So, there it is – not Capello or Lippi (or Souness thankfully), but Alex McLeish who takes over at St Andrews. All in all a good thing I think, he has a good record at each club he’s managed in the past and was unlucky to be sacked at Rangers after a very good first three seasons at Ibrox. The work he did with the Scotland team has been well documented but to be honest, taking Motherwell and Hibernian to 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the SPL deserves greater recognition.
Time will tell how well he’ll adapt in the frankly far tougher arena of the Premier League, but 8pts from 6 games is not a bad start – although successive games against ManU, Arsenal and Chelsea will anything but easy.
So we find ourselves on the edge of the transfer window, and to be honest, with little idea of who may leave and who might be heading to the Midlands. Losing Djourou back to Arsenal is a blow as he is a top quality defender and probably a gap that needs to be filled as I don’t think Jaidi is in the same bracket. Maybe Schmitz could do the job, but I think he may be better off at left back?
Not really sure where else we need to strengthen desperately, although new faces always offer new possibilities and McLeish will certainly want his own men. There have already been the obvious links with SPL or Scottish players both good and bad – if we could get McFadden that would be a great addition to midfield, but could also see Kapo leaving as he seems not to be in McLeish’s first choice side. Worryingly we have also been recently linked to Bobo Balde – a player who plays like he’s more used to manning the door of a nightclub than cultured defending.
We still seem to have problems scoring (although in fairness not anywhere nearly as much as 2 months ago!!!), and O’Connor hasn’t yet been the success I hoped he might be. Forssell is fit again and seems to be getting back towards his best, and McLeish rates Jerome very highly (despite lack of goals), but that is it for out-and-out strikers – McSheffrey still can’t decide if he’s a top flight player or not, and Kapo isn’t playing.
We’ll see where we are in a month’s time, hopefully no lower down the table, but you have to feel we need to beat two of Sunderland, Derby and West Ham in the three games after Chelsea, before playing Arsenal again.
Keep right on