A very good post that, unprejudiced and to the point, surely Owlstalk readers like posts like this even if many posters do not.
I would also add that the club's policy in bringing new players to the club has been fundamentally flawed right from the start of our owners tenure.
Under MM, we clawed our way back into the Championship using a sizeable number of loan players, older signings and battling players. That was all that MM could afford to do, but this approach kept us in a very tough division and punching way above our weight when we were one of the bottom handful of teams, spending wise. We went from being a club battling to survive, never mind stay in the 3rd flight of English football. We had to sell players to pay the taxman, on one side, while battling off creditors on another and trying to stay together as a club. Yet we survived all those horrors, built a team that won promotion and against almost all expectations, Stuart Gray settled the defence and managed to get us into our second highest league position since our drop from the top flight.
To get to that position we had been very lucky to have people that could spot players with huge amounts of character and determination. Players like Llera, Reda Johnson, Rob Jones, Semedo, Lines, O'Grady, Marshall, Antonio, JJ, Barth, Madine, Buxton were all prepared to battle to the end to get us up. Managers like Laws and Megson, who had contacts throughout the football league brought the vast majority of those spirited players to the club and all on a very low budget. They were able to do this because they are footballing people. Born, bred and brought up with lives totally immersed in football.
When our, then, 'new' owner, DC decided to sack our manager and bring in a head coach, he took on the responsibility of signing players. We have been over this so many times, but it always boils down to the fact that our none footballing owner, his advisors and his 'players for sale and rent' agencies, have been the ones bring players into the club. Maybe footballing advice was there at the beginning from the short lived player purchasing committee, but whoever was responsible for blowing all the money, on the whole, we brought in a lot of unfit players, with no pace.
For a sustainable team with a chance of finishing higher up the table we needed 4 or 5 quality players, who were young, fit and had the battling qualities required to keep going to the end of every game. (I really hate to say it, but l**d's brought that kind of team to Hillsborough last week and they looked very powerful didn't they).
Two defenders, a winger, a central midfielder and a 20 goal a season striker and we would have been there or thereabouts. All other players should have been loans and we could have been there or thereabouts I reckon.
If those players had got the right levels of fitness, hunger, skill and that special X factor that the trained football minds know (and the untrained none footballing brains know nothing about)
we could have built on the squad if we had managed promotion, or if we had got to push again. Unfortunately, the ages and fitness levels of many of the players brought in were such that when we failed they were not up to another push and subsequently we tried a similar plan and then added to the mess by blowing what was left of the treasure chest on one player.
To a lot of our untrained eyes many of these players were unecessary purchases and to make it worse, we are still missing some of the quality we needed in the same positions, as we did when DC first came to the club! Surely one of his advisors has eyes and has some understanding of football?