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The signings 'that' summer (2015-16)


Dodgyknees
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The summer of 2015-16 was one of transition for us. We'd sold Benteke and Delph, and we needed a big shake up. I think it's quite right to say we were excited by our spending - and I wanted to look back (18 months on) with fresh eyes. To be it is obvious that we just gambled on potential and didn't really look where we could have built a team. We basically played a game of cards and lost out on all hands we played, other than one or two. 

Give it another 12 months and I would think we will have none of those signed left. It speaks volumes. Even those who have been a success will leave, although I do feel players such as Ayew, Amavi and Veretout will possibly do well elsewhere.

So looking back 18 months. What are your thoughts on the 'pick and mix' signings we made?

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Is there any hope for those we still have?

Jordan Ayew - one of the only players to make his mark in the season we were relegated. Has not had a real impact this year and has been linked with a move to Swansea, or to China.

Based on last season I think this signing was a success.

Jordan Amavi - looked decent when in the team last season, although had a lot to learn. Suffered a horrible injury and has just won his place back - impressed a lot but still plenty to learn.

Based on what he has shown and his potential, I think this signing was a success.

Adama Traore - great pace but lacked any idea what to do with the ball. Ended up being traded to Boro for Adomah in a deal which has suited us.

Overall though this signing was a failure.

Jordan Veretout - never really did the business on the pitch, was unsettled and struggled to make an impact. Has been out on loan, doing well by all accounts, but likely to be sold. 

This signing was a failure.

Idrissa Gueye - one of our better players last season, although his form was hit and miss. Signed for Everton and has been one of their better players in 2016. 

This signing was mixed success.

Rudy Gestede - came in after scoring lots of goals for Blackburn, but could never find that form for us. Even when we dropped a league he struggled. Scored some key goals but not enough.

This signing was a failure.

Scott Sinclair - finalised his signing after a fairly successful loan period. Couldn't really find decent form for us and would frustrate by not finding team mates and running into trouble. Shipped off to Scotland.

This signing was a failure.

Joleon Lescott.

This signing was a failure.

Micah Richards - most were excited that we had got Richards in, but he struggled badly. When played in the middle he would be caught out often and had a terrible turn of pace. Big with words, poor with actions.

This signing was a failure.

Jose Crespo - a strange signing, bit of a gamble. Looked well off the pace and ended up getting injured and sold.

This signing was a failure.

Mark Bunn - for some reason I forgot we signed Bunn at this point. A solid number 2, but never good enough for the top spot.

Because it was on a free and a good back-up, this signing was mixed success.

 

Edited by DK82
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I think the hope was mainly because there were a few exotic sounding foreigners in the mix. Problem is exotic sounding foreigners who have never played before in the PL is that they are always a gamble. . We probably signed too many of them,  in hindsight we should have signed a couple more average but proven PL players. 

And Benteke is probably the only real foreign gem we have discovered in years. Other teams seem to pull them out of the bag all the time,  but I guess the state of our scouting network was to blame for a lot of that. 

We have been the model of a badly run club for years. 

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As a point of comparison Martin O'Neill used to buy known quantities from the Premier League and pay the going rate for them. We didn't get very many 'bargains' but we did have our most successful period this century under his transfer strategy. 

I think any truly successful transfer strategy needs a combination of these approaches i.e. a foundation of reliable known quantities (some would say 'boring' signings?) supplemented with a couple of gambles from abroad.   

Last year the whole squad overhaul consisted of gambles and just based on the law of averages you would expect a number would not work out, that's before you consider things like the usual settling in period required for players arriving from very different leagues. 

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Just look at Leicester's transfer window and where they've ended up this year in the league thanks to it.

If you sell your best players and buy unproven young foreign players who don't know English football then you'll plummet down the table. Unfortunately for us we didn't have far to plummet so just hit rock bottom. 

Richards and Lescott I guess were our proven players but one was obviously past it and the other had barely played in years thanks to injuries and simply not being good enough for the teams he was at. 

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When I first saw that picture on Facebook at the end of the summer in 2015, I had a slightly feel good moment I have to admit. Everyone looks kind of happy and the 'selfie' style of the picture lends itself to a positive and developing team spirit. So the end result was pretty heart-breaking and it's a period of time in the history of the club that I really want to forget through copious alcohol binges.

I don't think I will ever be 'over it' until the last of them is gone. As successful as some of them may have been, the wound is very deep in my mind.

Every cloud has a silver lining of course. We currently have an opportunity to re-invent ourselves as a club. It wasn't the end of the world getting relegated. At least the end result wasn't the end of the world. The journey of 2015-16 was proper horror show. I have faith in the owner and the manager to restore us to the top division, if not this year, then certainly next. All we have to do is stay there and take the next chance to break into Europe once more.

I want to see us win an FA Cup in my lifetime please... That's all.

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On 08/01/2017 at 18:49, Zatman said:

11 signings all failures, Amavi I would cut a bit of slack for his injury but dont think his form warrants him a success at moment

At first I thought this a little OTT but then I thought even Ayew and Amavi don't look particularly great in the championship and I would happily see both sold. Most people would say they were the most successful but there is a big argument that if they don't even look very good in this league they are still way way short of being good enough for the PL. 

Gana seems to be doing OK at Everton but on his own didn't do anything for us. 

So yes you could argue 11 failures. 

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