Saturday, 19 January 2008

Emergency Loan

Emergency Loan. What is that then? I know what an emergency stop is. "in a few moments I am going to tap the dashboard...." But an emergency loan? It suggests that we have an emergency in the striking department. If that was truly the case then why didn't we rush out and but Andy Gray on Jan 1st? Unless there is something we don't know - and I read that he will start on the bench - it looks like we have used a loophole to get him into the squad earlier. I can see how an emergency loan would be acceptable for a goalkeeper, but it does look like a good bit of business by Pardew, and if he scores today then it will look inspiring. And let's remember he scored for Burnley when they won at the same venue last month.

On the whole the signing has split the Charlton faithful as Andy Gray has clearly failed to make it in the Premier League. However, we are not in that division, and clearly need a lift to get us there, so I see no reason why he shouldn't turn out to be a good signing. The fee is interesting. £1.5m for a Tier 2 player that is probably not going to have much resale value as he is already 30 seems quite high. However, I would argue that we are going to get some real value out of him in this division, and if we are promoted £1.5m is nothing, so we could afford to sell him cheap, or leave him in the reserves for the following season, should we fail to avoid relegation in our first year back in the Premier League. It is also less, let's remember, than we paid for either McLeod or Varney neither of which had any real experience in this division.

However, the thing that excites me the most about his signing is that Chicago Addick compared him to Clive Mendonca. He actually compared him by refusing to compare him, but nevertheless he planted the thought in my mind, and that alone filled me with those warm feelings that only a football fan can understand.

Welcome to The Valley Andy.

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