February 23, 2013 by bashfoc2
Hi guys! So as per the last couple of blogs the squad could do with a few improvements in order to make us play-off contenders for the year… Sadly we have no money to do this with so that means freebies galore!
First things first lets go through who I managed to ditch:
Okay so as you can see this was a pretty serious clear-out and thankfully we both managed to clear out some rubbish and raise some funds too… A few of the significant exits were:
- Ramon Nunez: A bit of cash for someone who was never going to be good enough for the squad, although meant that a replacement was now an essential.
- Paul Connolly: Perhaps could have done a job as a back-up but it would have been wages wasted on someone with no room to improve.
- Paul Rachubka: An old goalie soaking up wages and was already a third choice = no-brainer.
- Michael Brown: I felt a little bit guilty with this one, certainly could have provided some metal through the middle but at 35 and a definite reserve he had to go.
- Patrick Kisnorbo: Again he could have done a job as a back-up CB (solid heading, marking & tackling) but his pace is very limiting and Bari were willing to shed out £450K for him.
- Danny Pugh: Behind Aidan White he was never going to get a game and again there was decent money offered.
- January Departures (sheepishly revealing that I am writing this post a little bit late): The two stand-out names being Grosso and Litmanen who clearly did not have particularly long or successful careers with Leeds but I’ll explain that a bit later.
Okay so as you can see all the money we earned through sales was converted straight into a bigger wage budget to afford all these free transfers. There are a few big names in there and we even managed to squeeze in some under 30’s! Just going to qualify the Jari Litmanen transfer (his Leeds career lasting a record 1 day), I accidently accepted instead of declined on his transfer and had to ditch him straight away… whoops!
- Boudewijn Zenden: Only to be used from LM and provides decent technical and mental stats.
- Rabiu Afolabi: A big CB who wanted very little wages, decent cover.
- Cristiano Zanetti: I’ve been burnt with him before but I really needed the DM cover, hopefully he’ll last until the end of the season and chip in with a few appearances.
- Fabio Grosso: Okay so I signed Grosso as a solid rotation prospect for White at LB and all went pretty well until a tasty 8 month injury came along and ruled him out for an age… Being the cruel heartless manager that I am I decided to release him immediately.
- Edouard Cisse: Probably the best looking freebie here? Great stats for a 35 year-old and again wasn’t too big on the wage demands… Could be a starting DM leaving Zanetti as 4th choice.
- Diego Arismendi: ***50K*** Wow we actually spent some money on someone! Stoke seemed desperate to get rid of him and as a DM under 30 he fits the bill perfectly for me. I’m hoping Austin and himself will be the main men through the middle for the season.
- Michael Lumb: Another left back here but he was too good to pass up. He is to become a starting LB allowing White to contend further forward.
Other signings of note were Koumas (getting on a bit now but plenty of Championship experience) and Harbuzi at AMC and Mika and Esgaio as the youth for the squad.
Overall I was pretty happy with the signings but they have definitely pushed me towards playing with the 2 DMs at all times. Also I didn’t strengthen with enough quality at AMC but hopefully we’ll get by.
Okay so as you can see a pretty outstanding pre-season with 6 wins from 7 and also clean-sheets in all of those games! A bit of a blemish with a home defeat to Feyenoord but certainly made up for with wins against Besiktas and a convincing win against prem Norwich. Certainly some promising results here and all this before the two big DM signings on deadline day. The star of pre-season was easily big Becchio netting 6 goals across the games, which is pretty decent bearing in mind I like to rotate heavily in these early games.
That’ll do for today’s post I think. Next time we’ll go all the way through to the January transfer window and I’ll need to get back playing again to write anymore after that!