WHAT a difference three points make? The Albion’s excellent 1-0 win against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s on Saturday has bolstered confidence, before back-to-back Amex home games against Burnley and Millwall respectively.
To my mind, there was never any real cause for concern and, while one win only represents three points, I think that first victory is a huge monkey off Oscar Garcia’s back.
I’m not actually a big fan of the transfer window, I think it has the capacity to inflate transfer fees and, at the very end of the period, can force clubs into panic buying. But one of the aspects I do enjoy is the rumour mill.
At the weekend, we had various websites reporting that Croydon’s own footballing giants, Crystal Palace, were planning a double raid on the Amex for Albion duo Ashley Barnes and Kazenga LuaLua.
Varying fees were being bandied around. All I can say is that if Ian Holloway was prepared to pay the kind of money mentioned, never mind the obvious rivalry, everyone has a price and the Albion would be stupid to turn that kind of money down for, with all due respect, players of that ilk.
Then again, that’s the beauty of the transfer window. I doubt Holloway’s even thought about the players, but someone, somewhere, got on a keyboard and started a good old-fashioned rumour.
As for Albion’s foray into transfer business during the window, I have been encouraged by the players already brought in by Garcia, tried and tested players at Championship level and above, which can only stabilise the situation at the Amex.
Away from the Albion, but still connected, is the on-going Gus Poyet situation. As I understand it, he is still continuing to pursue his case against the club through the courts.
In my opinion, this is not good. And even as very much someone who was part of Team Gus, I hope eventually common sense prevails and the whole thing is dropped, as a long, drawn-out court case, with dirty linen being washed on both sides, will do neither party any good in the long run.
I firmly believe that, provided he doesn’t make himself unemployable (and taking the Albion to court won’t exactly put his stock up with any potential employers), I believe Gus is not that far off getting back into management.
And, hopefully, he’ll take Charlie Oatway with him in the process.
Gus is currently 6-4 favourite to be the next manager of Newcastle and, given the events at the Etihad on Monday, those odds could shorten even further.
A great start for Worthing Youth on Monday night, with a 4-0 win in the Ryman Youth League against Horsham in front of another three-figure crowd. Next up is a mouthwatering ‘local derby’ against Bognor at Woodside Road on Tuesday night (7.45pm kick-off).