Reinforcements on the way?

Last updated : 01 December 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Without being specific Sir Bobby admitted that he knew which positions he wanted to strengthen, but the smart money is on right-back and striker.

"Two new players would be a wonderful addition in January if we can get them,” he said.

"I know the two positions we need to strengthen. The club must always look for progression, it must not stand still.

"Liverpool don't stand still, they try to buy, and just look at what Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have done with money."

Unfortunately of the four clubs Sir Bobby mentions only Liverpool are a realistic comparison, and with the exception of Harry Kewell when was the last time they purchased a real top quality player? Surely their example isn’t one we want to follow.

Arsenal are skint and it’s a long time since Wenger made a successful big-money signing. Instead the Gunners have picked up some decent youngsters for next to nothing and developed them in the reserve team and by sending them out on loan. Why is that we try and do something similar, but pay big fees for the inexperienced players and let them learn their trade in the first team?

Chelsea are just in a completely different league financially, as are Manchester United, who today announced a £36million deal with Vodafone and confirmed that part of the money will be made available to strengthen the team, which puts our £5million casino deal into perspective.

When you look at the amount of money that has been wasted on duff players in the post-Keegan era and then consider what we might have achieved this season had some of it been available to spend in the summer, it makes for a depressing conclusion.

Signing two proven Premiership players - we need the finished article, not just more potential - in January would be a welcome boost, but for this season it is too little too late.

As Sir Bobby admitted on Saturday we are already playing for fourth.
And that can hardly be described as progress.