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Villa confirming Bailey is so disappointing, but goes some way to confirming my hunch…
A player we’ve extensively scouted and like in a position we desperately need. Available and gettable. Huge ability and even greater potential.
Maybe we have our eye on another player in that position.
Villa were already moving ahead of us, with or without Grealish.
Probably West Ham
Then a mix of teams (including ourselves) who could finish anywhere between 10th and 14th tbh.
…not really expecting a great deal this season.
Let’s face it we’ve splurged insane amounts of money on essentially lots of drivel and numerous managers so it’s wouldn’t be surprising, with BMD on the horizon, that not jeopardising might be the priority.
I see Villa have just agreed to sign Leon Bailey, there’s a club that are leapfrogging us.
Already departed from the wage bill:
Probably not far off of £450kpw all totalled up. We’ve added Gray and Townsend but they’ll be peanuts compared to e.g. Walcott and Bernard.
Delph, Tosun, Sigurdsson and Kenny are unlikely to see more than the rest of this season (another £250k or so). Wouldn’t surprise anyone to see James, Gomes and one of the centre backs moved on, either.
That’s a lot of wages we’d shift off the books. Rafa’s a lot cheaper than Ancelotti, too.
The Gray and Townsend signings suggest we’ll be replacing expensive mediocrity with cheaper mediocrity. Both are fine and useful squad players but neither crack a top seven team. Rafa too…he’s a safe pair of hands who should ensure a top 12 or so finish and little threat of relegation. And I think, right now, that’s where we’re at.
Until we’ve cleared the books we can’t do much more. So you bring in a manager who’ll be semi-competitive as you look to reduce the size and cost of the squad. A year of little spending and big wage reductions puts us in a good spot 12 months from now with FFP. Even better if we sell Kean on top of that.
I’m going into this season with no expectations. Top 11-12 is about right. I think our aim is just to steady the ship this year and ride out everything else. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the approach taken for the next 24 months, until we’re close to moving into BMD (by which time a couple of spendthrift, wage-reducing years NOW will enable a far heavier spend later). I don’t hate it, if that’s the plan (and I don’t think we’ll be any worse than we were last season). I’m just managing my own expectations for the immediate term.
Convince this Eeyore otherwise?!