demps, AJ, Dembele, and Zamora to finish in the final third. I also have been impressed with our wingers this season. I can’t see Simon Davies “going” any time soon, god I love him. I really hope Gera doesn’t leave, after all he’s done for us. There are also some youngsters (Riise, I’m looking at you) and even Dembele who I have liked on the wings. Etuhu and Murphy have been quite good in middle of the park, but I feel like their future replacements could have that extra bit of quality. I had high hopes for nabbing some brilliant attacking centre mid, but I guess that isn’t looking likely. For Murphy’s long term sub, a player like Krancjar would be a step up, whereas I’m not sure about Sidwell yet. I should probably give him some time to prove himself, but I’m uneasy about the chances of his success.
    As far as defense, I also like where we’re at. Baird and Pantsil seem fine for now and if JP needs a break we can swap Bairdinho over to the right and give Salcido a run in. As far as that “utility guy” giving Kelly a go couldn’t hurt. And there’s always Halliche… or not.
    COYW

  10. also think that we are fine upfront. only managed to see the liverpool game on tv, but it seemed like we might be playing a 4-3-2-1 formation, with dembele and demps playing behind AJ? This seems to be the preferred style of many of the best club and international teams at the moment. And I think this could suite AJ’s style of play.

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