Thursday, 20 May 2010


May to July time: we are normally speculating on who might come in to bolster our chances next season. For all the reasons we know about this year it's different.
There is doubt about whether we can hold on financially at all, let alone going into the marketplace for players. Add to that the prospect of administration and it's time for the valium (or whatever you choose as your alternative!).
Rumours about the Valley's future adds to the woe, though I would be absolutely shocked if its future is in doubt in the short term. If it is, and we lose the Valley then I think many of the faithful will disappear for good, we got through the Selhurst Park venture but further doubt about the Valley would be a bridge too far.
"Deepest Darkest" has provided an interesting analysis of his understanding of the the contractual situation. I go along with his general conclusions, with some exceptions.
To most fans' surprise, I would give Spring another year. Surely his salary cannot be one of the big ones, and he is a player who I think has given his all; when he has been given a chance. That has not been very often and by all accounts he has not caused rumblings on the training ground as a result.
Bailey is likely to be on his way and Spring could drop into that roll. For those who follow CAFCPICKS, I have said on a number of occassions throughout the season that in my view Bailey has been overrated for his contribution. OK, I accept he has scored goals but his overall contribution, periodic mistakes and the ebb in his form in the last half of the season has been plain to see. Unless, he has been really carrying an injury that explains it, I would cash in if we still can.
Racon wwas in great form at the beginning of the season and I was an advocate for him when many were not. However, his form has declined disastrously and only in the final play-off game when he came on late did he look the genuine article. He has got us into a lot of trouble in recent games, the most obvious example being the Swindon away league game when his error ultimately provided then with the opportunity to score. So regrettably, if the price is right then he may also have to be sacrified.
Like Deepest Darkest, I hope we can afford Richardson and Dailly, and that they want to stay, though I could see Millwall and others being interested in the latter, along with Bailey.
I have grave fears about Youga. Our attacking capabilities have never really recovered since his injury as we depended so much on the attacking side of his game. It seems a very long time that he has been out wothout any reports on major improvement in his condition, and stories about him being on the continent trying to find a way back. I really hope that that the injury has not finished his career but I am beginning to worry: let's hope we hear some good news.
My entries on CAFCPICKS have consistently voiced concern about dependenc upon Liera who is prone to major mistakes and also makes us one dimensional in going forward with his long hikes upfield. With Sodje's future uncertain (and even if they and Dailly stay) now is the time to be brave and let Mambo graduate to the first team squad at least. He looked a major find at Barnet last pre-season and his loan spell can only have built on that; and importantly he is keen to get on with the job. In the long term I think he could also be a highlky saleab le asset
Finally, changing the subject slightly I supported the anti Olympics development in Greenwich Park (and at Woolwich) on the grounds that the £40-£50M cost was totally unjustified, would leave no legacy, would cause incredible disruption and cost in the local community and prevent both locals and tourists from benefitting form our great Royal Park, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Add to that the building of a 20,000 + stadium which will be ripped down immediately after the events.
I am surprised we could not in some way have got some direct income from the games. With voices getting louder about needing to make financial economies at the games in this new age of austerity then perhaps now must the time for a rapid re-visit.
It would not have caused much disruption to the Valley to have staged the shooting events scheduled for Woolwich. I have no idea how big a horse jumping course has to be but could CAFC have done something on that as well. (I can hear Paddy Powell groaning at the prospect from here!!)
I expect a suimmer holiday break may bring back some optiomism and smiles?

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