Thursday, May 20, 2004

Be thankful for small mercies: Part two

Perhaps on reflection it was a good thing that we exited the UEFA Cup at the semi-final stage, given the ease with which newly-crowned Spanish champions Valencia disposed of our conquerors Marseille in last night's final. We could have made it to Gothenburg, got our hopes up and then seen them dashed in spectacular style by the likes of Mista, Baraja and Vicente. Still, it might have been nice to at least have had the chance to win the trophy.

On the transfer front, it's still fairly quiet. Griffin's off to Portsmouth, and we seem content to sit around watching Birmingham sign a proven England international striker and Everton bid for Alan Smith. Not a cat in hell's chance of either of those two clubs winning anything next season, but they still seem to have ambitions - whereas we just have delusions of grandeur. Not only do we need significant signings to strenghten the squad, we need them to provide a bit of a spark and reignite a sense of excitement and optimism about our prospects for next season. As it stands, Shearer and Speed aren't getting any younger, and the more youthful members of the squad have hardly shown they're capable of taking the club forwards.

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