Hughes to butcher six players in summer axe frenzy

Or something.

The news here is that Hughes will not be keeping six players.   This is no great surprise.  The desperate half-dozen:

John Paintsil

Zoltan Gera

Eddie Johnson

Diomansy Kamara

Bjorn-Helge Riise

Kagisho Dikgacoi

JP seems well out of favour so this is no great shock.   Gera is – according to his agent – in demand, so will find a home somewhere.    The remaining four are on loan to Championship clubs.

The only trick here is that the club did pick up KG’s option for next season I believe, which annoyed the player who wanted to leave.  May be wrong though.

It’s a shame about Gera.  I was stuck with Stanley the other day in one of his “I’ll only be quiet if you’re standing up and holding me while pointing at the TV” frames of mind, so I put on last season’s Review DVD.   Gera was excellent, and if so much emphasis is being placed on Zamora’s return, it sort of makes sense that the player who’s worked best with him is kept, too.   Zamora and Gera were a marvel together, and when you think about it, no other combination has quite worked:

Zamora and Johnson didn’t seem to do either of them much good.  It was only when Johnson was injured that Zamora became Zamora!.  While this may be a coincidence, it may not be.

Zamora and Dempsey never seemed to work.  Dempsey isn’t great as part of a striking partnership.

Zamora and Dembele might or might not be a good idea.

Zamora and Gera were positively electric.   They operated as a pair, knew where each other were and brought others into their sphere of excellence, too.  Think of all the lovely combinations involving Murphy, Konchesky, Gera and Zamora down the left last season.   Mmmmmm.

This might be one of those England situations (in that England have never done this) where you don’t always pick your best players, but pick the players who make the best team.

7 thoughts on “Hughes to butcher six players in summer axe frenzy

  1. Question:

    “Zamora and Gera were positively electric.”

    Should it read:

    “Zamora and Gera were positively electric in Europe”

  2. I’ve made this point a few times to Gera defenders (mainly people who over-valued him – the player of the season award was ridiculous, good as he was): he got six goals in Europe and two in the league. But now he might be leaving I’m viewing him more sympathetically, and still believe that he has value to the team.

    1. I like Gera but his position has been usurped by Hughes’s man – Dembele.

      Because I like Gera, I hope he goes to a good size club abroad (Italy? Spain?)and flourishes. He deserves to play, Europe suits him, and it would kill me to see him spend the final years of his career rotting on the end of our bench behind younger players.

  3. There’s no source in that article, it’s just speculation based on the fact that those guys don’t have new contracts yet. I mean, yeah, Hughes doesn’t seem to be a fan of Paintsil and he’s probably gone in the summer, but I HATE it when people present rumors or opinions as if they’re fact. It was a fact that we were signing Daniel Cousin, and it was a fact that Zamora was off to Hull and Schwarzer to Arsenal, and there are plenty of other examples that aren’t coming to my mind at the moment.

  4. Gera comes across as a great guy and very Fulhamish. As a player he has shown some lovely touches and featured in some of our greatest moments of the last few seasons. However if injuries to other players hadn’t opened the door, we would hardly have seen him once he lost the wide left position to Dempsey early in his first season.

    You make a valid point, Rich, about the effectiveness of his combination with Zamora, but would Roy have tried this had it not been for AJ’s injury?

    I’ll be sorry to see him go but like Alex hope he finds a good club where he can do well.

  5. This may sound like heresy, but consider selling Clint Dempsey. Yes I know he led the team in goals, and he is very popular. But listen:

    1) His market value will never be greater.
    2) He will not improve much more (he will not get faster or stronger or much more skilled),
    3) He is known for being tough, tenacious, audacious, and improvising. While this reminds me of Sparky as a player, I think Fulham can find younger and cheaper versions of him (i.e. better value). In many ways, Sidwell is like this, too.
    4) He does not really fit any position naturally (versatile is the word we use to describe Clint). This is both good and bad. He is not going to beat out Dembele, Zamora, or Johnson up front.

    Wouldn’t you prefer another midfielder with pace? Say Landon Donovan, Marc Albrighton, or Jay Spearing (provided for theoretical thought – all unlikely of course).

    Think on it.

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