Whatever else one thinks it has been an interesting transfer window and we are in for a lively ride. One thing that is clear, whether Chris Powell stays or not (and I think he will be here until the summer) is that we are moving towards a continental director of football model in which the manager runs the team but does not pick them.
Yohann Thuram-Ulien – goalkeeper - French. On loan from Standard Liège. Squad number: 21 DOB: 31 October 1988 Height 6’ 2”.
Astrit Ajdarević – midfielder – Swedish. On loan from Standard Liège. Squad number: 42. DOB: 17 April 1990 Height 6’ 3”.
Reza Ghoochannejhad – striker – Iranian. Signed from Standard Liège on a two-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee. Squad number: 8. DOB: 20 September 1987 Height 5’ 11”. The snappily named Ghoochannejhad (aka 'Guci') grew up in Holland and represented the Netherlands at under-age level but has been a revelation since making his debut for Iran last year scoring eight goals in 10 games and being seen as the main danger man for his country. His senior domestic league record is very decent - 48 goals in 115 games- the downside will be losing him for tournaments and games (Iran have two friendlies in March). Forget any comparisons with Karim Bhagheri: that was a commercial and political decision, rather than a footballing one.
Anıl Koç – midfielder – Turkish. On loan from Standard Liège. Squad number: 22. DOB 29 January 1995 Height 5’ 8”.
Loïc Nego – defender – French. Transfer in from Hungarian sister club Újpest. Squad number: 25. DOB: 15 January 1991 Height 5’ 11”.
Pitor Parzyszek – striker – Polish. Transfer in from De Graafschap on a four-and-a-half year deal. Fee said to be £800,000. Squad number: --DOB: 8 September 1993 Height 6’ 3”. The most exciting of the signings. West Ham were after him as well. He has an excellent goal scoring record in the 'Eerste Divisie' (closest to the Championship over here) scoring 29 goals in 52 games for De Graafschapwith him bagging 16 goals in just 20 games this season so far (including two hat tricks and one brace) making him that division's top scorer.
Yann Kermorgant. His departure is deeply regretted by most fans. He didn't seem too happy in his first interview with Bournemouth, despite the opportunity, as a Breton, to live by the sea and Eddie Howe's style of play which sees the ball played to feet more. Hopefully, we will rely less on the long ball aimed at Kermorgant's head in future.
Dale Stephens. A friend who is a Seagull asked what I thought and I said: 'Inconsistent. Will deliver a ball of real quality one minute and the next will give away possession easily and dangerously the next. Will provide the occasional sensational goal from distance.' Nevertheless, our most creative midfield player and we don't have a replacement for him.
Ben Alnwick. The real surprise of the transfer window. However, we cannot really justify having three senior goalkeepers (Hamer's injury is a short-term one as far as I know). Apparently, Roland was not too happy that he was played at Doncaster.
Michael Smith. Some fans are still sore about this, but as Chris Powell pointed out we would not have been able to give him the game time to develop. Scoring goals in League 2 does not mean that you can score them in the Championship and even if he does well in League 1, that does not mean that he would have cut it at this level.
Whether the new players will keep us up remains to be seen, but I will not pass judgment on them until I have seen them play a few times. Some, however, think that the turnover of players of itself poses problems. At least we have spent some money which the old regime would not have been able to do and they would probably had to offload players for cash flow reasons.
For all the jokes about 'Roland Rat' and 'Sub-Standard', we can only make a balanced assessment of the new set up in the summer.