Writer: Ross Molyneux
Date:Monday February 26 2007
Despite having massive restrictions in the transfer market, after Graeme Souness threw the contents of the club coffers about like a man with no arms, GR has done pretty well with his signings. His big splash, £10million on Obafemi Martins, has definitely been a huge success in my eyes. 14 goals already from a youngster in his first season in the Premier League has been an unexpected bonus to a team that had been struggling. Since Oba found his shooting boots the team has begun it`s recent climb up the table. Another massive boost has been Antoine Sibierski. The Frenchman has scored plenty of vital goals and has been a revelation in his link up play. Gooch Onweyu is also a shrewd piece of business for the club, based on his form so far.
Downsides for GR are the form of Damien Duff, which hasn`t been particularly impressive considering the hype and bluster that surrounded his arrival, and Invisible Olivier Bernard. Duff`s lack of form has been a particular disappointment whilst Bernard`s complete non-appearance so far is just plain embarrassing. Still, on the basis of the first two, I`d give Glenn an 8/10 so far for his market dealings.
Always happy to chip in, GR has been the complete opposite. Whilst Souness grizzled and moaned about injuries Roeder has been pretty objective, playing them down and praising the players when needed. His relationship with the media also seems pretty strong and he`s been really transparent with the fans. Some might consider him a little tied to Freddie Shepherd`s puppeteer hand, especially after the lack of signings in January, but he seems to have Shepherd`s respect after turning around the club on a few levels since the Scot`s departure.
The only couple of negative aspects have been talking about other clubs` players and also the whole Emre debacle. Again I`d score him a respectable 7/10.
A rollercoaster ride if ever we`ve seen one. One week we lose 2-1 to Fulham, the next week we beat Liverpool 2-1. Ups and downs, peaks and troughs, whatever you call it, we`ve been consistently inconsistent. The highs have been the 1-1 at Arsenal, the 2-2 against Man Yoo and the impressive win against the Scousers the other week. The lows were the three home losses to Bolton, Fulham and Sheffield United. Overall it`s been a mixed bag but at least we`re in mid-table, rather than mired in the bottom three like at the end if Souness. A steady 6/10, given the injury situation.
Given we ended up top of the group, are undefeated and into the last 16 I don`t think there`s much wrong that you could point out. I suppose the benchmark has to be the group stage where we saw off Palermo, Celta Vigo and Fenerbache. Definitely a 9/10 for Glenn.
Good wins against Pompey and Watford, including ending our penalty shootout hoodoo. Unfortunate that we ended up having to play Chelsea but if you`re going to win it you have to beat them at some stage. 7/10.
Without a doubt the lowlight of the season. The 2-2 draw with a goal in the last five minutes was bad enough to stomach but the 5-1 took the proverbial. 2/10.
Given circumstances GR has done a decent job of steadying the ship following sackless Souness. He`s brought young players through and bought pretty well (amazingly when compared to Luque and Boumsong). Some might query why Luque hasn`t been given more of a chance but after the Waregem effort he put in I think I`d fall on GR`s side. The crunch now comes at the business end of the season. Can we do it in the UEFA Cup and can we qualify for it next season by rights through the league? Judge him come May.
Date:Monday February 26 2007
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