PAUL Jewell and Kevin Keegan aren’t necessarily managers I would normally connect, but there seemed a strong likeness as the transfer window slammed shut last Friday.
We all knew we needed another centre-back, arguably two, so what do we get? Two attackers and minus one defender. It just didn’t add up.
The announcement of Damien Delaney becoming the latest in a concerning growing list of players to have his contract paid up was quickly followed by our manager saying there would be no more arrivals before the 11pm deadline.
Sure, we all thought. Heard that one before from Mr Redknapp et al.
But he wasn’t bluffing and we went into Saturday’s game against Huddersfield, the last before a two-week international break, with just two recognised senior centre-backs and seemingly with a new Keegan-esque mantra of ‘we’ll score more than you’.
That is how the game ended up panning out really, except neither side were able to get that third elusive goal, though either easily could have.
It was hard to know whether it was a point gained or two points dropped, though given we had to come from behind at half-time and rely on Loach to produce a fantastic penalty save, I’d argue the former, even though Michael Chopra hit the post moments before.
Of the players we did sign, Paul Taylor’s £1.5million capture from Peterborough is an exciting bit of business and I hope he can fulfil the potential that has had Premier League clubs keeping tabs.
Daryl Murphy is a player that already feels like one of ours and offers the height we now badly need with a pint-sized duo up front.
I ended last season’s column hoping, more praying, we would learn from our mistakes and build from the back but after a promising start, with Scott Loach and Luke Chambers arriving, the cavalry never followed.
There is obviously the emergency loan window opening next week, but does an emergency loan, in addition to three loanees already, show Jewell really building for the future as he says?
And we’ve all seen how quickly deals can fall down, so what happens if the players he believes are available for some reason don’t come?
We should never have been left in this position and the decision to let Delaney go before a replacement was signed, sealed and delivered could have changed the direction of our season.