Never mind whether or not Spector should be sold after his once in 97 appearances showing on Tuesday, our victory over the Mancs has thrown a really spanner in the works given Sullivan's stated aim to shuffle the pack in January. The two legged semifinal takes place in the weeks commencing the 10th of January and 24th of January and any English based players are likely to be cup tied for those games. Suddenly shuffling the pack may not have the same appeal!
I've dealt with Cole in another article, so let's look briefly at Parker, Upson and Behrami.
Now there's not a fan of the club (even me) who wants Parker to leave in January, but none of us know what release clauses he insisted upon before he belatedly signed that contract extension. One thing is for sure, Sullivan & Gold will not want to be paying him his wages if we go down, so an agreement that he can go in January, if we are still in the bottom three and a top side makes a bid in the region of £10m, might have suited both parties. Remember, Collison, Noble and Hitzlespurger are all due back in the New Year so we might feel we have enough midfield cover anyway. We saw on Tuesday that Parker may not be as indispensible as some people have insisted but, personally, I'd rather see a few more SPECtacular performances from The Wank before I trust him to be the engine of our midfield! And as for Der Hammered, I'd just love to see him play a competitive game of any sort! Who knows how Collison may have been damaged by his long term injury.
Behrami looks nailed on to leave to me, but for what fee? If we sell him now, after a miserable season under Zola and an injury ravaged start to this, he will go for relative peanuts. Shouldn't we retain him, play him, rebuild his reputation and then cash in? The idea of a cup final might just persuade him to hang around.
There would be a big lobby in favour of selling Upson and, with a Bosman departure looming in the summer, the club would probably be happy to take £3million or even less in January. But would this really make sense? Are we going to find somebody of his quality at that price? Imagine having to take on Arsenal in a Wembley Cup Final with Tomkins and Reid at centre back, a possibility if Da Costa is injured or in the lock up! Remember, Upson was originally bought to keep us up. For all his failings, especially as a leader, Upson remains a decent defender and one I would like in the team should we get past Birmingham.
So, before Tuesday, it all seemed quite simple. Still facing relegation, sell Cole, Upson and Behrami and pocket £18million, using £10million of that to invest in replacements whilst banking £8million as an insurance against the drop. And if the right bid comes in, sell Parker and commit the bulk of the revenue to bringing in another three players.
But now, there is the little matter of a Cup Final to take into account. Sullivan and Gold might also consider that this squad of players have only lost 3 games out of the last 13 despite an injury list so long that even Turds could be considered lucky during his time as manager. Maybe, just maybe, Avram is moulding them into a decent side. Remember Grant will have three new players available in the New Year anyway: Hines, Collison and Hitzlespurger. Remember Barerra and Reid will have "bedded in" by then and may be showing better form.
Maybe, just maybe, Avram is removing the Zola monkey from off the back of this team. Maybe, just maybe, rather than twist again, like we did last summer, we should stick and trust that we have a good enough hand already!