New for Old . . .
I am heartily sick of hearing how Motherwell are under pressure this season having lost all their best players due to a major cost cutting exercise. But as I look at the players that have been brought in during the summer (the magnificent seven plus 1) I am not so sure that this is the case. Lets take a look at them one by one;
Goram v Brown - a bit of master v. apprentice, but based upon some of Andy's lacklustre efforts to keep the ball out of the net last season and the queue of clubs now trying to sign him, it was definitely the right decision to get rid of him. Will young Brown be the answer? Only time will tell BUT the three saves he made against Norwich and the one from Dow at East End Park makes me feel we are in safer hands this season.
Kemble v Ready - Many remind us that Larsson failed to score against Benny last season, but what they fail to remind us is that almost everybody else did!! Plus he was not that reliable from a fitness and pace point of view. Again definitely correct to let him go. Ready looked anything but ready against Dunfermline BUT his pedigree shows that he will come to terms with the SPL and I believe will be better than Kemble for us.
McMillan v Dow - maybe not a direct comparison but Studs was struggling to find a home with emergence of Hammell. He no doubt would have worked out as sweeper but the money on offer from Wigan had to be taken. On the other hand if we have picked up the Andy Dow of two seasons ago we have picked up a better player, remember he was tipped for Scotland honours that season…
Townsley v ??? - without wishing to stir up too much controversy, replacing the Postie with no one will strengthen our squad!! In my opinion he was a second division player who was out of his depth in the SPL. He also never repaid the debt that he owed us after plucking him from that level of obscurity. Our gain is Hibs loss!!
Kelly v. Spencer - Spenny was probably a bit of an expensive luxury last season given the goal return we got from the wee man, and given Kelly's pedigree once again (he's played in two World Cup Finals) we may have discovered a gem even if it is only for a year.
McCulloch v. Tarrant - OK Tarrant is only here initially for three months, but again his touch to set up Adams v. Pars showed more finesse than Big Lee ever did!! Once again the money for Big Lee just had to be accepted, and again the replacement, if he stays, will be a great improvement.
Brannan v. Martinez - Ged was probably the only one of the "superstars" I would have tried to keep as I feel he was an inspiration from midfield. In this case I don't think the replacement is as good, but Martinez looks like a different type of player, who can do the simple thing without giving the ball away too often.
Thomas v Forrest - sadly due to Big Tony's injuries I think I would have been a suitable replacement!! Therefore once again the replacement is an improvement.
Goodman v Cosgrove - not a fair comparison but the Don too will be missed mainly for his cult type status with that hair and his strange running style. Cosgrove I haven't seen yet, BUT he won't be able to live up the Don's cult status but will hopefully mature into a solid pro that his experience at Old Trafford must have taught him.
Overall I feel that we have a better squad at the start of this season than we did last season. Last season we appeared to have a two tier squad, the "superstars" and the rest, and they never seemed to pull together. This season we seem to have a group of players that hopefully this time can be moulded into a team, partly because this time they want to. This is along with the crop of youngsters who are another year along their development curve.
I only hope that in May someone is not pulling this article out of a drawer and telling me what a load of rubbish I wrote! Hopefully I'll be getting congratulated on the insight that I had……
On a similar theme I have been disappointed with our media that they seem to have it in for us in a big way, compared to the likes of Livingston and Kilmarnock. Livingston appear to have signed experienced pros with SPL experience, whereas we have signed journeymen and unknowns (Kelly, Ready - Internationalists, Dow - proven SPL player!). I only wish I knew what we have done in the past to merit this level of cynicism!
I even heard our old friend Traynor say on the Radio that you just don't know how BAD this Motherwell side could be! How much easier could it have been for him to say how GOOD can they be…
Once again I only hope that we can ram this down his throat in particular at the end of May…..
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