The JH to Spurz saga rumbles on, along with the usual pessimism, so here goes with a load of (hopefully) reasoned opinion and fact:
Firstly, JH has not actually signed for them yet. There has been **NO** official word from WFC as yet, and that’s important. There can well be things that can go wrong – personal terms, his medical, you name it. So until it’s actually done we should not act like we’re going to commit suicide. Remember that neither Drillo nor R&G have made any comment whatsoever.
You will doubtlessly note that this sale does not tie in with BRG’s comments early last week, Now, I will put this down to one of three reasons : firstly, BRG could be lying through his teeth. This could be a reason, though ultimately it’s in their interests to have WFC as a Premiership club. Secondly, it is perfectly possible that the deal had been “accepted” before BRG made these comments, and I would say that there is a great element of truth in that.
Think about it logically, the Hartson To Spurz saga seemed to rear its ugly head about a week or two after he got injured. The fact that the same story appeared week after week after week may mean that the deal was going to go through after JH gets fit again. Don’t believe me? OK, here’s a 100% true story for you : when Blackburn signed Chris Sutton from Norwich some years ago, they completed the deal at the end of the previous season, and it was officially announced before the new season started (in other words, it was kept quiet for a number of weeks). This was done primarily to give the newspapers a chance to build up a massive story out of the transfer “saga”, namely they could claim that Arsenal and Liverpool were after Sutton.
It was total bullshit, but they played the media – and that’s maybe what’s happened here. This may also explain why SH quit so “suddenly” – well come on, you wouldn’t think that he would tarnish himself by being seen to sell JH before he left?
The third reason, and one which may be the most true one, is the simple fact that Drillo simply may want to sell him regardless. Now, this may sound ludricous to some (we are, of course, in the relegation scrap), but it could be that Drillo wants the money to buy somebody else “better”.
Couple of things that may well point to this : one, Drillo said that he wouldn’t pay Â£7m for one player. Secondly, I don’t think Drillo was that particularly impressed with JH all round – remember that Drillo queried JH’s consistency after the Bradford game. And thirdly, don’t doubt that Drillo doesn’t know about JH’s injury proneness. Look at what Spurz may well be buying for Â£7m – a player who has just come off a major knee op, at the young age of 24, who is still not match fit, and who has reports of poor discipline. Now, here’s the rub – if we keep JH and he comes back, how long would it be before he got injured again?
Given his past record, it could be sooner than you think. We would lose him for another two-three weeks, at such a vital stage, we would have to re-organise YET AGAIN, and Drillo may be wondering whether he would be better cutting his losses now with JH and get somebody else in. Remember that West Ham seemed particularly keen to get rid of him, and now apparently so are we. The danger comes if Drillo gets the money and doesn’t spend it, but as said previously, it’s in R&G’s interest to see us out of trouble.
One other thing about this which needs to be settled – so far, WFC has paid West Ham Â£6m for JH, not Â£7.5m as you may hear. The extra Â£1.5m is due to be paid should JH play 50 games for us, which as it stands looks unlikely. So even if we sell him for Â£6m then we haven’t lost any money. You may wonder “why now?”, but the bottom line is, name another WFC player who on current form would raise that sort of money? Only Maggie, and BRG has told Liverpool “hands off”.
When we found that we couldn’t offload the likes of Castledine, Leaburn, Ardley etc, you knew deep down that somebody like JH was going to go sooner rather than later. How much have we spent on transfers within the last year? Â£15m? Of that, Â£6m was JH, and like it or not it’s taken a huge dent in our account. The obvious retort would be “so why doesn’t KIR put some of his millions into the club?”. The simple answer is that business doesn’t actually act like that. Never has done, and in a perverse sort of way I’m glad that we’re settling our debts promptly. The problems at Palace should serve as a warning to anyone.
All this is unsettling of course, and there has been one or two rumblings already, with the suggestion that “we” should chant for the head of Drillo and/or R&G. One word – DON’T. We are entering a vital time at WFC, and we need all the support we can muster. The last thing we need is to start pointing fingers in the ground, because that ain’t going to get us out of trouble. You can bitch about it as much as you can before the game, but when you take your seat on Saturday, remember this……
If you start yelling “NORWEGIANS OUT” at Leicester then you will be as much to blame for any relegation we suffer as the people on the pitch.
Meanwhile, Drillo is going to have a little “talk” with the players tomorrow. This ain’t going to be a nice tea and biscuits job either – I didn’t see the interview but Drillo was reportedly spitting blood, and for him to blow his top must take ineptitude of the highest order. We may have somebody at the training ground on hand tomorrow, I’ll try and find out what happens after he negotiates the dismembered bodies in the car park.