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Three out, one in? - 10/01/2003

   Gary Doherty
   Michael Ricketts

With Dean Holdsworth, David Norris, and Nicky Southall all moving on, itís reported that Samís able to bring in only one replacement. I suppose itís just a sign of the times and Iíd rather see the club take things sensibly than go and gamble big money and than possibly pay for it later.

If it was down to me, Id be on the look out for a no nonsense defender, however Ė itís not as easy as that! Firstly thereís no loan signings available between Premiership clubs, so If youíre looking at the domestic market, itíd have to be a Nationwide player. With respect to the Nationwide, are there any defenders with the capability to immediately perform well in the Premiership? The loan market is also different to the transfer market, youíre generally looking at players being discarded by clubs. So how many discarded players from the Nationwide clubs can cut it in the Premiership?

Itís not a time to buying for the future, thereís not even time to bed a player in! Of course the other issue is the fact that the club has to be able to attract foreignerís. It might be OK for Newcastle to go out and get their defender, but theyíre in the Champions League and fighting for a top four place. Bolton are offering a relegation dog-fight, whats' the most attractive option? Although it worked out well last season Ė Djorkaeff for example, itís a tougher market place this time around.

Samís been put in a terrible situation with the Ricketts speculation. Iíd heard that Tottenham were in for him on Tuesday, but if you let someone go, you need a replacement, and with Tottenham offering Gary Doherty, itís not the answer. Ricketts has been scoring goals of late, heís working for the team and looking hungry. If youíve got a player playing like that, you donít want them to leave! But with the man himself wanting the move, itís a very awkward situation. Is he going to go out and give us 100% performances? Heíll not want to risk an injury if a move is around the corner, so heíll not be playing to his potential. Looking at the offer from Spurs, Iíve nothing against Doherty Ė heís an honest, decent player whoíll put in a shift for you, but heís a centre-back come forward, like Ian Pearce at West Ham. We need someone focused on scoring goals, put simplyÖhe isnít so heís not for Bolton!

Tomorrowís game is massive, no doubt about it. I know itís been said that Fulham and Birmingham will be OK, but I disagree. Iím sure theyíll be involved in the fight but if Fulham get the points, then itíll put a real gap between them and the bottom four. On the other hand, a Bolton win would really give us a boost and then weíd be the oneís with a bit of a gap from the bottom three. Birminghamís signings must be a bit of a slap in the face for a few of their players. Three new players Ė all looking like theyíll go straight into the side. Itíll be interesting to see how they settle in? Itís going to be a great, and interesting, weekend of football!!

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