Whilst melting away this evening waiting for a Zoom call, I got to thinking about the summer transfer business.
Since Keith Alexander in 2002, Mark Kennedy is the 11th manager facing his first transfer window. Some of those managers were coming in fresh, and others had half a season to put their squads together, but on ten occasions before now, since 2002, a new manager has been forced to build a squad. Players have left, others come in and excitement has either been palpable or mooted. I thought about the summers that seemed like a success, the players who, on paper, should have been great for the club. For instance, The Magnificent Seven did look to be good on paper, but on the grass? Not so much.
However, when they signed, people were generally happy; that’s the point that got me thinking. Fans get ‘underwhelmed’ by some signings, carried away with others, but how often are our assessments of a new manager’s first window right? In some cases, we have nothing to base our opinions on other than instinct, but we still try, don’t we? How many of us said Danny Mandroiu was a great signing last week? 75%? More? How do we know?
The truth is, we don’t. So, in order to stop us talking about players we’ve signed that we can’t possibly judge, here are the ten times since 2002 that a new manager has had his first transfer window and can be judged. For context, I have added the division, the players who had just left and where I think our budget would have fallen that season. I don’t know the budgets for sure, I just have a good guesstimate.
Hopefully, even if this provides nothing other than light reading, you’ll get some enjoyment out of it.
Disclaimer: I may have missed the odd player off or credited one with signing in pre-season who arrived late, but it’s not intentional.
Another disclaimer: It’s turned into a two-part series. It’s not easy putting this together!