Where’s The Beef?

Hindsight is great, but you look back at our recent transfer window now and it raises some major questions.

35-40 million on Livramento, reserve right back. 35-40 million on Barnes, reserve left winger, meanwhile we have Almiron on the right wing, who consistently fails to deliver and desperately needed upgrading, and a central defence that is in genuine turmoil if we get one injury.

We are not Man City, we can’t drop 80 million on 2 backup players, we are still very much in the “build a starting 11” phase, with the existing players being replaced, filtering down to be the backup on the bench.

These questions only come about with what we are seeing, because regardless of how many points we took from these first 4 games, did anyone else see these performances coming? I didn’t.

Even the City game, we didn’t lay a glove on them, no improvement on last season. The Liverpool game, worse than last season. The Brighton game, worse than last season.

These incoming players looked like astute signings as I expected us to carry on in the same mould, maybe naively, but I just didn’t see the sort of questions we are asking now, when we were signing these players over the summer.

Games are won and lost on the standard of your midfield and right now, what looked like the best central midfield we have had, potentially ever at this level, is just so far off looking like a midfield that will gel. I don’t get why Howe is still persisting on this flat 3, 3 number 8 positioned central midfielders who look to me like they don’t know what they are being asked to do. I didn’t see this coming either,

I thought Tonali would either sit deep, or pivot with Bruno as the deep lying midfielder, instead they are in this rigid central 3, 2 Brazilian international players and a top young Italian international, and they genuinely don’t look like they have a clue what is being asked of them. This is very much on Howe, he has to get to grips with this.

I mentioned earlier the absence of Willock, one our better players last season, and we are missing him so much. He had such a great relationship with Joelinton, the way they inter changed on the left side was sublime last season, even made up for the fact we had Dan Burn at left back with the way they attacked and exploited spaces down that left hand side. What this has been replaced with is the aformentiomed rigid 3 in the middle, and 3 players up to staying very disciplined positionally, but as a result we lack all the fluidity we did last year.

It’s sortable and we certainly don’t need to panic yet, but I am gutted at the way this has started out, I genuinely thought we would kick on, but the change in personnel and the loss of key players for the way we played last season, has changed our identity, and Howe has 2 weeks to try and get it back.
What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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