Saturday, September 21

Still striker light

Not wholly convinced by Big Sam's defence of signing Downing but no striker in yesterday's Evening Standard, where he writes: "What would have been said if Stewart had gone to Newcastle or somewhere else instead of us and we had still missed out on a striker which would undoubtedly have been the case because we didn’t have enough money to buy the quality we wanted?"

The fact is we'd have had £6 million more to throw at the problem if we hadn't signed Downing. The club knew all summer that Carlton Cole was going, we only had Maiga in reserve who is not a centre forward and that Carroll was injury-prone (and in fact injured!), so surely we could have found a big man somewhere, even from the lower divisions or Europe? Part of the problem seems to have been concentrating on proven PL players who were unlikely to say yes to us such as Ba, Lukaku and Defoe. It's not easy signing players, but you do think our scouting network should have had some alternatives.

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