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