Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Super Alan Pardew?

Southampton have signed midfielder Dean Hammond, for an undisclosed fee.

The 26-year-old has signed a three-year deal at St Mary's.

Hammond, who describes himself as an 'all-action midfielder', said: "This is a massive club with a Premiership set up and it represented an opportunity that I couldn't turn down, so I'm just very excited about the move," the 26 year-old said.

Alan Pardew added: "Dean is a fantastic leader and tremendously energetic. He captained Colchester and will bring a lot of quality to the club that I think the fans will appreciate."

This was taken directly from Southern Daily Echo. There is more to read, but I guess you get the jist. It looks like a decent enough signing, as did that of Graeme Murty. Murty is probably on a lot of money, and his recent track record of injuries for someone well past thirty would worry me. Hammond's suggestions of 'massive club' and 'Premiership setup' sound more to me like 'a good pay rise for me thank you very much.'

Rickie Lambert seems rather expensive at 27 for a fee described as 'in excess of £1m'. Pardew has a knack of spending a lot of money on players that you wouldn't have thought their club would ever have got for them. Despite scoring a lot of goals last season he has only ever played two seasons in the third division or above. I'm sure he has the ability to score a few goals in this division, but with a fee of £1m his wages will not be insignificant. On the basis that there are few clubs in the Championship that can afford to spend £1m on a player it looks like a significant risk to me.

Either way it does look like Southampton are ramping up their wage bill in a division where there is little (almost no) tv revenue and as big a club as they are, they are still going to see dwindling attendances in the event of poor results or a prolonged stay in this division.

I remember commenting in the past that Pardew has the ability to say just the right thing at just the right time. He often used to say just what I wanted to hear. Sadly there seems to be a significant difference between talking about what needs to be done and actually getting on and doing it. For example I know exactly what Man Utd need to do to boost their squad to the same strength as last season. They need to sign a winger that can score about 40 goals and provide as many assists and they need to sign a striker that can score about 15 goals from about 25 appearances.

I read on the Chalton Life Forum that initially all the things that Pardew said struck a chord with the Saints fans who believed in him from his time with West Ham. I mean, he did discover Reo Coker and Hareward after all. It would seem that they are complaining now that he needs a central defender, but he is signing more central midfielders - something they think they have enough of. (I'm sure I've heard that before somewhere).

I've been quite open about not liking Southampton very much, and it wouldn't bother me if they were in this division for the next decade, but I can't help feeling a little bit uncomfortable when I see football clubs making decisions that make managers, players and their agents significantly more wealthy when it is likely the club will be paying for it for many years. Despite the Dowie experiment and the Les Reed debacle I believe that Pardew's ability to convince both the fans and the board to back him on his spending spree has been the reason for our massive task to get back to the Premier League again. I know we were punching above our weight in the Curbishley years, but we had a decent squad when Pardew arrived. He spend a lot of money (particularly for a Championship club) and saddled us with players that cost us a fortune in wages and contributed very little.

The job required to keep and then to get us in the Premier league grew every month that Pardew was with us. When we were relegated we were (rightly I believe) one of the favourites to win promotion. Even after the sale of Bent and Young we had enough quality throughout the squad and needed merely a few new faces to fill in the gaps. The continued spending on loan players in the last six months of the 2007/08 season forced the board to reduce the squad that summer, and the rest is history.

Southampton are now 18 points behind us, and Pardew is still making excuses about his side due to time scales and lack of players. We have had a takeover going on all summer and still Parkinson has put out a side that has won the first three games. On the basis that Southampton finished above us last season and we have lost six players with Premier League pedigree I am astounded that anyone associated with that once established top flight club can be falling for Pardew's excuses.

Sadly Pardew is still 'trading' on that FA Cup run in 2006. I thought when he left Chalton he would struggle to get another job quickly. To be given the task of resurrecting a fallen giant was just his bag. It's exactly the right job for an arrogant man with limited talent but who's good in front of a camera.

I will be surprised if Pardew keeps his job until Christmas. It won't be long before those in control will become worried about the gap to 5th from bottom. No doubt if he is relieved of his duties he will walk away with another pay off and into another job where he is remembered for Gerrard stealing the FA Cup from him.

I am feeling as upbeat about Charlton as I have for a long time - since Pardew arrived , in fact. The Pardew legacy, however, has probably not completely gone. We still have a few players on our books that we cannot really afford and don't seem to be able to sell. Even promotion this season will see us significantly weaker than we were at the start of 2007/08.

Anyway he has gone now, and all his spending, tinkering and excuses are someone else's problem. All I want to know is why didn't he go to Leeds?

Up the Addicks!

1 comment:

Daggs said...

Interesting debate over at Wyn's site KHA!
I have to say i agree with you about the level of excitement around CAFC now. It's amazing what a few good results can do. Long may it last.
All of which makes it particularly galling for me that i'm unable to attend again until Southampton pitch up at The Valley.
When i booked the work i'm having done at home i didn't really think i would mind missing a few games. How that's changed !!!!