Mike's Moan: McGhee Reaps What He Sows

Last updated : 25 November 2008 By Mike

It is all well and good saying we are not going to sign players for the sake of it, but our squad is even smaller than last season. So my question is, where has all the money gone for finishing third and qualifying for Europe? The only answers can be in McGhee's back pocket or spent on Big Bob who has turned out to be a slow-burning disaster (free-kicks aside).

McGhee failed to sign any cover for the team, instead chasing players such as O'Brien who he clearly does not rate. His only other signing of note was John Sutton and while he looks like he could score a few goals in the SPL a forward was hardly our top priority.

We had to sign defenders and midfielders for cover and McGhee knew this before the end of the season. But instead of the influx of Bosman signings that we all expected, there was a deafening silence coming out of Fir Park. What was the reason for this - poor scouting? Poor management? No money? Or the fact the gaffer thought he was leaving for Hearts so decided not to strengthen a team that would be one of his main rivals?

This might be a very cynical look at what happened in the summer, but to be honest I am struggling to believe any other explanation. The team is really suffering just now because of the lack of signings, particularly at the back. We were crying out for a new centre half, but McGhee did nothing until the last minute when he signed an injured player who he had hardly seen play. I am not counting the Kennedy saga, as this is another example of terrible management as we spent time and money on a player who we never had a chance of signing. Only Motherwell!

In my opinion the most worrying aspect of Mark McGhee's tenure at Motherwell is that he is more interested in himself than the football club. Everything is about McGhee, whether its touting himself for bigger jobs or only being interested in the Old Firm games because they put him and his players in the shop window, after all everyone has aspirations to play or manage at a higher level than Motherwell??! Funny how we never hear Craig Levein saying this, oh that's right he actually has some loyalty to Dundee United.

Having said all this I am actually a McGhee fan, but I no longer think he is the all conquering saviour that I worshipped last season. Every club he has been at he started off well and then performances dropped dramatically in the second season. Is this happening to us? All we can do is wait and see, but with no new signings in January we will have to be extremely lucky to reach the top six.

There are rumours that Sheffield United want Chris Porter in January and that Derby want to sign Stephen Hughes. These are two important players for us but I would be inclined to let them go. If they are not going to re-sign I say take the money for them now and try and find replacements. Sutton can do a job for us in place of Porter, and his wages can go to try sign a more creative player. And Hughes has hardly kicked a ball this season and seems to be continuously carrying an injury. Lasley is the main man in midfield for me, so I say take the money again and try find a player that complements Las and has the desire to be at the club.

Is McGhee capable of finding these replacements? You have to say that he probably is. Whether it is for the good of Motherwell FC or for the good of Mark McGhee is up for debate, but for him to get the big money move that he so clearly craves he has to oversee a dramatic improvement in fortunes at 'Well this season - can he do it? Only time will tell.