Alex Neil has let slip what we all knew but something that the club have played with a straight bat – the fact that the summer transfer window wasn’t what it should’ve been.
In the summer, City seemed to struggle to get the right sort of players through the door with arguably only Robbie Brady and Dieumerci Mbokani being success stories from that transfer window and by ‘arguably’ I mean Mbokani.
Speaking to the EDP about the value of the midfield partnership of Gary O’Neil and Jonny Howson, Neil also said that the recruitment team was ‘not where it should’ve been.’
‘Newcastle is a different kettle of fish because they spent money in the summer as well as January. Our circumstances were different, our recruitment team was not in a place where it should have been because we had a model that wasn`t working,” said Neil.
“That was done and from then onwards and due to the fact we got promoted via the play-offs we had very little time to attract the players we wanted with the quality we needed so we couldn`t get as much quality as we wanted before the summer window closed so we had to try and remedy that in January.”
The signings of Timm Klose (£9m) and Steven Naismith (£8.5m) finally showed some intent as Norwich spent to try to strengthen the squad sufficiently to stay in the league in January.
Norwich also signed Ivo Pinto and Matt Jarvis as senior players along with a loan move for Patrick Bamford. I know people will say ‘We didn’t spend a lot because we sold Johnson and Grabban for big money’ and that is true but I think we’d all rather have Klose and Naismith than Johnno and Grabban, wouldn’t we?
The bottom line is that this was poor decision making from the club at the time. They didn’t act quickly enough to put the right recruitment team in place with Lee Darnborough (Head of recruitment) only arriving in the early summer.
Imagine if we’d signed Klose and Naismith in July? I know Roberto Martinez didn’t want to lose Naismith but that was because we tried to buy him on the final day of the window. Make that same offer in July and Everton would have time to get a replacement, the same goes for Dwight Gayle and Jon Walters etc…